Let me tell you where I am: I love Dragons’ Den.
I love the incisive business analysis. I love the wacky (occasionally brilliant) product ideas. I love jovial Thunderbirds-puppet presenter Evan Davies. I love the fact that each of the Dragons has their own special chair.
But most of all, I love the dynamic between Theo Paphitis – pun-happy purveyor of stationery and women’s lingerie – and telecommunications and double entendre expert Peter Jones.
It was a stroke of genius bringing them together. Not only does it ensure that Dragons’ Den features a healthy streak of competitive wordplay, but the juxtaposition of small businessman Theo serves to accentuate how breathtakingly tall Peter Jones is. Seriously, I get vertigo just looking at him. He is – quite literally – a giant of the business world.
The producers are coy about it most of the time, of course, allowing us only tantalising glimpses of his dizzying height. So the best episodes of Dragons’ Den feature those rare occasions when Theo and Peter collaborate on a deal – because then they have to stand up and shake hands with the successful entrepreneur and you get to see the incredible difference in scale.
And if you’re struggling to imagine the two business rivals getting into bed together, you clearly haven’t seen the episode where they do just that, curling up side by side to demonstrate a misconceived product designed to prevent couples from straying onto one another’s sides of the mattress (heaven forbid!). Since then, I often imagine Theo and Peter tucked up in a platonic bed together, like Laurel and Hardy or Morecambe and Wise.
But as we’re all too aware from his constant reminders, only one person shares Theo’s bed, and that’s the elusive “Mrs P”…
Like Columbo’s wife, Mrs P is oft referred to but never seen. Does she actually exist? What is she really like?
Theo’s descriptions paint a picture of a large, cuddly woman with a good dose of homespun sense. But I half-suspect he is perpetuating this for his own amusement, and that the multimillionaire businessman is really married to a statuesque supermodel. They probably laugh uproariously about it as they zip around Monaco in a yacht, sipping champagne, the wind whipping through their hair.
Yes, I’m almost entirely sure I’m right. Either that, or “Mrs P” is Theo’s affectionate nickname for his sometime partner Peter…