Belfast Telegraph

Hoppen taking Dragon jokes on chin

Kelly Hoppen has revealed she is getting used to being called a "dragon" after joining Dragons' Den.

The interior designer has joined the panel of the business investment show, along with technology entrepreneur Piers Linney, which returns to BBC Two for its 11th series next month.

Kelly revealed her stepdaughter, actress Sienna Miller, calls her "My little dragon."

She added: "Of course I've had all the jokes. Boyfriend - 'I sleep with a dragon', 'My mother the dragon', and so it goes on."

The 53-year-old businesswoman, who joins Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and Duncan Bannatyne on the show, following the departure of Theo Paphitis and Hilary Devey, admitted sitting through all the pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs was hard work.

Speaking on set in MediaCityUK in Manchester, she said: "It's full on. We've done about 76 pitches so far. And some of them last an hour, an hour and a half long.

"But it's fascinating. It's not just doing a TV show. You forget there are five cameras on you, because you're so engrossed in what people are telling you. And then you're trying to figure out if it's a business deal, whether you want to do it.

"But it's better than I thought it would be. I don't know anyone who doesn't like the show, it's really weird. It's a great show. I'm flattered to be involved in it."

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