Belfast Telegraph

Hoppen 'out' as Dragon show returns

Kelly Hoppen has announced she is out of BBC Two series Dragons' Den - after filming just two series.

The design guru has revealed she is stepping down just days before her second run in the entrepreneur show is due to air.

She said her schedule is too busy to commit the time to the programme - hosted by Newsnight presenter Evan Davis - but said she "thoroughly enjoyed" her time on the show.

The programme is due to come back on Sunday evening after a mid-season break.

Interior designer Kelly, who has her own business empire, said: "After two great years as an investor on Dragons' Den, I have decided the current series will be my last. I have had a brilliant time and made several successful investments.

"It has been a privilege to be part of a programme which champions entrepreneurs. However, due to a packed schedule and international commitments, including a new venture designing film sets, I sadly cannot commit to the filming schedule.

" I will continue to work and invest in young entrepreneurs. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on Dragons' Den and met many inspiring entrepreneurs along my journey. I will miss my fellow judges and I'm sure someone amazing will fill my seat.

"I wish everyone on the show the best luck. What's left to say but I'm out."

The programme has had a steady turnover of Dragons over the years, with Hoppen stepping in to replace Hilary Devey who herself appeared for two series.

Duncan Bannatyne, who has been with the show for a decade, has already announced that the current run is his last which will leave Peter Jones as the only remaining investor from the original series line-up.

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