Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Dragons Den…..

Has anyone seen ‘Dragons Den’ yet on BBC 2, 8.00pm, Tuesday…. Best comedy show since Fawlty Towers – absolutely no doubt.
For sheer embarrassment and for all those "Oh no, where is that cushion" moment – it just cannot be beaten!

The premise of the show is innocent enough – it’s all about ‘enterprise’ .... helping those little guys in garden sheds realise their dreams to invent something fantastic– offering them funding to get their inventions and novel ideas off the ground, and into the shops. The inventors will then be rewarded with millions. Well, why not? James Dyson did it didn’t he?

The show started last week – I tuned in to find out what was the ‘next big thing’……

The Location: An old warehouse, tatty, faded fifties Soviet-chic environment. Painted bricks and wobbly steel staircases. To complete the minimalist tat look – big metal castings for demonic machines of long ago – flanges akimbo, pistons ringing, stainless steeling are liberally sprinkled about – as a monument to the faded grandeur of British manufacturing …..

The ‘Team’: They’re sexy, they’re gobby, they’re pithy, they tell it like it is. These are ‘the dragons’ – entrepreneurs all, five people who together are worth over half a billion quid. They sit, brooding in their sea of smug self-importance. They lounge on IKEA retro-fascist chairs, in front of them are 5 little round tables with a total of 300 grand in cash stacked neatly in £50 pound notes. These geezers mean business!

Unfortunately, that is where the reality finishes. The delusional flotsam that wash up the metal staircase and into the dragon’s den carrying their ‘must invest in’ inventions take the show off into realms of fantasy and fairy story that JRR himself would have been proud of.

Last week’s prize for the most useless invention had to go to the guy whose sales pitch went as follows…

"Good day, Dragons. How many times have you been in a restaurant, enjoying a lovely meal, then all of a sudden, you notice that the table wobbles. This is annoying – and will put anyone off their meal……… Well not anymore!

"Let me introduce you to ‘Stable-Table’ the fix all device for the wobbly table!"

The man whips out a little plastic swatch book of plastic strips in different thicknesses.

The Dragons, in their Den quietly vibrated – they looked like they were trying out some silent, hidden sex toys.

The guy with the swatch wanted 80 grand to ‘develop’ his wonder tool. He was as optimistic as anyone could ever be – even when one of the dragons said that whenever he came across wobbly table syndrome, he bunged a folded beer mat underneath the offending leg…..

He didn’t get the cash.......... and I've bought a new cushion for tonight's episode........