BBC Dragons’ Den: ‘What do you know about business?’ Steven Bartlett confronted in heated exchange

In one of the most heated exchanges ever seen on Dragons’ Den, social media mogul Steven Bartlett had some emotionally charged words with retail expert Touker Suleyman following a pitch by couple Ellie and Georgia, who had invented a new toilet gel that turns bathroom tissue to a wet wipe.

Differences emerged between the Dragons as they mulled over the investment proposition, with Touker Suleyman believing the product was best positioned within the baby market and Steven disagreeing and saying it would be best marketed to adults.

Read more:BBC Dragons’ Den stars amazed by entrepreneur who looks just like superstar singer Robbie Williams

All normal discourse until tensions between the older and younger Dragon began to seep out.

Steven said: “I tend to disagree with Touker’s point,” and was about to explain why when, butting in with a raised voice and waving his finger in Steven’s direction, Touker said: “Never disagree with me, I’ve got a lot more experience than you’ve got.”



The other Dragons were clearly surprised by the personal tone things took
The other Dragons were clearly surprised by the personal tone things took

Raising his eyebrows, Steven leaned forward and replied: “Social media?”

Touker, still with his voice raised said pointedly: “What do you know about business?”

The other Dragons looked a little taken back and looked from one to the other in disbelief before Steven replied with audible shock in his voice: “I know about business, Touker. I built a £300m business at 28 years old.”

Touker replied dismissively: “Oh come on, please.”

“What did I say?” said Steven, feigning surprise at Touker’s reaction.

“Nothing, carry on,” said Touker, and then sarcastically added, as he put him his palm up: “Talk about social media.”



The older Dragon clearly isn't impressed by the world of social media.
The older Dragon clearly isn’t impressed by the world of social media.

The exchange left tension hanging in the air as the entrepreneurs attempted to carry on with their pitch.

In the wrap-up interview afterwards, entrepreneur Ellie commented on the spat saying: “I think the fire between Steven and Touker was interesting.”

But his partner Georgia said: “I’m Italian so it didn’t even register”.

Afterwards Touker leaned across to Steven and said: “What happens in the Den, stays in the Den.”



What happens in the Den, stays in the Den
What happens in the Den, stays in the Den

And that wasn’t the only spat Touker Suleyman was involved in during the episode, making Deborah Meaden his next target for fury as she questioned entrepreneur Sophie, an inventor who was pitching for investment in a luxury baby-bouncer.

Deborah asked Sophie pointedly: “Between your gross profit and your loss, you’ve spent £150,000 – what on?”

As Sarah begins to explain but nerves got the better of her, as they often do of people in the Den. She struggles to account for £50,000 and stutters: “I’m sorry I can’t think what’s on my balance sheet, I’m so sorry.”

Touker swoops in to rescue her saying: “Transport costs?”

But an irritated Deborah retorts: “Alright Touker, you tell me”

The retail expert replies: “Am I allowed to ask a question? I’m trying to help. I think she’s in a very difficult position, Deborah, and she’s very nervous.”

Everyone clearly needs to calm down a little.

Dragons’ Den is on Thursday, BBC1 at 8pm.

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