— blending the mix

Tycoon: ITV…a business reality show too far

Peter Jones, ex-Dragon of Dragon’s Den, purveyor of all things "successful" has a new show out called "Tycoon". Under Peter’s guidance,  6 extremely average individuals with 6 very average ideas and some spectacular Boardroom Bullshit attempt to make a go of their business ideas. It is car crash TV at its very worst.

I quite liked Peter in Dragon’s Den. He always seemed to tell it how it was and was quite astute (and undoubtedly successful and capable) but that was Dragon’s Den. A lady I admire greatly, and another former Dragon, Rachel Elnaugh (whose new blog is starting to take great shape – go Rachel!) has a great summary about the problems with this show:

As the show progressed, while Jones’ teeth got whiter, his cufflinks got bigger and the Bentley got shinier, Jones personality got thinner and thinner. By the end of the episode I was left feeling that this was simply another TV vehicle for his now monstrous sized alpha male ego.

The penny finally dropped when we saw the last frame and realised that the show had been created and produced by Jones’ own TV production company Peter Jones TV. Like his Max Clifford co-client Simon Cowell, Jones clearly sees TV production as his latest way to make some much needed money.

The success of Dragon’s Den came from the "mystery" surrounding each Dragon. Each created/owned a major UK brand. We didn’t really know how much they were worth or how they worked and what they did. Jones’s £120 million seems paltry compared to Sugar’s £800 million and as such (when combined with some seriously dodgy and often contradictory advice to the candidates) seriously affects his credibility and that of the show.

I can’t help but feel the show would be a greater success (average 2.3 million viewers at PEAK time) if the individuals involved were not clearly so groomed for their looks and personality rather than their business idea.

A former glamour model (who, of course, we see in a photoshoot EVERY week) a spectacularly incompetent ex-bodyguard selling a cotton bag for carrier bags, an emotional-wreck whose only credentials are a £60k salary and a half-decent guy selling a helicopter that seems to be all over the shops already, all combine to make the show utter rubbish. It is a Big Brother house for "business" people.

"What mix of incompetence, glamour and stupidity can we combine to make people watch the show?" seems to have been the modus operandi, rather than watching credible people with credible ideas make a go of their dreams.

I think this is one reality show that needs a does of reality.

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