Lets roast a duck Kempton Style – from Beginning to End is a sequence of four videos showing how I made a simple & easy to make roast duck!
If I can make it, that means you can make it too!
Lets roast a duck Kempton Style – from Beginning to End is a sequence of four videos showing how I made a simple & easy to make roast duck!
If I can make it, that means you can make it too!
Over the last four years since June 2008, I’ve the pleasure to interview Brett Wilson (businessman & philanthropist, “Dragon with a heart”) many (see my 2008 pre-Dragons’ Den interview videos) and many times. I also slowly get to know Brett from industry events (we’ve met at Banff World Media Festival quite a few times (see 2009 interview)) and from his annual charity garden parties (thx Brett for inviting me & my better half). I can honestly say the “up close & in person” Brett is pretty much the same nice & straight talking no non-sense guy that many viewers of CBC’s award-winning Dragons’ Den have come to know.
Earlier this afternoon, I had the pleasure to conduct an insightful, open and frank video interview with Brett to talk about his Globe & Mail best-selling book “Redefining Success: Still making mistakes“! I hope you enjoy my interview with Brett as much as I in conducting it. Please share this article & video. And comment too.
note: this article is cross-posted by me at examiner.com
As a long time fan (since 2006) of CBC Dragons’ Den, it is painful to see CBC‘s & Dragons‘ investment credibility being questioned in the Techvibes article “The Den’s Dragons didn’t invest in Notewagon after all. But really, do they actually invest in anything?“ (emphasis added) which was linked by CBC Facebook Fan Club. Here is an excerpt from the last part of the article (emphasis added),
“The second issue is that Dragon’s Den deals aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Even in the U.K., critics insist that the show is pure entertainment [...] Just because a Dragon or two agrees to give entrepreneurs X number of dollars for a Y stake in the company, it doesn’t mean anything will actually happen after the cameras stop rolling. There’s due diligence and the added fact that Dragon money isn’t always pure.“
** Gathering CBC Dragons’ Den Canadian deals data **
In Knowlton’s article, Notewagon is discussed and two UK articles are referenced before Knowlton challenges CBC Dragons’ investment credibility. You see, these questions are not new in UK and Canada. Early this year in March 2011, I was researching for an in-depth article about Dragons’ Den, planning to write about, amongst many topics, the deals the Dragons made on TV vs deals they actually closed. I was able to find some deal data for one dragon Brett Wilson (more on this later). I thought if facts & figures like actual deals closed and by what Dragons vs. TV deals made were published, people’s questions and doubts would have been addressed.
To get my research going, I sent the following questions to CBC Head of Media Relations, Mr. Jeff Keay on March 17,
1) I would like to find out the number of deals the dragons made on air for each of the Dragons’ Den season (including the current).
2) The number of deals the dragons closed after due diligence in each of the season.
I got a prompt reply the next day on March 18 from Jeff saying,
“Checking. Back to you soon.“
Unfortunately, I got no further respond after followup emails & voice mails to Jeff on March 22 & 28. In fact, Jeff never got back to me. I eventually had to give up on the story.
** Actual Closed Deals data from one Dragon
(former Dragon Brett Wilson) **
As I mentioned before, as far I can find, the only comprehensive actual closed deals data I found were published by former Dragon Brett Wilson. Again, as far as I can tell, no other Dragons have publicly published any actual closed deals data!
Brett made public the number of deals he has done on TV (60+ deals) in three years, actually closed after due diligence (30 deals) and also the amount of money invested (over $4.5 million) in a Prairie Merchant (Brett’s company) Feb 28th, 2011 press release “Dragon With A Heart Leaves the Den” (emphasis added),
“After three years on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, doing 60 plus deals in the Den and personally committing over $4.5 million in final deals with 30 Canadian entrepreneurs, W. Brett Wilson, the lead deal making Dragon, confirmed today that he will not return for the show’s next season.”
** Deals data from Dragons, CBC Dragons’ Den, or
Den entrepreneurs with TV & actually closed deals **
To me, one way to positively addresses people’s legitimate concerns about ”but really, do they actually invest in anything?” is to have the Dragons, CBC, or Den entrepreneurs with TV & actually closed deals to provide deals data (the TV deals vs. what Dragon actually closed what deals, amounts invested & percentage, etc) so that Canadian fans of the show, and potential Den entrepreneurs can have some transparency & credibility back in the Dragons’ Den deals and process itself.
