Belfast Telegraph

Linney: Bannatyne will be missed

Piers Linney has said that Dragons' Den will not be the same without Duncan Bannatyne.

The Scottish entrepreneur has announced he will leave his seat on the BBC Two show after the 12th series, so he can pursue other interests.

"He is one of the original Dragons and I count him as a friend as well, so it's sad to see him go," Piers said. "Now they are looking for another Dragon, so in some ways, it will continue the 'refreshing' of the show, which is not a bad thing."

The 43-year-old technology entrepreneur, who signed onto the BBC Two show with Kelly Hoppen in 2013, said Duncan brings his certain type of insight to the panel.

"He's been there a long time. He is a classic Dragon and he always will be. He's very insightful, he's been in business a long time and he can read people very well," he said. "All the Dragons are quite different so they all bring something different to the table, so he will be missed."

Piers said Duncan's replacement could match him equally in the business stakes.

"There's a balance between the Dragons - it's about background, skill set and experience. I think it will probably be somebody with an established business, maybe a bit older than me," he said.

"There's a lot of very successful entrepreneurs in the country who would be fantastic role models, so there's no shortage of talent. I think they will put someone in there where you might not know who they are, but you're aware of their company, perhaps established on the high street."

Piers also revealed how he never owned a suit until he joined Dragon's Den.

"For the first season, I thought, 'I'm going to be a Dragon. What do I wear?' I do not own a suit," he said.

"I got invited to 10 Downing Street and it said 'Lounge suit', and I had to apologise because I don't own a lounge suit."

He continued: "Last series, I wore jeans, brogues and a shirt. It's quite safe - it's not really me. I don't usually dress like that. This series, I am kitted out head-to-toe in Alexander McQueen. That's more me so I feel much more comfortable in my own skin. And I do have a suit now!"

:: The 12th series of Dragons' Den begins on BBC Two on Sunday, July 20.


From Belfast Telegraph