Entertainment & Arts

Hilary Devey to join Dragons' Den

Hilary Devey
Image caption Devey founded a multi-million pound pallett distribution company

Entrepreneur and company owner Hilary Devey is to join the next series of Dragons' Den, it has been announced.

The 53-year-old will replace former Dragon James Caan, who quit his role on the show last month.

Devey launched her own business Pall-Ex in 1996, a pallet distribution company which she has turned into a multi-million pound European empire.

She joins Peter Jones, Theo Paphitis, Duncan Bannatyne and Deborah Meaden, who will all return for the new series.

After being rejected by banks to back her business, Devey sold her house and car to fund its start-up.

"At a time when the banks are failing to invest in British small businesses, I am proud to be able to do my part to support the next generation of UK entrepreneurs," Devey said.

"I would have loved the opportunity to have stood before the Dragons, and I will remember my own experiences and the realities of running a business today, when choosing to support - or reject - the budding entrepreneurs joining me in the Den."

Janice Hadlow, controller BBC Two, said: "Hilary is a welcome and impressive addition to the Dragons' lair.

"With her extensive business experience, she will bring a new dynamic to the Den, turning up the heat on prospective entrepreneurs as they seek that all important investment."

Devey also appeared on the Channel 4 show Secret Millionaire in 2008 in which she helped struggling projects in Rochdale.

She is also a supporter of charity The Stroke Association after suffering a stroke in 2009.

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