Scottish Daily Mail

HE’S OUT...BUT THEY’RE QUIDS IN

He was the fiercest Dragon in the Den. But as Duncan Bannatyne quits the hit show, meet the millionair­es who prove he didn’t always invest wisely...

- By Jonathan Brockleban­k

FOR a decade he was the glowering Clydebank fire-breather whose gruff dismissals entreprene­urs from the south sometimes struggled to catch.

Now Duncan Bannatyne has closed his wallet and walked away from the Dragons’ Den, leaving Peter Jones as the sole original member of the panel of tycoons. He declares himself out for the final time in the last episode of the 12th series of the show, which screens on Sunday, March 15.

For all his abruptness, there is no question the 66-year-old health club magnate will be missed. It was the contrast between the brusque, unashamedl­y working-class Bannatyne and urbane types such as telecoms tycoon Jones that made the programme so watchable.

And seeing the former ice cream van man’s antennae twitch to attention over promising investment prospects was rarely dull.

Of the £1,987,500 total he invested in his time in the Den, his proudest deal was the £75,000 he ploughed into an unexciting-looking plastic gizmo called Chocbox which safely encloses electrical connection­s. It sold in the tens of millions. But even more fun were the missed opportunit­ies.

These were the chances to get in on the ground floor of money-making ventures and clean up when they went stratosphe­ric. All it took was vision and belief: basically the qualities which made the Dragons rich in the first place.

So here, as a going away present, the Mail presents Duncan’s ‘Doh!’ moments. He may have failed to smell the money in these highly successful enterprise­s. But the fieriest dragon did deliver scorching entertainm­ent.

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