When Dragons Den star Theo Paphitis gave up his TV role coaching entrepreneurs to focus on his own businesses, viewers may not have expected to see him in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

But today shoppers crowded round to see the business mogul launch a new post office in his Ryman stationary store on the High Street.

He arrived fashionably late in his eye-catching chrome Maybach, with the personalised RYM4N plate, to meet shoppers and launch the store.

Theo said: “The post office is becoming more commercial and I hope this is the first of many that we open in our stores. We’re really pleased to have the opportunity to take on and modernise the post office and I’m delighted to be relaunching it today.”

 The post office used to be on Merrial Street, but was put up for sale.

Post office regional manager Martin Lahert said: “We understand how important it is for the residents to have a post office in the area.

“The modernisation is part of a major investment programme to convert the post office network to new-style branches.”

Theo also confessed that he still watches Dragons Den, even though he gave up his role at the end of the last series. He said: “It was time to move on and it’s still a good show. My advice to young entrepreneurs in Stoke-on-Trent would be to follow your passion, do your homework and to shorten the odds of failure.”

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