Gary Neville praised after Dragons Den debut and told he owned the chair

The latest addition to the quintet of business experts – former footballer Gary Neville – has had praised heaped on him following his debut on BBC hit Dragons' Den.

Veteran dragon Deborah Meaden has revealed that the sporting commentator, 49, took to his brand new TV role like a duck to water, after he appeared as one of the celebrity guests earlier this year.

Ex-Manchester United star Gary joined businesswoman Deborah, 64, as well as the usual panel of Peter Jones, Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies and Steven Bartlett in what will be the brand new series of the show, airing later this year.

And ethical business mogul Deborah was quick to praise the footie star for his opening appearance, telling her online followers that Gary "owned the chair".

"A first next year in @BBCDragonsden when we have some guest Dragons…" she tweeted yesterday. "First up @GNev2 who was utterly brilliant and owned that chair!!"

Gary has become a successful businessman himself in recent years, with a chain of hotels and townhouses under his belt.

The footballing legend co-owns Hotel Football, an apartment block property overlooking Manchester United's stadium Old Trafford with Ryan Giggs, as well as a £750-a-night Stock Exchange Hotel, which he also shares with the fellow sportsman.

Gary is also a co-owner of English Football League club Salford City.

Speaking on his decision to join the current business brains on the show earlier this year, Gary claimed he was over the moon to be invited to the den.

"It’s a pleasure to join the Dragons as a guest for the new series and see some of the amazing pitches from budding entrepreneurs from different walks of life," he previously said.

"It was a privilege to share my knowledge and guidance with the brave entrepreneurs who entered the Den, but you’ll have to wait and see whether I committed to any investments!"

Gary also hit the headlines earlier this month after a clip from pal David Beckham's Netflix docuseries – of him performing his best man speech at David's wedding to Victoria – went viral.

The former professional footballer didn't hold back in his best man speech and had everyone laughing. Gary used Manchester United's dramatic 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the European Cup final to help him write the speech.

He joked: "We have got some distinguished guests present ladies and gentlemen. David said the Spice Girls requested that the Bayern Munich team be present today and David said he was puzzled at this request and asked why.

"The Spice Girls replied they wanted to meet any man who can be on top for 90 minutes and still come second," leaving guests in fits of laughter.

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