Dragon's Den's Duncan Bannatyne, 75, nearly dies on horror Mexico trip with wife, 44

Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne had a near-death experience during a holiday in Mexico, all thanks to a dragonfly bite. The 75 year old businessman was left in a critical condition after suffering a severe allergic reaction to the insect bite.

"I almost died in Mexico, just a few weeks ago," he shared with BBC Radio 4’s The Bottom Line: The Decisions That Made Me A Leader, available now on BBC Sounds. "I got this infection in my hand. It was a bite and it's swelling. There were seven couples and a woman said 'you have to get a doctor'."

Duncan was on the trip with his wife Nigora, 44, who immediately called for medical help. He added: "I lay on the bed and he says he's going to give me an injection because it's a dragonfly. He injected me into my hip and I turn on my back."

"I was lying there, he was talking to my wife and I had this dryness come up through my oesophagus. I was so dry and I couldn't speak. And my heart started - bump, bump bump bump bump, bump, bump."

Duncan opened up on his near-death experience
Duncan opened up on his near-death experience -Credit: Getty

In a state of panic, he managed to alert the doctor who was still present in the room. Thankfully, the doctor knew exactly what was happening and administered another injection which alleviated the symptoms.

This terrifying incident has made Duncan reflect on his own mortality and led him to make a decision he admits he's "obsessed with" writing a will as he wants to "put plans in place."

Regardless of the money Duncan leaves behind, there's no denying it's a significant amount and with six children and several grandchildren, he has plenty of options for distributing it.

Duncan was first married to Gail Brodie in 1983 and they had four children together, Hollie, Abigail, Jennifer and Eve before parting ways in 1994. With his second wife Joanne McCue, he had another two children, Emily and Thomas before their marriage ended.

The Dragon's Den star then met his current wife, Nigora, a former translator from Uzbekistan, in June 2015 at a London dental surgery where she was working and he was getting some dental work done. With his vast wealth, Duncan has recently started considering philanthropy.

The businessman was an original Dragon on Dragons' Den
Duncan said he is 'obsessed' with making a will

"We're starting to think about it now," he shared. "I was talking to my wife. We'll do medical missions with Operation Smile who operate on about 25 children with cleft, so I'll fund a mission."

He believes the impact of such missions is immense: "It's amazing. For about £1,000, it changes the whole family's life, you know, because there are countries where the children are hidden away."