Former dragon Theo Paphitis has returned to the BBC series, halfway between its 18th series. But why did he leave Dragon’s Den initially?
This year, the investors on the judging panel are Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Tej Lalvani and Sara Davies. Theo used to be part of that line-up.
Now that the 18th season is getting well underway, Theo has stepped in to his former role for its tenth episode – to watch entrepreneurs pitch ideas.
So, why did Theo Paphitis leave Dragons’ Den? And why has he returned to the series after his former exit? We have the lowdown below.
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Why did Theo Paphitis leave Dragons’ Den?
- Theo left the show to focus on his retail business
The BBC star left Dragons’ Den in 2013, after first joining the entrepreneurial show during its second series in 2005.
During his exit, he told the BBC:
This has not been an easy decision or one that I have taken lightly. The time felt right to give up my seat, stop breathing fire and allow someone else to enjoy the wonderful experience of being a Dragon.
Theo added: “So, it just leaves it for me to say thank you to all past and present Dragons. Thank you Auntie. I Am Out.”
He has since been focusing on the Theo Paphitis Retail Group (TPRG), which includes lingerie business Boux Avenue, arts brand London Graphic Centre, homeware retailer Robert Dyas and stationery brand Ryman.
Reason for Theo’s Dragons’ Den return
Theo has returned to Dragons’ Den to fill in for dragon Peter Jones.
He stepped in for Peter while he was self-isolating, during filming for season 18 of the business-focused show.
Peter revealed that he chose Theo as his replacement – to “stand in for him” – before adding that Theo is “one of the great past Dragons”.
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Is Theo Paphitis back permanently?
- No, Theo is only back on Dragons’ Den for a temporary time
Fans are over the moon that Theo is back in the chair, but he only stood in for Peter while he had to self-isolate.
It is not the first time that Theo has returned to step in for a Dragon.
He temporarily stood in for Touker Suleyman, who was unable to film for part of the series in 2019.
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