Dragons' Den's Steven Bartlett clashes with Touker Suleyman on-air

‘What do you know about business!?’ Dragons’ Den stars embroiled in HUGE on-air row as new boy Steven Bartlett clashes with Touker Suleyman

BBC One’s Dragons’ Den returned on Thursday evening with new crop of hopefuls. 

Alongside Peter Jones, 55, Deborah Meaden, 62, Touker Suleyman, 68, and Sara Davies, 37, on the panel was newcomer Steven Bartlett, 29. 

And Steven – who is the youngest Dragon the programme has ever see – was sure to make his mark as he became embroiled in a huge on-air row when he clashed with Touker, which was teased in a trailer for the current series. 

It’s back! Dragons’ Den returned on Thursday with Peter Jones, 55, Deborah Meaden, 62, Touker Suleyman, 68, and Sara Davies, 37, on the panel with newcomer Steven Bartlett, 29

Two rows were included in a series of clips previewing what viewers could expect from the 19th series of the show. 

Fashion retail entrepreneur Touker, who is thought to be worth £200million, was seen yelling: ‘I’m telling you exactly what I think.’

And, refusing to back down, Social media CEO Steven hit back: ‘And I’m telling you what I think,’ as the duo came to blows.

Another heated exchange saw Touker questioning Steven’s credentials, as he asked: ‘What do you know about business?’ to which Steven responded: ‘I’ve built a £300 million pound business at 28 years old.’ 

Fuming! Steven made his mark as he became embroiled in a huge on-air row when he clashed with Touker, which was teased in a trailer for the current series (pictured)

Steven, now CEO of social media marketing agency The Social Chain – currently valued at £300million – was officially anointed as a new dragon when the new series aired on January 6th.     

Tweeting last week, the star, who set up his company from his Manchester bedroom after dropping out of university at 22, wrote: ‘10 years ago at 18 years old, I applied to pitch to the Dragons. 10 years later at 28 years old I have the honour of sitting amongst them.’  

The young entrepreneur, born in Botswana and brought up in Plymouth, has replaced Tej Lalvani, 46, on the show. 

Drama! Touker, was seen yelling: ‘I’m telling you exactly what I think.’ And, refusing to back down, Social media CEO Steven hit back: ‘And I’m telling you what I think’

Snap! Another heated exchange saw Touker asking: ‘What do you know about business?’ to which Steven responded: ‘I’ve built a £300 million pound business at 28 years old’

The entrepreneur admitted he feared he’d never make a success of his life after quitting his course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Steven wrote in his book Happy Sexy Millionaire, that at the time he was a ‘broke, lonely, insecure university drop-out from a bankrupt family.’  

After quitting university, he started Wallpark, a platform for students before setting up Social Chain and Media Chain – brands that have worked with names including Apple, Amazon and Coca-Cola.

Ahead of filming Dragons’ Den, he told BBC Radio 1Xtra’s If You Don’t Know podcast, that he was determined to join the panel as there ‘has not been a young, black man on the show’ and he wanted to be a role model for others. 

He said: ‘Much of the reason for me wanting to be a Dragon and wanting to do the show is because I know the show is a big platform and I am not represented on that show as an entrepreneur. There’s not been a young, black man on that show.

‘I feel like I have a responsibility to do this because it will show 12-year-old Steve, or other 12 year old Steve’s, that they too can be business people. 

‘To see someone like me on the show as well that’s not going to wear a suit, and that is into all the same things you’re into – like hip-hop music, jollof rice, Manchester United and whatever else it is – I think is an enabler. 

‘Because role models are most powerful when you can relate to the path they’ve walked.

Steven is also driven by a desire to appeal to the ‘underrepresented’ and encourage and enable people to thrive in the business world.

 

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