Written by Stephen Cross
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Saturday, 31 October 2009

image for Peter Jones Quits Dragons' Den After Bannatyne Altercation
Peter Jones

Dragons' Den entrepreneur Peter Jones quits the hit TV show after a heated argument with rival 'dragon' Duncan Bannatyne escalates into name-calling and hair pulling.

It was a routine day in the Den until a fight erupted between Jones and Bannatyne over what Jones felt were Bannatyne's 'suspicious business methods'.

While Jones negotiated percentages with Timmy Thompson, a Portuguese entrepreneur seeking investment for his range of edible contact lenses, Bannatyne suddenly stood up dramatically and pointed his finger at Jones, proclaiming 'You, sir, are nought more than a bloated muffin-top'. The insult appeared to startle the other Dragons, with Deborah Meaden immediately cupping her hands over her mouth and sobbing deeply.

Jones didn't appear surprised by Bannatyne's outburst, and later commented that he and the Scottish businessman have 'never seen eye to eye', labelling Bannatyne as 'the skid marks on the underpants of my life'.

'He's always felt threatened by me' he continued. 'I mean, I'm a foot taller than he is, and my businesses are far more successful than his. The first altercation kicked off in 2006, after he disregarded my requests for him to cease skateboarding outside my home.'

Jones made his fortune by buying and selling telecommunication businesses, while Bannatyne amassed his million-pound empire by stealing from local kebab houses.

'On a good day I'd get maybe three or four boxes of garlic sauce, a bad day may only produce a few sachets of salt' Bannatyne explained. 'It's all about economies of scale. If I steal alone, then I'm essentially a sole-trader. But by persuading pensioners and homeless people to steal for me, my turnover rocketed into the dozens of pounds a week.'

When asked how he got away with the thefts, said to have spanned several decades, Bannatyne is rather more guarded. 'I can't say exactly how I made a profit on the goods, but I can say that Giuseppe was left in no doubt of what would happen to him unless he turned a blind eye.'

Fellow entrepreneur James Caan is said to have embarked on a hunger strike until Jones agrees to return to the show. Sources close to the 'dragon' say he's little more than a filthy husk of a man since the row, and has swallowed almost £14,000 in loose change as a form of self-harm.

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