Into the Dragons’ Den

Emirates is running an excellent BBC 2 reality show at the moment – Dragons’ Den.
The premise is simple. 5 potential investors hear pitches from people who want money for their businesses and decide whether to invest or not.
Various ‘reality’ TV tricks make the show very entertaining. Some aspects are a little cruel – contestants need to climb some rather steep steps up to the room where interviews take place for example, which means most find themselves standing in front of the panel completely out of breath – on top of being nervous. The catchphrase from the panel is ‘I’m out!’, usually spat out in disgust when they’ve had enough of what’s being pitched to them.
Some contestants have good ideas but no business sense. Many are really inventors who should be selling their ideas rather than trying to create a business to produce sell what they’ve created. Some are downright appalling, standing in front of the Dragons with no idea what they’re really selling, how much they’ve sold or how they think they can sell.
Reality TV is meant to be entertaining and tends to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Dragons’ Den avoids the worst excesses of other shows, but I found myself a little put off at times. Whilst the potential investors might not like what they see, occasionally they can be downright rude and unpleasant to the people standing in front of them. Call me pretentious, but it can all get rather rude and – yes I’ll say it – rather un-British at times.
At one point an investor makes a comment along the lines of ‘I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than invest in you.’ The contestant replied that he wouldn’t want to work with someone who spoke to people like that anyway. I found myself cheering the contestant on. His point was valid.
Yes, business is a hard nosed, tough environment and reality TV isn’t much fun when everyone’s all rather polite with each other. Despite that I don’t think treating people badly makes business work better or make a programme any more entertaining.
I’ll still be watching every other episode I can though…

2 Responses to “Into the Dragons’ Den”

  1. Riz Says:

    Hey Chris. The new series is starting on BBC 2 shortly. It’s been running for several years all in all and it may be interesting to note that not one product seems to have hit the shelves in a big way. Quite a few of the winners end up pulling out due to contract squabbles etc, but it’s still a great show with some of the best put downs and one-liners … the biggest downside is that you know that whoever comes on 5-10 minutes before the show ends will walk away with a deal.
    The biggest winner of the show seems to be Duncan Bannatyne, who has appeared on a host of other programmes and has published a book…about himself of course!

  2. Chris S Says:

    Ooh, new series! Please video it!

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