New BBC reality show is strictly for millionaires

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The BBC is looking for millionaires to come on television, give up their luxury lifestyles, and compete with each other to build a new business out of nothing.

The new reality television show, which will be unveiled to business leaders today by the controller of BBC2, Roly Keating, is an attempt by the corporation to capitalise on the success of business-related shows such as The Apprentice, which starred Sir Alan Sugar.

In a speech written for the Enterprise Britain Summit '05 today in London, Mr Keating has emphasised the corporation's interest in shows about free enterprise, such as Dragons' Den, which gives entrepreneurs the chance to bid for investment funds.

Mr Keating said: "What audiences love about Dragons' Den is the sense that real investments are being made and real risks are being taken in front of their eyes, both by people pitching the ideas and by the investors who put up their own money." The new show, which has just gone into production, will be called Millionaire's Challenge. "We'll challenge mega-rich entrepreneurs to prove they still have the Midas touch by doing it all over again," he said. "Each will be stripped of all the trappings of their luxury lifestyle and given just £5,000 to start a new business from scratch. Then we'll see who comes out on top."

Mr Keating said he would not allow the losing millionaires to walk away from the project with a profit. "The losers will have to hand over every penny they've made in the series," he said.

The BBC was unable to say whether Sir Alan Sugar would be taking part in Millionaire's Challenge.

"We expect the programme to reveal as much about the ego of top business people as about starting a new business. It should provide fascinating insights into how to become a successful entrepreneur."