Kelly Hoppen: five things you might not know about Dragon

Feb 19, 2013

Designer and stepmother of Sienna Miller was a phone-hacking victim and her services don't come cheap

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Kelly Hoppen

INTERIOR designer Kelly Hoppen is set to join the panel of the BBC2 show Dragons' Den. Her appointment comes after both Theo Paphitis and Hilary Devey left the hit business programme. Here are five things you might not know about the colourful 53-year-old:

She Makes Beige Exciting: Hoppen, who runs a design school and her own firm, is famed for her use of neutral colours. She told the London Evening Standard last year: "If you look up taupe on Wikipedia, my name comes up." She jokes that her MBE, awarded in 2009 for service to design, stands for 'Makes Beige Exciting'.

Her ex-husband joined a cult: In a 2006 interview, Hoppen claimed her marriage to Ed Miller broke down after he joined an unnamed religious cult, the Daily Mail notes. The former investment banker and father of actress Sienna Miller reportedly now lives in the Virgin Isles. Hoppen said she attempted to salvage her marriage by going to the initiation ceremony, but was assaulted by the cult's leader. "When he reached me the leader said, 'I've been waiting so long to meet you.' I gave him the flower and he hugged me very hard," she revealed. "He hit me first with a peacock feather then with his hand. The blow was so strong that I fell backwards and hit my head on a banister."

She broke the news of Sienna's pregnancy: Hoppen remains close to stepdaughters Sienna and Savannah Miller, confirming to the press the actress and her boyfriend Tom Sturridge were expecting a baby in January 2012. Hoppen also has a daughter, author Natasha Corrett, from her first marriage.

She was a hacking victim: Hoppen was one of the first phone-hacking victims to pursue News International in the courts, sharing a lawyer with Sienna. She won £60,0000 in damages in 2011. The South African-born designer, who dated footballer Sol Campbell in 2004, told the Standard that the tabloids were fixated on her ex, adding, "I used to read the News of the World and laugh until then."

You can’t afford her: According to the Daily Telegraph, Hoppen began her career at the age of 17 when she designed a bachelor pad for actor Martin Shaw. Her clients include David and Victoria Beckham, and the paper claims, "The cheapest job she's ever done was for £300,000."

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