Caan, a self-made multi-millionaire, has revealed that his ‘work and philanthropic interests’ mean he can no longer devote the time needed to be one of the judges on the programme. He has thanked the show’s producers, saying that Dragons’ Den has been ‘an integral and exciting part of my professional life’.
Born in Pakistan and raised in Brick Lane in East London, Caan joined Dragons’ Den in 2007 after founding two recruitment companies, Alexander Mann and Humana International, which he later sold. In 2003, he won the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Entrepreneur of the Year award and graduated from Harvard Business School’s advanced management programme.
In a statement issued by the BBC, Caan says: ‘I have greatly enjoyed my time in the Dragons’ Den, however my work and philanthropic interests mean I can’t devote the time required to the Den any longer. Dragons’ Den has been an integral and exciting part of my professional life and I thank the show profusely for letting me be a part of it for so long. Unfortunately, I’m out!’
Dominic Bird, executive editor of Dragons’ Den, adds: ‘James has been a fearsome dragon over the last two years and although we’ll be sorry to see him leave the den, we appreciate he is very busy with his new endeavours. We wish him luck and hope to work with him again soon on new projects.’
A BBC spokeswoman would not say who will replace Caan or when it will be announced, but a decision is expected before the show’s return in summer.