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    Posted: 05 May 2011 at 10:14

Haven't we seen you before? New Apprentice star exposed as a veteran of fellow BBC business show Dragon's Den

By Ben Todd
Last updated at 9:07 AM on 5th May 2011



Familiar face: Leon Doyle who is to star on this year's series of The Apprentice has already been on Dragons' Den

New Apprentice contestant Leon Doyle is a veteran of the BBC’s entrepreneurial shows – having already appeared on rival programme Dragons’ Den.

Doyle, 26, from Leeds, West Yorkshire appeared on the Corporation’s online version of the show, which is also believed to have aired on TV on BBC2 in 2009.

In the show, Doyle asked the Dragons to invest £10,000 in his company The Master Menu, in return for ten per cent equity in the business.

Doyle began the business – which compiles take-away menus into a single brochure - when he was still at Huddersfield University.

Speaking to the Dragons, he explained: ‘I came up with the idea of compiling all the local takeaway menus into a neat and tidy brochure, taking away the hassle for the fast-food owners.’

However, his bid for cash proved unsuccessful from the Dragons.

Dragon Julie Meyer said: ‘I think you’re doing OK and I think you should press on with that but it’s not an investment for me. I think for those reasons, I’m out.’

While fellow Dragon Shaf Rasul said: ‘As a business investment opportunity I’m not interested in this one, so unfortunately I’m out.’

However, Rasul had words of encouragement for Doyle adding: ‘That’s how entrepreneurs start. They start off with little small businesses.’

Dragons Den Online began as an online programme, before moving to BBC2.


Last night, a spokesman for The Apprentice said there was ‘no rule against’ contestants appearing on both shows.


Leon, sixth from left, was unveiled as one of the contestants of this year's The Apprentice this week, pictured with hosts Karren Brady, Lord Sugar and Nick Hewer

However, BBC sources were said to be ‘surprised’ to learn he had already appeared on Dragons’ Den.

Ironically, The Apprentice also faced criticism yesterday that it had become too like Dragons Den.


Old hand: Leon shows the Dragons his Master Menu idea and asks them for £10,000 investment


On screen: The hopeful pitched his idea to online Dragons' Den stars Shaf Rasul and Julie Meyer

Critics have suggested the programmes are too similar after the prize for this year’s series of The Apprentice was changed.  The winner will now take part in 50:50 joint venture with Sir Alan investing £250,000 into the business.

In Dragons’ Den, the Dragons are asked to invest money into a company in return for a share of the business.

Do you know any of the Apprentice candidates? If so, call the Daily Mail showbusiness desk on 0207 938 6364 or 0207 938 6683

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1383579/Apprentice-star-Leon-Doyle-exposed-veteran-fellow-BBC-business-Dragons-Den.html#ixzz1LT3UzgOv
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