Dragons' Den returns for its 15th series with two new multi-millionaires entering the fray
Interview with Evan Davis
When we did the pilot we thought this is great and we’ll probably get to make a series and then while we were making the first series I wondered if we would make a second series. But we thought we probably wouldn’t get to because it’s too different. I don’t think anyone expected it to get to a 15th series.Evan Davis
What is your favourite thing about Dragons’ Den?
I’ve learned a lot from Dragons’ Den. It’s real business and it’s always exciting to ask yourself will this product sell, we can all make that judgement for ourselves. It’s also very inspiring to see people working so hard to make something work.
The 15th series is about to start, when you filmed the first episode did you think it would get to series 15?
No. When we did the pilot we thought this is great and we’ll probably get to make a series and then while we were making the first series I wondered if we would make a second series. But we thought we probably wouldn’t get to because it’s too different. I don’t think anyone expected it to get to a 15th series. It’s also great seeing a new generation of viewers who weren’t born when we first started!
You also host Newsnight, how does Dragons’ Den compare?
Entertainment TV is very different but the one thing they have in common is that they are both very real. Dragons’ Den is obviously edited and recorded whereas Newsnight is live and not recorded but they’re both very real. What you see on screen on Dragons’ Den is very faithful to the actual exchange, it isn’t constructed and choreographed. When you see the real pitch and then you see it edited down it is more or less what it felt like at the time.
Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs coming onto the show?
There are a thousand different ways to be a successful entrepreneur. There is no formula but common to all successful entrepreneurs is a combined sense of optimism about the upside and realism about the downside. I think some entrepreneurs only have the optimism and are then defeated at the first sign of a difficult question. But if you don’t have the optimism and you don’t inspire the Dragons with a vision of how far this could go then you’re more of a manager than an entrepreneur. It’s really important to have both of those things.
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