Brett Wilson leaving CBC Dragons’ Den

This morning, I am saddened to read from TorStar and Calgary Herald that Brett Wilson is leaving the CBC hit show Dragons’ Den. Here is an excerpt from TorStar,

Entrepreneur Brett Wilson is leaving the show Dragons’ Den at the end of the current season.

CBC-TV executive Julie Bristow says Wilson and the broadcaster could not agree on the terms of his contract.

Brett is a great guy and one of my most favourite Dragon on the show. I love the fact that Brett managed to find ways to close most of his Den’s deals. I like many of the businesses he invests in and secretly wish I could also invest in some of them if I am given the chance! (I won’t name them publicly here. :)

I will add more to this article if I have more to report.

I know I will miss watching Brett on the show. Good luck and all the best Brett.

P.S. On a personal note, in June 2008, Brett was really nice in agreeing to be video interviewed by me and he answered every question I had. It was a great pleasure to know Brett before he appeared on the Den. And I can honestly say Brett has always been the same easy going, friendly and nice guy. Here are links to part 1 and part 2 of the video interviews.


Feb 28, 2011, 9:18am Update: Here is a link to my comments plus Brett’s press release, “Brett Wilson’s press release: DRAGON WITH A HEART LEAVES THE DEN“.

Feb 28, 2011, 12:12am Update: From Brett’s tweet, “Will have a #NewsRelease out at 7:00am to comment on my departure from #CBC #DragonsDen. See the wire and my website. It’s all good folks…”

Feb 26, 2011, 1:27pm Update: From Hollywood Reporter, “CBC Loses Popular Reality Show Host – Deal-making shows fails to sign “Dragon’s Den” host to a fourth season.

Feb 24, 2011, 9:36pm Update: Two tweets from Brett, hope to hear from him directly about this news soon. As others pointed out, Brett was still tweeting about the show as usual only 16 hours ago.

Looks like there have been updates added to both of the originally quoted TorStar and Calgary Herald articles. Here are some important details added to the TorStar article as we can see what Kirstine Stewart (CBC’s head of English services) said last month (Jan 2011?),

The Star spoke with Kirstine Stewart, CBC’s head of English services, last month and asked about rumours of an oncoming Dragons’ Den shakeup. She denied one was coming but said that in light of situations like Lewin’s health issues, the broadcaster was ready just in case.

“Every year, we do auditions and people get excited and think they might be the next Dragon. The Dragons are huge mogul business people and their schedules don’t always align with our production schedule,” she said.

There are things that happen in their lives that make them not available to us, so we’re always auditioning to make sure that we have understudies. That’s been the case every year and that continues, but there is no plan to change anything up. But we don’t know if the Dragons are always going to be available to us, so we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got a good roster of people that we can choose from, should their plans change.””

Some stuff in Calgary Herald from CBC spokesman Jeff Keay,

““We were unable to come to terms on his contract,” said CBC spokesman Jeff Keay. “Those things happen, especially on a business show like that. If you can’t reach an agreement on a deal, you don’t have a deal.”

Keay stressed that the contractual road block “wasn’t a matter of money” but he wouldn’t elaborate as to the other issues on the table.

“We consider these discussions with Brett to be confidential,” Keay said. [Kempton note: Huh? Confidentiality agreement to stop Brett from speaking??]

At press time a spokesperson for Wilson told the Herald that he wasn’t prepared to address the matter publicly but plans to at some point soon. [Kempton note: I hope Brett will talk about this from his perspective. His fans and the show’s fans deserve more from what CBC has provided.]

4 Responses to Brett Wilson leaving CBC Dragons’ Den

  1. James A. Lamb says:

    Hi, Kempton.

    I love that show! Unfortunately, I don’t see it much here in the US, and BBC doesn’t store episodes on their website. There was a US-version called Shark Tank, but I can’t find it either.


  2. kempton says:

    Hi Tony,

    I think you can buy some episodes of CBC Dragons’ Den on iTune.

    I am not a big fan of ABC Shark Tank even though two of the CBC Dragons are on that show. Here is a link to the show on ABC.

  3. Jim says:

    I will miss Brett Wilson’s quality regard for the material on the show. Last night I watched the most recent episode and noted the tension he had with Kevin O’Leary. Both dragons have wealth but one has more substance. The American version, Shark Tank, generally sucks–probably from the producer. The CBC and BBC versions are great.

  4. kempton says:

    Hi Jim,

    Kevin’s style and approach to business is certainly a bit rough and too extreme at times. May be a TV image that he tries to create and keep.

    Yeah, the BBC version is pretty good. Only watched one episode of Shark Tank and never a fan of it.

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