THE FUTURE of Dragons' Den, the reality TV show for wannabe entrepreneurs, looks to be in tatters after panellist Duncan Bannatyne invested £100,000 in an idea no different to a humble sandwich.
Bannatyne, the ice-cream van man turned multimillionaire leisure industry magnate, bizarrely agreed to hand over the cash to Coventry café owner Phil McCafferty.
The 43-year-old contestant appeared on the show and asked for £100k, offering for a 5 per cent share in his business for an idea he says he stumbled across while making a snack at home.
His pitch to the dragons started: "My names Phil - and sleep. I'd been away for a few days and when I got back there was hardly anything to eat.
"I had two slices of bread and a bit of cheese and didn't quite know what to do with them, so I put the cheese in between the bread and hey presto, that was it.
"It's an idea that could catch on as you could put all manner of fillings in between the slices of bread and I could really do with expanding it and Duncan, you love this idea, the rest of you keep quiet. 1-2-3 wake up."
Hotel and leisure magnate Bannatyne jerked to his senses and waxed lyrical about the idea as astonished dragons looked on.
He said: "This is bloody fantastic. I've got gyms and hotels where this idea could become very popular, therefore, count me in.
"I started off with ice-cream vans and made a bloody fortune so I know what I'm on about and I can't believe no-one's come up with this idea before."
The rest of the dragons were deafly silent but Peter Jones seemed impervious to trickster McCafferty and tried to warn Bannatyne, to no avail: "Your Jedi mindtricks don't work on me Phil. I'm out. Wake up Duncan, you've been conned!"
A wild-eyed Bannatyne turned to his fellow dragon and shouted: "Shut it ya lanky streak, yer just jealous I've beaten you too it and put my money where my mouth is. I'm off to get me some bread and jam."
Since McCafferty's ambitious pitch, it is alleged that dragon Theo Paphitis has been eating raw onions and waking up at dawn and crowing like a cockerel each day.
The Spoof has since discovered that McCafferty works as a part-time hypnotist under the name of Mystic Midge.