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No corks popping after being snubbed in the Dragon's Den.

I COUGHED nervously as the five entrepreneurs that comprise the judging panel on reality show Dragons' Den leaned forward.

"It's a fairly simple device, suitable for all ages and child friendly," I shouted nervously, holding the implement aloft. I coughed again. "The handle is a simple wooden structure. The stem - and here's the clever bit - is metal and, as you can see, cast in a swirling design, finishing with a pointed end."

Theo Paphitis' eyes narrowed. "The pointed end is very important," I announced dramatically, "I plunge this into the cork, like so, and then, with a twisting motion, drive the device into the bottle. When the wooden handle almost touches the bottle's mouth, I grasp firmly and with one swift tug... voila! The cork has been removed."

I held the cork aloft triumphantly.

The panel cast astonished glances at each other.

"Isn't that," ventured Duncan Bannatyne, "a corkscrew?" "Actually," I confessed, "I was thinking of calling it a cork-puller, but, what the hell, it's your money, call it what you like."

"The problem is," he added, weighing his words carefully, "I think you'll find it's already been invented."

"By whom?" I demanded. "I'll sue the pants off them."

"They've been around quite a while," Deborah Meaden explained, "and are quite popular. Out of interest, how do you usually open wine?" Same as everyone else. Rip open the serrated cardboard part of the box and pull out the tap.

"How much," asked Theo, battling to suppress laughter, "do you envisage selling one of these, errr, cork-pullers for?" "I believe," I announced grandly, "by reducing overheads to absolute minimum, these could go on sale on supermarket shelves for no more than pounds 43.75."

He gave an astonished look.

"They're selling for pounds 2.50 at my local market."

"With the twirly metal bit?" I asked, flabbergasted.

"With the twirly metal bit."

"I'd have to say no," he added."

They all gave an emphatic 'no'.

I begged for another chance.

"Tired of fumbling for soap in the bath? Those days are over thanks to this handy contraption. The rope's attached to the soap by simply... " There was a collective groan.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 27, 2009
Words:359
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