A former Dragons' Den star and advisor to David Cameron has appeared in court charged series of child sex offences. Doug Richard, 57, who appeared in the first two series of the hit BBC programme, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court accused of three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The offences are alleged to have occurred on 2 January 2015 and relate to one victim, aged 13 at the time. He was released on bail following his brief appearance and is due to appear in court next at London's Old Bailey on 19 October.

After the charges against him were brought forwards in September, Richard issued a short statement denying the claims. He said: "I absolutely deny the charges against me and will contest this matter in court."

The US-born millionaire advisor has accompanied the prime minster on several trips abroad to advise him on policy. He starred in the first two series of Dragons' Den before leaving the show in 2005. To this day, he remains the only Dragon to go through an entire series without investing in an idea.