Dragons’ Den stars pay tribute to ‘inspiring’ Hilary Devey following death

Tributes from Hilary Devery’s Dragon’s Den co-stars poured in on Sunday, after the shocking news of the businesswoman’s death broke aged just 65.

The entrepreneur appeared on the BBC One show between 2011 and 2013, where she sat alongside fellow Dragons Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne as they brought to life much loved ideas from up and coming inventors.

The star tragically died after suffering from a long illness, with her spokesperson confirming her heartbreaking death had taken place on Saturday, while she was living in Morocco.

Following the shocking news, Deborah Meaden tweeted: “Very sad to learn that Hilary Devey has passed away at only 66. She was unique in every way and brought grit and warmth with her into the Den. My thoughts are with her family and loved ones. RIP Hilary," adding that she was "one of a kind.”

While Duncan Bannatyne also paid his respects to his co-star when he wrote: “Sad to hear that @HilaryDevey has passed. So young. Too young. Rest in Peace Hilary. X”

Peter Jones also looked back on his time alongside Hilary, adding that it had been “great" to spend time with her as the two worked on the show together over ten years ago.

He wrote: “So sad to hear the news that Hilary Devey has passed away. She was an inspiring woman and it was great to spend time with her on Dragons’ Den. Sending my deepest condolences to her family.”

Earlier today, Dragon Theo Paphitis also paid tribute to the late star, when he said: “She left us all with some fantastic memories" before adding he had been “so sad” to hear of her death.

Hilary had first appeared on the show alongside the dragons after building up a strong portfolio as the CEO and Chairman of Pall-Ex, the UK’s leading palletised freight distribution network.

While under her supervision, the company enjoyed a healthy turnover of around £100million – but it was her commitment to sharing her success with others that led the businesswoman to join the den as she hoped to inspire other entrepreneurs and support their careers.

Explaining why she wanted to get involved with the BBC series, back in 2011 Hilary said: ‘“n order to set-up Pall-Ex in the mid-nineties, I had to sell my house and car to get the start-up capital necessary to fulfil my business ambitions, as none of the banks appreciated my potential.

She then continued: “I would have loved the opportunity to have stood before the Dragons, and I will remember my own experiences and the realities of running a business today, when choosing to support – or reject – the budding entrepreneurs joining me in the Den.”

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