Dragons Den ends with a Good Roasting!

Monday, 10th October 2011
  Sadly we come to the last episode of this series of Dragons Den and if last week was about peepers, peckers, plugs and wedding parties then this week ends with an even more clectic mix of hopefuls.   The first pair of entrepreneurs trying to charm blood from a stone is Chris and James. Chris has come dressed as a ‘businessman’, while James has taken the precaution of growing luscious nasal hair and the slightly ruddy, wild air of an ‘inventor’. So far, so good. With the Peculicar game cube, the two men are hoping to win £80,000 investment in exchange for 10% ownership. As he guides the Dragons around this Rubics-Cube-cum-Stickle-Brick James starts making unexpected and possibly involuntary karate movements and rudimentary dance moves. It’s like watching Ian Curtis make a health and safety presentation.   “The pair are looking for £80,000 of dragon cash,” says David. Is Dragon Cash like Monopoly money? Because, if so, I’d love to be the banker. “Have you approached any retailers?” asks one of the Dragons. Preferably not while doing those snake or karate moves.   “I can’t give you concrete numbers because it’s not an exact science,” says James. Of course it’s not. It’s a multi-coloured plastic art cube. It’s magic. It’s transcendence. It’s philosophy. “This invention is going to set the toy world on fire,” he continues. That or choke them on small parts.   “It’s the most boring game I’ve ever seen” says Bannatyne. Ouch...! And so as Dragon after Dragon pulls out like a rat pulls out of a drain, it is left to Evan Davis to explain: “They may have won the affection of the Dragons, but not their cash.”   We are then treated – and I use the word loosely – to the sight of a woman in her knickers sweating away on a series of exercise equipment. Apparently it’s an octathlon, coming from the Latin ‘octo’ for ‘lycra’.  “Honestly, most people in the gym are fed up and bored,” she pitches. Wow... way to attract the investment of a multi national chain of gyms owner - not! Unsurprisingly, she goes home empty-handed.   Now we come to the 25-year-old shoentrepreneur Tim Smith from Manchester. In a pretty audacious move, Tim asks for a whopping £300,000 in exchange for just 10%. That, in the words of Cicero, is a shed load of money. Tim’s family footwear business makes and sells foldable shoes, developed with a podiatrist so they’re comfy and possibly on some News of the World list.   “Can I have a boot please Tim? Can I have a shoe Tim please?” Can I have a vowel please Carol? Oh sorry, wrong programme. Each boot costs £6 to make and is sold for £20. Yet, somehow, despite this mark up Tim seems to be hiding something. Oh there you are: three years of whopping losses from their other, holding company owned by Tim, his brother and Papa Smith. Interestingly, it seems to be this very family connection that puts the Dragons off, and they wilt away like old relatives at a family wedding.   Finally we come to surveyor Helen Waterson and her valiant medieval meat. With £70,000 for a 10% share, Helen hopes to bring her Roast Cosy to the ovens and open spit fires of the nation. As you may have guessed, the Roast Cosy is basically a small chain mail drape that you put over meat instead of tin foil.   Initially the problem is that almost none of the panel can actually cook and look bemused at the concept. Deborah is fed by her husband and Theo looks like he lives off a diet of walnuts and Sunny D. In the end it is up to Peter to make an offer, albeit for half the money and 24% of the company, which Deborah very kindly matches saying her husband will love this.   And so, like a pair of curtains as you walk absent-mindedly of the shower; things should probably be drawn to the close.  Collectively, the Dragons have offered over £1million in investment and made the dreams of literally hundreds crumble in front of their very eyes. Which what it is all about - roll on next year!