Will the new Dragon breathe fire?

July 27th, 2011 by Jo Rosenberg


With reality shows at an all-time high (TOWIE anyone?) and the likes of The Apprentice shaking things up with a new format, Dragons’ Den can’t afford to rest on its laurels.

Back on BBC Two this Sunday, Dragons’ Den has a new and – some might say – controversial addition to its mega-rich line up.

Hilary Devey, entrepreneur and award winning business woman, will replace James Caan alongside Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis.

The daughter of a pub landlord from Bolton, Hilary Devey is no stranger to TV having already appeared on The Secret Millionaire and The Business Inspector.

Despite Devey’s unquestionable success in business (she owns Pall-Ex, a freight distribution company with an annual turnover of £100m) she has had her fair share of ups and downs in her personal life and it’s these turbulences which I suspect is what the BBC is most attracted to.

In an interview with financial website This Is Money earlier this year, Devey admits that her achievement has come at great personal cost. Among the life challenges facing her was helping her 24-year-old son to kick a chronic drug addiction.

“Sometimes I can’t help but feel responsible. I ask myself if things would have been different had I not been so busy doing Pall-Ex,” she told This Is Money.

Meanwhile, Hilary herself, who watched her parents lose everything when her father’s heating company went bust in the Sixties, has been divorced twice and suffered a stroke following a tummy tuck operation.

Clearly this is a woman who has triumphed against all odds; a positive role model with a keen interest in helping women succeed in male dominated industries. It’ll be interesting to see how she fares as the show’s new PR vehicle.


Leave a comment