I tuned in to last night's much hyped new ITV business series 'Tycoon' with much anticipation.
Not only am I an avid fan of the new breed of TV business shows, but also having known Peter Jones 'before he was famous' - when we filmed series 1 of Dragons' Den back in 2003 - I was interested to see how he had developed in his role as 'celebrity entrepreneur'.
But minutes in, as we were flown over the City of London in the opening credits and then had a street level view of his shiny new Bentley arriving outside a disused warehouse-type building, it became clear that we were destined to endure a lowest common denominator formulaic pastiche of The Apprentice meets Dragons' Den.
Jones has selected 6 would-be entrepreneurs to take part in the show, each trying to build their business in a 10 week period working in an open plan office, under the scrutiny and 'guidance' of Jones.
The problem with the show is that it quickly becomes apparent that Jones hasn't a clue about brands or marketing, constantly misguiding the businesses in his charge.
Thus we see the 'Gardening Girlies' being encouraged to re-brand to something more 'attention grabbing' - and then being heaped with praise for coming up with the new identity 'Sod Women'. Personally I can't think of a brand name more likely to alienate what is predominantly a female, middle England target customer.
Similarly, vodka juice girl was given a slating by Jones for her attempts at finding a name for her product - citing 'Death' cigarettes as a great example of an attention grabbing brand (yes, those were the fags launched in 1991 by the company which was in liquidation by 1999). She finally resorted to grabbing passing joggers on the South Bank for their suggestions.
Back to the warehouse office and Jones has summoned everyone to a meeting to discuss their progress. The Gardening Girlies, sorry I mean 'Sod Women', have arrived in navy pinstripe suits wearing ties - only to receive more praise from Jones for showing so much progress under his guidance. No doubt in a future episode they will arrive having undergone a complete sex change, only for Jones to coo 'Congratulations ladyboys, the penny has finally dropped with you that only men can be successful in business'.
Finally, Jones heads down a pier for a showdown with vodka juice girl - plus the inevitable threat of a sacking - when what she really needed most at this point is some friendly guidance from one of London's big branding agencies.
This is where I think the show was so disappointing compared to, say, the brilliant Mary Queen of Shops (BBC2 Thursdays 9pm). In that series, Mary Portas not only points out where the businesses are going wrong, but then really gives brilliant hands-on guidance - by bringing some of the top fashion professionals in to help show how it should be done.
As the show progressed, while Jones' teeth got whiter, his cufflinks got bigger and the Bentley got shinier, Jones personality got thinner and thinner. By the end of the epsiode I was left feeling that this was simply another TV vehicle for his now monstrous sized alpha male ego.
The penny finally dropped when we saw the last frame and realised that the show had been created and produced by Jones' own TV production company Peter Jones TV. Like his Max Clifford co-client Simon Cowell, Jones clearly sees TV production as his latest way to make some much needed money.
A quick peek at the latest Phones International accounts shows why the diversification is needed - £4million profit on £186million sales is a nice business to have, but hardly puts Jones in the 'Tycoon' bracket of a Branson, Dyson or Sugar. Especially when up the road at Red Letter Days (the business I started, which Jones acquired out of administration in 2005 in a flourish of 'I'm-a-Dragon-and-I-know-a-Great-Business-Opportunity-When-I-see-One' publicity) has just filed a loss of £7.1 million.
While the TV route may have worked for Simon Cowell, sadly I don't see the same happening for Peter. While the idea for the show was great, the execution was lousy, and as one of Britain's supposed new breed of business leader, Jones just doesn't have the X-Factor.