Kelly Hoppen replaces Hilary Devey on BBC’s Dragons’ Den

Interior designer Kelly Hoppen is set to become a new member on BBC's investment show Dragons' Den.

Eight months after Hilary Devey left TV investment show Dragons’ Den after two series, Kelly Hoppen has been announced as her successor.

South African-born Hoppen, who was awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to interior design, will now line up alongside Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne and Deborah Meaden, becoming the 11th investor to sit on the panel.

Long-standing Dragon Theo Paphitis also announced he was leaving the show earlier in February. His replacement has yet to be found by the BBC.

The foray into TV work is not the first for Hoppen following her fronting of Channel 5’s Superior Interiors in 2011. She has also penned seven books and is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise.

Hoppen comments, ‘I have always been passionate about championing entrepreneurs, so being able to take it to the next level by investing my money in innovative new businesses is very exciting.

‘Having started my design business as a teenager, building a global brand through two recessions, I understand the reality of running a creative business.’

Hoppen adds that she is looking forward to bringing a ‘different perspective’ to the Den.

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Taking to social network Twitter, Paphitis said that Hoppen would make a ‘fantastic Dragon’.

Former investors to appear on the BBC Two show include England-based Californian entrepreneur Doug Richard, Red Letter Days founder Rachel Elnaugh and Simon Woodroffe, who set up YO! Sushi in 1997.

The last series of the show, its 10th, saw five six-figure investments made. The largest saw Ben Hardyment’s Zapper, which buys books, CDs, DVDs and games for cash, secure £250,000 for 30 per cent of the business from the now exited Paphitis.

Dragons’ Den executive producer Ceri Aston says Hoppen is an ‘exciting addition’ to the line-up.

‘With her creative energy, business acumen and acute sense of style, she embodies everything that’s great about British design.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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