Dragon’s Den returns

I was concerned about what BBC2 was about dish up with the new series of Dragon’s Den. The trailer (which featured the Dragon’s literally throwing piles of money around an laughing) had suggested that the producers might have got too much of a hold on the programme, and they were going to pitch it on some sort of “Shock and Shame” basis, where the applicants were simply humiliated, and the Dragan’s brief was to play it for laughs, or perhaps tears. This wouln’t have been any great surprise, as I felt the last series seemed to end on such a note, and the impression was that the validity of the applicants proposals was playing second fiddle to the abuse that could be dished out.

Don’t get me wrong, some of them deserved what they got, but the manner of their dismissal seemed to become increasingly humiliating towards the end.

The new series has started well though, with the Dragon’s analysis lying more firmly on the business sense of the applicant’s proposals, and less on the taking of opportunities to bash ’em. This is preferable, as the result is not only better viewing (unless you’re a Sun reader, and wondering what it’s all about anyway) but also has the flip-side of revealing more about the Dragon’s, and their thought processes. If they were selling that, then good or bad, you’d pay a lot more than the tiny slice of your licence fee that pays for this programme.

You do have to wonder how they manage to keep their composure for so long though. Faced with someone who’s brain cells clearly don’t all connect, and who asks for investment to sell one, right-hand glove as a safety device, I’d be sending for the bouncers in white coats. Apparently he thinks wearing the glove will help British drivers remember to drive on the right when abroad. As the panel noted, if they can’t remember to drive on the right, how the heck are they going to remember to put the glove on? Or why they’ve got it on if it come to that.

I was a bit surprised to see the guy with the lemon slicer/dispenser for bars get short shrift though, given some of the Dragon’s are in that business. I’d really have thought they’d have gone for it, given the mucking about some bar staff go through to produce a slice of lemon. Well, they’re bar owners, I’m not, and the only one I knew well enough to ask and get an honest answer has gone to the big boozer’s in the sky!

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