Theo Paphitis makes Dragon’s Den return to stand in for Touker Suleyman

Theo Paphitis will make a return to Dragon’s Den for its new series, it’s been revealed.

The former Dragon will cover for Touker Suleyman across four episodes.

Retail guru Theo joined the show in the second series before leaving in 2012.

He’ll return to the Den for the 17th series to stand in for Touker who found himself in hospital with pneumonia earlier this year.

“When I realised what I had was not a one-day illness, and when I heard they had got Theo it was a big relief,” Touker told The Sun newspaper. “I had these visions of me wrecking the show and my fellow Dragons saying, ‘What has he done?’

“The moment I heard it was Theo, it put a smile on my face.”

Touker was in hospital for six days but fortunately “recovered quite quickly” and was able to return to filming.

Theo added: “It was a pleasure to breathe some Dragon fire into the Den again. When I received the call asking me to stand in for part of this season it didn’t take long to say yes.

“The moment I sat in the chair like I had never been away.”

Alongside Theo and Touker, this year’s Dragon’s Den will feature returning Dragons serial investor Deborah Meaden, technology titan Peter Jones and supplement supremo Tej Lalvani.

They’ll be joined by new Dragon Sara Davies, founder of worldwide crafting company, Crafter’s Companion, who replaces cashpoint queen Jenny Campbell.

Dragons’ Den’s new series will start at 8PM on Sunday, August 11.

Evan Davis will be back hosting, guiding the latest business hopefuls through the process.

You can catch up and watch all the episodes online via the BBC iPlayer.

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