Entrepreneur Steven Bartlett is to join Dragons’ Den, becoming the youngest investor in the show’s history.
The 28-year-old will join Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman and Sara Davies for the next series of the long-running BBC business programme.
Bartlett is the founder and former CEO of social media marketing agency The Social Chain, which he set up from his bedroom in Manchester.
He described becoming a Dragon as “a tremendous honour”.
“I’ve been watching Dragons’ Den since I was 12 years old – it was my first window into the real world of business and investing,” he said.
He added he wants to represent “a new generation of entrepreneurs, inspiring young and specifically under-represented entrepreneurs to follow in my footsteps”.
BBC entertainment boss Sarah Clay said Bartlett’s “unique approach to business will bring a whole new dynamic to the Den”.
“He brings a wealth of experience from the social media, technological and brand building worlds,” she continued.
Who is Steven Bartlett?
Bartlett dropped out of university and went on to build The Social Chain and Media Chain – with the stated aim of “reshaping the world of brands and commerce”.
He took his company – which has a market value of more than £300m – public aged 27, before leaving the business after six years to pursue other investment opportunities.
Bartlett’s rapid rise has seen him named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, and win entrepreneur rising star at the Black British Business Awards.
In 2019, he was also inducted into Manchester’s Hall of Fame by the Mayor of Greater Manchester.
On Dragons’ Den he will take the place left by Tej Lalvani, who announced his departure from the show earlier this year.
The new Dragon announced his arrival with a video on social media showing him growing scales and breathing fire.
The show sees people pitch business ideas in exchange for expert advice and a stake in their fledgling independent companies.