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Theo Judges the Premier League Enterprise Challenge Finals 2018

Theo once again supported the Premier League Enterprise Challenge, by judging the Finals at EY in London on 23rd April 2018. Fellow judges included Peta Bistany (Executive Office Director, Premier League), Graeme Le Saux (Former Premier League and England Defender) and new judge, Alex Scott (Arsenal Women’s Captain).

The aim of the overall competition, also in partnership with Sport Relief, is to provide Premier League and English Football League Clubs, schools and young people with the unique opportunity to compete against each other to pitch solutions to a specific football business challenge.

The participating Club finalists this year were from:
Wigan Athletic FC
Watford FC
Middlesbrough FC
Brighton & Hove Albion FC
Everton FC
Swansea City AFC

The event was hosted by CBBC and Guinness World Record TV presenter, Ben Squires.

Theo shared some words of wisdom to rally the troops ahead of their Dragons’ Den style pitches to him, and his fellow judges, in a pre-match talk!

Alongside their presentations to the judges, the finalists are also given an on the spot supplementary task to complete showing how they would gain support for their main idea with key stakeholders. The teams were judged on their adaptability, evidence of collaboration and their drive, which there was no shortage of on the day!

Due to the incredibly high standard this year, the judges couldn’t decide between two of the schools so for the first time ever there were double winners!

Congratulations to Lathom High School for Wigan Athletic FC and Broadgreen International School for Everton FC, who both did a fantastic pitch and wowed the Judges with their original ideas.

Lathom High School decided on an idea to help visually impaired spectators by providing headphones with full match commentary and tablets, so they can re-watch anything they may have missed on the field.

Broadgreen International School opted to look at how they could tackle the underrepresentation of BME and mixed faith fans attending matches. They planned to target key areas of Liverpool where 52% of the population are BME, recruit an Inclusion Ambassador and develop an educational training programme.

Commenting on the day Theo Paphitis said:

“The standard this year was exceptionally high and for the first time in 10 years we have a double winner! It has always been close but this year we had two very different but brilliant ideas that none of the judges would compromise on. Congratulations to both winners and to all the finalists who put a lot of hard work in and delivered some great pitches!.”

Congratulations to all involved and for all the hard work that went into the event and preparation!

Theo Visits Atlas Bar, 2017 Many Hands Campaign Winners!

As winners of the 2017 Many Hands campaign, Atlas Bar in Manchester also received a very special guest judge as a customer at their bar.  Having raised over £5,000 for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital by selling Manchester Vigil Gin on a Manchester to London train on World Gin Day, Atlas Bar were crowned overall winners at the 2017 Many Hands final, in Manchester.  All of Atlas Bar’s proceeds went to the hospital and the cocktail created specially for the judges is still on sale in the bar today.

As part of their prize, it meant that judge Theo Paphitis also popped along to the bar for a cocktail and a catch up with the team.  Atlas Bar owners Elaine and Mark Wrigley were there to welcome Theo, along with their staff, and treated Theo to a History of Gin Masterclass to teach him all about the spirit’s origins. Theo tried the Four Pillars Gin, which was a very strong 58.8% ABV – also known as Navy strength !

The staff at the Manchester bar also had their own private Q&A session with Theo.

To find out more about the Many Hands charity

Theo hosts annual #SBS event

On Friday 23rd February, Theo welcomed hundreds of #SBS winners to the annual #SBS event held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. The event is a highly anticipated day where winners can network, hear from Theo, meet the sponsors and gain advice from guest speakers.

New for 2018 were games, prizes and quick-fire speed sessions with marketing and ecommerce experts helping the winners to grow their business. This was as well as special 10 minute 1-2-1 slots with the 8 sponsors Ryman, Robert Dyas, DHL, iLaw, 123Reg, Square, Western Union and HP where winners could network and gain advice about anything from product to international shipping and payment.

This year there was a specific focus on brand, with SuperBrands expert Stephen Cheliotis taking to the stage to teach the winners about the importance of brand within business.

The afternoon session saw Theo have a fireside chat with’s John Roberts. It was a fascinating session; winners found out about John’s journey from betting a friend £1 in a pub to an IPO worth 1.2bn! John offered advice on advertising, marketing and customer service even saying that the #SBS winners should treat every customer like their Nan!

Away from the main stage, winners were treated to breakout presentations by all of the sponsors with a strong focus on the upcoming GDPR rules and also some incredibly insightful and inspiring stories from #SBS winners themselves. Special networking areas were set up to help like-minded businesses network and exchange business cards which was hailed a fantastic addition to this year’s event!

Two reaction-based games were added this year with those highest up the leaderboad winning fantastic prizes, including an HP printer and tickets to the Liverpool and Brighton and Hove football match!

