Following the recent exit of Den stalwart Theo Paphitis and the freight logistics guru Hilary Devey, BBC producers have been scouring the business community for a suitable (and suitably vain) candidate to fill the boots. They’ve come across the founder of eponymous Kelly Hoppen Interiors.
She starter interior designing at the age of 16, and has been involved in designs for yachts, private jets, the homes of a few slebs including Elton John and the Beckhams, and she also runs her own design college which launched a decade ago. Then in 2009, she was awarded an MBE for services to interior design.
She once told the Daily Telegraph that she has never done a piece of interior design work for less than £300,000, which should give you some idea of the calibre of work she does. Not to mention the fortune that she has amassed over the last 20 years.
Now she is stepping into the Den to find ‘an undiscovered gem or two’. On her appointment to the panel, Hoppen said: ‘I have always been passionate about championing entrepreneurs, so being able to take it to the next level by investing my money in innovative new businesses is very exciting.
‘Having started my design business as a teenager, building a global brand through two recessions, I understand the reality of running a creative business. I’m looking forward to bringing a different perspective into the Dena and to hopefully finding an undiscovered gem or two.’
The executive producer for the programme, Ceri Aston, told the Mirror: ‘Kelly is an exciting addition to the Dragons’ Den line-up. With her creative energy, business acumen and acute sense of style, she embodies everything that’s great about British design. I’m thrilled to have her on board.’
It all sounds very cosy at the moment, but Hoppen will have to step outside of her roots as an interior designer if she is to prove a shrewd venture capitalist, too…