Back in the spotlight - but no dragons

PETER Ashley is a man who just cannot stop inventing.Despite being given a real tough time in public on TV's Dragon's Den over his last creation, the inventor's enthusiasm has not been dented - and he already has another idea in preparation“Their comments were quite hurtful, very critical at times,” said Mr Ashley, of Grange Road, Felixstowe.

PETER Ashley is a man who just cannot stop inventing.

Despite being given a real tough time in public on TV's Dragon's Den over his last creation, the inventor's enthusiasm has not been dented - and he already has another idea in preparation

“Their comments were quite hurtful, very critical at times,” said Mr Ashley, of Grange Road, Felixstowe.

“But it was positive criticism. I think taken in context, I had to say, maybe that's right.

“I believe criticism can be helpful. The panel are all millionaires - they know the business world and what will work and what won't.”

The Dragons did not believe his invention - an ordinary armchair which can be transformed into a multi-gym with all the equipment needed for pull ups, cycling, rowing, bench press exercises and more - would change the world and it reduced the panel members to tears . . . of laughter.

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Tonight night he is back on the box again in the Dragon's Den Where Are They Now? follow-up, showing what he has been up to since his original invention.

Mr Ashley, who has a wife Maria and three grown-up children, lives part of the year in Gran Canaria and the film crew flew out to meet him there to see his new invention, an exercise system for invalid chairs and for reducing health problems on long-haul flights.

The system involves weights powered by a hydraulic pressure system.

“It means you do not have to have lots of heavy weights because it uses a revolutionary resistance system - people using it will be able to pull on weights from virtually nothing to 100kg,” he said.

“The great advantage is that is can be set to be very precise but because of the hydraulics involved there is no impact stress on your muscles and it is a very smooth and gradual operation so the muscles do not get stressed.

“I think it will work really well for disabled people who have few opportunities to exercise, but it could also be used in aircraft on long-haul flights to help with deep thrombosis problems.”

He has already had the invention patented and made some prototypes using office chairs

Mr Ashley - a former civil engineer with Felixstowe Urban District Council, and who works on stage as a hypnotist - said he was glad he wasn't facing the dragons again.

“It was just the film crew and they spent five or six hours with me - they said they had seen Duncan Bannatyne the previous week and told him they were coming out to see me and he sent his regards,” he said.

Dragon's Den Where Are They Now? is on BBC2 at 8pm.

Have you an invention which could change the world in which we live? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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