Deborah Meaden reacts to Gary Neville making Dragons' Den debut

The footballer is smashing his pivot into a new career.

Dragons' Den S21,First Look,Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, Deborah Meaden, Steven Bartlett, Gary Neville, Peter Jones,BBC Studios,Simon Pantling
Gary Neville is the first ever guest investor on Dragons' Den. (BBC)

Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden has said Gary Neville "owned the chair" in his debut as an investor on the show.

Football commentator and ex-England and Manchester United defender Neville has been announced as one of the BBC entrepreneur series' first ever guest Dragons - and Den veteran Meaden could not speak highly enough of him.

She also called Neville "smart smart" as she commented on his pivot into making investments and giving business advice to wannabe CEOs.

BBC One announced on Tuesday that Dragons' Den would be welcoming its first guest Dragons for the forthcoming 21st series, which will air in 2024.

Meaden also shared the news, tweeting: "A first next year in @BBCDragonsden when we have some guest Dragons...first up @GNev2 who was utterly brilliant and owned that chair!!"

Read more: Dragons' Den: Who are the Dragons? Every investor so far

London-born businesswoman Emma Grede, whose companies include Kim Kardashian's shapewear brand Skims and denim brand Good American, has also been announced as a guest Dragon.

Dragons' Den S21,First Look,Gary Neville,BBC Studios,Simon Pantling
Gary Neville will appear in the Den in 2024. (BBC)

Tweeting about the show's two guests, Meaden wrote: "..and what an impact!! Both brilliant, fresh and got stuck right in straight isn't until the new year but it will be worth the wait!!"

As one person wrote that they had grown to love Neville despite supporting a rival team, Meaden replied: "He's definitely a good'un and smart smart!!"

Neville and Grede will join regular Dragons Meaden, Peter Jones, Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies and Steven Bartlett for episodes in the new year.

Dragons' Den S21,First Look,Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, Emma Grede, Deborah Meaden, Steven Bartlett, Peter Jones,BBC Studios,Simon Pantling
Emma Grede also joins as a guest Dragon. (BBC)

Talking about his guest spot, Neville said: "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.

"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!"

Grede, who now lives in Los Angeles, added: "Being back in the UK and joining this series as a guest Dragon has been amazing and feels very full circle to me.

"Being able to share my own knowledge from the business I’ve built with the entrepreneurs is so important, there’s a lot of major talent in this upcoming series, and I hope it inspires the next generation to create opportunities for themselves."

Read more: Dragons' Den

Dragon's Den is expected to return in 2024