Dragons’ Den returns this week (Thursday April 1, 2021) with a socially distant 18th series. But is Dragon Deborah Meaden married and how rich is she?
How did she make her money? And how old is she?
Here is everything you need to know about Deborah and her career.
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Who is Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden?
Deborah Meaden is a British businesswoman, entrepreneur and television personality.
She ran a multi-million pound family vacation business before completing a management buyout.
She is best known for her appearances on the BBC business program Dragons’ Den.
Super-savvy Deborah joined the show in August 2006, replacing Rachel Elnaugh in the third series.
On Twitter, Deborah describes herself as “Dragons’ Den star, Strictly Come Dancing contestant and Murder in Successville buddy, and just a little bit of business … pretty much actually.”
How did Deborah Meaden make her money?
Deborah knew from a young age that she wanted to start her own business.
After studying business administration at college, Deborah moved to Italy at the age of 19 where she started a glass and ceramics export agency that sold products to retailers such as Harvey Nichols.
Deborah then embarked on a number of other business ventures, including a franchise for the Italian clothing company Stefanel and a prize bingo concession at Butlin’s.
She later bought one of the first Stefanel textile franchises in the UK based in the West Country.
It was sold out to her partner for £ 10,000 two years later.
Deborah then ran several successful leisure and retail businesses, including a spell running a prize bingo at Butlin’s in Minehead.
In 1988, Deborah joined her family’s business to run the arcades and in 1992 she joined Weststar Holidays – a family-run holiday park company based in Exeter, Devon.
In 1999 she headed a management buyout and acquired the majority stake.
When she was managing director of Weststar Holidays, she sold the company for £ 33 million while retaining a 23 percent stake.
Showing her entrepreneurial flair, she redesigned the company and sold her remaining stake for another £ 83 million.
She has since bought Fox Brothers and in October 2011 launched The Merchant Fox, an online store selling UK made luxury goods of origin.
Dragons’ Den has allowed her to invest in all kinds of businesses from a wool manufacturer to a baby products company, an online antiques valuation service, and a recipe website.
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How rich is Deborah Meaden? How much is it worth?
The businesswoman has a remarkable fortune of £ 40 million, according to Spears magazine.
Since joining Dragons’ Den, she has agreed to invest an estimated £ 3.3million to date.
Although Deborah has not confirmed her salary, she has stated that all dragons are paid equally.
How old is Deborah Meaden, the Star of the Dragon Cave?
Deborah Sonia Meaden was born on February 11, 1959.
She is currently 62 years old.
Deborah was born in Taunton, Somerset, but moved to Brightlingsea, Essex after her parents divorced.
She briefly attended Godolphin School in Salisbury and then Trowbridge High School for girls.
Deborah left school at 16 and attended Brighton Technical College, where she studied business.
And she obviously learned a thing or two!
Is Deborah married and does she have children?
The vegan Deborah has been married to husband Paul since 1993.
They met in the summer of 1985 while he was working at Weststar while he was on hiatus.
They split briefly when she was on a trip to Venezuela, but got back together when she returned to London and married in 1993.
The Dragon Cave star spends her time between London and the historic estate near Langport, Somerset.
The couple’s numerous animals include two cats, three dogs, six horses, three pigs, four sheep, numerous birds and “three very angry geese”.
They have no children, even though she has said in the past that she would have liked to have them, but that “it just didn’t happen”.
Did Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden appear on Strictly?
Deborah participated in the 11th series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.
She was partner of the professional dancer Robin Windsor.
She was banned from the show on October 26, 2013 on week five.
Abbey Clancy won the series.
Dragons’ Den series 18
Dragons’ Den moved to BBC One, but not much has changed in Den for Series 18.
Evan Davis is still hosting the show and the five “no-nonsense titans” have returned.
Entrepreneurs Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Tej Lalvani and Sara Davies are all open to business and more money.
One thing has changed though – no handshakes or hugs are allowed.
In this first episode, two tea entrepreneurs find themselves in hot water when asked for their numbers.
The dragons discover hidden artistic talent when a mindfulness art business is built.
And an optical inventor hopes to have an investment in sight with his anti-glare glasses.
Meanwhile, a couple have the needs of NHS staff at the center of their skin care business.
Dragons’ Den returns to BBC One on Thursday April 1st, 2021 at 8 p.m.
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