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Duncan Bannatyne


1949 -

Entrepreneur and philanthropist. Born in Clydebank, on leaving school Bannatyne joined the Royal Navy as a stoker but was cashiered following a jape which did not amuse the navy authorities and brought him nine months in a military prison. He began a new career with a second-hand ice-cream van and developed a successful business in Teeside (England). In 1986, he started a chain of nursing homes, which he sold five years later for £47 million. Subsequently he formed Just Learning, a national nursery and childcare provider, with an investment of £2 million which was sold for £22 million. In 1997, he founded Bannatyne Fitness, now the Britain's largest independent health club operator, and his other businesses include a hotel, casino, bar and housing developments.

Bannatyne came to public prominence as a business expert on the BBC2 television series Dragons' Den but has also been the subject of the BBC documentary Mind of a Millionaire (2003) and appeared in various other television programmes and films.

In 2004, he was awarded an OBE for his services to business and charity. Bannatyne maintains homes in Darlington, London and Cannes (France).


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