Gary Neville sparks hypocrisy row as he joins BBC's Dragons' Den in surprise casting decision

Gary Neville sparks hypocrisy row as he joins BBC's Dragons' Den in surprise casting decision

WATCH NOW: Dragons' Den unveils new guest Dragons

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 17/10/2023

- 11:13

Updated: 17/10/2023

- 11:29

The former Manchester United footballer will be on a mission to invest his cash

Former England right-back Gary Neville has irked a number of social media users after it was confirmed he'd joined the line-up of Dragons' Den.

Alongside Emma Grede, Neville will appear as a guest judge at some point in the upcoming 21st series of the BBC show.

He'll be hoping to invest some of his cash in budding entrepreneurs while resident Dragons Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, and Steven Bartlett accompany him in the Den.

"It’s a pleasure to join the Dragons as a guest for the new series and see some of the amazing pitches from budding entrepreneurs from different walks of life," Neville told the Beeb.

He added: "It was a privilege to share my knowledge and guidance with the brave entrepreneurs who entered the Den, but you’ll have to wait and see whether I committed to any investments!"

But the move has been mocked and slammed by many who've poked fun at the seeming hypocrisy of Neville showing off his wealth alongside a panel of multi-millionaires.

Gary Neville

Gary Neville has joined the Dragons' Den line-up


On X, formerly known as Twitter, one fan fumed: "Gary the socialist going to be deciding futures with a big wad of cash sat next to him."

"Socialist Gary at it again," a second jibed while a third simply put: "You can’t be serious," followed by a series of laughing emojis.

"Have I woke up in an alternative universe," another pondered while a fifth weighed in: "Shame, I used to like this programme."

There has been some support for the decision as one X user argued: "This is pretty smart from the producers. I haven't watched this show in comfortably over a decade now, but Neville being there definitely makes it appealing to watch again."

And Neville's new co-star Meaden sang his praises after the news broke by tweeting: "A first next year in @BBCDragonsden when we have some guest Dragons...first up @GNev2 who was utterly brilliant and owned that chair!!"

The backlash levelled at Neville following his decision to join the Dragons' Den line-up comes as a result of his persistent criticism of the Conservative government and vocal opinions on issues such as the current cost of living crisis.

Neville has branded the Conservatives as a "cancer on the UK" while he joined Keir Starmer's Labour Party back in January 2022.

He even appeared on-stage with Starmer at last year's party conference in Liverpool, although insisted he had "no intention" of entering the politics world.

While he'll be on the BBC ready to splash thousands of pounds on investments, Neville has spoken publicly about his stance on issues such as pay for nurses and the living wage in the UK.

Emma Grede

Emma Grede (third from left) has also joined Dragons' Den as a guest Dragon


Speaking on ITV last year ahead of his controversial stint in Qatar as part of the World Cup punditry team for Bein, he said: "We should detest low pay, we should detest poor accommodation and working conditions.

"That is something we can never, ever accept in this region or in any region. And it is just worth mentioning that we've got a current government in our own country who are demonising rail workers, ambulance workers and, terrifyingly, nurses.

"So in our country we've got to look at workers rights, but certainly wherever football goes, we have to pick up on workers' rights because people have got to be equal, they've got to be treated equal.

"We can't have people being paid a pittance to work, in accommodation that is unsavoury. That shouldn't happen here with the wealth that exists, but it shouldn't happen it our own country that our nurses are having to fight for an extra pound or two pound either."

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