Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham reveals ‘really competitive’ rivalry on panel

SARAH Willingham has revealed that there is a “really competitive” rivalry shared between investors on Dragons’ Den.

The entrepreneur spent the earlier part of her career managing some of the biggest names in high street restaurants.

Sarah Willingham has delved into her experiences while on Dragons' Den

Sarah Willingham has delved into her experiences while on Dragons’ DenCredit: Nicky Johnston
The entrepreneur appeared alongside Touker Suleyman, Deborah Meaden, Nick Jenkins and Peter Jones

The entrepreneur appeared alongside Touker Suleyman, Deborah Meaden, Nick Jenkins and Peter JonesCredit: BBC

Putting the likes of Pizza Express and Planet Hollywood on the map, Sarah would go on to open over 50 of the vastly popular restaurants nationwide.

After their overwhelming success, Sarah bagged herself a coveted seat on Dragons’ Den back in 2015.

And Sarah certainly invested her money wisely – namely the Craft Gin Club, one of the most successful businesses to appear on the show.

Before filming the popular BBC series for the first time, Sarah revealed that she didn’t know what to expect – until she took her seat in the den.

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Speaking exclusively to The Sun, the 48-year-old explained that there is an intense rivalry between all Dragons, with many of them taking no prisoners when it comes to investing.

“The other thing that I hadn’t anticipated, as I was really naïve, was just how competitive it is between the Dragons,” exclaimed Sarah.

“I walked in thinking it was just kind of people walking through the door with the ones that were competing and they were like trying to get the attention of the Dragons.

“But actually, there are a small handful of businesses that are real no-brainers that everyone wants to invest in and you really want to walk away every series with one of them.”

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In order to secure the deal with budding entrepreneurs, Sarah also revealed a key secret to coming out on top.

She added: “To begin with, I was like a kid in a sweet shop going, ‘Pick me, pick me’.

“Then I kind of looked down the line and realised, ‘Oh I’m the only person that’s showing my hand here, I need to chill out and think more strategically.’

“That was when I realised that this is really competitive.”

Sarah first appeared on the critically-acclaimed BBC programme back in 2015

Sarah first appeared on the critically-acclaimed BBC programme back in 2015
The 48-year-old has spent her career managing some of the biggest names in high-street restaurants

The 48-year-old has spent her career managing some of the biggest names in high-street restaurantsCredit: Nicky Johnston

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