'Dragons' Den' man Duncan Bannatyne has said that Hilary Devey would have likely been sacked from the show had she not quit.
The health club owner has revealed that she would sometimes arrive on set to film up to six hours late, leaving the show's production in chaos.
“I don’t miss Hilary. She was never on set, she was always late,” he said.
“Hilary can turn up six hours late and walk in like nothing has happened. And then say, ‘I wasn’t late’.”
Duncan added: “I don’t think she would have had another year on 'Dragon’s Den'. I think she would have been let go if she hadn’t left.”
Devey, who made her millions in haulage, quit the show in June last year to make her own show 'The Intern', which failed to perform on Channel 4.
Bannatyne put the boot in further, blasting that show too.
“I watched the first three weeks. I thought it was a reality TV show which wasn’t true to life.
“I think it was typical that Hilary was never there. That is the problem we had,” he said.
But Devey, who suffered a stroke in 2009, has hit back at the criticism, saying that she was only ever late once and it was due to health issues.
“I have read previous articles that have suggested Duncan has a habit of badmouthing former Dragons, particularly when they’ve proved popular with the public, so it comes as no surprise,” she said.
“It’s no secret I missed some filming due to ill health and I insisted BBC bosses were transparent about why I was not there and announced it on air.
“I am sad that Duncan felt the need to say these things, because I enjoyed working with him, really respected him as a businessman, and considered him to be a friend.”
Devey was replaced by interior designer Kelly Hoppen on the show, while Theo Paphitis, who has also left, is being replaced by former banker Piers Linney when the show returns. [The Sun]
Also in today's press
Gary Barlow is not leaving 'The X Factor', despite rumours that the Take That star was planning on quitting the show after the next series to focus on the band's next album and tour. “Gary has always managed his role on 'The X Factor' with his music in previous years. He hasn't made any decisions on next year,” said a spokesperson. [Digital Spy]
Meanwhile, 'X Factor' reject Frankie Cocozza earned more than the show's eventual winners Little Mix, it has emerged. Frankie, who was axed from the show after it emerged he was using cocaine, made ￡120,000 last year, while the members of Little Mix made ￡116,000 each. He made the cash through club appearances and a ￡30,000 sum from 'Celebrity Big Brother'. [The Sun]