Deborah Meaden turned down Dragons' Den role three times

The business boss told Loose Women she valued her privacy too much to want TV stardom.

Watch Deborah Meaden turned down Dragons' Den role three times

What did you miss?

Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden has revealed she turned down offers from the BBC One hit show three times before finally becoming convinced it was her dream job.

Meaden, who is the second longest serving Dragon on the entrepreneur investment series, told Loose Women on Tuesday that she never wanted to become a TV star - but that the programme became an offer she couldn't refuse.

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Deborah Meaden turned down Dragons' Den three times. (BBC)

What, how, and why?

Business guru Deborah Meaden joined Dragons' Den way back in series three and with 18 years of the show under her belt, is one of the longest serving Dragons - second only to Peter Jones, who has done every series.

But Meaden told Loose Women on Tuesday that the BBC One show had had to be very persistent in signing her up as she turned the job down three times over concerns about losing her privacy.

Sue Cleaver asked her: "You turned the job down three times, didn't you?"

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Deborah Meaden didn't want to lose her privacy. (BBC)

Meaden replied: "I did. My sister had done something on TV and it wasn't a great experience, and I thought I'd built myself a nice, oddly private - I know it sounds weird, I've done Strictly and that's a very public thing, but I do like to keep my private life private and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to manage that, that I would feel out of control.

"But they kept on at me and I did an audition with Duncan Bannatyne and Richard Farleigh and I literally went within one hour from I don't want to do this, to I've got to get this job or I'll be absolutely devastated."

Deborah Meaden said she turned down Dragons' Den three times. (ITV screengrab)
Deborah Meaden said she turned down Dragons' Den three times. (ITV screengrab)

She added: "It's what I do in everyday life, it's as close as you're going to get to real business on television and I love it."

Meaden also revealed that pitches on the show can last up to three hours, but explained why she kept coming back for more.

Dragons' Den S20,Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Steven Bartlett,BBC,Graeme Hunter/Caroline McDonald
Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Steven Bartlett are the current Dragons. (BBC)

"Every year, literally every pitch I think oh, I've seen it all now. And then I haven't. Somebody comes in with an idea and I think oh my goodness, that's brilliant, I've never even heard of it before," she said.

"The day I sit in that chair and I just feel like that, I'm not going to do it again. But I sit in that chair and I get excited. You'll see me, I lean forward. That's a good sign."

This series, the Dragons have welcomed guest investors to the Den for the first time, with Gary Neville first up, and Meaden praised his efforts.

She added: "It changed the dynamics, it made us bring our A-game."

What else happened on Loose Women?

Deborah Meaden arriving for the Strictly Come Dancing Photocall at Elstree Studios, London.   (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Deborah Meaden still enjoys the Tango. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Meaden took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 and although she only made it to week five, her love of dancing has continued for 10 years and has even sparked a new hobby with her husband.

She told how husband Paul Farmer had secretly taken up his own dancing classes while she was on Strictly so that they could dance together.

Asked whether they were still dancing, she said: "We are - in fact, I have given up one of my Tango lessons today to be here with you.

"We only do Tango, that's our dance."

Loose Women airs on ITV at 12.30pm on weekdays.

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