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Dragons' Den star and multi millionaire crafting queen Sara Davies has opened up about what life is really like behind the scenes on the hit BBC One show – calling it “horrendously competitive.”
The 37 year old mum of two caught the business bug while working in her family’s decorating firm in County Durham. Fast forward 15 years, Sara has built an empire that rakes in £34m a year and employs hundreds of people.
“Investing was the next step for me,” Sara explained before dubbing Dragon’s Den “the best place to find businesses to invest in.” Therefore, it’s no surprise that the environment behind the scenes is so dog-eat-dog.
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“It’s horrendously competitive,” Sara claimed. “Most of the people we watch on TV are trained actors who are playing a role. We’re not. You get our genuine reactions,” she continued.
Sara stars in the show alongside Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani – who is being replaced with the programme's youngest ever Dragon, Steven Bartlett. Although the dragons may seem aloof, it appears none of them are immune to a spot of bragging when they bag an investment.
“Deborah [Meaden] is the worst for this,” Sara said. “She’ll be like the cat that got the cream. To be honest, we’re all the same, though.”
And it turns out the show follows Sara wherever she goes. The sought-after investor revealed that she gets people pitching to her “all the time.”
“I had a cracking one,” she recalled. “I was trying on an outfit in the changing room and someone recognised me. They’re like, ‘Oh, Sara, while you’re there, I was wondering…’ while I’m standing there in a bra and pants!”
As well as being one of the most recognisable business moguls in the country, Sara is also proud mum to two boys – Oliver and Charlie – who she shared with her husband Simon.
“I’m very relaxed and laid-back and I’m one of these, “The answer’s yes and what’s the question?” I don’t always have the most amount of time so what I maybe lose in quantity, I make up for it in quality. You’ve then got to try to find the balance and not spoil them,” she said.
Sara added that she’s able to balance family and work life and “have it all” thanks to the “phenomenal support network” behind her.
“We have grandparents who are very active. So when I have to go away, it’s not a case that Simon is left doing all the school runs, sorting the tea out every night and trying to run the business. One of our parents will step in.”
Watch Dragons’ Den, Thursday, 9pm, BBC one or Catch up on BBC iplayer.
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