Dragon Duncan meets his den mates

Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne with members of the team from Castle View Enterprise Academy, left to right; Jack Marley, 15, Abby Colclough, 15, Robyn Elvidge, 15, and Danielle Booth, 14.
Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne with members of the team from Castle View Enterprise Academy, left to right; Jack Marley, 15, Abby Colclough, 15, Robyn Elvidge, 15, and Danielle Booth, 14.
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A DRAGON visited a Sunderland school to pass on business advice to pupils preparing to enter the famous den.

Duncan Bannatyne, star of hit TV programme Dragons’ Den went to Castle View Enterprise Academy to announce a business challenge for students.

Youngsters are working to develop a fully-costed business proposition by the end of the month, and will receive mentoring from the Dragons’ Den production team to prepare for the all-important pitch.

They will then take the famous walk up the stairs to face the Dragons in their Den.

But in a change from the usual format of the show, the school pupils will not find out whether their pitch has been successful straight away.

Year 10 pupils from schools in Bolton, Bradford, Burnley, Lincoln have also been set the task by one of the Dragons.

On his visit, Duncan – worth £430million according to the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List – said: “I know there are many budding young entrepreneurs in the North East’s schools.”

He added that he was looking forward to meeting those who have been putting together business proposals for the challenge.

Next month, the participants will attend a special screening of Dragons’ Den at the BBC’s new home, MediaCityUK, in Salford Quays, Manchester.

They will see their performance in the Den on the big screen and find out which of the Dragons are “in” and which are “out”.

No money will be invested in the business propositions, but awards will be handed out for the best idea and best pitch.

Peter Salmon, BBC North director said: “Dragons’ Den has been one of the biggest success stories of the last decade for BBC Entertainment in Manchester.

“It’s great we can use our flagship programmes to engage audiences of all ages.

“I’m really looking forward to welcoming the schools from across the north to MediaCityUK later this year, and wish them the best of luck in the Den.”

@davidallison88