Dragon’s Den revived

Dragon’s Den (BBC2 business angel programme) was good when it started, but in latter series seemed to be suffering from the panel becoming a little too interested in being provocative and arrogant when interviewing their subject. Fair enough given their personal and individual success, but the impression was that they were being prompted by the production team to ‘lay it on thick’ in order to maximise the interviewees misery and presumably attract viewers.

Tonight’s programme was the first I’d been able to watch in its entirity, but having seen bits of the preceding shows, it looked as if the format was better, and the panel were being considrably less stroppy with the hopefuls that were looking for finance.

In fact, tonight’s edition (Aug 17) was probably the other way round, with one of the candidates even admitting he had perhaps been a bit too forceful during his pitch, and had walked away without a penny, and the (justified) scorn of the panel.

This was much better than the last series’ offerings, with the truly dire ideas being dismissed, but the better ideas being presented with the quandary of being offered the finance they were seeking, but having to hand over a fair chunk of their business in return.

When the Dragons are good, they’re very good, and you can tell they’ve zeroed in on the basic flaws of the product or business plan they’ve been presented with… the hopeful candidate either can’t think of a sensible answer and dries up, or (incredibly, since they’re asking for a handout of £50 k to £100 k) start to snap back and argue with the Dragons. Not a good way to get a deal.

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