Former footballer Gary Neville lands huge role on Dragons' Den in format shake up

Gary Neville, seen with a Sky Sports microphone, has joined Dragons' Den.
Gary Neville has joined Dragons' Den. (Image credit: Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Former footballer turned businessman Gary Neville is joining Dragons' Den as one of the BBC show's first-ever guest Dragons.

The former Manchester United player might be a familiar face to many now for being a pundit on Sky Sports coverage, but he's also built up an impressive portfolio that spans the property, education, media, hospitality, and sports sectors. Now, the BBC has revealed that he'll be joining the long-running entrepreneurial series along with US-based fashion mogul Emma Grede. 

Both stars will be sitting alongside Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, and Steven Bartlett as Guest Dragons for Dragons' Den's show's 21st series.

Of his new role, Gary Neville said: “I am excited to join the Dragons and to meet the entrepreneurs brave enough to face us in the Den. I hope my personal journey shows that you can take the experiences you’ve had in one part of your career and use them to do something entirely different and make it a success. 

"Business is all about managing people and managing yourself and I’m looking forward to sharing my experience to help the entrepreneurs we’ll meet in the Den reach their potential", Neville added.

Emma Grede is a London-born businesswoman and fashion designer behind multiple brands that are collectively worth billions of dollars. Notably, she is one of the founding partners of Skims, the shapewear brand co-founded with Kim Kardashian and her husband, Jens Grede. 

Emma Grede added: "I’m no stranger to the boardroom. I’m surrounded by strong women, and I champion those who are independent and have an idea that I can help develop and grow. I watched Dragons’ Den growing up, and being able to come back to the UK as a Dragon to share my own experience with the budding entrepreneurs entering the Den is very exciting. I am looking for people who are passionate, not afraid to think big and know their product, and their audience.”

Talking about the Den's two new additions, Executive Producer Samantha Davies said: "For the first time in the show’s 21 series there will be a sixth chair in the Den as we welcome our first guest Dragons. And what better additions to our established line-up than business juggernauts Emma Grede and Gary Neville. 

"Emma brings a wide range of knowledge and experience in international business, and Gary is a great example of someone who took an alternative route into commerce and used his unique skillset to grow a successful portfolio of companies. 

"They’re an exciting addition to the Den for both the program and the entrepreneurs who’ll get the opportunity to pitch to them."

Dragons' Den will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer in 2024.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at

Martin was a Staff Writer with, where he produced a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. Now he works for our sister site Tom's Guide in the same role.

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.