Tony McNally, from Jarrow, is the founder of Toneally, a company which sells musical instruments. The invention he put before the dragons was “the world’s first percussion teaching tool”.
The hi-tech piece of kit focuses on the vertical movement of the drumstick and trains the drummer to follow the correct trajectory, something that would normally take many years of practice to develop. The invention can benefit experienced drummers as well as beginners.
Tony, who also teaches music as well as being a composer, faced the dragons who included Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Tej Lalvani, Theo Paphitis (who described Tony as a “go-getter”) and North East entrepreneur Sara Davies.
He received the call from the Dragons’ Den team while he was on a trip to Italy and at first thought it was a joke.
He had been found on social media by a researcher from the programme who was a drummer himself. Tony thinks this may have helped him to appear on the show.
Tony is also a respected musician, having worked with the likes of Pink Floyd percussionist Gary Wallis, Style Council and Paul Weller drummer Steve White and Derek McKenzie of Jamiroquai.
It isn’t the first time Tony’s capabilities were judged on television. As a 12 year-old Tony appeared on the ITV talent show Opportunity Knocks.
It will not be revealed whether or not Tony was able to strike a deal on Dragons’ Den until the show is broadcast. But either way, he recommends the experience.
He said: “It’s been a rollercoaster ride, ever since a BBC researcher reached out to see if I’d apply to pitch my award-winning invention to the Dragons.
“Virtually every drummer and percussionist will have a glimpse at what ToneAlly teaching tools can do for them when the programme airs.
“The show recently moved to BBC1, which means millions of viewers will see my unique products for the very first time. For a small British business like mine, the exposure alone is simply priceless.”
It has not been revealed if Tony managed to strike a deal. The programme will be shown on BBC1 on Thursday, June 24 at 9pm.