8:30pm Friday, February 12 on TV One
Entrepreneur, venture capitalist and multi-millionaire James Caan makes his debut on Dragons’ Den UK tonight, as the fifth series gets underway (at 8.30pm on TV ONE). Alongside fellow ‘Dragons’ Deborah Meaden, Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones, Caan brings a sense of poise and calm to the panel.
“This is very similar to what I do in my day job,” explains the newest Dragon. “I am a professional investor and I have a 20-year track record so the appeal was that it’s something I’m very comfortable with, something I’ve done before and something I think I’m probably quite good at.”
Caan, who lives in both London and Cannes, is founder and CEO of private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw, through which he has invested millions in both start-ups and mature businesses, in sectors ranging from retail and leisure, to financial services and technology.
Caan has been creating, building and selling businesses for more than 20 years. In 1985 he set up the Alexander Mann Group, one of Britain’s leading HR outsourcing companies, and achieved a turnover of 130 million pounds before selling it to a private equity firm in 2002.
He also founded an executive headhunting firm which he successfully expanded globally through its Humana International brand, and grew to more than 147 offices across 30 countries before it was bought by a New York-listed company.
He says he’s thrilled to be invited to be in one of the highly coveted dragon positions. “In business I make a point of investing in people, as I’m a great believer that it is people who create a success in business through their passion and conviction.
“My philosophy is to observe the masses and do the opposite. Don’t follow the crowd. It seems the world has adopted this mentality. They all go one way not realising that peace and tranquility lies in the opposite direction.”
Once again the ‘Dragons’ have the power to make or break the business dreams of a lucky few entrepreneurs in need of cash backing to get their ideas off the ground.
Opportunities facing the fearsome team in the first episode include a while-u-wait gold plating service; a Cornish music festival; dried fruit and meat snacks; and a celebrity look-a-like business for hens parties.
Throughout the series they’ll also encounter a fantasy writer who dreams of turning her goblin adventure into a blockbuster film; an entrepreneur who has come up with a jogging machine for dogs; a designer who has made furniture from old shopping trolleys; and many more.
Find out whose investment dreams come true and whose will be ripped to shreds on Drangons’ Den UK, tonight at 8.30pm.