It was a fantastic day that finished with all the new winners receiving their certificates and photos with Theo – a great memory of the day and a great marketing tool to help them in the future.

If you would like to find out how you could be a #SBS winner, click here:

Theo and Peter Jones CBE sell Red Letter Days


30 November 2017

Following 12 years ownership of Red Letter Days, Dragons’ Den stars Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones CBE have successfully concluded a sale of the business to Smartbox Group, for an undisclosed sum.

Theo commented, “although not an official pitch this has undoubtedly been one of the most successful business ventures ever to come out of the Den! Peter and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey together and in a way feel a tinge of sadness moving on. We wish to pass on our appreciation and thanks to all our colleagues, partners and of course, customers who have supported us.” Peter added, “the time felt right. Joining the Smartbox Group will ensure an exciting and progressive next chapter in Red Letter Days’ evolvement. We have been honoured and privileged to be custodians of the business since 2005.”

It has been quite a journey for Paphitis and Jones in taking the business out of administration to annual turnover in excess of £30m and pre-tax profit £2m +. Today some 500,000 customers a year enjoy the wide range of experiences on offer.


Theo Supports DWP on Latest Pensions Campaign

This year, Theo is once again supporting the Department of Work and Pensions to help millions save money for their pensions. Theo supported the DWP in their successful campaigns in 2012 and 2015 to help spread the word about auto enrolement.

This year Theo was one of three celebrity influencers who took part in the campaign, he represented the retail sector, TV builder Tommy Walsh representing construction and First Dates star Fred Sirieix representing the hospitality industry.

Theo filmed a video for the Social Media part of the campaign, which saw a camera crew come down to the White City Boux Avenue store for the day.

The campaign seeks to explain to employees who are eligible for workplace pensions that their pensions accrue value as they work and that when they pay, their boss pays too. Meanwhile, employers will be told it is their legal duty to provide a workplace pension, even if they only employ one person, and they will be prompted to get to know their responsibilities via the Pensions Regulator.

Theo Video:

For more information, visit:

Theo addresses the Oxford Union

On the 7th June, Theo Paphitis was invited by the Oxford Union to have an ‘In Conversation with…’ evening, hosted by the Oxford Union President, Robert Harris (pictured with Theo below).  Theo attended a drinks reception with evening ballot winners,  before being interviewed by Robert. An intensive Question & Answer session followed the interview, with questions from academics and budding entrepreneurs alike.

Theo and Robert

Topics including future business trends, the reliability of Wikipedia, social enterprise opportunities and how to best market a business were on the agenda and it was also a chance for Theo to discuss the upcoming EU Referendum in detail.

Dragon’s roar at EU scaremongers

Dragon’s roar at EU scaremongers

Paphitis blast for In-Out camps


Former Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis has accused scaremongering pro-EU campaigners of talking “codswallop”.

The business mogul slammed the Remain camp for warning of dire consequences if the UK voted to leave in the June referendum.  But, he also gave those leading the Brexit side both barrels, saying they had failed to explain what life would be like if Britain went it alone.

Paphitis, who owns high street stationer Ryman and hardware chain Robert Dyas, insisted he had not made up his mind which way to vote.  But he vented his fury at those leading both the In and Out campaigns for not giving the public clear facts.

He said: “I am reasonably well connected, and if I can’t make my mind up, what chance has the man or the woman on the omnibus got?”  The entrepreneur went on: “There is this Project Fear about what will happen if we leave, which is absolute codswallop.

“Then, on the other side, the Leave campaign need to make very clear what they see will happen once we leave, if that’s what we vote to do.”

Paphitis also put the boot into US President Barack Obama after he warned the UK should stay in the EU.  He said: “If ever I was going to be moved one way, it would be opposite to what he is saying.  Coming here and wagging his finger at us, the longest democracy in the world, and saying stay in or otherwise we’ll give you a slap.”

Paphitis’ no-nonsense comments came as he prepared to mark the fifth anniversary of his lingerie firm, Boux Avenue this month.  The chain has 28 UK stores, 12 overseas and contracts to add 80 more abroad on a franchise basis.

Paphitis predicted the brand would make its first profit in the current financial year, from a small loss last year.  It came on the same day department store chain BHS plunged into administration.

Paphitis said: “I don’t know anyone who didn’t see that one coming.  It is very sad but, at the end of the day, you stand or fall on your sales results and having something everyone wants.”

Paphitis also warned trading across the high street had been hit by weak consumer confidence, linked in part to the EU referendum.  “The last few months have been incredibly tough,” he said.

Source; The Mirror, Graham Hiscott, Business Editor, 26 April 2016