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Dragons' Den: No big finale for Meaden and Devey

Gary Gowers
4 December 2012
Dragons' Den: No big finale for Meaden and Devey
Dragons' Den finale

With last night's Den being the last in the series one could be forgiven for thinking that the girls would want to depart in a blaze of glory - especially with it surely being the last for both.

But no… not a sausage.

Deborah - whilst being a tad more vocal than normal - had clearly being revising from the 'Reasons not to Invest' handbook, and proceeded to trot out a whole plethora of excuses as to why the potential investment opportunities were not for her.

In truth the whole evening appeared an uncomfortable one for the Meaden, not least when discussing one of the 'on offer' products - a suspender belt-type product that was designed to prevent the 'slippage of tights'. The dear soul managed to offer up far too much information on the subject to the point that I was reaching for the sick bucket.

I'm sure I couldn't have been alone in feeling slightly queasy when the talk turned to 'twisted tights', 'waistband slippage' and 'uncomfortable bras'.

Hilary, for her part, quite literally sneered at the product and growled her usual 'I'm out' catchphrase. To be frank, why would she invest… the product had no relation to shoulder pads whatsoever.

Peter, quite rightly, kept well away from the discussion (very wise) but Duncan and Theo positively rose to the occasion. Theo - a lingerie 'expert' according to Evan - declared himself out, citing that the product was little more than a suspender belt and Duncan (with the help of subtitles) muttered something about pulling his socks up!

A good idea all round… but alas no investment for the budding entrepreneur.

The two investments of the night went to a 'frozen cocktail' business - owned by a London based duo, Naomi and Helen - and an advertising/marketing inflatable - part-owned by Essex man, John Spence.

To my untrained eye, the cocktail product appeared genius - a simple idea of a 'bar strength' cocktail that is frozen, and then thawed for consumption. Whilst all of the fivesome appeared to enjoy drinking the product - especially Deborah - none appeared over keen in investing, particularly when it was revealed that the girls already has distribution rights with one of the major chain supermarkets. Quite how this was a bad thing was unclear to a numpty like me, but with Peter telling them they had 'got it wrong', I guess it was indeed a mistake…

The thorny issue of overvaluing the business again reared its ugly head, with none of the Dragons agreeing with the £1 million valuation. Only when the said figure was effectively reduced to around £200,000 did the Dragons become interested, Peter being the first to crack with an offer of the full £80,000 for 40 per cent equity. With Theo, Debs and Shoulder Pads having already declared themselves out it was left to good old Duncan to match Peter's offer.

Once the girls had undergone the mandatory huddle at the back of the Den, they returned with a reasonable request that the two Dragons should share the investment but for a slightly reduced percentage. A bit of toing and froing later they had two high-powered Dragons on board, who would reduce their total share to 30 per cent once turnover had hit £1 million.

The inflatables business produced some much needed mirth in the Den when it was Duncan's turn to get stuck into the entrepreneur. With the product named 'Megaflatables', Duncan was intrigued as to why there was no 'in' in the middle of the name - albeit he questioned it in his own inimitable style that had the entrepreneur, me and the rest of the watching audience totally baffled.

When it was eventually deciphered his question of… 'why isn't it called 'Megainflatables' was a good one, but not before Peter has suffered a spleen rupture.

When the entrepreneur in question was stumbling over Theo's finance related questions, his 'numbers man' was amusingly summoned. What they all eventually established was that the product was a decent one and, with some more backing, had a reasonable chance of success.

In the end, Theo and Duncan politely declared themselves out leaving Peter and the girls to fight over the final hurrah of the series. Ultimately Peter's focussed approach won the day - and with the girls both making half-hearted and token offers - his £40,000 was invested in return for an equity stake of 25 per cent.

A fairly inauspicious end to an intriguing series and whether the show's producers will think they've had value for money from the girls only they know. Perhaps a re-hash of a fairly tired format is required, but there is no doubt that, as an entertainment show, it does have its moments. All light entertainment shows need their comedic characters… so perhaps I've answered my own question.

Would Michelle Mone and Karen Brady provide the same level of entertainment for example? Probably not.

Either way, I'm already looking forward to the next one.

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