Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett under fire as fans blast ‘harsh’ and ‘callous’ feedback to business hopeful

Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett under fire as fans blast ‘harsh’ and ‘callous’ feedback to business hopeful

Dragons Den trailer for current series

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 29/02/2024

- 21:20

Updated: 01/03/2024

- 08:33

The 31-year-old entrepreneur didn't impress viewers of the show as he slammed a product

Dragons’ Den’s Steven Bartlett has been branded “smug” and “snide” during the BBC’s most recent episode of the business programme.

Dragon Bartlett, 31, didn’t hold back as he critiqued one of the pitches made on the show, going as far as to judge co-star Sara Davies for disagreeing with his criticisms.

Hopeful entrepreneur Daniel arrived to pitch his drinks business, We Are Spirits, which he said would "shake up the drinks industry".

His liquor brand intrigued the dragons, but they also pointed out a few issues. Deborah Meaden was disappointed to learn the company wasn't as eco-friendly as Daniel had made out.

Meanwhile, Bartlett went on to ask: "Where does this sell? Does it sell just from the bike or does it sell somewhere else?" to which the hopeful businessman replied: "We have a website."

"And what percentage of your sales come from the website?" Bartlett probed, and Daniel admitted: "We've sold a few bottles over the last few weeks."

Steven Bartlett

Bartlett was quick to criticise the branding of a product


"I'm not surprised," the Dragon hit back, adding: "Because you have no brand... I mean, these labels look like they've been produced by a printer from 1988."

"That was the feel that we were going for, back to the basics," Daniel responded, adding: "No electricity or printers are involved."

"I actually disagree," Davies cut in as Bartlett lifted a bottle and asked: "You like that? Sara, please tell me on national television you like that brand."

"Steven Bartlett, I like that brand!" Davies replied to her co-star, continuing: "Because you are all about sustainability."


Daniel's business idea didn't impress the judges


While Daniel didn't manage to convince any of the dragons, especially when Meaden pointed out environmental issues, several viewers took to social media to fume about Bartlett's comments.

"I quite like his simple stamp labelling. Steven Bartlett is too harsh with branding sometimes. #DragonsDen," one wrote.

"#dragonsden oh steven how callous..." another remarked, while a third penned: "Ah, Steven. It was quite obvious the printing was meant to look retro. C’mon, beloved.#DragonsDen."

"Steven is really hard to like - smug, snide, always belittling Touker #dragonsden," a fourth fumed.

Dragons' Den

Bartlett was put off by the labelling of the product


Steven Bartlett

Bartlett quizzed Davies when she disagreed with his criticisms


Someone else shared: "Steven should stick to doing his huel advert instead of criticising someone for branding of a drink #DragonsDen."

"Nobody cares about Huel Steven but you still go on about it #DragonsDen," another echoed.

"Steven Bartlett you're just an office boy, these people looking for investment are smarter than you. #DragonsDen," another viewers commented.

Meanwhile, former footballer Gary Neville appeared as a guest dragon once again after his last stint caused a stir amongst fans.

Some fumed the sportsman didn't have enough relevant experience in business to appear as a dragon on the show, while others took to social media to fume it "wasn't worth watching".

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