The underwear tycoon Michelle Mone is set to join Dragons’ Den in a move which has delighted TV Bosses because she has turned down five offers to the BBC hit show previously.
A source said the former Ultimo boss has finally decided to accept a role on the show in which budding business people pitch ideas for start-up cash.
As we have previously reported Michelle, 43, who recently sold 80 per cent of her lingerie firm, has said that she would love to enter the Den when the time was right and now given her Ultimo exit and as Kelly Hoppen, Piers Linney and Duncan Bannatyne all depart the show it would seem that the time is now right for the Scot to dedicate her time and money in helping other entrepreneurs achieve their business ambitions.
A source said: “Before Michelle has had too much going on. But now she feels it’s the right time to join. The bosses are delighted – they were desperate to get a big name after the exodus.”
Speaking about her strong, opinionated, workaholic and OCD nature, Michelle, who now runs a beauty business and spends time speaking at events across the globe, quipped: “Probably everyone already calls me a Dragon!”
However Mone shouldn’t be looking at her studio days as being a big pay day as Hilary Devey who left the show three years ago has claimed the BBC paid its dragons a ‘pittance’ of £1,250 a day and the money was not enough to cover her expenses while working on the programme.
Devey was a dragon on the BBC show from 2011-12, but has bemoaned the pay rate of £15,000 for 12 episodes and claimed the only way to make money was through the investment opportunities the show offered.
The 57-year-old, who launched her freight distribution company Pall-Ex in 1996 to fund her son Mevlit’s education, made her first million within three years and is now worth an estimated £100million.
When asked how much she was paid for her work on the programme, she told The Telegraph it was a ‘pittance’.
She said: ‘I can’t remember precisely but it’s something like £15,000 to do 12 episodes – and each episode means a 14 to 15-hour day.
‘It doesn’t even cover your expenses. You make your money out of what you invest in.’
A payment of £1,250-a-day would equate to a rate of £89 an hour if earned across a 14 hour day.
But despite her complaints, the entrepreneur admitted she would consider returning to the show if asked.
She said she hoped to extend her investment portfolio – but added it would depend on who the other dragons were.