my jam company is now worth £2m and it was the best thing I ever did

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DRAGONS' Den businesswoman Rachel Kettlewell thought she’d struck gold on the show when she got a huge offer.

However, she has explained that she later didn’t accept the deal to sell a slice of jam firm Fearne & Rosie.

3 Rachel Kettlewell went on Dragon’s Den- but didn’t accept the deal in the end Credit: Twitter

3 She was given an offer of £40,000 but decided not to proceed off-camera

However, the firm went on to rocket anyway and is now accepting smaller investments from fans of the brand.

Vitamin mogul Tej Lalvani, 47, who bowed out of the show this series, offered Rachel £40,000 for 35 per cent of the business - or 30 per cent if he got his money back quickly.

Speaking to the Express, Rachel said: “I held it together until Tej said he would like to make an offer.

“At that point, I just burst into tears because it was such an emotional experience.”

However, she later decided not to go ahead with it - saying the jam firm took off after appearing on Dragons' Den.

She explained: “We just didn’t do the deal because it wasn’t the right deal for the business. We grew an awful lot quite quickly after the show.”

The jam specialist impressed the panel in the show last year when she told them: “My name’s Rachel and I’m here today to ask for £40,000 in return for 20 per cent of my business.

“I’m a teacher who whilst on maternity leave with Fearne and Rosie and then George developed and launched a range of reduced-sugar jams and no added sugar sauces.

“I spent a year at home developing recipes before launching in February 2018.

“Unbelievably within a few months of being out in the big wide world we launched nationwide into 152 Waitrose stores.

“We’ve also managed to secure a local listing with Morrisons, we sell online and we met with Ocado earlier this year who are also keen to stock our products.”

Today the brand is now valued at £2million, and is listed in a string of major retailers.

‘Dragons’ Den’ star Sara Davies: ‘I’ve really gone for it in the new series!’

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Sara Davies had a ball on Strictly Come Dancing 2021, but this week she’s back in the world of business as BBC1’s popular reality show Dragons’ Den opens its doors for a 19th series.

County Durham-born Sara founded her own company, Crafter’s Companion, while she was studying for a business degree at York University. After becoming a Dragon in the 17th series in 2019, she will rejoin fellow returnees Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Touker Suleyman on the panel of investors.

And, following the departure of Tej Lalvani, there is also a new face in the Den as Steven Bartlett, 29, who co-founded social media marketing agency Social Chain when he was just 20, becomes the show’s youngest-ever Dragon.

Here, Sara, 37, reveals all about returning to the Den, having a newfound confidence, the new Dragon, and life after Strictly…

Sara and her fellow Dragons, Touker Suleyman, Deborah Meaden, Steven Bartlett and Peter Jones. (Image credit: BBC)

This is your third series in the Den, how have you found it?

It was really different for me this year, and I think it was because I wasn’t the new kid on the block anymore. I used to sit in the Den thinking the entrepreneurs didn’t know anything about me, but this time I could tell they knew all about me and what I could bring to their business. I felt on more of a level playing field with the other Dragons than I had felt in previous years.

I think it gave me a little bit of extra inner confidence. The producers even commented a few times, saying ‘You’ve really gone for it on some of these pitches!’ When there’s been something that I’ve really wanted to win, I’ve really gone for it, which I think it is a result of that inner confidence that has come with being a few years in.

Sara’s fellow Dragon, Peter Jones. (Image credit: BBC)

What is the standard of pitches like this time round?

The calibre of businesses we have had in the Den this year has been exceptional. We see about 100 pitches in a series and only a handful are usually A-star, but there were a lot more of them this year, so there were often times when all five of us were fighting to invest in a business. You see a lot more of that this time around!

I think it’s really great when you get those sort of pitches and the atmosphere changes in the Den. Instead of the entrepreneurs trying to sell their idea, the tables sort of turn and all five Dragons are trying to endear themselves to the entrepreneurs and convince them to pick them. It can get a little bit brutal if I’m honest!

What do you think Steven brings to the panel?

Steven comes from a world that is social-media-focused and dominated by other young people, so he’s used to doing business in an environment with those younger people. It felt like he brought a whole different vision and insight.

Steven Bartlett is the newest and youngest-ever Dragon. (Image credit: BBC)

Did you offer him any advice about becoming a Dragon?

