Ratner in digital TV talks with Desmond

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The Independent Online

Gerald Ratner is planning to team up with Richard Desmond's media empire to sell jewellery from his new internet venture on one of Mr Desmond's pay-TV channels.

Mr Ratner, who plans to launch GeraldOnline in September, hopes to be on air by spring next year. In an interview with The Independent, Mr Ratner said: "They have an adult channel and need something to show during the day."

However, the two sides are currently at loggerheads over whether the shows will be live or recorded. Mr Ratner wants them to be live so they can take a product off air quickly if it isn't selling. The Desmond camp disagrees, saying live programming on shopping channels is too expensive.

Mr Ratner is also hoping to pull off a return to the high street 11 years after he was ousted from his jewellery empire after calling one of his products "total crap".

The 53-year-old entrepreneur is not planning to open his own stores but is interested in teaming up with other retailers to sell his GeraldOnline goods through their shops. "The idea is to get a big slice of the jewellery market so I would probably look at selling the idea to a Marks & Spencer or a supermarket," he said.

Mr Ratner has been forced to drop his original idea of calling his new business Ratners-Online after a legal challenge from Signet, the renamed Ratners business.

A friend said: "That cost him a lot of money in legal fees. And that was just in capitulating."

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