Gary Neville has said Dragons’ Den audiences will have to “wait and see” if he invests in any budding entrepreneurs when he makes a guest appearance on the show.

The Bolton News  reported in June the football pundit will be appearing on the hit show alongside the regular dragons.

A first look at the special episodes for season 21 of the BBC One business programme shows the former footballer dressed in a navy blue suit and looking serious.

The 48-year-old, said: “It’s a pleasure to join the Dragons as a guest for the new series and see some of the amazing pitches from budding entrepreneurs from different walks of life.

“It was a privilege to share my knowledge and guidance with the brave entrepreneurs who entered the Den, but you’ll have to wait and see whether I committed to any investments.”

Since his retirement from Manchester United, Neville, who received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton, has built a portfolio of business interests, including a hotel and other property developments.

Also making a guest appearance on the show, which sees fledgling businesses pitch to get investment, is fashion and retail entrepreneur Emma Grede.

Neville and Grede will sit alongside the regular panel of Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies and Steven Bartlett.

New pictures also show the Dragons inside the Den, with a backdrop of the Manchester skyline at dusk.

Grede said: “Being back in the UK and joining this series as a guest Dragon has been amazing and feels very full circle to me.

“Being able to share my own knowledge from the business I’ve built with the entrepreneurs is so important. There’s a lot of major talent in this upcoming series, and I hope it inspires the next generation to create opportunities for themselves.”

The Bolton News: Gary Neville and Emma Grede

Samantha Davies, executive producer at BBC Studios, said the “existing Dragons aren’t just going to sit back and let them snap up all the best deals”.

“Viewers can expect all the usual competitiveness and sass in the Den… Gary and Emma are both masters in their fields and it’ll be fantastic to see their different styles and perspectives in the business world.”

– Dragons’ Den will return for series 21 in 2024.