When I joined the show [in 2019], the other Dragons were outstanding in the way they mentored me through that process. That was really humbling and I wanted to make sure I did the same for Steven. I remember how nerve-racking my first morning was, so we went for dinner the night before so he wouldn’t feel as nervous as I did.

Steven will be the first Dragon not to wear business attire, what do you think of that?

He has come in and said, ‘We’re not in the traditional business world now, we’re in the modern business world and this is how modern business is done. It’s okay to do business dressed like this.’ I think that was a really different dynamic and probably really spoke to a lot of the entrepreneurs who were pitching in the Den.

Sara with her ‘Strictly’ partner Aljaz Skorjanec. (Image credit: BBC)

How did filming this series fit in with tripping the light fantastic on ‘Strictly’?

We filmed this series in the summer, so it was all finished before there was any talk about doing Strictly. Some of the other celebrities were filming things during Strictly and it seemed like a pretty grueling schedule, so I was pleased we had Dragons’ Den in the can.

Sara Davies performing with Aljaz Skorjanec in ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ (Image credit: BBC)

You and Deborah have both competed on ‘Strictly’, do you think we will see any other Dragons take to the floor?

I’ve always loved the show but it was Deborah [who took part in 2013] talking so fondly about her time on the show that made me want to do it. The others would say to Deborah, ‘I don’t know how on earth you could fit that in with your investment portfolio and all the work that goes with that.’ None of them seemed overly keen, but you never know!

Sara and co-Dragon Deborah Meaden have both appeared on ‘Strictly’. (Image credit: BBC)

How would you react if an entrepreneur pitched a dance-based business to you now?

I am in! I loved dancing before Strictly, but I love it 10 times more now, so bring on the dancing pitches!

The 19th series of Dragons' Den begins on Thursday, Jan. 6 on BBC1 at 8.00pm.

Moment masked raiders stole drones worth £140,000 from Dragons' Den contestant’s firm

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A Dragons' Den contestant who had investors trading verbal blows in a bid to get a share of his business has been targeted in a ‘soul-destroying’ £140,000 burglary.

Drone shop owner Mark Boyt gave up 40 per cent of his company to secure a £60,000 investment from ‘Dragon’ Peter Jones during a 2018 appearance on the popular BBC show.

But the 45-year-old businessman, whose drone firm is based in Chichester, West Sussex, has now suffered a major ‘setback’ after being targeted by masked raiders.

The Nike-wearing burglars cut through a fence before breaking down the door to his shop during a three minute smash-and-grab on December 28.

The pair made off with 18 high-tech drones, mini drones, two cameras, goggles and accessories - said to be worth ‘well over’ £100,000 - in a Jewson branded bag.

Gutted Mr Boyt, who is the CEO and founder of Drone Safe Register and Drone Safe Store, said many customers' Boxing Day orders were stolen by the thieves.

‘It was all very targeted,’ he said.

‘We have worked so hard to build our business and sadly we’ve had to disappoint customers whose Boxing Day orders have been stolen.

The Nike-wearing burglars cut through a fence before breaking down the door to his shop during a three minute smash-and-grab at Mr Boyt’s Chichester-based firm on December 28

Gutted Mr Boyt, who is the CEO and founder of Drone Safe Register and Drone Safe Store, said many customers’ Boxing Day orders were stolen by the thieves

‘We’ve worked night and day to build the UK’s fastest-growing and highest-rated drone store and to see that hard work tarnished in a matter of minutes is soul-destroying.’

However Mr Boyt said his business, which started as an online register of approved drone pilots and expanded to include a drone store, remained open despite the burglary.

‘We’re proud to say that despite this setback, the Drone Safe Store is still open for business and we look forward to serving you and doing what we do best.

