Dragons' Den Around the World

  1. Dragons' Den first opened for business in 2005 in the UK on BBC Two. The dreams of dozens of entrepreneurs have since then been turned into reality as five dragon investors use their own money to back the very best business ideas.

  2. The formula has worked all over the world, and the format now been on licensed to 19 countries including Australia, Russia, Ireland, Canada, Nigeria, Czech Republic, Romania, the Netherlands, the Middle East, Sweden and India.

  3. In the UK over the past four years and six series more than 10,000 entrepreneurs have applied to pitch their business ideas on Dragons' Den.

  4. In total, there have been more than 300 episodes broadcast around the world featuring a mix of bizarre and bona fide businesses.

  5. Collectively, the entrepreneurs have pitched more than a 1000 global business ideas and problem solving inventions.

  6. The original version of the format was broadcast in 2001 in Japan. Called Tigers of Money, it quickly became a cult hit for Nippon Television.

  7. Whereas the rest of the world has adopted the look of the UK version, the original den was the stark boardroom of Nippon Television.

  8. Across the globe more that 100 tough-talking millionaires have now taken their seats as fearsome dragon investors. Coming from all walks of the life, the dragons have included knights of the realm, an MP, an ex-gang leader, and a porn baron.

  9. The biggest concentration of dragons is to be found in Eastern Europe where home-grown versions of the show have been produced in Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Romania.

  10. In Russia, where the show in known as Kapital, one multi-millionaire dragon was so unimpressed by the ideas presented in the den, that he did not invest a single kopek throughout the entire series.

  11. Australia is the only country where a dragon can come back into negotiations after declaring themselves out.

  12. In 2006, UK dragons Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh each backed Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae Sauce to the tune of £250,000. Two years later, the business is worth a reported £8 million.

  13. Unsuccessful pitches from around the world which have left the dragons bemused, stunned, or in fits of laughter, include a one handed safety glove for drivers to remind them which side of the road to drive on; a groin bib from Finland designed to eradicate 'man splash'; a bed sheet with a raised line down the middle for couples who squabble over bed-hogging; a space saving toilet in Lebanon which tucks under the basin; dancing shoes connected to each other by a hook and eye in Ukraine; a life-sized shower brush in Canada; and a toilet cistern that doubles as goldfish bowl in Israel.

TV Schedule

RTÉ One, Sundays, 9.30pm


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