Dragon Duncan's ex-wife opens new gym near Bannatyne health club

The Northern Echo: Joanne Bannatyne, with Lee Howe and Chris Mason Joanne Bannatyne, with Lee Howe and Chris Mason

THE ex-wife of Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne has opened a new gym just round the corner from his health club.

Joanne Bannatyne, who divorced the Darlington-based self-made millionaire last year, has opened Crossfit Jacana on Belmont Industrial Estate, less than a mile from Bannatyne Health and Fitness.

It comes just months after Mrs Bannatyne took out a billboard-sized advert promoting her Darlington gym, Crossfit DL2, just yards from her ex-husband’s offices and health club on the town’s Haughton Road declaring: “Welcome Your New Neighbours”.

She said: “I was the managing director of Bannatyne’s Fitness for a long time.

“I don’t want to move outside the North-East.

“Durham has a big population and it’s an obvious place to come.

“This is an industrial estate and there aren’t many around Durham.”

She said the Crossfit offer was totally different to health clubs.

Mrs Bannatyne joined Crossfit Teesside as a member in April 2012 and then got involved in the business, opening Crossfit DL2 at the Darlington Arena, Crossfit Telic in Hartlepool and Crossfit 4th Ave in Gateshead.

The new branch is named after Operation Jacana, a coalition forces offensive in Afghanistan in 2002 of which Mrs Bannatyne’s business partner Lee Howe was part.

The gym will be run by Chris Mason, who as captain of non-league Spennymoor Town lifted the FA Vase at Wembley last May.

The formerly vacant industrial unit has been converted in just three weeks, following a “significant” investment and opened its doors for the first time on Monday, January 27, creating at least six new jobs.

Having met in 1994, Mr and Mrs Bannatyne wed in 2006 and have two children.

Following their divorce, Mr Bannatyne accused his ex-wife of being a gold digger.

In response, she said he was controlling and aggressive and accused him of having a midlife crisis which caused him to crave fame and become addicted to Twitter.

Mr Bannatyne’s estimated fortune plummeted from £430m in 2011 to £85m in 2012, which he blamed partly on divorce costs. He declined to comment on his ex-wife’s latest venture.

Membership at Crossfit Jacana costs £55 per month. For more information, visit crossfitjacana.com or call 07566-440044.

Comments (16)

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7:16am Fri 7 Feb 14

Jackaranda says...

"Having met in 1994, Mr and Mrs Bannatyne wed in 2006 and have two children.
Following their divorce, Mr Bannatyne accused his ex-wife of being a gold digger."

Well she wouldn't have married you had you been a Tesco twilight shift shelf stacker, so yes that possibly makes her a gold digger!!
"Having met in 1994, Mr and Mrs Bannatyne wed in 2006 and have two children. Following their divorce, Mr Bannatyne accused his ex-wife of being a gold digger." Well she wouldn't have married you had you been a Tesco twilight shift shelf stacker, so yes that possibly makes her a gold digger!! Jackaranda
  • Score: 24

10:24am Fri 7 Feb 14

cromwell1599 says...

Who cares ? It's not news, just free publicity.
Who cares ? It's not news, just free publicity. cromwell1599
  • Score: 26

11:28am Fri 7 Feb 14

PJ Chingford says...

I met a couple of people who do this fad, I found them to be narcissistic fitness bores. Eat a balanced diet don't smoke or drink too much and get regular exercise, it's not rocket science and you really don't need these so called experts, and at £50 a month it sounds like a complete rip-off.
I met a couple of people who do this fad, I found them to be narcissistic fitness bores. Eat a balanced diet don't smoke or drink too much and get regular exercise, it's not rocket science and you really don't need these so called experts, and at £50 a month it sounds like a complete rip-off. PJ Chingford
  • Score: 22

12:07pm Fri 7 Feb 14

DarloXman says...

£55/month - what a joke!

I've just joined a brand new gym in Stockton (upstairs to a well known supermarket) and it's cost me £109 for 12 months. Can't see why anyone would want to spend so much when the same is available so much cheaper.
£55/month - what a joke! I've just joined a brand new gym in Stockton (upstairs to a well known supermarket) and it's cost me £109 for 12 months. Can't see why anyone would want to spend so much when the same is available so much cheaper. DarloXman
  • Score: 21

12:36pm Fri 7 Feb 14

loan_star says...

Most companies have to pay substantial costs to get a mention in the paper, even when using an agency to get newspaper space you are not guaranteed to get the coverage you would like even after paying for it.
It seems if you are famous and can afford the extra costs to go in the paper they just do it for you for free!
Most companies have to pay substantial costs to get a mention in the paper, even when using an agency to get newspaper space you are not guaranteed to get the coverage you would like even after paying for it. It seems if you are famous and can afford the extra costs to go in the paper they just do it for you for free! loan_star
  • Score: 17

2:19pm Fri 7 Feb 14

hasanopinion says...

northern echo love this ex couple gives them something to write about. But again northern echo this is not news!
and just out of curiosity hands up all those who think we really need another gym in Darlington!?
northern echo love this ex couple gives them something to write about. But again northern echo this is not news! and just out of curiosity hands up all those who think we really need another gym in Darlington!? hasanopinion
  • Score: 17

3:58pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Garrie8516 says...

