Strategy & Operations » Leadership & Management » Dragons Den star replaces arrested FD at Bannatyne Fitness

DRAGONS DEN star Duncan Bannatyne has appointed a new finance director at the fitness arm of Bannatyne Group following the arrest of former FD Christopher Watson.

Ken Campling, a chartered accountant, will replace Watson (45) at Bannatyne Fitness after the latter was arrested on suspicion of defrauding the TV personality’s spa and health centre business.

Watson was arrested in December last year on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position after they were alerted to a “serious financial matter”. He was later bailed pending further inquiries.

Bannatyne said Campling, who has overseen the growth of several well-known brands including Williams Music and the Clinkard Group, has “an excellent track record of delivering profits, managing acquisitions and growth and streamlining and improving accounting systems”.

Most recently Campling was head of finance at Delima Limited, part of the Sports Direct Group owned by Newcastle FC owner Mike Ashley.

“Having worked for Sir Tom Hunter and Mike Ashley I am well-trained to be able to work for a ‘Dragons Den’ entrepreneur,” said Campling. “Duncan and the management team have made me very welcome and I am looking forward to a very positive future.”

Bannatyne Fitness, which is part of the Bannatyne Group, is the UK’s largest independent health club operator. With more than 60 sites across the UK under the Bannatyne’s Health Clubs brand, the company has around 170,000 members and employs in the region of 5,000 people.