By Hugh Dunnett, Crime Correspondent
Police are hunting a shotgun-wielding Suffolk man who ‘robbed’ the stars of TV’s Dragons’ Den out of a £100,000.
Brandishing a shotgun and a bag, he brazenly walked out of the famous studio lift and onto the set during filming last week.
The BBC show’s stars, including tycoons Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden, assumed the man was a genuine entrepreneur pitching for funding.
He walked up to the five Dragons and said: “My name is Colin, and I’m asking today for £100,000 of your money in return for zero per cent of my business.”
Shocked by what seemed like an unappealing investment opportunity, Peter Jones was the first to speak.
He said: “Hello, Colin. I’m Peter. What exactly is this business idea of yours? Are you setting up a clay pigeon shooting school or something? If so, I would expect 30% of your business. You can go to the back wall and think about it if you like.”
But then Colin raised his gun and, in a broad Suffolk accent, explained: “No, Peter. The business idea is simple, really. You see, this is my gun, and this is my bag. Just put all your money in the f**king bag!”
The show’s Dragons famously have tens of thousands of pounds on the tables next to them, ready to invest in entrepreneurs and their business ideas.
Colin – not believed to be his real name – watched as they nervously tipped all their cash into his bag. Animal lover Deborah Meaden looked down her nose and said: “I hope that’s not a leather bag. I’m out.”
He then turned around, calmly caught the lift downstairs and walked out passed shocked presenter, Evan Davis.
Police spokeswoman Lorraine Fisher, 34, said: “We can confirm a man walked onto the Dragon’s Den studio set on the pretence of having a business opportunity.
“But he promptly used his props – a shotgun and a bag – to rob the show’s stars.
“The man has a broad Suffolk accent, is not thought to be called Colin, and is about 6 foot tall with brown hair.”
A BBC insider insisted the cash that Colin stole was fake money.
“He’ll have a shock when he tries to spend it,” the insider said.
“It’s never nice being the victim of crime, but this should make for excellent TV when it’s aired as part of series 18 next year.”