God luck to he and all that but no, we don't need another gym in Darlington. Is this the same Crossfit I see advertised on the Neasham Rd roundabout by the stadium? Crossfit is a fad and the harder the regime (and I can vouch that Crossfit is absolutely nails) then the less likely people will get their money's worth, especially if paying up front.
God luck to he and all that but no, we don't need another gym in Darlington. Is this the same Crossfit I see advertised on the Neasham Rd roundabout by the stadium? Crossfit is a fad and the harder the regime (and I can vouch that Crossfit is absolutely nails) then the less likely people will get their money's worth, especially if paying up front. Garrie8516
  • Score: 4

10:44pm Fri 7 Feb 14

rat man says...

The new gym is located on the Belmont Industrial Estate,near Belmont which just outside Durham City.
The new gym is located on the Belmont Industrial Estate,near Belmont which just outside Durham City. rat man
  • Score: 5

10:45pm Fri 7 Feb 14

MWatts says...

DarloXman wrote:
£55/month - what a joke!

I've just joined a brand new gym in Stockton (upstairs to a well known supermarket) and it's cost me £109 for 12 months. Can't see why anyone would want to spend so much when the same is available so much cheaper.
It's to keep the scuds out.

You need to be of a certain income not to miss £55/month, and if you're of that income bracket, you don't want to be bumping into the lower classes with their beer bellies and muffin tops while you work out.
[quote][p][bold]DarloXman[/bold] wrote: £55/month - what a joke! I've just joined a brand new gym in Stockton (upstairs to a well known supermarket) and it's cost me £109 for 12 months. Can't see why anyone would want to spend so much when the same is available so much cheaper.[/p][/quote]It's to keep the scuds out. You need to be of a certain income not to miss £55/month, and if you're of that income bracket, you don't want to be bumping into the lower classes with their beer bellies and muffin tops while you work out. MWatts
  • Score: 10

3:35pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Azazeal says...

As a member of crossfit.. To point out you don't know what you're missing!!
As a member of crossfit.. To point out you don't know what you're missing!! Azazeal
  • Score: -6

5:08pm Sun 9 Feb 14

hottopic says...

Wouldn't it be nice if instead of ......

"Dragon Duncan's ex-wife opens new gym near Bannatyne health club"

it actually said.....

"Joanne Bannatyne opens new gym near Bannatyne health club"

I' not a fan of Duncan but nor am I a fan of having your cake and eating it, maybe Duncan should be charging a license fee for use of his brand to advertise another business?
Wouldn't it be nice if instead of ...... "Dragon Duncan's ex-wife opens new gym near Bannatyne health club" it actually said..... "Joanne Bannatyne opens new gym near Bannatyne health club" I' not a fan of Duncan but nor am I a fan of having your cake and eating it, maybe Duncan should be charging a license fee for use of his brand to advertise another business? hottopic
  • Score: 7

8:20pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Border Terrier says...

Oh dear Bannatyne is now down to his last £79 million. Must be skint now.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Oh dear Bannatyne is now down to his last £79 million. Must be skint now. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Border Terrier
  • Score: -1

8:48pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Traser says...

£55 per month or £660 a year LOL
£55 per month or £660 a year LOL Traser
  • Score: 3

9:56pm Sun 9 Feb 14

kristal27 says...

Having met in 1994....while working for Duncan wiping old folks bums in Springfield Care Home -she fell madly and passionately in love with him....who wouldn't? lol!
Having met in 1994....while working for Duncan wiping old folks bums in Springfield Care Home -she fell madly and passionately in love with him....who wouldn't? lol! kristal27
  • Score: 4

7:01am Wed 12 Feb 14

drainman says...

hottopic wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if instead of ......

"Dragon Duncan's ex-wife opens new gym near Bannatyne health club"

it actually said.....

"Joanne Bannatyne opens new gym near Bannatyne health club"

I' not a fan of Duncan but nor am I a fan of having your cake and eating it, maybe Duncan should be charging a license fee for use of his brand to advertise another business?
Good shout Hottopic,
[quote][p][bold]hottopic[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't it be nice if instead of ...... "Dragon Duncan's ex-wife opens new gym near Bannatyne health club" it actually said..... "Joanne Bannatyne opens new gym near Bannatyne health club" I' not a fan of Duncan but nor am I a fan of having your cake and eating it, maybe Duncan should be charging a license fee for use of his brand to advertise another business?[/p][/quote]Good shout Hottopic, drainman
  • Score: 2

8:44am Thu 13 Feb 14

Ally F says...

Of course she's not a gold digger, or wanting to cash in on her former husband's fame. It's just she has opted to keep the Bannatyne surname....

£55 a month, 'to keep the scuds out' Love it MWatts :)
Of course she's not a gold digger, or wanting to cash in on her former husband's fame. It's just she has opted to keep the Bannatyne surname.... £55 a month, 'to keep the scuds out' Love it MWatts :) Ally F
  • Score: 0

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