How Mark Boyt won investment for his firm Drone Safe Register on BBC’s Dragons’ Den In 2018 Mark Boyt appeared on BBC show Dragons' Den seeking a £60,000 investment to expand his business. He immediately got the attention of the Dragons with an unusual entrance - flying one of his drones into the studio. Mr Boyt then followed up with an explanation of his business during a short pitch to the Dragons. He asked for a £60,000 investment for a 20 per cent stake in his business. But after talking out the numbers, Touker Suleyman, who admitted ‘I know nothing about drones’, pulled out. Stalwart ‘Dragon’ Deborah Meaden, who also said she was ‘not a drone enthusiast’, followed suit and announced she would not be investing. Businessman Peter Jones offered up the £60,000 for 50 per cent of his investment and the promise of making him ‘a wealthy man’. But Jones was challenged by fellow dragons Tej Lalvani and Jenny Campbell, who offered the same money but for a smaller chunk of Mr Boyt’s business. It led to a row between the competing Dragons, with Jones' claim that his backing would be ‘immeasurably different’ being described as ‘all bluster’ by Campbell. Lavlani meanwhile said he could build Mr Boyt’s brand ‘quicker’, leading Jones to reply: ‘Of course you can’t’. In the end, Mr Boyt accepted Jones offer, after knocking him down to a 40 per cent share of his business. But the 55-year-old, who made his first millions in the telecoms industry and is now said to be worth around £450million, is no longer involved in Mr Boyt’s business. Advertisement

‘I want to personally thank Drone Safe Register members during this troubling time for all the help and support they have offered to help track down these missing drones.

‘We are working with the manufacturer to publish all of the product’s serial numbers and are urging the public to remain vigilant for any cheap DJI drones being offered.

‘We will be offering a substantial reward for any information that leads to the identification of and arrest of the two thieves spotted in the CCTV footage.’

He added: ‘It’s pretty pointless for the thieves, the drones are unsellable, it’s a complete waste of time for them.

‘Every single drone operator knows these drones. We’re extremely hopeful they’ll be caught.’

The firm’s alarm was triggered just after midnight on December 28.

Two masked raiders were captured on the building’s CCTV surveillance system in all-black tracksuits, carrying a blue Jewson branded concrete mixing bag.

Both burglars were wearing Nike trainers and Nike jogging bottoms.

The two burglars forced their way into the building after damaging an outer wire fence, before rushing through the building, heading directly towards the Drone Safe Store on the first floor.

Once at the door, the thieves used brute force to smash the frame before escaping through the fire door in the direction of the nearby train tracks..

Police arrived at Basepoint Enterprise Centre within six minutes and officers even put their own drone above the scene to try to track down the burglars, but the two men had already fled the area.

Items stolen included DJI’s new Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo, worth over £4,000, as well as Mavic 3 Fly More Kits, individual Mavic 3s and DJI Mini 2s.

In total the products’ value equates to more than £140,000 worth of tech.

Tom Boyt, manager of Drone Safe Store and son of Mark, said; ‘It’s soul-destroying to see what has happened. Doing this to a family run business at Christmas time is despicable.

‘We’ve tried so hard in the past 18 months to educate the general public on the benefits of drones and the legalities of drone flying.

‘So despite this setback, we will continue to be open for business. Stolen goods are often sold via Facebook Marketplace, we’re urging everyone to stay vigilant.

‘These drones are worth thousands of pounds each and could be found anywhere in the country by now.’

Police meanwhile have issued an appeal for information in a bid to help trace the two men pictured in the CCTV.

Detective Inspector Pauline Lane, of Sussex Police’s Coastal CID, said: ‘This was a significant burglary that has had a devastating impact on the victims.

‘A full investigation is ongoing and we would ask anybody who recognises the people in this picture, saw anything suspicious in the area around the time of the offence or has relevant dash-cam footage to contact police.’

Mr Boyt set up Drone Safe Register in 2015 as a UK network of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved drone pilots who could be hired through the company.

In 2018 he appeared on BBC show Dragons’ Den seeking a £60,000 investment to expand his business.

In 2018, Mr Boyt appeared on BBC show Dragons’ Den (pictured) seeking a £60,000 investment to expand his business

In the end, Mr Boyt accepted Peter Jones’ offer (pictured: The pair shake hands), but only after knocking him down to a 40 per cent share of his business.

Businessman Peter Jones offered up the money for 50 per cent of his investment and the promise of making him ‘quite a wealthy man’.

But he was challenged by fellow dragons Tej Lalvani and Jenny Campbell, who offered the same money but for a smaller chunk of his business.

It led to a row between the competing Dragons, with Jones’ claim that his backing would be ‘immeasurably different’ being described as ‘all bluster’ by Campbell.

