Dragons’ Den unveils youngest ever Dragon to replace exiting Tej Lalvani

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Dragons' Den is set to get really interesting with the announcement that the BBC show's youngest ever dragon is joining the panel of business experts.

Steven Bartlett, 28, the founder of successful social media marketing agency The Social Chain, is set to take a seat on the panel as the newest investor.

The young founder, who launched his business six years ago from his bedroom in Manchester, has been featured in the exclusive Forbes 30 under 30 list and was awarded the Entrepreneur Rising Star award at the Black British Business Awards.

A year ago, his company became public and now has a market value of a whooping £300million.

With filming for the 19th series set to start in the summer, the business mogul said: "I've been watching Dragons' Den since I was 12 years old – it was my first window into the real world of business and investing.

"It's a tremendous honour to join the Den, hopefully representing a new generation of entrepreneurs, inspiring young and specifically under-represented entrepreneurs to follow in my footsteps."

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Speaking about the new appointment to the Dragons' Den panel, Sarah Clay, the BBC's Commissioning Editor of Entertainment said: "As well as being our youngest ever Dragon, Steven's unique approach to business will bring a whole new dynamic to the Den.

"He brings a wealth of experience from the social media, technological and brand building worlds. I'm so excited to see him in the next series."

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Steven will replace outgoing Dragon Tej Lalvani, and sit alongside Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman and Sara Davies.

The show is currently airing its latest series on Thursday evenings, and it will be the last to feature Tej.

The businessman-turned-TV star announced back in January that he would be leaving the show.

In a series of posts to his Twitter followers, he wrote: “After four proud years as a Dragon on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, I’ve decided that the upcoming series will be my last.

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“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been a part of the journey and wish them all the very best for the future.

"I look back on my time in the Den with great fondness. I entered tentatively as someone who had no idea what to expect. I leave having met so many incredible people, with unforgettable memories and, of course, numerous successful investments!

"As my own business, @vitabiotics, continues to expand, and my portfolio of investments grows, I am no longer able to dedicate the necessary time and attention to the show."

He added: "I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been a part of the journey and wish them all the very best for the future.

"And a big thanks to my fans for your fantastic support. I'll still be very active on social media, so stay tuned for the great content that’s coming up!

"Now, it’s time for a big last hurrah! Keep your eyes peeled for my final series, airing in March. It’s going to be one of the best."

  • BBC

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