Belfast Telegraph

AP McCoy's businesswoman wife is a racing certainty to join RTE's Dragons' Den

By Cate McCurry

Chanelle McCoy is set to be unveiled as the new face of RTE's Dragons' Den.

The businesswoman, who has been married to legendary Northern Irish jockey AP for 11 years, is to be revealed as the new dragon at the show's launch in the coming months.

The mother-of-two will join entrepreneur and businessman Gavin Duffy and Barry O'Sullivan, the CEO of a technology company.

It is rumoured she will replace dragon Eamonn Quinn, son of retail giant Fergal Quinn, who cannot take part due to a conflict in schedules.

Dragons' Den was due to be filmed in January but had to be delayed until this month. Eamonn, the former marketing director and deputy chairman of Superquinn and the son of Ireland's most famous shopkeeper, has commitments in the US, so cannot continue in his role.

Chanelle's main job is as director of Chanelle Medical, a pharmaceutical company with 350 employees and an £80m annual turnover - set up by her vet father Michael Burke in the 1980s.

She has also opened a boutique Mojo & McCoy, in Hungerford, close to the couple's 80-acre estate in Berkshire, along with several of her friends, including Laura Lopes - daughter of the Duchess of Cornwall - and Emily Hambro, a member of the banking dynasty.

Chanelle, who is from Galway, spends much of her time travelling Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Last year, her company won the prestigious Pharma Project of the Year - Small award at Ireland's Pharma Industry Awards.

The honour was in recognition of the development of a drug treatment which treats musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis, in horses.

Chanelle Medical spent five years developing the product in granule format, which was a world first for the equine market.

Following AP's retirement 18 months ago, the 20-time champion jump jockey has been settling into a more supportive role to his wife.

He recently told reporters: "I have achieved the things I wanted to, so it is easier for me to live like that now."

In a recent interview with the Belfast Telegraph, the Moneyglass man revealed how he has since been living a life indulging in biscuits and late-night cups of tea.

He said he now eats "whenever" he wants, which led to him piling on the pounds.

"I'm a little bit too much in the comfort zone, and I keep thinking at the end of every week, come Monday there will be no biscuits in the house, but it never happens," he said.

AP and Chanelle married in 2006 and have two children together.

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