A PORRIDGE company has turned down a £60,000 investment after triumphing on the TV programme Dragons’ Den.

Worthing-based business The Great British Porridge company was offered the sum after all five of the BBC2 programme’s notoriously choosy judges agreed the porridge was “just right”.

Owner Jacqueline Barleycorn and her business partner Matt Hunt wowed them with a Goldilocks-inspired pitch – complete with dancers wearing bear costumes.

But Jacqueline said she has “since declined” judge Tej Lalvani’s winning offer.

After meeting him to discuss business following the show, she said: “It’s not going to work for us. Tej is a lovely guy. We were asking for £50k, and we got offers from everyone. Then Tej offered us £60k for a 22 per cent stake.

“We were looking for a dragon who could open doors and help with publicity. But the offer turned out to be too restrictive. There were lots of conditions. In the end you just have to do what’s right for your company.”

Dragons’ Den sees punters pitching their business ideas to a panel of hardened investors – dragons.

Jacqueline said: “It was just as terrifying as it looks. I was really scared. There aren’t multiple takes – you’re in there for two hours in an interview setting. There’s no ‘can I do that again?’. It’s so intensive and intimidating.

“But I’d do it again tomorrow. They all said: ‘this is the best porridge I’ve ever tasted’. I was so happy they liked it.”

Jacqueline said: “We do three flavours: red berry and pumpkin seed, blueberry and banana, and strawberry and peanut butter. That one comes from my kids: they grew up on peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches.

“We’re totally online, and we’re in Sainsburys and now Waitrose.”

The product is also doing well abroad. Worthing porridge is now being sold as far as Denmark, Singapore and Kuwait.