DUNCAN Bannatyne has revealed he has sold off all the investments he made in the hit TV business show Dragon’s Den.
The Clydebank-born businessman starred as a judge in twelve series of the BBC show – which sees entrepreneurs competing for an investment and a guiding hand for their pet projects.
Since the first series of the show in 2005 Bannatyne agreed to invest in 36 ventures – including an umbrella vending machine, a falconry company and a hat shop.
But now the 66 year-old has revealed that he has sold off all of the supposedly lucrative investments he made in the show since leaving early last year.
In a tweet on Sunday evening one of his 773,000 followers asked: “Do you have any companies still going from the den?”
In a typically curt response, Bannatyne tweeted: “Nope. Sold them all.”
Bannatyne’s revelation that he has sold off his stakes in the businesses since leaving early last year may shock some.
But the worth of investments in businesses featured in the show has been the matter of some controversy – with some critics claiming that the dragons are in it for the publicity.
A 2015 investigation revealed that half of the deals made on the show fell through – with only £5.8m of the £13m pledged money ever materialising.
Speaking at the time Dan Forster – the businessman who compiled the research – said: “The problem lies with the BBC, who, in a bid to keep the viewer count high, have turned the show into a contrived affair that’s more about viewer entertainment than genuine business success.
“They tend to pick pitchers who are TV-friendly rather than those who are investible with a healthy balance sheet.”
In the same series of tweets another user asked the star “Do you miss Dragon’s Den?” to which he replied: “Not in the least.”
But the dragon also took the opportunity to dispel rumours that he left the show on bad terms.
When one Twitter user asked why his tone was so negative regarding the show, questioning whether he left on good terms Bannatyne said: “I have never made a negative comment about the show.”
He also revealed that he stays in touch with the dragons from the series.
By Joe Stenson