Strategy & Operations » Leadership & Management » Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne’s FD arrested in fraud probe

THE FINANCE DIRECTOR of Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne has been arrested on suspicion of defrauding the TV personality’s spa and health centre business.

Christopher Paul Watson (45), who is listed on Companies House as a director of Bannatyne Fitness Limited, was arrested on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position and later bailed pending further inquiries.

Police are understood to have arrested Watson after they were alerted by employees of the Darlington-based Bannatyne Group to a “serious financial matter”.

A spokesman for Durham Police confirmed “a 45-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position”.

“The investigation involves an alleged multi-million pound fraud on a Darlington-based business,” Durham Police said.

A spokesperson for the Bannatyne Group said the police were “investigating a serious financial matter” and that the investigation “does not affect the current operation of our successful business.’

The group did not comment on Watson’s current employment status.

Founded in 1996 by Duncan Bannatyne, the group owns 66 private members health clubs across the country.