Last Night's Viewing: Be Your Own Boss, BBC3
Dead Good Job, BBC2

 

I thought I'd got the shouting at the telly under control, but Be Your Own Boss set me off again last night. "For Richard," said an urgent voiceover, "whose reputation and fortune is at stake, this is one hell of a gamble." To be absolutely honest, I didn't shout. It makes the dog jump. But I typed my notes in capitals: "NO IT BLOODY ISN'T!" Presumably, some idiot had decided that the show needed more "jeopardy", television's performance-enhancing drug of choice right now.

So although there was no prospect whatever of Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Smoothies, losing either his fortune or his reputation, they had to pretend it was the case. The show itself is a kind of X Factor for entrepreneurs, with Reed – an exemplary figure for the do-it-yourself tycoons among us – sifting through 500 hopefuls to find business ideas that he can invest in. What he gets is a venture capitalist's beauty parade and some excellent publicity. What they get is seed funding and business advice.

While Reed's fortune and reputation were safe, however, there looked to be a good chance that he might lose his temper before the end of the show. The early rounds were no hazard to his amiability, delivering a string of enjoyably daffy no-hopers. One woman appeared to be pitching a chain of restaurants where "dogs and humans can dine together". A young man tried to persuade Reed of the commercial prospects of a wordsearch square that contained only one real word. And two chancers in suits attracted Reed's attention by branding their company "Innocent Chicken". They proposed to lever a gap in an over-crowded market by adding novel flavours: "Bubblegum-flavoured chicken, mango-flavoured chicken... it's just something that's not out there," said one of them, apparently startled that nobody had got there before them. Reed asked to try a sample. "Urr... it's at the conception stage," they replied.

Frankly, I could have taken quite a bit more of this, but the programme had to move on. Reed selected two friends hoping to market the Lazy Camper, an all-in-one-box camping kit for festival-goers; Mango Bikes, which offers colour-customised bicycles; and Poietic Studio, a dippy pair of designer/artists who were the kind of outfit you would only back if you fancied an adrenalin rush. They got some seed money and then all three of them went away and underperformed. Poietic Studio pledged to "revolutionise the way we make tea" but returned with the prototype for a dancing fireplace, and Lazy Camper failed to secure any retail outlets. Only Mango Bikes showed signs of pushing their business forward. Reed took a deep breath, gamely pretended that the decision was a "really difficult" one, and invested £50,000 in their dream of a fashion accessory on two wheels. On what terms, we weren't told, but I'm guessing it doesn't involve a huge risk to Reed's fortune.

Dead Good Job looked at those whose business is seeing us out of this world and – according to your beliefs – into another one or into the ground. It included a single mother terminally ill with cancer who was arranging her own funeral, a Muslim burial in London and a biker's funeral, with the coffin carried in a motorbike sidecar. "That person was unique, so the funeral should be unique," said the motorcycling vicar who supplies this niche market. You might have thought this sentiment would meet with no contradiction, but the interesting thing was that Muslim burial makes something of a virtue of human identity in death, with pretty much every detail specified by religious law and every grave in the cemetery exactly the same. Still, as the single mother recalled with a jolt after she'd quibbled about where she might be placed in the chapel of rest, there's always one participant who won't mind either way.

twitter.com/tds153

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee