Out of 4,000 applicants I received a phone call from the Dragons Den production team based in Manchester and subsequently was invited to do a telephone interview about my company. After this interview they explained if I was successful I would to be invited to a formal audition in Manchester.
Several weeks passed before I had a phone call on a Tuesday asking if I could be in Manchester the coming Friday! My pitch for the audition had to be quite polished and I spent many an hour going over figures and how I was going to present my company.
The audition in Manchester took about 2 hours during which I was filmed, coached and interrogated as if on Dragons Den! left feeling quite elated and it was now up to the production team to present my company to the executive producer who made the ultimate decision as to which companies go into the den or not.
A week later I received a call on my mobile whilst consulting with some shoe manufacturers in Spain and was asked if she could be at the film Studios (near London) for 6.30 a.m. on the following Monday.
I always wanted to be an actress and wondered what it was really like to be on TV! Whilst in Spain I made my poor husband Mark shop with me for more than 7 hours until I found the perfect outfit for the programme and I knew exactly which pair of shoes I was going to wear!
The Den Experience
My experience in the den I arrived at the studios for 6.30 am and that’s when the fun really started and the butterflies kicked in! Breakfast was out of the question because my stomach was in knots and my hands were shaking for the first hour or so– I kept asking myself if I really wanted to put myself through all this. An hour in hair and makeup soon calmed me down and I even managed to eat something before being filmed as I didn’t want my stomach to make that awful empty vessel gurgling noise.
All the entrepreneurs sat in a holding lounge and my turn came just after lunch (yes I did manage to eat a little lunch – but not much). Hair done, make up touched up and wired up for sound – it was time to face the Dragons!
At the bottom of the steps my heart was pounding, my legs were weak and my hands were shaking. I was given a bottle of water to help calm my nerves and to help with my voice –when you are really nervous your voice does silly things and I wanted to avoid that at all costs!
I had to concentrate on thinking calm thoughts and kept telling myself that the Dragons are only 5 normal people! By the time I reached the top of the stairs I could feel my legs again and I walked over to my props which were under a black cover (these had been set up according to my instructions during the lunch break). I had to lift off the cover and walk back to my spot (marked x) and finally stand and do my presentation.
I looked up and my immediate thought was – Help! Where is the exit? Oh my goodness what on earth am I doing here? But I was and I’d chosen to put myself through this experience so I just had to get on and present my company. My hands were shaking, my voice quivered and I was exceptionally nervous.
Peter Jones opened up the questions by saying he was one of the nicer Dragons and forty-five minutes later the film needed changing and I was given a few minutes to rest and have a drink of water. My mouth was dry, I was a little tense but overall I loved it! I spent about 1 ½ hours in the den! During filming I had five fantastic dragons give me some excellent feedback and the atmosphere was exceptionally friendly and fun but very business like and I really did have to know my stuff.
On leaving the set James Caan made a lovely comment about my outfit (worth the 7 hours shopping experience) and the other dragons called out his web address and chuckled! What a fantastic experience. I wish I could do it all over again. And perhaps I should have been an actress after all!
I was then interviewed by Evan Davis and we talked about the den experience and the dragons and eventually left that evening around 6.30 totally exhausted!
We obviously can’t disclose the outcome just yet… But watch Dragon’s Den at 9pm on BBC2 on Monday 4th August and find out if