As a long time Dragons’ Den fan (since 2006) and champion of DD even before the show was launched in Canada, I hate to see people lose faith in Dragons’ Den‘s deals and its process. This is the 6th year of CBC Dragons’ Den and lots of Canadian entrepreneurs put their hopes on dreams into the show. Can you imagine if the deals are done on TV by Dragons for show only? And most deals fail to close? Imagine the Dragons ALWAYS can find reasons in due diligence phase to kill deals (small or big), will you still be interested in watching the show?
** Grounding Dragons’ Den popularity
with business facts & figures **
Looking back five years to 2006 when CBC just launched Dragons’ Den, I am still amazed how much Globe & Mail’s reporter John Doyle hated/trashed DD in its infancy even criticizing the set as “dark basement is, you know, dreary.” I will not forget my Oct 3rd and Oct 4th, 2006 articles jumping to DD’s defence when it was still an unproven show, long before DD is popular.
Now, over five years later and CBC Dragons’ Den is successful money making machine for CBC (with all the re-runs), I think fans of the show and potential Canadian Den entrepreneurs deserve to see their favourite show grounded with “actual closed deals” and actual business facts & figures and not just be satisfied by “TV deals”.
Well, I just recorded Jian Ghomeshi‘s opening Q essay against the “coverage overload” of Will & Kate’s visit to Canada. I think it is thoughtful of Jian to ask questions. At the same time, I disagree with him on a few of his views/opinions. In response, I tweeted briefly,
here is Jian’s tweet
Have a listen to Jian’s opening Q essay before commenting.
For some of us who pay attention to Will & Kate, it is because they inspire us a little. Through them, we see a little bit of us, ourselves. Their love is not something unique to them, we can imagine the love they have for each other, exist before we and our loved ones.
Have a read & check out my video clips in my “Will & Kate in Canada Special” report series,
I don’t praise people easily but I just want to say if you have’t seen Jian Ghomeshi, QTV host, interview people, you are missing a lot. Jian is amongst the best interviewers I know (Charlie Rose, Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley, 嚴浩 (he is a film director but his TV interviews on RTHK 品味人生 were a great joy to watch)).
I am posting this short note because recently some stupid people played a copyright takedown trick to remove the QTv YouTube channel (but it is ok now)! I was excited to see QTv came back online because I really found out how much I love QTv.
Have a listen to my new favourite found this morning,
Have a watch of my all time favourite video interview with the wise & legendary Leonard Cohen,
It was my pleasure to finally meet Corla Rokochy (Snappy Socks) in person after watching her pitched on Dragons’ Den and talked about her business in Feb 2011. The following is my video interview with Corla at Brett Wilson’s Garden Party 2011.
The following are a few highlights of my video interview with Corla,
0:00 Corla talks about Snappy Socks and shows us some of her cool socks.
0:35 How much money did Brett invest in the business and what was the story?
0:52 How did the Brett’s money impact the business?
1:14 With that money, how many pairs of socks were bought and sold? Read the rest of this entry »
It was my pleasure to finally meet Elle Boetticher owner of Pro Elvis Jumpsuits in person after watching her pitched on Dragons’ Den and wrote about her business in 2009. The following is my video interview with Elle at Brett Wilson’s Garden Party 2011.
The following are a few highlights of my video interview with Elle,
0:00 Elle talks about her Pro Elvis Jumpsuits business and shows of her products.
0:43 How much did Brett invest and when was it? For the loan, what was the interest rate?
1:42 How was the money (both investment and loan from Brett) used? Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t agree with CBC Rex Murphy too often. But I think Rex’s opinions in his insightful piece last night (June 16th in The National) on the Vancouver riots were right on. Also have a read of my preliminary Top 10 Canucks Riot Lessons – Turning the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot into a Teachable Moment.
“Those clod poles, ne’er-do-wells, vandals, punks, thugs and assorted clueless dolts who smacked people around, piled on others, fought with and sought to injure police, set fire to cars, broke into stores, trashed and looted at will in Vancouver Wednesday night — all are a pathetic pack of cowardly destructive losers. An older generation, not bent by the winds of political correctness would rightly have called them the scum of the earth.
There aren’t any excuses for what they did. None. None. At. All. If these whiny, pampered, useless sacks of skin even try to claim it was because their team lost, then they haven’t got the intelligence of a ball of mud. Fools don’t need a motive to be fools, and destructive and threatening fools, such as those who rioted Wednesday night in Vancouver are no exception to this rule. This kind of fool will riot when “his” team wins as easily as when it loses, the game was just a convenient trigger.
