Dragons’ Den has returned to the BBC for its 17th season and currently airs every Sunday night at 8 pm.

A new face in Sara Davies joins the cast list, as she sits alongside Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Theo Paphitis and Tej Lalvani as the latest mega-rich Dragon.

Throwback 14 years, however, and things in the Den were very different.

Suits were a wider baggy fit, the pound actually carried a significant value and new Dragon Sara would have been just 21 at the time, with little to no business experience!

Fortunately, there is one Dragon that has been in every season since it first launched in 2005…

Sara Davies – (C) BBC Studios

The OG: Peter Jones

Big Pete Jones is the most recognisable and arguably most popular Dragon in the current 2019 series.

The 53-year-old is also the only cast member who has been there since day one, appearing in every season since the show launched in 2005.

The 6ft7 entrepreneur and serial businessman has had his fingers in various pies over the years from personal computing to retail sales. He even has his own ‘Peter Jones Enterprise Academy’.

Throwback to season 1: Pete made three deals in 2005 – an umbrella vending machine, a 3D measuring system and a high-street fashion magazine.

As of 2019, the umbrella company dissolved while the other two are still going strong.

You may have heard of Peter’s fashion magazine, Wonderland, who he invested £175,000 for 40%. Since then, he’s invested more than £2 million in various businesses!

Dragon’s Den businessman Peter Jones poses backstage at the Greatest Britons 2007 awards (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

The Foe: Duncan Bannatyne

Peter enjoyed a hilariously entertaining running feud with fiery Scot Duncan Bannatyne series 1 to series 12 before Duncan eventually quit.

Now 70, Duncan has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in business, combined with the publication of several books and an OBE award for his contributions to charity, which often go under the radar.

Stat attack: Famously, Duncan was perceived on Dragons’ Den as a very shrewd and blunt businessman, often declaring himself out of a deal in a heartbeat.

And the stats back this, with Duncan investing in just 36 deals across his 12 seasons. In comparison, Peter invested in 54 companies over the same period.

Duncan Bannatyne arrives at the Pink Ribbon Ball at the Dorchester Hotel (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)

One Season Wonder: Simon Woodroffe

Few people will remember Simon Woodroffe considering he only appeared in Dragons’ Den season 1, made one deal and swiftly exited the show.

Simon launched sushi chain YO! Sushi in 1997, which kick-started his business career. Nevertheless, he sold his controlling stake in the business five years later and has had few projects since.

He still owns 22% of YO! sushi, though, and having founded hotel brand YOTEL in 2008 we’re sure that the 67-year-old has more than enough money to keep him going.

Staying afloat: In 2018, the Daily Mail reported that Simon purchased his own 70-acre island in the Bahamas, which he named Yo! Island.

Simon Woodroffe, founder of the Yo! shows off a model of one of his Yotel Group hotel bedroom’s (Photo credit should read MARTYN HAYHOW/AFP/Getty Images)

Mr Forgettable: Doug Richard

Perhaps one the more forgettable characters in Dragons’ Den history, 61-year-old American entrepreneur Doug featured on the first two seasons of the show, although he made zero investments in series 2.

Oh, and neither of his two investments from series 1 went on to any success.

Technology expert: Despite this, Doug actually has a net worth of $75 million with his appearances on Dragons’ Den never truly reflected his true power and wealth.

His work has coincided with advancements in technology as he founded a computer company in 1985, while his latest projects include mobile phone software.

Doug Richard (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

Coupon Queen: Rachel Elnaugh

Rachel was just 40 years old when she appeared on Dragons’ Den series 1, making her one of the more sprightly cast members since the show started.

Her initial fame came from founding experience-day voucher company Red Letter Days.

She now works as an entrepreneur mentor. Check her at the rest of the season 1 gang in action below!




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Liam Curtis
Liam Curtis

Liam is our head of Entertainment and Gaming, managing teams globally. His journalism experience has covered everything from sport to health and fitness with companies such as Men's Health and HITC. Before moving into management, writing about the ridiculous antics of the Made in Chelsea crew was by far his most enjoyable topic.

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