dragons den

Theo Paphitis has uttered the two words all prospective entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den fear the most: “I’m Out”.

The long-serving “Dragon” in the BBC Two entrepreneurship series first joined the show in the second series back in 2005, but has called time on his role in order to focus his efforts on his new lingerie brand.

In leaving Dragons’ Den, he departs the show in something of a crisis. Fellow Dragon Hilary Devey informed producers that she would be quitting the show midway through series 10 so that she could front Channel 4′s The Intern, which is set to air later this year.

Paphitis was also one of the more likable of the five Dragons – the odd-ball Devey, moody Duncan Bannatyne, often arrogant Peter Jones and cantankerous Deborah Meaden made for a relatively unlikable panel of Dragons, yet Paphitis charmed audiences with his good nature, nice guy attitude and general sense of humour.

The popularity of Dragons’ Den has also waned recently despite racking up ten series, and the economic downturn hasn’t helped proceedings all that much, either.

Now the BBC must begin their search for a replacement, with only Bannatyne, Meaden and Jones remaining on the panel.

But who should they choose to replace Paphitis? Here are five suggestions.

Click “Next” to get started.

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This article was first posted on February 9, 2013