[...] Vancouver deserved better Wednesday night. Canada deserved better. Even the Canucks, who had a long worthy go of it up to the final games, deserved better.
The rioters are a third-rate band of losers who still managed to cast a shadow on what should have been — win or lose — a wonderful night for all the country. Everyone in Canada who loves hockey and Canada despises these people.“
“The Canucks were the best team in the National Hockey League’s regular season, winning the Presidents’ Trophy by 10 points. But after bolting to three straight wins against the Blackhawks, they looked like they’d be just the fourth team in Stanley Cup history to lose a seven-game playoff series with four straight losses.
Jonathan Toews, a Team Canada Olympic hero in this building just 14 months ago, tied it for Chicago on a shorthanded rebound with 1:56 remaining in regulation time and the Blackhawks had a chance to win in overtime when Burrows took a holding penalty 24 seconds into the extra period.
But Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, often criticized but seldom at fault in this series, made a season-saving stop on Patrick Sharp during the Blackhawk power play, and four minutes later Burrows was the hero.
The Canucks winger, who scored Vancouver’s first goal, had been stopped by Crawford on a third-period penalty shot and later shot high on a breakaway.”
And the Chicago Blackhawks played a great game 7 too and they could have won the game instead of Canucks. ESPN “Hawks left with sickening feeling“
“Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was at a near loss for words standing at his locker stall after an exhausting 2-1 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 on Tuesday.
Tired and saddened, Toews was asked to sum up the incredible 13 days. He paused.
“We’ve had some good series in the past, but I have to say that’s been the best one,” he said. “We never gave up. You have to feel like it’s meant to be when you get to that point. You have to think it’s going to go your way and when it doesn’t … I can’t believe what just happened. There was no doubt in my mind we were going to win this game coming into it.” “
CBC News, “Dragon Brett Wilson backs new investing show“.
Yes, the news was reported but for some unexplained reason, we see “This story is closed to commenting.” Huh?!! What’s going on?
P.S. Am I too tough to see this as an issue related to journalistic integrity (or the lack of)? Should I be happy that CBC reports the story at all? Is it acceptable to close the comment section so that CBC can avoid being criticized? I don’t know.
What standard, if there is one, does CBC used to decide if a story should be “closed to commenting“?
Please share what you think in the comment section.
Published On Sun Mar 27 2011 (Toronto Star)
Lesley Ciarula Taylor
Actor and comedian Roger Abbott, one of the founders of Canada’s long-running beloved comedy troupe the Royal Canadian Air Farce, has died after a 14-year battle with leukemia. He was 64.
“I’m heartbroken to tell you that our beloved friend, Roger Abbott, died last night at Toronto General Hospital, 14 years after being diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a progressive disease that he kept secret from all but a few close friends and family until a week ago,” friend and co-star Don Ferguson said on the show’s website on Sunday.
“Roger was the guiding light of Royal Canadian Air Farce since it began in 1973, and all of us who have had the honour of working with him and the pleasure of knowing him will dearly miss his kindness, generosity, integrity, leadership and wonderful sense of humour.” Read the rest of this entry »
“We all know motorcycles are awesome, but in our view most are missing two key ingredients: a zero-emission electric drivetrain and the ability to transform. That is, until 17-year-old Benjamin Gulak created the UNO as a high school senior. Now on their third iteration, BPG Motors is perfecting this unique EV cycle and TRANSLOGIC is the first to take it for a spin.”
Last night on CBC News Network, I watched the French documentary “The Game of Death” (full doc can be watched online in Canada). To me, a good documentary is engaging and makes us think at the same time. In fact, I am watching “The Game of Death” for the second time to understand the “harm” many of us (yes, us) are, unfortunately, capable of delivering. Highly recommended. (note: One way of “vaccinating” ourselves may be become more aware of what we are capable of doing.)
Here is an excerpt from the CBC program info for The Game of Death (emphasis added),
“In 1963, an infamous scientific experiment led by Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram demonstrated that a majority of people would administer unbearable electric shocks to another man, when encouraged to do so by an authority figure. [note: I remember the Milgram Experiment as one of the infamous/controversial research that we have to study in PSY 100.] Surprisingly, more than sixty per cent of the participants completed the experiment. They learned afterwards that the ‘victims’ were in fact actors and no pain was ever inflicted.
