The BBC’s ever-popular investment talent show Dragons’ Den is having a reshuffle for the new series, with two of its most well-loved characters, Theo Paphitis and Hilary Devey, leaving the den like so many unlucky entrepreneurs before them.
Of course, they are not leaving empty-handed – they take with them the deals they have already struck in past series, as well as a certain amount of public recognition – but their seats must still be filled in time for the new series.
In typically territorial style, Devey asked her Twitter followers who her replacement would be and, when one suggested “that clothing woman” Kelly Hoppen (a South African-born interior designer), Devey replied: “I know about this, it is Theo’s replacement, not mine!”
So if Hoppen is taking Paphitis’ place, who is stepping into the shoulder-padded, foot-itching shoes of Devey, whose stay in the den was oh-so-brief?
The answer came from the BBC this week, and was revealed as Piers Linney, joint CEO of cloud services provider Outsourcery, and a likely rival to den stalwart and communications media expert Peter Jones in the new series.
Linney and Jones, alongside Hoppen and long-term dragons Duncan Bannatyne and Deborah Meaden, will take their seats for series 11, and Linney is pulling no punches when it comes to technological investment opportunities.
He says: “I am excited to have the opportunity to join Dragons’ Den and once again support entrepreneurs both financially and through my extensive network.
“I also think I can widen the appeal of the den to information-economy entrepreneurs, as they are key to the future success of the UK economy.”