North East Dragons’ Den star Sara Davies to appear on Strictly Come Dancing

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Dragons’ Den star Sara Davies is the sixth celebrity contestant to be announced for Strictly Come Dancing.

The entrepreneur and TV star, 37, revealed how she hade to keep her forthcoming appearance on the BBC ballroom extravaganza a secret from her family, for fear the secret would get out.

After announcing the news on Good Morning Britain, she said: “It’s absolutely killed me keeping this so secret for so long. I didn’t even tell my mam and dad or the kids. I was told it had to be top secret and to be honest I couldn’t trust any of them with the juicy gossip.”

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She will join the already announced line-up of TV presenter AJ Odudu, Peep Show’s Robert Webb and McFly star Tom Fletcher.

Ms Davies said: “My mam and dad are going to be so excited. I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance. Truth be told, I haven’t got a clue!

“I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.

“The business world has taught me that tenacity, drive and determination deliver results, I hope that I can bring that to the dance floor.

“And I’m excited to see the impact of all those hours of training on my mum tum!”

The Crafter’s Companion founder said she hopes this year’s show will have an audience this year, after the 2020 series went ahead without fans able to watch in the ballroom.

She said: “I really hope so. We’re still waiting for a lot of the plans but I believe they’re going to be allowed a small studio audience, so maybe family bubbles.

“I just want my mum and dad to be there to be able to come and watch, it will just make their life. This is why I couldn’t tell them, not because they don’t want to keep it a secret but they’re always so bursting with pride.

“I tried to trust them with the Dragon secret and it was a disaster so I couldn’t tell them about Strictly. They won’t mean to leak it, but they absolutely will.”

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CBBC host Rhys Stephenson and former Bake Off winner John Whaite will also be taking to the dance floor in the BBC One series, with Mr Whaite set to compete as part of the show’s first all-male pairing.

Ms Davies founded the company while she was a student at York University in 2005, launching it with a simple envelope maker, and it now employs around 250 people.

She joined the cast of Dragons’ Den in 2019, replacing Jenny Campbell, becoming the show’s youngest ever investor.

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Coreena FordChronicle and Journal business writer