Lavlani meanwhile said he could build Mr Boyt’s brand ‘quicker’, leading Jones to reply: ‘Of course you can’t’.

In the end, Mr Boyt accepted Jones’ offer, but only after knocking him down to a 40 per cent share of his business.

But the 55-year-old, who made his first millions in the telecoms industry and is now said to be worth around £450million, is no longer involved in Mr Boyt’s business.

Anyone with information about the burglary can contact Sussex Police online or by calling 101, quoting serial 0008 of 28/12.

BBC Dragons’ Den: How much is Deborah Meaden worth?

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Businesswoman and entrepreneur Deborah Meaden is a very familiar face on Dragons' Den having appeared on the series since 2006.

The only female Dragon on the panel until 2011, Deborah made her millions from family holiday businesses and leisure and retail businesses.

You can read more Showbiz news here.

According to Spear’s magazine, her net worth is a massive £40 million and she has invested over £3 million into people and ideas on Dragon’s Den.

During her time on the show, she has invested in businesses such as Yee Kwan Ice Cream and Dock and Bay, quick-drying beach and travel towels.

Deborah started out in business aged just 19 when she moved to Italy and set up a glass and ceramics export agency that had some high profile customers like Harvey Nichols.

However, the company failed after 18 months and Deborah returned back to the UK where she and a business partner brought a Stefanel textile franchise.

After this she had many successful leisure and retail businesses including operating Prize Bingo at Butlins in Minehead.

Her biggest business move was joining Weststar Holidays, a family holiday park operator. After six years the company had grown to earn £11 million a year.

Deborah then returned to textiles and created The Merchant Fox, an online store selling British luxury goods.

The business queen also took part in the 2013 series of Strictly Come Dancing where she made it to week five. She is currently married, with no children.

To get the latest What’s On newsletters from WalesOnline, click here

Dragon’s Den’s Steven Bartlett defends Molly-Mae Hague after her ‘tone deaf’ remarks on poverty

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Dragon’s Den star Steven Bartlett has defended Molly-Mae Hague after she was ‘crucified’ over her controversial comments on wealth inequality and poverty on his podcast.

A clip of the 22-year-old influencer’s December interview on The Diary of a CEO went viral this week, with her comments that she has ‘worked my a**e off’ for her wealth and that ‘everyone has the same 24 hours in a day’ to achieve sparking a backlash.

And entrepreneur Stephen, 29, who interviewed Molly, waded into the debate, suggesting the backlash was a result of sexism as he called out the ‘double standard that successful women face’ from critics.

Defence: Dragon’s Den star Steven Bartlett has defended Molly-Mae Hague after she was ‘crucified’ over her controversial comments on wealth inequality and poverty on his podcast

Taking to Twitter on Friday he wrote: ‘Molly Mae did an interview on my podcast, yesterday a soundbite from that interview went viral, she trended No.1 on Twitter, every newspaper covered it and MP’s weighed in.

‘I’ve had male guests say what she said. No-one cared. But when Molly says it, she’s crucified? Crazy.’

He continued: ‘I have become aware of the double standard that successful women face.

Speaking up: entrepreneur Stephen, 29, who interviewed Molly, waded into the debate, suggesting the backlash was a result of sexism as he called out the ‘double standard that successful women face’ from critics

‘If I interview a man he can brag about money, take full credit for his success and talk about his cars?

‘If I interview a successful woman, she’s got to tip toe around her success and watch her words.’

Stephen, who recently replaced Tej Lalvani on Dragon’s Den then added: ‘Gender issues aside, the standard we hold Molly Mae to as a 22 year-old that’s figuring out the world is absolutely outrageous.

‘She once said she didn’t like Italian food, it trended No.1 all day, was written about in every newspaper and she had to issue a public apology. 22.’

Double standards? Taking to Twitter on Friday, the Dragon’s Den star claimed none of his male guests who have said similar things have faced such a backlash

Molly recently broke her silence after being slammed over ‘tone deaf’ comments during the interview.

Molly appeared on Love Island in 2019 and last year was named the creative director of clothing brand PrettyLittleThing, a title with a seven-figure salary.

After her comments went viral, footage also resurfaced of the star being left horrified after being asked to work a 12-hour shift in the PLT warehouse in order to experience what goes on behind the scenes.

