Dragon's Den star Hilary Devey has died, it was announced on Sunday. The TV presenter and entrepreneur shot to fame during her tenure on the BBC series.
The Bolton native was at her holiday home in Morocco when she died on Saturday evening, her spokesperson confirmed. They said: "I can confirm that Hilary sadly died yesterday. She had been ill for some time."
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No further information was given. A well-known face from Dragon's Den, where she was on the panel between 2011 and 2013, Hilary had previously appeared on The Secret Millionaire in 2008 and presented The Business Inspector in 2010.
The star shot to fame on Dragon's Den
Her former Dragons' Den co-star Theo Paphitis took to Twitter to pay a heartfelt tribute to Hilary, writing: "So sad to hear of the passing of the lovely Hilary Devey.
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"She left us all with some fantastic memories, may she rest in peace. My thoughts are with her family."
Speaking about her decision to get involved in the show back in 2011, the successful businesswoman spoke about her own struggles to become established.
The star was awarded an OBE in 2013
She said: "In 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.
"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."
During her appearance on The Secret Millionaire, the down-to-earth star chose to donate more than £70,000 to the Back Door Music Project and the Syke Community Centre in Rochdale. In 2013, she received an OBE for services to the transport industry and to charity.