Dragons’ Den sees five incredibly wealthy investors sizing up potential business propositions. The show – which continues on BBC tonight – was started in 2005 and is now in its 17th series. The current five dragons are Sara Davies, Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani. However, a number of other dragons have appeared on the show since its inception.
So of all the dragons there have ever been on Dragons’ Den, which is the richest investor of all?
The title of the richest dragon has to go to the longest-serving dragon, Peter Jones, 53.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2019, Jones has a net worth of £490million and ranks at number 283.
His wealth is up by a whopping £5million since the list was released last year.
According to the Sunday Times, Jones “bought camera group Jessops for just under £2m in 2013 and is rebooting the chain for the 21st century.
“He has made at least £100m from sales of various businesses and has acquired several telecoms interests, merging them into the £250m Buckinghamshire-based group Brandpath.”
A firm believer in the future of Britain’s high street, the Dragons’ Den panellist has previously said: “The high street has an opportunity to come alive – it’s going to be about community.”
The businessman, who was born in Maidenhead on March 18, 1966, had his sights set on a career on the tennis court, rather than the boardroom, initially. He set up his own tennis academy aged 16, shortly followed by a cocktail bar in Windsor.
However, when he was 28 he was forced to move back in with his parents after the collapse of his computer company, which forced the sale of his cocktail bar.
Jones then began working with Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems before starting his next firm, Phones International Group in April 1998.
During the first seven years, the group turnover was £150million in excess.
He also owns TV production company Peter Jones TV as well as starring on shows including American Investor, Peter Jones meets and Tycoon.
Jones is not the only dragon to feature on the Sunday Times Rich List 2019.
Tej Lalvani (along with his father Kartar) comes in at position 339 on the list thanks to their net worth on £390million.
Lalvani is the CEO of Vitabiotics, a company specialising in vitamin and mineral supplements.
The company was started by his father and Lalvani joined more than 20 years ago before eventually becoming CEO himself.
Former dragon Theo Paphitis is also on the rich list. He ranks at 429 with a net worth of £301million. His empire spans retail, property, finance and consumer goods.