Bacup entrepeneur lands role as Dragon on TV show
DRAGONS’ Den’s fearsome panel of judges are to be joined by an entrepreneur from Rossendale.
Piers Linney, who was brought up in Bacup, will join seasoned Dragons Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones in the hunt for the country’s brightest up-and-coming businesses.
Mr Linney, a qualified solicitor, is the joint chief executive of London-based software and communications experts Outsourcery Ltd, which has an annual turnover of around £60million.
A former pupil at Fearns Community Sports College in Stacksteads, the 41-year-old former paperboy was brought up by his dad Derek and Barbadian mum Norma, in Hazel Grove.
In 2011 he was named one of the 100 most powerful black men in Britain and appeared on Channel 4 show The Secret Millionaire the same year.
He said: “Having been a professional and private investor, I stepped into what started out as personal investment to run it, and am now building a world-leading business.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to join Dragons’ Den and once again support entrepreneurs both financially and through my extensive network.
“I also think I can widen the appeal of the Den to information economy entrepreneurs as they are key to the future success of the UK economy.”
Ceri Aston, executive producer of Dragons’ Den, said: “Piers is a new breed of dragon. A young and dynamic digital entrepreneur, he has his finger on the pulse of an industry that has never been represented in the Den before.
“He’s at the helm of a business that he is successfully building and growing, so his story is an inspiring one for any entrepreneur looking for investment on the show.”
Mr Linney is a replacement for long-serving Dragon Theo Paphitis, who announced he was leaving the show last month.
The Dragons are currently touring the country filming for the 11th series of the hit BBC programme.