A spokesman for the star told MailOnline that Molly acknowledges that people ‘are raised in different ways’ and ‘from different backgrounds’ and that she never meant to offend.

Statement: Molly recently broke her silence after being slammed over ‘tone deaf’ comments she made about wealth inequality during a recent interview on The Diary of a CEO (pictured)

A statement read: ‘Molly did a podcast interview in December about her own rise to success. If you listen to the full conversation and interview Molly was asked about how the nature of her potential grows and how she believes in herself.

‘This part of the interview was discussing time efficiency relating to success. Molly refers to a quote which says “We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce”.

‘She was discussing her own experience and how she can resonate with this specific quote. Her opinion on if you want something enough you can work hard to achieve it is how she keeps determined with her own work to achieve more in her own life.

‘Molly is not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation she can only speak of her own experience.

Awkward: After her comments went viral, footage also resurfaced of the star being left horrified after being asked to work a 12-hour shift in the PLT warehouse

‘She acknowledges that everyone is raised in different ways and from different backgrounds but her comments here are in reference to timing, hard work and determination in her own life.’

‘If you listen to this interview you can see the whole conversation was about her own personal circumstances, how she has grown up and this small clip in the conversation was talking about a quote that inspires her.

Social media users have shared a short snippet from this interview with words such as ‘if you are homeless buy a house’ and “if you are poor be poor” these are absolutely not Molly’s words, these are not Molly’s thoughts and this isn’t at all the meaning or thought behind that conversation’.

Love Island star: A clip of her December interview went viral this week, with Molly’s comments that she has ‘worked my a**e off’ for her wealth and that ‘everyone has the same 24 hours in a day’ to achieve sparking a backlash

Molly’s statement came as footage resurfaced of the star left flabbergasted after being asked to work a 12-hour shift.

The PLT creative director spent the evening in the warehouse while filming for her YouTube channel.

In the clip, Molly checks the time she is due to work with the warehouse staff before exclaiming: ‘I’m on the 2-10, but it’s actually quarter to one so I’m doing the one ‘til one, oh it’s 12 hours…’

Gasping in shock, she adds: ‘I’ll be on the floor like this by one am, Jesus.’

Backlash: A spokesman for the star told MailOnline that Molly acknowledges that people ‘are raised in different ways’ and ‘from different backgrounds’ and that she never meant to offend

Molly’s recent interview prompted uncharitable comparisons to the late Margaret Thatcher.

Molly, who boasts six million Instagram followers and 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, made the comments on the YouTube series The Diary of a CEO.

While the interview was first shared on YouTube on December 13, a clip from the episode went viral on Wednesday when it was shared on Twitter.

In the clip, Molly says: ‘You’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it. You can literally go in any direction.

‘When I’ve spoken about that in the past I have been slammed a little bit, with people saying ‘it’s easy for you to say that because you’ve not grown up in poverty, so for you to sit there and say we all have the same 24 hours in a day is not correct.’ But, technically, what I’m saying is correct. We do.’

Not impressed: Molly’s statement came as footage resurfaced of the star left flabbergasted after being asked to work a 12-hour shift

She went on: ‘I understand we all have different backgrounds and we’re all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations, but I think if you want something enough you can achieve it.

‘It just depends on what lengths you want to go to get where you want to be in the future. And I’ll go to any length.’

She then added: ‘I’ve worked my absolute a**e off to get where I am now.’

The clip was shared on Twitter by @tsrbys under the comment ‘If you’re homeless just buy a house,’ and has been ‘liked’ 28.6k times.

Reality star roots: The social media star appeared on Love Island in 2019 and last year nabbed a seven-figure salary after becoming the creative director of PrettyLittleThing

Slammed: One fan tweeted: ‘She literally just went on a TV dating show and got brand deals, I’m not sure she ‘worked here a**e off’’

Among the comments in response was: ‘I should’ve put molly mae being margaret thatcher with a fake tan on my 2022 bingo card,’ with others labelling her ‘a Thatcherite.’

One fan tweeted: ‘She literally just went on a TV dating show and got brand deals, I’m not sure she ‘worked here a**e off’.’

‘Her immaturity is showing. If you come from a place of privilege you should work extra hard to educate yourself on the hardships of others,’ another added.

