Beat the Bank
Narrator: Paul Kaye
Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC Two, 13 November 2008
With the Credit Crunch in full flow, what are we to do with our money? Not stick it in a bank for sure, thanks to record low interest rates.
In what has the stench of a broadcast pilot, Dragon and professional scowler Duncan Bannatyne offers a couple three investment opportunities for £10,000 of their own money - investing in art, wine or antique furniture. Whatever they choose, Bannatyne invests his own money into the other two ventures.
In the middle section of the programme, both the couple and Duncan follow the progress of their money as experts use their capital to turn it into a whole load more cash within three months.
Everyone then comes back to the bank vault where the rise, or fall, of the investments is revealed and we see whether the couple chose the investment with the largest gain. Bannatyne gives his profits to charity.
It's quite an interesting idea to explore the alternative investment market in this way, and there is the real risk that the contestants will lose their cash - possibly quite a lot of it. But in this first show, all the investments returned pretty much the same amounts, so the couple's choice turned out to be not that important after all. Meh.
The show suffers from the usual erstwhile pleas of "It's not a game show, this is for real" but, like the Den, it nevertheless has rules and structures and plot points and is, for all its protestations, a game show format. If it could just get on with things a little more quickly, maybe cutting the running time down to 45 minutes, it could be a winning format. Otherwise we might lose "interest" in it! [Not funny - Ed]