Theo Paphitis, owner of the Ryman stationery shops and star of Dragons’ Den, has decided to leave the BBC TV series to concentrate on his growing retail businesses.

Paphitis, who owns Boux Avenue, Robert Dyas and Ryman will leave the BBC series after nine years as a Dragon.

In a statement, Paphitis said: “This has not been an easy decision or one that I have taken lightly, but with the workload involved in growing my exciting, successful new lingerie brand Boux Avenue both in the UK and internationally, along with my recent purchase of the Robert Dyas retail chain and the running of the 240 Ryman stationery shops, the time felt right to give up my seat, stop breathing fire and allow someone else to enjoy the wonderful experience of being a Dragon.”

He also thanked the BBC for allowing him to take part in the show and wished the Dragons good luck.

Paphitis has been a key figure on the TV show, in which start-up businesses get the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of five entrepreneurs, or Dragons.

On the show, he worked alongside Peter Jones who last week bought the collapsed Jessops brand out of administration.