No deal for Jarrow inventor Tony McNally in Dragons' Den, but musician says it was a 'great experience'

Millions of BBC1 viewers tuned in last night to watch an inventor and musician on Dragon’s Den.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 10:01 pm

Unfortunately Tony McNally, from Jarrow, didn’t quite seal the deal.

Tony’s incredible invention is the Toneally, “the world’s first percussion teaching tool”, a hi-tech machine which assists with the vertical movement of the drumstick and trains drummers to follow the correct trajectory.

The four Dragon’s were impressed by the invention, as well as a very entertaining pitch by Tony, who asked for £50,000 for 10% of his business. But it wasn’t quite enough for them to take the plunge.

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Jarrow inventor Tony McNally didn't quite make a deal with the Dragons, but says the experience was overwhelmingly positive. Picture by Stu Norton.
Jarrow inventor Tony McNally didn't quite make a deal with the Dragons, but says the experience was overwhelmingly positive. Picture by Stu Norton.

After being turned down by Theo Paphitis, Tej Lelvani and Sara Davies, the last of the four to decline was Deborah Meaden. Tony sportingly gave her a drum roll before she good-naturedly spoke the infamous words “I’m out”.

However, Tony remains positive about the experience and is confident that the Toneally has a big future. He says around 1,600 models have so far been sold in 27 countries.

He said: “It was a win-win situation for me, just for the publicity alone. Since the show was recorded sales have gone through the roof - and that’s before the show went out. There’s a bit of a niche market for drums.

“I think I showed that I am passionate about it. My wife has to drag me away from it!

Jarrow inventor Tony McNally didn't quite make a deal with the Dragons, but says the experience was overwhelmingly positive. Picture by Stu Norton.

“It’s won international awards. It’s not just about drumming; you can use it for maths, working out percentages and angles. I believe in it and I think we’re just scratching the surface of what it can do.

“Maybe it would have been different if Peter Jones had been there. He’s got a background in education, but he was isolating when we recorded.

“It was about 7pm when I saw the Dragons. I’d been waiting for six hours. But it was worth it.

"I’d recommend going on Dragon’s Den to anyone, especially if they’re from the North East where we invent things.”

Tony is also a respected musician who can play virtually any instrument.

He has worked with the likes of Style Council and Paul Weller drummer Steve White, Pink Floyd percussionist Gary Wallis, Derek McKenzie of Jamiroquai, Nik Kershaw and T’Pau.

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