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Eldar Matveyev
Eldar Matveyev

Dragons' Den (UK) : Season 18 Episode 1

The first episode was broadcast on BBC Two on 4 January 2005. After 16 series on the channel, the show has been broadcast on BBC One since 2021.[3] Reruns of previous episodes are still broadcast on BBC Two. The programme is produced by BBC Studios Factual Entertainment Productions and co-produced with Sony Pictures Television International, the owners of the format that is distributed worldwide.

Dragons' Den (UK) : Season 18 Episode 1


Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Sauce, from series 4 episode 1, is widely considered to be the den's flagship investment to date, estimated to be worth 30 million as of 2023, having received 50,000 for 40% equity from Richard Fareligh and Peter Jones. Jones has cited the business to be the best investment he has ever made on the show.[14][15][16][17]

Wonderland (pitched as Visual Talent Ltd), a high-end fashion and culture magazine pitched by Huw Gwyther in series 1 episode 6, has reportedly attracted many celebrity clients since and a net worth of 220 million as of 2022. Gwyther has confirmed Jones still retains a shareholding and has since praised him for his input.[18][17][19]

Razzamataz Theatre Schools, a chain of dance, drama and singing schools pitched in series 4 episode 3 by Denise Hutton, is reported to have launched all over the UK and internationally following a 50,000 investment from Duncan Bannatyne, which he returned for 90,000 in 2014.[17][19]

ElectroExpo (renamed Chocbox), a plastic housing protection for cables pitched in series 5 episode 5 by Peter Moule, is reported to have made 25 million in global sales since first appearing on the show, accepting a 100,000 investment for 36% from Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan. Bannatyne stated in 2013 that the investment was one of the best that he had ever made on the show.[17][20]

Magic Whiteboard, portable sheets of A1 sticky paper pitched by Neil and Laura Westwood in series 6 episode 5, is reported to have had sales pushed from an annual 45,000 to 1.2 million, following a joint investment made by Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis at 100,000 for 40%. At the time of the Westwood's returning the equity in 2015 for 700,000, it was regarded be the best joint-investment made in the den by Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis.[17][19][21]

Worthenshaw's (rebranded as Kirsty's), a frozen dairy-free dessert and alternative to ice cream pitched in series 8 episode 1, is reported to have a net worth of 4 million to date following investment from Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones. Profits were said to have soared following the business now focussing on adult ready meals. Jones has however indicated he was dissatisfied on the return he made from the business.[19][22][23]

Skinny Tan, a self-tan brand pitched by Louise Ferguson and Kate Cotton in series 11 episode 1, is reported to be one of the fasting-selling tanning products in the United Kingdom following their pitch in the den. Though the company was sold in 2015, Ferguson, Cotton, dragons Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney all retain shareholdings as of 2023 and have expanded the business internationally.[17][19][24]

Lost My Name (renamed Wonderbly), editions of personalised children's books pitched by Asi Sharabi and David Cadji-Newby in series 12 episode 2, has gone on to sell more than two million books worldwide since the pitch aired in 2012. Piers Linney has since alleged it is the best investment he made during his two seasons on the show.[17][19][25]

GripIt, an aid for fixing screws into plasterboard pitched in series 12 episode 5 by Jordan Daykin, has been reported to be worth 14 million since receiving investment from Deborah Meaden at 80,000 for 25%.[19][26][27]

Craft Gin Club, a subscription based gin service pitched in series 14 episode 1, is reported to have reached international success following investment from Sarah Willingham at 75,000 for 12.5%.[28][29]

Destination London, a board game pitched in series 1 episode 4 by Rachel Lowe, went on to reach a mass-market and design several editions for various companies before selling the business in 2010. In 2021, her portfolio was reported to be worth 94 million.[30][31][32]

Trunki, a children's ride-on suitcase pitched in series 3 episode 8 by Rob Law, is considered one of the most successful businesses not to accept an offer in the den, having rejected an offer of 50% for 150,000 from Richard Farleigh. Duncan Bannatyne has stated his regret at not investing having seen multiple, particularly at airports, across the world. Profits grew by up to 68% since the pitch in 2006, before it was sold in 2023 for 12 million.[33][19][34]

Tangle Teezer, a range of styling hairbrushes pitched in series 5 episode 3 by Shaun Pulfrey, is widely considered to be the most successful business not to receive an offer in the den, reportedly turning over in excess of 30 million a year. Pulfrey sold the majority of his shares in the company for 70 million in 2021.[35][19][36]

