Duncan Bannatyne's ice cream career

Duncan Bannatyne began his business career by saving up for a £450 ice cream van, in which he was ''threatened'' and ''attacked''

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Duncan Bannatyne began his business career by saving up for a £450 ice cream van.

The 'Dragons' Den' tycoon - who is now estimated to be worth more than £400 million - explained while he was "threatened" and "attacked" during his time in the ice cream industry, by the time he sold his fleet of six vans in the 80s his initial investment was worth £28,000.

He said: "I saved up £450 to buy my first ice-cream van, which I worked in myself, 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The ice-cream business used to be notoriously tough, with rival companies sometimes muscling in, even attacking you.

"I was threatened a few times, and there were some punches thrown, but I knew I could defend myself and they mostly left me alone. I had six vans by the time I sold up in the Eighties for £28,000."

Despite being considered as the Mr. Nasty of 'Dragons' Den', Duncan admits he often cries in front of the TV.

He added to Live magazine: "People say I'm the 'nasty dragon', but that's just business. At home, I cry watching TV programmes like everybody else."

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