Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 15:59 UK

Dragons' Den gives artist 80,000

Guy Portelli
Mr Portelli said he was surprised to even appear on the show

A sculptor from Kent has secured an 80,000 investment on the BBC television programme Dragons' Den.

Guy Portelli from Tonbridge was given the money for a 25% share in Pop Icons, a series of models depicting musicians such as John Lennon and Bob Marley.

Mr Portelli accepted a joint bid from Theo Paphitis, Peter Jones, and James Caan with the busts to go on display at the Mall Galleries in London next year.

He rejected a 90,000 offer from Scottish "dragon" Duncan Bannatyne.

Mr Portelli, who went to Medway College of Design, said he was surprised to even appear on the show.

'Spiritual experience'

"Not in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be on the programme.

"It was almost a spiritual experience, I woke up Easter morning and sent in my idea and within four weeks I was in the Den," he said.

He went on to explain how he decided to take the offer of 80,000 from the three dragons.

"It's a bit like a rabbit in the headlights, you are stunned into silence but at the same time your brain is running at a hundred miles an hour," he said.

"I had the three dragons I wanted so I thought I'd make them a proposal of 80k. I think they were quite amused by that," he added.

Dragons' Den, an international format which was originally launched in Japan, was first broadcast on the BBC in January 2005 and is currently in its sixth series.

Entrepreneurs pitch for investment from five venture capitalists who invest their own money in exchange for equity.



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