Last week it was revealed that investors Bruce Croxon and Kevin O’Leary were not going to appear on the upcoming season of CBC’s hit reality television series, Dragons’ Den. Replacing them for season nine are elite financier Michael Wekerle and restaurant magnate Vikram Vij.
It was a surprise announcement and it didn’t specify why either Croxon or O’Leary were leaving—”in pursuit of other endeavours,” according to CBC. But Croxon revealed to the Financial Post that he was leaving to focus on his firm, Round 13—”as much as I’ve been assuring investors the show doesn’t take a lot of time, it does take a lot of energy,” he told the paper.
“I came in somewhat reluctantly with respect to the whole TV thing. I have to say, the experience exceeded all of my expectations for fun and business and the people I met,” Croxon said. “But then it runs its course and I’m just as happy to tiptoe away.”
Sounds reasonable, but some speculate that he simply wanted to leave when O’Leary did. O’Leary was arguably the biggest draw of the Dragons’ Den cast, and without him, the show may go downhill, especially given that it’s already ran eight full seasons.
O’Leary will continue in his role on ABC’s Shark Tank, a younger American version of Dragons’ Den.
“I am really pleased to be getting the opportunity to work with Michael and Vikram. We are delighted that the two new Dragons are top calibre entrepreneurs and that they are so eager to get inside the den and start making deals,” said Tracie Tighe, executive producer of Dragons’ Den, last week.
The announcement comes just before the start of production for the show’s ninth season, which kicks-off at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto on March 24.