It’s handbags at dawn for Dragon Duncan

Duncan Bannatyne and girlfiiend Nigora Whitehorn
Duncan Bannatyne and girlfiiend Nigora Whitehorn

I was half watching the TV programme This Morning whilst succumbing to the urge to buy a new bath mat online, (curse you pesky internet and your tempting bathroom accessories!) when I became aware of any elderly gent on screen who was having to lean heavily on the knee of his daughter or perhaps his young nurse for support.

As I turned up the volume to see what affliction the poor man was suffering from, it became apparent to me he had a particularly nasty case of, as we say in Belfast, ‘being an auld eejit!’.

The elderly gent was in fact 66-year-old Dragon’s Den star, Duncan Bannatyne. As I listened to the conversation I discovered Bannatyne wasn’t there to discuss a debilitating illness, nor a new business venture, he was there to defend allegations that he had threatened his ex-girlfriend, former Miss GB, Michelle Evans with revenge porn. I found it amazing that a man in his position would speak publicly about this.

The trouble began when his ex-girlfriend became annoyed when she saw pictures in the newspapers of her then boyfriend Bannatyne having dinner with a gorgeous young woman.

Ms Evans reportedly asked Bannatyne to reimburse her the money she had shelled out in childcare fees to enable her to go on their dates together. She alleged he then threatened her that if she made trouble he would make public risqué photos that she had sent him of herself.

My stomach went on a bit of a boke-fest as I watched Bannatyne gripping tightly the knees of the young lady sat next to him in what resembled a show of ownership The pretty knees belonged to that of his new love, Nigora Whitehorn. He didn’t refute his threats, but said he never would have actually made the photos of his ex-love public. He seemed unfazed by the accusations and claimed he was ‘‘madly in love’’ hinting that marriage to his new girl was on the cards telling people to ‘‘get your hats ready’’.

It might be more advisable for old Dunc to hold on to his hat, considering he has not yet introduced the glam, young Ms Whitehorn to any of his six children and has actually only been dating her for two weeks!

Hence my diagnosis of auld eejit malaise.

As Philip Schofield and Amanda Holden interviewed the besotted Bannatyne, you could see Amanda was, like myself, slightly incredulous (she also verbalised it) that Duncan was discussing this in public.

Whilst Schofield appeared filled with admiration for Bannatyne with regard to his latest stunning conquest.

It made for rather uncomfortable viewing, watching this man berate one woman and paw over another as he proclaimed his undying love after a mere two week relationship. There’s no fool like an old fool!

Ms Evans also criticised Bannatyne for his meanness during their dates, reportedly claiming he made her split the bill for dinner and bought her a cheap Christmas present. She’s understandably annoyed at Duncan allegedly dating another whilst he was still seeing her.

I suppose that’s the problem with dating a multi- millionaire. There is always going to be a glamorous rival waiting to fill your shoes, and it doesn’t matter how old or unattractive your multi-millionaire is (think Hugh Hefner!). It’s like Caroline Aherne’s famous question whilst interviewing Debbie McGee ‘‘So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?’’

The women who target these men are rarely shrinking-violet types as Bannatyne’s ex-love and current love have both shown in this blaze of publicity regarding their relationships with him.

It can’t be easy being the significant other of a rich partner, especially in these days of social media when news of indiscretions can be spread in a matter of seconds. In a recent legal wrangle between 72-year-old Robert Rosenkranz, ceo of Delphi Financial Group and his 40-year-old mistress, Katherine Nelson, a judge lifted a restraining order on Nelson’s use of social media. Nelson had been using Twitter to inform Rosenkranz’s wife of their affair. Jamie Oliver’s spouse Jools, recently admitted that she checks her husband’s emails and texts to make sure he’s not cheating on her.

You can’t blame her for keeping an eye on him for fear of unscrupulous gold diggers targeting her wealthy husband and splashing any infidelity over the net. When it comes to rich and powerful men, temptresses are never far away.

As Groucho Marx said ‘‘Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife!’’