So, once more to the Den, where the entertainment is never not compelling thanks to the never-ending procession of deluded millionaires-in-waiting. The only thing stopping them is the derision of a gang of monied weirdos
The new series has been enhanced no end with the addition of the new one, a hulking brute of a woman, who looks like a cross between Katy Perry’s nan and a Transformer and sounds as though she survives on a diet of Silk Cut smoothies. After last week’s show, I’d completely forgotten her name so I rechristened her Sexual Tina. I like it, it suits her and I’m sticking with it.
Following his recent trials and tribulations on Twitter I expected Duncan Bannatyne to be in an agitated state last night, twitching with paranoia and asking every wannabe entrepreneur if they were a Russian, but he seemed as calm as he ever gets.
First up the stairs were a pair of lady DJ’s, one of whom appeared to be called DJ Trickles. Good start. They were looking for some cash for their scheme, which appeared to involve driving around the country in vans before pulling in somewhere and teaching people to be rappers. If they practiced what they preached, they’d have rapped their pitch but they lost me when they trotted out some line about DJing being an art form. Yeah, about as much as picking up dog shit with a nappy bag is.
This was an opportunity on a stick for Peter Jones. Surely he could get the girls to deploy their remixing skills and catapult Hamfatter 2.0 into the charts? No - none of the Dragons fancied a bite and they dropped out one by one, but not before Sexual Tina hinted darkly about a project of her own that is designed to get teenagers off the streets. My mind is still boggling about what that might entail.
“I don't give a fuck about numbers and that. You’re from my part of the world, so I'll give you the cash” she didn’t roar.
After that came a brief glimpse of a bloke pitching an inflatable bed designed to be used in a car. Great news for mobile prostitutes but ultimately if you think you're going to get rich with something that allows you to sleep in your car, pretty soon YOU’LL be sleeping in your car.
How do you follow that? With Mumford & Sons and some scabby-looking bags of popcorn, obviously. Cue a trio of quirkily-dressed knobheads, armed with their off-kilter attempt to give the popcorn industry the shake-up it clearly (doesn’t) need. Lads, popcorn’s shite. Know this. You want a surefire winner? Those yoghurt pouch things, but with gravy in them. Microwaveable. A quick hit of beautiful gravy whenever you want it.
It all seemed to be going from bad to worse, with the revelation that they all worked for Saatchi & Saatchi and the complete absence of any realistic distribution plan. Perhaps they were going to deliver it on foot, in wheelbarrows. Maybe one of them could play a trumpet as they did it. Popcunts.
Obviously Peter Jones invested in them right at the last minute. He seems to have a switch in his head that makes him think ‘Fuck it, I’ll give them some money. They’ll never be heard of again but at least they’ll stop talking.’ That. That happened.
After that came a man who for me gave the greatest performance ever seen in the Den. Glen Harden (no, really) wandered in with a half-arsed idea that he’d been sitting on for the past 14 years. It involved making people’s bodies look better by selective tanning. Sort of like painting on your own muscles but slightly more complicated.
Accompanied by his half-naked son, who demonstrated the product while peering coyly at the Dragons, Glen’s pitch had a weary air of a man at the end of his tether, all other money-making avenues closed for good and only this template tanning bullshit left to save him from bankruptcy and humiliation. I hope he had the sense to buy a car mattress while he was at the den.
At least Glen was honest – he didn’t have a clue what to do with his idea, he had no financial projections whatsoever and he spoke grimly of his website, which got one hit on one day and then two the day after. It’s hardly the stuff that empires are made of.
There was also some mention of an email he’d sent to a tanning shop. They’d replied, which Glen had taken as an indicator that he was on the right track with his ludicrous idea. He was the best bloke that has ever been on this show and obviously, he didn’t get his investment. I am dreading his next move.
We were then fleetingly treated to a man who claimed to have turned his bath into a speaker (I think he was just pissed) before Liz and Alan Colleran arrived from Dewsbury to revolutionise the unsatisfactory world of sleeping in caravans. They’d shoved a thin mattress into a sleeping bag and were looking for £80,000 for it.
As Liz said, no one has ever slept in a caravan and not woken up with a bad back. Drive around the countryside at 8am and you’ll clearly hear the moans of agony from caravan sites everywhere. Done deal surely?
Not quite. Deborah Meaden got herself into a menopausal showdown with Liz over the lack of hard figures, something which caused the other millionaires to back away as well. All apart from Sexual Tina that is. She was all over it like a tramp on a road pasty.
“I don't give a fuck about numbers and that. You’re from my part of the world, so I'll give you the cash” she didn’t roar. I can’t have been the only one that worked out that Sexual Tina’s project to get problem kids off the streets involves jamming into caravans instead. Imagine the horror.
With that, we were done. While the south sets fire to itself and steals its own trainers, a new northern super-economy is emerging, starting off with padded sleeping bags and with the overhaul of China in its sights...
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