‘Worked her a** off. of I go to do my 12 hour shift to put a roof over mine and my sons head I should of thought of this but dont think Love Island would accept 48yo, size 14 single mums,’ another follower tweeted.

Criticism: The clip was shared on Twitter by @tsrbys under the comment ‘If you’re homeless just buy a house,’ and has been ‘liked’ 28.6k times

‘I dare Molly Mae to tell some of the UK’s lowest paid workers that they’re less hard working that someone who takes Instagram photos for a living,’ agreed another commenter.

‘Hustle culture and the effects of pretty privilege are exhausting.’

Some showed their support for the reality star, with one fan writing: ‘Of course this is a stupid comment, but I do feel like she’s been hung out to dry a bit here. The podcast was called ‘The Diary of a CEO’, where I think she felt the need to say inspiring things like ‘follow your dreams’ and ‘you can do anything’. It’s tonedeaf, not malicious.’

Another tweeted: ‘People saying she needs to know about the background of those less fortunate. Life comes at you in different ways. What she is saying is that everyone has the same potential and you can get to the same places with or without money. Yes one is harder but you can get there.’

Backlash: ‘Worked her a** off. of I go to do my 12 hour shift to put a roof over mine and my son’s head’ tweeted one furious commenter

The influencer also had her Wikipedia page tampered with as a result of being branded ‘Margaret Thatcher with a fake tan’ by angry fans on Twitter.

The new entry read: ‘Molly-Mae Thatcher (born 26 May 1999) is an English social-media influencer. She is best known for being getting her s***ch out on the fifth series of Love Island and for having worked harder than anyone less successful than her.

Under the ‘controversy’ section of her page, the entry was updated to read: ‘For many, it showed tone-deaf insolence and an obnoxious sense of ignorance, especially in a time where there is an unprecedented use of food banks and an electricity/gas crisis, exacerbate the issue of roughly 1 in 5 in the UK living in poverty.’

Support: Molly-Mae also found an ally in the form of Small Business MP Paul Scully, with the Conservative minister, 53, stating ‘an aspirational approach to life is no bad thing’

While Molly-Mae has had her fair share of critics, the reality star has found an ally in the form of Small Business MP Paul Scully.

The Conservative minister, 53, waded into the row on Friday, stating ‘an aspirational approach to life is no bad thing.’

Asked if her comments were fair, Paul told LBC: ‘I think it is, but I think you’ve got to define success, because some of the comments that I was hearing in the lead up to my piece on this was about money, but success doesn’t necessarily equal money.

‘It can be, you know, furthering your job, whether it’s in public service or whatever.

‘And I think an aspirational approach to life is no bad thing. What we’ve got to make sure, though, is that opportunity is equally distributed around the country.

‘And that’s why the levelling up agenda that we often talk about in government is so, so important to make sure that those 24 hours can be matched by the opportunities by education and business across the country.’

Support: Some showed their support for the reality star, with one fan writing: ‘Of course this is a stupid comment, but I do feel like she’s been hung out to dry a bit here’

Molly-Mae’s father Stephen also spoke out in her defence, sharing a lengthy post in which he reflected on the storm surrounding his daughter and also the backlash faced by fellow influencer Elle Darby who lost more than 100,000 followers and was dropped by her management after racist tweets she sent as a teenager emerged.

Elle, 26, from Wiltshire, who launched her own clothing brand on the back of her success as a social media star, sent tweets where she called foreigners ‘meatheads’ who ‘speak in grunts’, and said she ‘hates Polish people and Indians’.

The tweets, sent in 2011, emerged last week. Her boyfriend of seven years Connor Swift also posted racist tweets in 2012 including one that said: ‘Looking like a black man after work, through all the dust I collected’.

Speaking out: Molly-Mae’s father Stephen also spoke out in her defence, sharing a lengthy post in which he reflected on the storm surrounding his daughter

In his post, Stephen stated: ‘It must be tough for the media stars, influencers and public figures. Especially the younger ones who are still learning the emotional rollercoaster of life.

‘It hurts me to see people literally driven to death by cruel comments of people who don’t know the individuals and hide behind a keyboard often on fake accounts, cancelling someone for something 5,6,7 or 10 years ago, when a child is profoundly naïve and shows a real lack of emotional intelligence.’