Filmmaker Christophe Nick re-creates Milgram’s experiment in the form of a TV game show, where 80 participants are asked to follow its onerous rules. The participants are recruited for a test TV show and are brought into a real game show set in a television studio with technicians, a live audience, and an attractive hostess. Despite the contestant’s increasingly urgent protests and howls of pain, will they obey the TV host’s commands and inflict electric shocks on an unseen man? Or will they stop before it’s too late?“
You can watch a Passionate Eye trailer of the doc (probably viewable in Canada only). Also check out a Reuters English report video (see below), a TIME magazine article “The Game of Death: France’s Shocking TV Experiment” and a BBC report with audio interview “‘Game of Death’ French TV show sparks controversy“.
If you understand French (which unfortunately I don’t), you can check out this French news report.
Check out this great Maclean’s article “In conversation: Brett Wilson “. I’ve excerpted three questions and answers that I found very insightful. [emphasis added]
“Q: You’ve challenged the CBC to dole out what you’ve called “constructive criticism as opposed to abuse” on the show. What prompted you to make that challenge?
A: I want it to respect the intelligence of the viewing community—you know, there isn’t a business school in the country that isn’t paying attention to this show. I was the lead deal-making dragon. I don’t know how many deals the other dragons have actually done or closed, but I managed to get 60 done on the show, and we’ve papered 30, and 31 should be done in the next couple weeks. That’s where my own fan base says, “Thank you for showing us how to do deals.” It’s easy to say, “No,” it takes no courage, no brains and no wallet to criticize. Criticism comes free. Action comes at some cost, and I’ve been pretty active. Will the 30 investments I’ve made all work out? Absolutely not. I suspect I’ll write off four or five in the next year because they’re stumbling. But there’s four or five that could become iconic brands in Canada because of the power of the entrepreneur. Any one of those top-five investments will pay for all 30. So I take a portfolio approach. Read the rest of this entry »
The wonderfully made and insightful documentary Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie was one of my 2011 Calgary International Film Festival picks. The film will air on CBC this Sunday March 13 at 8 pm on CBC-TV, repeating Sunday April 3 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC News Network. Check it out if you have time, highly recommended.
Of all the reports/interviews I could find today (Feb 28th, Monday) about Brett leaving Dragons’ Den, I want to say I enjoy the report (see below) from Calgary Sun‘s Lisa Wilton the most (very detail and insightful). It is nice to be pleasantly surprised by Calgary Sun.
Reports (see below) in Ottawa Citizen, National Post, Canadian Press, NewsTalk980 all added a little something (see emphasis) and worth a read. And then there are reports in Toronto Star and Calgary Herald. (March 6th Update: CityTV Breakfast Television Calgary interview video, “What’s Next for Brett Wilson? – Brett Wilson is leaving the Dragon’s Den. He tells us why and what’s next on his agenda.“)
Here is an excerpt from Calgary Sun ”Wilson opens up regarding ‘Den“,
“[ Q ] – Did your reason for leaving just come down to a contract negotiation breakdown?
Well, it started in December.
They gave me three weeks to sign the contract, take it or leave it.
There were some issues with the contract. First of all, they tried to cut the compensation. We negotiated that and got that solved. And they wanted to stop me from going on any other networks, so we negotiated that and got that solved.
Where we got stuck was on schedule. When I told them I had a family vacation and I wasn’t prepared to vary, they told me that wouldn’t work.
So, I politely advised that I would have to be out of the show because I wasn’t prepared to walk away from the vacation. It’s the first time I’ve had all three kids in one place in two years so I wasn’t going to walk away from that. It meant more to me than another season of the show.
Then CBC moved heaven and earth, and I really give them credit for it. Read the rest of this entry »
“Entrepreneur Brett Wilson is leaving the show Dragons’ Den at the end of the current season.
CBC-TV executive Julie Bristow says Wilson and the broadcaster could not agree on the terms of his contract.“
Brett is a great guy and one of my most favourite Dragon on the show. I love the fact that Brett managed to find ways to close most of his Den’s deals. I like many of the businesses he invests in and secretly wish I could also invest in some of them if I am given the chance! (I won’t name them publicly here. :)
I will add more to this article if I have more to report.
I know I will miss watching Brett on the show. Good luck and all the best Brett.
P.S. On a personal note, in June 2008, Brett was really nice in agreeing to be video interviewed by me and he answered every question I had. It was a great pleasure to know Brett before he appeared on the Den. And I can honestly say Brett has always been the same easy going, friendly and nice guy. Here are links to part 1 and part 2 of the video interviews.
Feb 28, 2011, 9:18am Update: Here is a link to my comments plus Brett’s press release, “Brett Wilson’s press release: DRAGON WITH A HEART LEAVES THE DEN“.
