The founder of pallet distribution company Pall-Ex replaces James Caan in the Den following his announcement in January that he was quitting the show. Devey will join Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis in the new series.
Devey says, ‘At a time when the banks are failing to invest in British small businesses, I am proud to be able to do my part to support the next generation of UK entrepreneurs.’
She founded Pall-Ex in 1996 but was unable to secure financial backing for the palletised freight company and eventually sold her house and car to raise the £112,000 needed to fund the operation.
She explains, ‘I would have loved the opportunity to have stood before the Dragons, and I will remember my own experiences and the realities of running a business today, when choosing to support – or reject – the budding entrepreneurs joining me in the Den.’
Devey appeared on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire in 2008 donating more than £100,000 to community projects in Rochdale. Her appearance as The Business Inspector on Five saw her help struggling small businesses turn into profitable companies. Devey also campaigns tirelessly for various charities.