He added: ‘Then attacking people for a sentence made as part of an interview taken out of context – I wouldn’t mind but the CEO of Netflix appeared on a podcast called “the same 24hrs” on which many well respected business leaders have appeared – not attacked or cancelled.

‘I think the context of Molly’s words fit better with the title of that podcast “we all have the same 24 hours in every day. But it’s how we USE those 24 hours that makes the difference in our health, happiness and success” – but what do I know.’

Fallout: Stephen also referenced the backlash faced by influencer Elle Darby (pictured) who lost more than 100,000 followers after racist tweets she sent as a teenager emerged

Resurfaced: Elle has apologised in a three-minute video for the tweets, saying she feels ashamed of her historic posts, adding that she wants to ‘take responsibility’ for her actions’

Carol McGiffin also waded into the row, defending the influencer’s statements on GB News, as she reasoned: ‘I couldn’t find anything wrong with what she was saying. I think she was perfectly reasonable in saying if you want something, go and get it.

‘I think the people she’s appealing to, however, are the people who think the world owes them a living and they don’t really want to go out there and work for it.

‘Anybody who sits there and says to anyone, “oh it’s alright for you”, that’s just such a get out. It’s not good enough. You have to get up and do it yourself.

‘Lots of people come from poverty and do really well in life. If you want to, you can do it and that’s all she’s saying.’

She added on Friday’s Loose Women that she believes the anger from the public also comes from the fact that they don’t view Molly-Mae’s career as a ‘proper job.’

Carol explained: ‘I’m saying it’s hard work. It’s well paid, but it’s not a real job and it’s very glamorous and the thing is, a lot of kids now think, “That’s what I want, nothing else will do.” And if they can’t make it, it’s like, well let’s take it out on someone who has made it. And that’s wrong.’

Defence: Carol McGiffin also waded into the row as she reasoned: ‘I couldn’t find anything wrong with what she was saying. I think she was perfectly reasonable’

In an interview with MailOnline last year, Molly-Mae insisted that she thinks she’d be just as successful without taking part in Love Island in 2019.

The social media star told MailOnline: ‘The things that I’ve achieved since coming out of that show aren’t really down to the show they’re more down to my drive and ambition to do big things.’

Molly Mae explained: ‘I always say don’t bite the hand that feeds you but also respect that I’ve obviously worked so hard to get where I am now… I always had big goals and I set myself huge dreams.

‘Everybody when they come out of that show is given the same opportunities - we all have the same 24 hours in the day - and where you take your life when you come out of a show like that is totally dependent on who you are as a person.’

Social media star: Molly, who boasts six million Instagram followers and 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, made the comments on the YouTube series The Diary of a CEO

The reality star revealed she had actually been warned against going on Love Island by advisors as her social media following was already growing organically at a ‘rapid rate’ and had been spotted by multiple brands - including PrettyLittleThing.

‘It was more a fun opportunity where I thought let’s just see where this goes and I might actually find a guy… I think, it pushed me in the right direction but I would have still done good things,’ Molly reflected.

When asked where her ambition to keep striving comes from, Molly joked: ‘Pushy parents!’

She added: ‘I had my first job when I was thirteen in a hairdressers sweeping the floor. I’ve always had that hunger to earn my own money and be a bit of a business woman.’

Busy: Molly’s seven figure deal with PrettyLittleThing to become their new Creative Director was announced last August

It was announced in May 2021 that the reality star is a millionaire after earning over £500,000 in a year through lucrative brand deals and YouTube videos.

In addition to her jaw-dropping earnings, she reportedly also has £786,959 worth of assets which includes £777,179 in cash reserves.

Molly admitted: ‘There’s always the desire to want more from life. I just think you’re only given one life so you might as well pull as much from it as you can.’

Molly’s seven figure deal with PrettyLittleThing to become their new Creative Director was announced last August.

Of her new role, the elated star gushed: ‘I always wanted to work in fashion. I studied fashion in London for two years at a fashion school when all my friends were doing 6th form because I had a really clear vision of where I wanted to go. But this is just huge.

‘It was a shock that PLT’s CEO Umar [Kamani] was trusting me with such a huge role within the brand. He just trusted my creative input and my thoughts and ideas. That is such an honour. The opportunities are endless.’