BBC Dragons' Den risks viewer 'switch off' over divisive Gary Neville preview: 'Another programme ruined!'

BBC Dragons' Den risks viewer 'switch off' over divisive Gary Neville preview: 'Another programme ruined!'

WATCH NOW: Dragons' Den announce new guest Dragons

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 17/01/2024

- 15:58

The former England and Manchester United footballer will join the Dragons this week

Dragons' Den has dropped a first-look at Gary Neville inside the Den for his stint as a guest Dragon in this week's episode.

The former England right-back joins regular Dragons Peter Jones, Steven Bartlett, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman and Sara Jones in the hopes of finding his next business investment.

His stint as a guest Dragon was announced late last year and now the BBC has confirmed the episode featuring the footballer will air on Thursday evening.

To coincide with the episode, the Beeb has released a handful of sneak peeks at Neville's debut - including a pitch from one entrepreneur looking for investment in his football memorabilia business.

He also considers a pitch from Cosy Cinema, a Welsh-based business that offers movie fans the chance to watch flicks in their own mini containers which are fitted with a TV screen and beds.

The Dragons' Den X account shared the preview clips on the social media site ahead of Thursday's episode but stopped short of revealing whether or not Neville would invest.

Gary Neville

Gary Neville and his fellow Dragons mull over a pitch in the Den


However, the previews have led to a number of prospective viewers claiming they won't be tuning in to see if Neville is won over by any of the pitches.

The Dragons' Den X account shared one of the clips with the caption: "It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for - Gary Neville joins the Den as a Guest Dragon - you do not want to miss it!"

But taking to the replies of the post, one fan made their feelings clear: "Another programme ruined. I’m running out of things to watch on terrestrial television."

"It’s not, I won’t be watching," added a second while a third bluntly replied: "Nobodies watching then."

Elsewhere, a fourth also vowed to boycott the episode as they said: "Only programme I tend to watch on the bbc, but I will not watch this episode. Also shame we have to buy a license fee to watch tv…"

It's not the first time Neville's faced criticism ahead of his guest stint as he faced similar backlash when he was first unveiled as a Dragon in October 2023.

However, there was still plenty of support from some Dragons' Den fans who were excited to see how the former footballer gets on in the Den.

Amid the reactions on X was one fan who praised: "Will be watching, @GNev2 comes from a different background to the rest of the team, and has interests in a diverse range of businesses. I think he will be a good addition to the show."

Gary Neville

Gary Neville has joined as a guest Dragon


"Looking forward to seeing Gary on there tbh," a second argued on the post. (sic)

Speaking in October when his role on the show was announced, Neville said: "I’m absolutely delighted to join the Dragons’ Den, even if it’s only for a very short period on an interim contract.

"I’m used to being an interim coach. I’m going to bring character, personality, drive, determination, hard work, all the things you’d want in a team player."

Dragons' Den will also welcome Emma Grede as another guest Dragon later in the series.

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