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Thursday 19 October 2017

Dragons' Den leads the world thanks to AP's wife Chanelle

Former jockey AP McCoy and wife Chanelle
Former jockey AP McCoy and wife Chanelle

The addition of Chanelle McCoy to the panel of RTE's Dragons' Den makes it the first version of the programme to have three female mentors.

The reality show is replicated in more than 30 countries, but all have to make do with just one or two female Dragons.

Chanelle, who is the wife of legendary jump jockey AP McCoy, joins Eleanor McEvoy and Alison Cowzer, alongside Gavin Duffy and Barry O'Sullivan.

Speaking for the first time about her decision to join the show, producer Larry Bass told the Herald he was "delighted" to have her on the team.

"We're looking forward to having Chanelle joining us. We're the first country in the world where we're going to have female Dragons.

"Uniquely this year, we also have more entries than ever from female entrepreneurs.

"That's a reflection of how Ireland is going. Maybe we're finding our feminine side."

Chanelle, a Galway native, is a successful businesswoman in her own right.

She is a director of Chanelle Medical, the pharmaceutical firm her father, Michael Burke, set up in Loughrea in the 1980s.

Boutique

She joined the company, which has an annual turnover of €93m, 16 years ago.

Chanelle, who was a regular at all of AP's race meetings during his 20-year career, also runs her own boutique near her home in Berkshire, England.

Although the mum-of-two has featured in a number of newspaper interviews over the years, this will be her first foray into the world of TV.

"She's an extraordinarily successful young woman who's had an extraordinary career," said Larry Bass.

"She joined her father's business after working in various parts of the pharmaceutical industry and transformed it."

Over the past seven years, the Dragons have seen a total of 415 pitches and invested in more than 95 businesses with an investment figure of more than €5m.

The show is currently accepting applications from budding entrepreneurs for the eighth series.

It is understood filming of the new series, which will air in about six weeks, is due to start shortly.

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