Entrepreneur and author Steven Bartlett is to join Dragons’ Den, becoming the youngest Dragon in the programme’s history.
The 28-year-old will join Dragons Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman and Sara Davies for the 19th series of the BBC One programme.
Bartlett is the founder and former CEO of social media marketing agency The Social Chain, which he set up from his bedroom in Manchester.
The university dropout went on to build The Social Chain and Media Chain, taking his company public aged 27, with a current market valuation of more than £300 million.
Bartlett, who left the business after six years to pursue other investment opportunities, said: “I’ve been watching Dragons’ Den since I was 12 years old – it was my first window into the real world of business and investing.
“It’s a tremendous honour to join the Den, hopefully representing a new generation of entrepreneurs, inspiring young and specifically under-represented entrepreneurs to follow in my footsteps.”
He released his debut book, Happy Sexy Millionaire, this year and also hosts a podcast titled The Diary Of A CEO.
Sarah Clay, the BBC’s commissioning editor for entertainment, said: “As well as being our youngest ever Dragon, Steven’s unique approach to business will bring a whole new dynamic to the Den. He brings a wealth of experience from the social media, technological and brand building worlds. I’m so excited to see him in the next series.”
Bartlett will begin filming this summer on the series, currently on its 18th run on BBC One after previously airing on BBC Two.
Chi Ukairo, Dragons’ Den executive producer, BBC Studios, added: “Steven is a great addition to the Den and we are all looking forward to seeing him in action when we start filming this summer.”
Bartlett takes over from Tej Lalvani, who announced his departure earlier this year.
Dragons’ Den is airing on BBC One on Thursdays at 8pm and is also available on BBC iPlayer.