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Manchester businessman charms Dragons

Fitness coach on the casting couch as Meaden melts

Published on August 31st 2010.


Manchester businessman charms Dragons

Manchester-based entrepreneur and fitness expert Mike Hamilton went on Dragons Den looking for cash, but came away with an indecent proposal from one of the panel.Hamilton appeared on the BBC 2 programme last night, to pitch his Commando Joes military style fitness and training aimed at children aged five upwards

And instead of being offered money by the panel, Hamilton got the chance to sit alongside them after leisure entrepreneur Deborah Meaden gave him multi-millionaire businessman Peter Jones’ chair. Hamilton then watched as Jones pitched Commando Joes back at him.

Hamilton was looking for investment to help with expansion plans after spotting a gap in the children’s fitness market and the increasingly serious issue of child obesity. He has already piloted the scheme at a high school in East Manchester.

“I was gobsmacked when Deborah asked me to sit next to her whilst Peter Jones gave me a lesson in presenting my business idea,” he said. “I think she took quite a shine to me. However I wasn’t prepared when she asked me if I was single and if I was free to come on the show the following week as my face was better to look at than Peter’s.

“Being the only civilian to have sat in one of those iconic chairs was fairly daunting but gave me the appetite to want to be as successful as them one day.”

The Dragons felt the business was “a little too embryonic to invest in” though and advised Hamilton to prove the concept more thoroughly before he thought about franchising.

“Although I was disappointed to not have secured funding, the experience has made me realise that I don’t want to go down the franchise route but instead grow it myself,” said Hamilton.

“The problem of obesity in children is just going to get worse - two in 10 children in the UK are obese - but telling a kid to go on a diet and go the gym is not going to resolve the problem. You have to make it fun and engaging. I would have loved to have seen either Peter or Deborah in our combat gear though.”

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TellTheTruthSeptember 2nd 2010.

I watched the programme-it was Theo who came up with the idea of swopping places with Peter Jones and it was Theo who told him his business was all him him him. Suppose you have to spin something positive from the experience.

user11566September 6th 2010.

I also watched the programme from a slightly better position than you!It was Debroah was asked Mike to sit alongside her,Theo jumped on the band wagon and repeated what Debroah said.....its called editing !!Mike was in the Den for over an hour.

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