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Bacup entrepreneur Pier Linney joins panel on the BBC's Dragons' Den
BACUP entrepreneur Piers Linney has made his Dragons’ Den bow - and bagged his first deal for a tanning lotion.
The cloud computing pioneer joined Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and new Dragon Kelly Hoppen for series 11 of the BBC Two show.
Linney, a former pupil at Fearns, is joint chief executive of Outsourcery, a world leading cloud service provider.
He qualified as a solicitor specialising in private equity and also worked as an investment banker and venture capital fund manager.
During the show he secured a deal for a cellulite fighting tanning lotion called Skinny Tan. He was also pipped to a deal for low fat noodles by rival Dragon Peter Jones.
But national TV critics were not wholly impressed with his performance.
Ben Lawrence, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said: “When he secured a business deal for a new tanning lotion he shouted “Ye-e-es”, shaking his fist like a 10-year-old boy who has just got to the next level of Grand Theft Auto V.
“He also, rather too proudly, revealed his taste in management speak. ‘In my company we have an expression: ‘when an elephant sits down you’ve got to get out of the way’.”
While Sam Wollaston for The Guardian said: “Piers Linney, a cloud-computing pioneer. I'm not entirely sure what that is, but at one point he says that within 20 metres of his desk there are 12-13 outlets selling world food, so presumably he's a cloud-computing pioneer in some kind of street market.”
Piers, 42, of Barbadian descent, said his upbringing in Rossendale was what had given him his edge.
He said: “I was the only mixed-race kid in 2,500, so I’ve never been afraid of sticking up for myself.”
But went on to criticise the lack of people with his racial heritage on TV and in business.
He said: “There are not enough black people represented on TV and across the board.
“I’m mixed race, as white as I’m black.
“I’ve been in law, finance and business, and I don’t often meet people with my heritage.
“I’ve always been involved in trying to do something about this.”
In May 2011, Linney featured on the Channel 4 series Secret Millionaire during which he spent time in a Young Offenders' Institution working with prisoners, one of whom is now employed by his company.
He is also named in The Power List, a compendium of the 100 most influential black Britons.
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