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BBC Dragons’ Den embroiled in ‘fakery’ row as star claims show RECRUITED her amid ‘damaging’ pitch backlash


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Business owner Giselle Boxer has claimed Dragons’ Den bosses at the BBC “recruited” her to appear on the show following days of fury over her pitch on last week’s episode.

The 31-year-old pitched to the Dragons her business, Acu Seeds, and asked for £50,000 for a 10 percent stake in her business.

The business sells needle-free acupuncture kits for ears which Boxer claimed helped her recover from ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis).

Since the episode – which starred guest judge Gary Neville – Boxer and the BBC has been accused of “minimising” the effects of ME as well as promoting an “extremely harmful narrative” around the illness.

ME is a debilitating chronic illness that can cause life-changing fatigue, muscle and joint pain, brain fog, migraines and headaches among other symptoms.

Following the fury from viewers, charities and campaigners, Boxer has spoken out and claimed the Beeb recruited her for the show to seek investment in her brand.

Giselle Boxer

Dragons’ Den ‘fakery’ row: Giselle Boxer pitched her business to the Dragons last week


Defending her business and insisting she didn’t apply for the show, she told the Mirror: “Funnily enough they [the BBC] contacted me and I received an email from a researcher there and I initially thought it was a spam email.

“We went through the different stages of the application process and there was so much due diligence and they really looked into every part of my business before I went in to pitch to the Dragons.”

Using the Acu Seeds Instagram account, Boxer also hit back at the “trolls” who’ve targeted her since she appeared on the BBC show: “Saying my bit. I have NEVER said that ear seeds are a cure for M.E. I have ALWAYS said that M.E is a complex condition and that a combination of healing approaches is what I believed supported my recovery.

“I will NOT be told that I never had the condition. I was diagnosed by multiple M.E specialists in the UK. I was very unwell for 5 years (starting with the trigger in 2015). I finally got my life back in 2020.

Giselle Boxer's statement

Giselle Boxer Dragons’ Den fury: The Acu Seeds owner shared this statement on her page


“Before leaving a barrage of abuse on my page, please remember that I was once bed-bound, depressed, hopeless and angry with the world too. But not once did I take this anger out on any other human being, especially not someone who is just trying to help others feel better again.

“I’ve been through A LOT and have very thick skin but I can’t say that the online trolls aren’t affecting me, I am just a young woman who has built a business on my own from scratch, trying to juggle a toddler, whilst being 6 months pregnant. I am just trying to bring hope and wellbeing to other people. And for the 99% of people who are just showing me love and support. I APPRECIATE YOU.” (sic)

One such instance of criticism came from Dr Charles Shepherd, medical adviser for the ME Association, who wrote to the BBC and Advertising Standards Authority in opposition to the pitch.

He blasted: “The way in which Dragons’ Den has been used to promote an unproven treatment for ME has caused a great deal of upset and concern.

“People with ME are fed up with the way products like this are regularly being promoted when there is no sound evidence from proper placebo-controlled clinical trials to confirm that they are safe and effective.”

Steven Bartlett hugs Giselle Boxer

Acu Seeds investment: Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett hugs Giselle Boxer after agreeing to invest


In the episode, Dragon Steven Bartlett opted to pay £50,000 for a 12.5 percent stake in Acu Seeds and when he posted on X, formerly Twitter, about the investment, it quickly became clear viewers weren’t happy.

“Ear Seeds! She’s incredibly impressive. What are you thinking about Acuseeds? #DragonsDen,” Bartlett boasted only for one fan to hit back: “People have died of ME, have had their lives utterly destroyed by ME and we see ‘ear seeds’ being touted as an answer for it? Is this a joke?

“ME is a multisystem neuroimmune condition. Do these magic ear seeds also cure Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus too? How about Cancer?”

A second also fumed: “I’m thinking this episode minimises the severity of chronic illness, increases stigma, promotes misinformation, goes against patient experience, will have a knock on effect on funding desperately needed for biomed research & targets a vulnerable, v sick patient group. Congrats!”

And a third echoed: “Extremely harmful narrative around aiding recovery from M.E. Consider talking to @StripyLightCIC for accurate information. The ASA have taken action against similar holistic pseudoscience ‘cures’ or ‘aids’ to ‘recovery from M.E’ in the past.” (sic)

GB News has contacted the BBC for comment. A spokesperson previously told Digital Spy: “Dragons’ Den features products from entrepreneurs and is not an endorsement of them.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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