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the dragons - Reading file 4 Background Enter the Dragons...

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© Oxford University Press 2008 Business Result Upper-intermediate Background Reading file 4 ‘The Sharks’ in Israel, ‘the Lions’ in Finland and ‘the Tigers’ in Japan – these are the new stars of reality TV. Dragons’ Den as it is known in most English-speaking countries, has become a hugely popular reality TV show in which ‘contestants’ pitch their ideas to established, successful entrepreneurs in the hope that they might invest in their business proposals. 1 The contestants (although the producers insist it is not a game show) are people who are considered to have a viable business idea but need financial backing to get their idea up and running. They pitch their ideas to five business moguls who then decide whether or not to invest in the project. Before the show the contestant must state how much money they wish to raise and if they do not reach that figure, they go home with nothing. 2 Of course the Dragons are not acting benevolently. Before agreeing to invest, they give the ‘contestants’ a good grilling, making sure the business plan has a sound foundation , and if they do agree to invest they expect a large share of the company in return. 3 ‘The ruthlessness of the Dragons has become a feature of the show and although most of the audiences want to see the contestants succeed there is a strange fascination in watching them unravel in the face of the pressure put on them by the panel,’ says TV writer Beata Bell. The Dragons are not only
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