Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne got into a very public spat with a child and his father on Twitter when he accused the 13-year-old boy of being rude while asking for business advice. The row began when a user calling himself Rocco Rose, who claimed to be a 13-year-old boy from Darfield in South Yorkshire, sent Bannatyne a message asking for tips on building a business plan.
When the entrepreneur failed to respond to his request, Rocco sent a follow-up tweet days later, reading: "Hey, I asked you for an idea for another business plan of what I can do. I took up buying and selling stuff online. Thank you!" The second message appeared to irritate the 66-year-old entrepreneur, however, who entered into a heated exchange with the child.
"I know you did and I ignored you. Who do you think you are?," millionaire Bannatyne wrote. "A young boy wishing to grow up like you, an entrepreneur. I look up to you," Rocco replied.
Bannatyne's surly retort sparked criticism from many of his 770,000 Twitter followers who pointed out that the boy had requested business tips politely. One user told Bannatyne that Rocco was just a 'child asking for advice from his idol'.
The Dragon's Den star appeared unfazed, however, demanding his followers not tell him how to run his Twitter account. Rocco meanwhile responded to several messages himself, saying his forgives Bannatyne and revealing that he still admires him as a businessman.
The exchange did not end there though, as Bannatyne contacted Rocco once again to accuse him of being rude and suggested that the child's use of the word "hey" was the problem. "This tweet is rude as it demands I should have answered previous tweet," he said, posting an image of Rocco's original message.
While Bannatyne continued using the social media site to post photos of his 36-year-old girlfriend Nigora Whitehorn and to thank restaurants for giving him complimentary meals, another Rose-family account began sending messages to the entrepreneur. The use claimed to be Rocco's father Jason and berated Bannatyne for the messages directed at his son.
When Jason Rose posted a message saying his son was well-mannered and suggesting Bannatyne "be a man" and apologise, the entrepreneur replied publicly mocking Mr Rose, telling him he needs grammar lessons.
Mr Rose replied with a series of aggressive messages before challenging Bannatyne to a boxing match with all money going to charity as a way to "settle" the row, to which entrepreneur replied: "This man must be a terrible dad to suggest this."