Hungryhouse, an online takeaway food order and delivery service pitched in series 5 episode 5 by Tony Charles and Shane Lake, declined investment from Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan after filming opting to accept another investor's offer. The company went on to become a household name in the industry and was later bought for an undisclosed sum before merging with competitor Just Eat in 2017.[37][38]

Hornit, a bicycle horn reaching a volume of 140 decibels pitched in series 12 episode 10 by Tom De Pelet, was reported to have grossed over 3 million in sales following his appearance. Pelet has suffixed his focus on free trade between Australia and the UK as key to his success.[39]

The pitches often see the entrepreneurs subject to marketing exposure, resulting in a period of mass customer orders and being inundated with interest from various sources. This has occassionally resulted in entrepreneurs announcing difficulty in meeting subsequent supply demands as well as attributing to claims that half of the deals accepted on-screen are not completed after filming.[4][40] Amelia Gammon, who appeared in series 20 episode 4 accepting Deborah Meaden's 20% investment in her business "Bide Planet", has claimed that despite receiving investment from other sources following negotiations breaking down after filming, she was overwhelmed with orders following the broadcast which accelerated production costs at a faster rate than she had anticipated, subsequently leaving the business unable to dispatch and facing closure.[41] Entrepreneurs whose pitches were not broadcast have occasionally voiced their dismay at the loss of exposure.[42]

The second episode of series 7 saw entrepreneur Sharon Wright, owner of Talpa Products Ltd, accept a joint offer from James Caan and Duncan Bannatyne at 80,000 for 22.5% after pitching the company's product 'Magnamole.' She has since alleged that Caan and Bannatyne misled her in the den, and that following filming the pledge of 80,000 was in fact a loan and not a purchase of equity. Wright was initially told to meet with series 5 entrepreneurs ElectroExpo, whom Caan and Bannatyne had also invested in together, instead of meeting with the dragons themselves. She was then informed an 80,000 loan would come from them and she would have to pay it back, as opposed to the dragons each giving 40,000 as pledged in the den.[42]

Series two, of five episodes, each following a respective Dragon and their investments, was broadcast between 17 September and 24 October 2010.[66] Peter Jones' episode followed him meeting with Kirsty Henshaw, who made an emotional pitch in the Den when she came in with her frozen dessert business, and was determined to get her product on the supermarket shelves as soon as possible, and also meeting up with condiment king Levi Roots. Duncan Bannatyne's episode followed him as he travelled to the south of France to oversee his daughter's wedding, and then went back to work to follow up on some of his investments. Theo Paphitis' episode followed him as he took 90 employees to Greece for a week of team-building exercises, and also visited two companies he invested in to see how they were getting on. Series five, episode nine also featured at a look back at deals from the series, in a similar vein to Where Are They Now?.[67]

The Best of Dragons' Den focuses on presenter Evan Davis taking a look back at the best and worst pitches from the past series of the show, as well as revealing some unseen pitches that were so bad, they didn't make it to broadcast, and talking candidly with the Dragons involved. Two series of the show were produced, the first accompanying series two, with three episodes being broadcast between 19 January and 2 February 2006, and the second accompanying series six, with three episodes being broadcast between 23 February and 9 March 2009.

Dragons' Den: On Tour was a series of five episodes which aired between 6 September and 7 October 2009. Each episode follows the Dragons (James Caan, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Theo Paphitis and Duncan Bannatyne) as they travel by bus around the United Kingdom to find out what some of the budding entrepreneurs who had appeared on the show have been up to since, including success stories, awful failures, and some very obvious missed opportunities.

On 7 February 2013, Paphitis said that he would be leaving Dragons' Den because of other commitments.[84][85] Paphitis was replaced by Piers Linney from Series 11 onwards.[86] Paphitis however returned during Series 17 for four episodes, stepping in for Touker Suleyman whilst he recovered from a short illness,[8] and again during Series 18 for 3 episodes, stepping in for Peter Jones whilst he self isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[9]

It was announced in July 2014 that, due to "other business commitments", Bannatyne would be departing from the show.[90] His final appearance was in the last episode of series 12, in which he made an investment jointly with Peter Jones in a cash-and-carry business seeking finance for a new sports drink. This left Jones as the only remaining original Dragon.[87] He was replaced by Touker Suleyman from series 13 onwards.[91] 041b061a72


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