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ShortList vs Dave Gorman

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There are two types of genius: those who are extremely clever but spend most of their time in tweed, and those who are aren't excessively bright but every now and again come up with an idea of such brilliance you have to stand and applaud it. We prefer the latter, as does brilliant BBC show Genius (starts on September 27, BBC2, 10pm). hosted by Dave Gorman. The premise of the show is simple, you have an idea, you tell it to Dave and his panel of experts/celebrity guests, and they give you either a verbal beating or a pat on the back (Dragon's Den it certainly isn't). We sat down with the funny man to pitch some ideas of our own. Despite what he says, they will make us millionaires.

Pitch 1: The Aircut

What is it: A barbers for the follically challenged. Bald men lose out on the pleasurable experience of going to the barbers. We want a place for the bald man that does all the pampering – hot towels, head massage, chat about his hols and so on – apart from actually cutting his hair, which he certainly doesn't want.

Gorman says: I think some boy pampering that just replaces getting your hair cut is not a bad idea. But, I think all you need is men with scissors just making a snipping noise around your head and asking you about your holidays.

Verdict: Thumbs up.

Pitch 2: Canpagne

What is it: Champagne in a can. We all know the teaspoon in the top of the bottle doesn’t stop champagne turning rancid, so instead of wasting a bottle, having champagne in a can means you can always have fresh champagne.

Gorman says: The point of champagne is that it pops and it’s fizzy, if you take away the ritual of opening the bottle of champagne you’ve lost the nice element to it. Plus, it’s no-one’s favourite drink anyway. Now, perhaps, there’s a case for putting in a cheap drink you normally find in a can, in a champagne bottle. So you get the celebration and the moment and the pop, but not the champagne.

Verdict: Thumbs down

Pitch 3: Ban the vowel

What is it: A fashion company that designs t-shirts with famous quotes and slogans but without vowels. Quirky eh?

Gorman says: No. This is sort of already happens in text messages. Some people think it’s fine to remove the vowels and for it all to make sense but I, personally, am against it. I find vowels quite useful. I think the mistake you’ve made there is that the next level of anything is to put it on a t-shirt. I don’t buy that.

Verdict: Thumbs down

Pitch 4: Professional Dumper

What is it: Why go through the anguish and potential threat of physical violence when breaking up with someone when you can hire someone to do it for you in a charming, sophisticated kind of way. Perhaps in the form of song.

Gorman says: I think what you need is a service of doppelgangers. There is a theory that everyone does have a doppelganger in the world. Maybe we need to be connected to our doppelgangers, so that we could ask them to do favours. I think with this situation, she’s always going to think, ‘you b*stard, you couldn’t face me, you sent somebody else to give me the news.’ I don’t see that as being morally superior, or acceptable to her, or him.

Verdict: Thumbs down

Pitch 5: Blended Dinners

What is it: Not just any blended dinners, high class blended dinners. Men have less time to sit down and have a two or three hour meal, so being able to visit your favourite restaurant and have a meal ready in minutes is genius, surely?

Gorman says: No. We did try blending food, but I think you’ll find it takes away a lot of pleasure out of eating food. The chewing, the presentation, the texture, I think you’ll find that’s what people are enjoying. Where this idea falls down is people like going to nice restaurants but don’t always have the time. That’s true, but going to a nice restaurant when you do have the time is nice, eating what you would’ve got in a fine restaurant but not in one, and not in the circumstances of one, but in liquid form, like you’ve had a car accident, that’s not nice.

Verdict: Thumbs down

Pitch 6: Posh Crispy Pancakes

What: Take the oft mocked dinner/snack and rebranding it as a modern, gastro pub treat.

Gorman says: I can see the strength in the idea. I think Heston Blumenthal is the man for this. I think you need to get Heston in to re-create the magic, and the joy of the Findus crispy pancake – which probably already exists for £1.99 in Iceland – and charge you £50 for it. He can go into a laboratory and make it exactly like the cheap one, and people will enjoy it. And people will think ‘oh isn’t it witty’.

Verdict: Thumbs up

Pitch 7: Cheer Pup

What is it: Instead of using horses to cheer up the depressed, put them in a room full of puppies instead.

Gorman says: Oh brilliant. Brilliant. A room full of puppies – who couldn’t be happy in a room full of puppies. How can you be depressed when you’re being bundled by at least 60 puppies. Although, I think you should remove their voiceboxes. I can imagine it being quite noisy. Hypothetically, not wishing any actual harm on any actual animal, a room full of silent puppies would be fine.

Verdict: Thumbs up

Pictures: Getty Images, Rex Features

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