Business development · 20 January 2017

Holly Willoughby sets up new business with Dragons’ Den star 

Holly Willoughby
Holly Willoughby has previously demonstrated her business skills through a number of past ventures

An unlikely partnership has been struck between two of Britain’s most familiar on-screen faces, as Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Peter Jones enters into business with Holly Willoughby.

ITV’s This Morning presenter will run Truly Group – an interior design company – with Tara Capp, Jones’ wife.

According to Companies House records, Truly Group was registered in September 2016, and early reports have suggested that the business will be officially unveiled in the coming months.

A source revealed to The Sun newspaper that talks between the pair had quietly been growing in pace.

“They can’t wait to get it off the ground, but there’s still plenty of work to do first,” the insider said.

Companies House records list Jones as the secretary of Truly Group, with Capp and Willoughby among the three directors.

Despite Willoughby’s signing of a “golden handcuffs” deal with ITV in 2013 – earning the channel exclusive rights to her services – it is reported that the venture will not interfere with her TV responsibilities.

Holly Willoughby – A good business head?

With an estimated net worth of £10m, Holly Willoughby has previously demonstrated shrewd business acumen, finding success in a personal homewares range in the now closed BHS.

She has also ran a successful production company with her husband, TV commissioner Dan Baldwin, in Peaches Productions. Eventually dissolving in December 2016, the company turned over £1.7m in 2013.

Proving her design credentials, Holly Willoughby currently produces a line of clothing for online retailer Very, and her choice of outfits on This Morning regularly provokes media scrutiny.

Following the announcement of the business venture, it’s possible that Jones had secretly been taking notes from ex-Dragons’ Den investor Kelly Hoppen, one of the biggest names in UK interior design.

Holly Willoughby can draw inspiration from other on-screen stars that displayed a successful entrepreneurial streak.

In 2014, former Big Brother presenter Davina McCall backed the tech startup Hopster with other investors in the Angel CoFund group.

Actor Sadie Frost embraced the crowdfunding model in 2014 to fund her Blonde to Black Pictures production company. Frost used Angels Den in the hope of reaching £150,000 in investment for the business, capitalising on the government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief to get more people investing in enterprise.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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