Dragons’ Den is back in 2019 with its seventeenth series. A brand new dragon has joined the show while a familiar face makes a sudden exit.
Since 2015, Touker has been one of the Dragons featuring on Dragons’ Den. He’s now a staple to the show alongside Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani.
Sara Davies makes up the fifth and newest Dragon to the Den, sitting alongside Touker on the panel. But it looks as though the Den’s been shaken up since Touker Suleyman disappeared.
So, what happened to Touker? And why is Theo Paphitis in his place?
Touker Suleyman – illness
Sixty-six-year-old Touker came down with pneumonia during the filming of Dragons’ Den series 17.
Thankfully Touker made a full recovery but his condition was so serious that he was admitted to hospital to overcome his illness.
The Daily Mail reported that Touker said: “I’m grateful that my good friend Theo was able to step in to the Den to keep my seat warm while I had some time off.”
Who is Theo Paphitis?
Retail magnate and entrepreneur Theo Paphitis was a Dragon in the Den for a huge nine series from 2005-2013.
He left the show in order to focus on his businesses but it looked as though he was more than happy to return to TV to keep Touker’s seat warm.
Theo is seven years younger than Touker, aged 59, and both businessmen were born in the same country of Cyprus.
The businessman ranks 429th on The Sunday Times Rich List 2019 with a worth of £301m. This ranks Theo behind fellow Dragon Tej Lalvani who came in at 339th with £390m.
When will Touker return to Dragons’ Den?
It looks as though Touker managed to make quite a speedy recovering following his illness.
He should only be absent from the show for four episodes and is set to return in episode 8.
Episode 8 will air on Sunday, September 29th at 8 pm on BBC One.
There are 14 episodes in total of series 17 with the final episode estimated to air on November 10th 2019.
WATCH DRAGONS’ DEN SERIES 17 SUNDAYS AT 8 PM ON BBC TWO