'Dragons Den' Businessman, Crystal Palace Boss, Steve Parish Stands Down, Replaced By Vitabiotics Boss Tej Lalvani

'I couldn't give the time and commitment the entrepeneurs deserve.'

One of the Dragons in this year’s Den has departed before filming a single episode.

Businessman Steve Parish, the part owner and chairman of Crystal Palace FC, who had been due to take part in the show’s 15th series to be aired later this year, has today announced he’ll no longer be taking part, because he can’t devote the time required.

Steve Parish has decided he can't spare the time for the show
Steve Parish has decided he can't spare the time for the show
PA Archive/PA Images

Steve’s Dragon’s seat will be taken by CEO of the Vitabiotics empire, Tej Lalvani.

Steve explained:

“On reflection, I have come to the conclusion that I couldn’t give ‘Dragons’ Den’ the time and commitment the show needs and that the entrepreneurs deserve, therefore I have decided to give up my Dragons’ seat to someone else.”

Tej Lalvani says: “I’m very excited to be joining the Dragons’ Den line-up. I’m a shrewd investor and I’m looking forward to finding hard working, passionate people to share my business experience and knowledge with.”

Tej will take his seat for the 15th series of ‘Dragons’ Den’ alongside returning Dragons Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman and fellow new Dragon Jenny Campbell.

Tej Lalvani is the CEO of Vitabiotics, which was founded in 1971 by his scientist father Professor Kartar Lalvani.

Steve had been due to replace Nick Jenkins, who was with the show for two series. The longest serving Dragon remains Peter Jones, who has been with the show since the beginning in 2005.

Filming will begin later this month, with the show set to air later in the year.

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