Interior designer to the stars Kelly Hoppen is to take her place in one of the seats vacated by entrepreneurs Theo Paphitis and Hilary Devey for the new series of Dragons’ Den.
The 53-year-old has worked for celebrities including David and Victoria Beckham and is known for having dated Beckham's former England teammate Sol Campbell. She has designed for corporate clients around the world and shared her expertise via the Kelly Hoppen Design School, a series of books and a 2011 Channel 5 series Superior Interiors.
Hoppen kicked off her career at the age of 16 by designing a friend’s kitchen and her self-proclaimed passion for new business is backed up by her role as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise.
Born in South Africa, Hoppen was awarded an MBE for her services to interior design, and will be able to draw on contacts in the design industry, publishing and the wider business world as she looks to invest in entrepreneurs on the BBC2 show.
“I have always been passionate about championing entrepreneurs," said Hoppen, "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 Den and to hopefully finding an undiscovered gem or two!"
Of her design philosophy, Hoppen has said "it's about creating calm balanced environments based on Eastern cultures, ie order and creation of harmony."
If she can bring that harmony to the business battleground that is the Den, it could be her greatest achievement yet...