Feb 28, 2011, 12:12am Update: From Brett’s tweet, “Will have a #NewsRelease out at 7:00am to comment on my departure from #CBC #DragonsDen. See the wire and my website. It’s all good folks…”
Feb 26, 2011, 1:27pm Update: From Hollywood Reporter, “CBC Loses Popular Reality Show Host – Deal-making shows fails to sign “Dragon’s Den” host to a fourth season.“
Feb 24, 2011, 9:36pm Update: Two tweets from Brett, hope to hear from him directly about this news soon. As others pointed out, Brett was still tweeting about the show as usual only 16 hours ago.
Looks like there have been updates added to both of the originally quoted TorStar and Calgary Herald articles. Here are some important details added to the TorStar article as we can see what Kirstine Stewart (CBC’s head of English services) said last month (Jan 2011?),
“The Star spoke with Kirstine Stewart, CBC’s head of English services, last month and asked about rumours of an oncoming Dragons’ Den shakeup. She denied one was coming but said that in light of situations like Lewin’s health issues, the broadcaster was ready just in case.
“Every year, we do auditions and people get excited and think they might be the next Dragon. The Dragons are huge mogul business people and their schedules don’t always align with our production schedule,” she said.
“There are things that happen in their lives that make them not available to us, so we’re always auditioning to make sure that we have understudies. That’s been the case every year and that continues, but there is no plan to change anything up. But we don’t know if the Dragons are always going to be available to us, so we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got a good roster of people that we can choose from, should their plans change.””
Some stuff in Calgary Herald from CBC spokesman Jeff Keay,
““We were unable to come to terms on his contract,” said CBC spokesman Jeff Keay. “Those things happen, especially on a business show like that. If you can’t reach an agreement on a deal, you don’t have a deal.”
Keay stressed that the contractual road block “wasn’t a matter of money” but he wouldn’t elaborate as to the other issues on the table.
“We consider these discussions with Brett to be confidential,” Keay said. [Kempton note: Huh? Confidentiality agreement to stop Brett from speaking??]
At press time a spokesperson for Wilson told the Herald that he wasn’t prepared to address the matter publicly but plans to at some point soon. [Kempton note: I hope Brett will talk about this from his perspective. His fans and the show's fans deserve more from what CBC has provided.]“
Before Concrete Equities went into receivership in spring 2009, it used to be a major advertiser/sponsor of CBC Dragons’ Den and many people got to know about the company through those ads. Sadly, “More than 3,700 investors, most of whom are from Calgary, lost more than $100 million through investments with Concrete Equities.” It is sad that many people had to learn the lesson in such a hard way.
For the record.
From CBC News “Alleged Alta. securities breaches under review” (Monday Feb 14, 2011) (emphasis added),
“A hearing into a Calgary real estate investment firm’s alleged breaches of Alberta securities law got underway Monday.
Four former directors of Concrete Equities, which went into receivership in 2009, are accused of acting as dealers without being registered, not filing prospectus and making misrepresentations to investors. [...]
More than 3,700 investors, most of whom are from Calgary, lost more than $100 million through investments with Concrete Equities.“
From Calgary Herald “Concrete Equities under scrutiny at hearing – ASC to determine if now-defunct Calgary company misled investors” (Feb 15, 2011) (emphasis added),
“Monday, lawyers for the ASC outlined the case they hope to prove, which includes investors who were promised returns of more than 600 per cent and told the investments were risk free, as well as those who weren’t told of marketing commissions of between seven and 10 per cent being paid to Concrete Equities.
“You will hear evidence in the course of this hearing that Concrete Equities Inc., in raising capital in Alberta, failed to disclose certain information to its investors in its offering memoranda, which the investors will say was information that they would wanted to have known when they made their investment,” ASC counsel Andrew Wilson told the panel of three hearing the case. [...]
The ASC allegations involve David Jones, David Humeniuk, Varun Vinny Aurora and Vincenzo De Palma and six limited partnerships.
Neil Narfason, a senior vice-president at receiver Ernst & Young, told the hearing Concrete Equities – which raised $118 million from 3,700 investors – couldn’t list all its bank accounts and had accounting and bookkeeping standards that were below expectations.
“All the basic stuff was not there,” Narfason said, referring to ledgers, financial statements, tax returns and bank statements that were missing or incomplete. “It’s unusual for a company in that business not to have a handle on funds.” Read the rest of this entry »