WHETHER THEO’S hunting a sledgehammer to test an invention’s sturdiness, Duncan’s sneer has turned a contestant to stone or Deborah is literally breathing fire, Dragons’ Den is hypnotic viewing.
But laughing and pointing at the strangely good, bad, and frankly crackpot ideas is what really matters, obviously. As series nine takes its bow on BBC Two (Sundays, 9pm, Tuesday repeat, 7pm), here are some pitches that have caused a stir.
The mad ones – Imagine the hours spent sweating over blueprints before Mike Carr unveiled his revolutionary device to keep Brits motoring abroad on the right side of the road – the DriveSafe Glove. Yes, wear the glove on your right hand and you remember… Well, you get it right?! However, the ‘glove’ is pipped in the insanity stakes by the Greet Me Eat Me edible greeting cards for pets!
The bad ones – Stuart Saunders’ Tile Mate, which aimed to help quickly apply adhesive for wall tiles, was great – except it involved strapping an iron lung to his back. “You look like Buzz Lightyear,” said Peter Jones, while not investing. Then there’s the Compu-table. Why’s nobody thought of an integrated coffee table and computer before? Because it’s a terrible idea.
You look like Buzz Lightyear
The surprisingly good ones – Who’d have guessed a Harry Potter-style magic wand/remote control would have the dragons in a frenzy? The Kymera Magic Wand did, and inventor Chris Barnardo walked off with £200,000 for a 20 percent stake. An inflatable key fob to stop keys sinking? Yes please, screamed Theo Paphitis and Peter while offering £200,000 for James Halliburton’s Waterbuoy. Oh, and you know how you can’t see supermarket shelves for all that Reggae Reggae sauce? Well, that’s thanks to Peter and Richard Farleigh believing in Levi Roots’ grandma’s recipe to the tune of £50,000.
The ones that got away – Despite being pooh-poohed by the dragons for being an invention with no name, the gardening community really digs the backache-busting spade attachment The Thingy. And Peter savaged Rob Law’s kids’ luggage-come-buggy – “Your company is worthless!” – as Theo yanked its straps off. Four years later, the Trunki has a £5million turnover and Law has an MBE. Doh!
Have we mentioned your fave Dragons’ Den disaster or sparkling success? If not, what are the ideas that have made you cheer like a cheerful cheerleader, laugh ’til you’ve cried, or cried like the guy who accidentally parked in Duncan’s space? Let us know by leaving a comment.
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