Dragon's Den Duncan Bannatyne went on lavish hols while staff were furloughed

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Gym boss Duncan Bannatyne has come under fire for splashing out on a lavish hol with his wife while thousands of his staff remain furloughed.

The Dragons’ Den star, 71, and Nigora, 40, spent a week visiting a string of glamorous and expensive hotspots.

The couple headed to Gibraltar, Marbella, Paris and finally Monte Carlo in seven days, taking a private jet for some of the trip.

During the jaunt they enjoyed two nights at a £750-a-night suite in Paris.

The trip came days after multi-millionaire Duncan complained his businesses closed during the pandemic were losing millions.

Dragon's Den Duncan Bannatyne went on lavish hols while staff were furloughed
Gym boss Duncan Bannatyne has come under fire

He said his gyms, hotels and restaurants were costing him £2.5million a month and he was forced to furlough 2,500 staff.

And he announced the permanent closure of a Bannatyne Health Club in London, adding seven more were at risk.

A source said: “I’m glad to see Duncan enjoying himself with his wife but there is a time and a place for this. To be openly seen living the high life while the country is locked in a pandemic and he has had to close some of his businesses is beyond belief.” The pair set off earlier this month, when they took a friend’s private jet to Gibraltar.

Duncan said he was forced to furlough 2,500 staff

On the same day they posted on Instagram: “It’s our anniversary.”

After a week of fine dining with pals and a trip on a luxury yacht they jetted off to Monaco, where they ate at Cipriani restaurant in Monte Carlo and indulged in shopping sprees at designer stores before heading home to Portugal.

A spokesman denied the trip was lavish, and said they had hitched a ride on a pal’s private jet and boat and stayed in their own apartment in Monaco.

Duncan is married to wife Nigora Whitehorn

They added: “Duncan has taken no remuneration or expenses from his company in 2020. He has given the company a £5m loan and waived his right to a £6m dividend.

“He has worked hard and invested substantial sums to ensure his health club business can survive the pandemic and will deliver a great experience to its members.”

Duncan previously hit out at
celebrities such as Richard Branson who used taxpayers’ money to bail out businesses.


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