Say hello to Jenny Campbell’s replacement, Dragons’ Den fans…
Earlier this year, Jenny Campbell – a baker-turned-entrepreneur – announced her decision to leave BBC2 show Dragons’ Den, in order to better focus on her commitments to the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Fellowship Programme.
“Having been a fan of Dragons’ Den since it first aired in 2005 I was absolutely delighted and proud to have the opportunity of becoming a Dragon myself,” she said at the time.
“I have invested in businesses and entrepreneurs who I believe I can add real value to personally, and I look forward to working with each of them closely over the next few years.
“It has been a tough decision to step down but I now want to focus on my new role with the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Fellowship Programme which supports young entrepreneurs in setting up and growing their own businesses, as well as help my sons Rik and Tom on their own entrepreneurial journeys.”
At the time, we were incredibly disappointed to learn that one of our favourite Dragons was leaving the show. Now, though, we have learned who will be replacing Campbell for the new series of Dragons’ Den – and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
That’s right: BBC Two has announced that the latest Dragon to enter the Den will be entrepreneur Sara Davies, founder of worldwide crafting company, Crafter’s Companion.
Davies, who hails from County Durham, founded Crafter’s Companion from her bedroom at university. Some 13 years later, the canny businesswoman turns over £34 million a year and employs more than 190 staff in UK, the US and across Europe. She is the recipient of over 25 business awards and in 2016 she was recognised for services to the economy with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. She has appeared on a number of shopping channels in the UK and USA, and hosts her own craft programme, Be Creative TV.
Most importantly of all? At just 35 years old, Davies is set to become the show’s youngest ever Dragon.
Speaking about her new role as part of the Dragons’ Den cast, Davies said: “I’m absolutely delighted to join the other Dragons for the new series of the show. I’ve always been very passionate about investing time in and sharing my expertise with other entrepreneurs and hopefully I’ll be able to help some of the contestants to really take their businesses to the next level.
“I’ve been a fan of the show since it started, I was even invited to pitch on the show 13 years ago so it feels like I’ve come a full circle. It wasn’t all that long ago when I was in the position of the contestants so I really feel like I will be able to relate to their stories and their journeys so far. I understand the highs and lows of building a global business from the ground and taking that initial product idea all the way to market.
“I’m looking forward to getting started and hopefully being introduced to some businesses that I can really get excited about.”
Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, added: “With a BAFTA nomination and brilliant viewing figures, Dragons’ Den continues to be a fantastic show on BBC Two. Combining great aspirational opportunity with the promise of really challenging encounters with the Dragons, the show is going from strength to strength.
“Sara is a formidable business woman and I can’t wait to see her start in the Den.”
Davies will join the existing line-up of Dragons (that’s Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Tej Lalvani and Touker Suleyman, for those who can’t remember) as they begin filming series 17 of Dragons’ Den this spring.
The next series of Dragons’ Den due to air on BBC Two later this summer.
Image: BBC Two