Dragons’ Den blog: Episode 5 Series 9

Posted on by Nell Frizzell

Whichever ‘creative’ convinced the Dragons that the opening sequence should show them posing as Anthony Gormley statues while Eric Claptonlite guitarsturbates underneath, gets a slap on the back from me. Ludicrously funny every time.

For those of you who have been passed out in a Jacuzzi for the last five weeks, the Dragons are hotel and healthclub owner Duncan Bannatyne, leisure expert Deborah Meaden, retail magnate Theo Pathites, telecoms giant Peter Jones and Hilary Duvey, who made her millions in haulage. And no, I don’t know what telecoms giants or retail magnates actually do either.

First up is the former-actor Darren Madison and the director Helen Wright. Well, if actors can do anything it’s beg for change from their acquaintances. Black curtains are stripped off to reveal 2D stage sets, which is apt considering the acting style with which the pitch is delivered. Polka Dot Pantomimes sing their way through a thigh-slapping pitch about needing some investment. Well, you know what they say: when it comes to business there is nothing like a lightning costume change and some smiling Aryan children to get the ball rolling.

“Duncan Bannatyne looks confused,” says Evan Davis. It’s probably just wind. So, what will Polkadot Pantomimes spend this money on? Scenery, props, costume, marketing and special effects apparently. Bring on the underwater midnight pantomime!

What’s their biggest theatre, asks Deborah? “Clacton.” A word that brings joy to the heart of investors everywhere. Hilary thinks they could succeed eventually, without giving away 20% of their business. “I think your passion with probably get you there”: the very slogan used by the Clactontourist board. Finally, Peter Jones praises their visually arresting pitch. “Even the kids were perfect.” Alright Peter. Sadly Darren and Helen leave with nothing.

“The dragons always like to see an entrepreneur walking up the steps with some tasty fayre in their hands,” says Evan. Fayre? What is this? Dragons Denne: The Restoration Years? Anyway, chef Paul DeCosta is making sexy, seductive, sensual and gorgeous chocolate. “I suppose I’m massaging you from the inside.” Oooh, blimey. I hope those bars aren’t ribbed.

After a few subliminal flashes of clock, traffic lights, clock and locker we have Kate Castle with what appears to be a Dog in a Bag. I’m not sure, but I think the RSPCA may have a problem with that. Ah, hold on. No. It’s Bog in a Bag. Now that’s a different kettle of faeces altogether. It is, put simply, a stool with a hole, a bin bag and a sanitary pad to “absorb any liquid.” Yum.

Kate is looking for £50,000 for 15%. “Peter Jones looks bewildered.” In fact, he seems really rather desperate to be allowed to poo through his own stool. He’s all but cutting through that leather armchair as we speak. Kate has trained with a major supermarket, worked for a DIY chain as an import analyst and now struggles to get children to shit through holes. Duncan calls it “The New Commmode” which sounds like a late-70s New York musical movement to me.

“You’re very investable,” says Peter Jones. Well, it’s a chat up line of sorts, I suppose. “The camping and caravanning market could really turn over some really chunky numbers,” follows up Deborah. Wow. Thanks Deborah. That’s a mental image I hadn’t banked on. She then offers £50,000 but wants 30% of the business.

Hilary then offers the full amount for 25%. It’s a bidding war between blonde and brunette. Oh, apparently not. Kate goes for the Wedge Welly magnate Theo Pathites instead.

Next up is Steven Myberg: a South African artist looking for cash. Actors, directors, artists: and they said the Arts Council funding cuts weren’t going to have an effect. Steve wants £70,000 for 20% of his swinging chair business. For some reason Steve starts his pitch with probably the most ill-advised story about Apartheid-era police brutality the Dragons have ever heard. Quite how physical abuse of a minor will help to sell swinging bum-shelves remains, I’m afraid, beyond me. “I want Myburgh to touch everyone in theUK,” says Steve. Shudder.

Sadly, even Hilary cannot be bought for the price of a copper flower, especially as she has been to Morocco, where gardens are adorned with cheaper swinging copper seats.

Other failures include a wing-mirror protector and a hanging basket anti-theft device from the badlands of ruralShropshire

The final pitch comes in the athletic shape of Henry Buckley and JJ Harding, ex-Carphone Warehousers and current chairmen of Jog and Post – a sort of Victorian leafleting business for which young people run across the city delivering leaflets and trying not to get run down by vehicles or whipped by passing policemen. Henry and JJ want £50,000 for 10% of their business. It’s nice of them to synchronise facial hair specially for the pitch. Jog and Post are currently delivering 250,000 leaflets a week in the capital and have 200 joggers working all over London. “We are a small business and we’re bursting at the seams.” Rather like my Uncle Bob in his red tracksuit.

Peter Jones makes an offer for a third of the business, making him an equal partner with the jogging duo. Haulage Hilary, as the owner of a national courier business, offers £70,000 for a 30% share. (Nice move Shoulders!) Duncan Bannatyne then offers £50,000 for 25% which would mean that the beard buddies would keep the deciding vote in the company. Finally, Deborah then offers the full fifty grand, but for just 20% of the business, which is enough, as they say in Hollywood, to seal the deal.

So there you have it: shitting in bin bags, running through London and transvestites in Clacton. It’s all in a Dragon’s day’s work.

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