'Who do you think you are?' - Duncan Bannatyne in online spat with 12-year-old business hopeful
Published 21/12/2015 | 07:50
Duncan Bannatyne, the entrepeneur and Dragons' Den, has embarked on an online spat with a schoolboy and his family after accusing the 12 year-old of rudely asking him for business advice.
Bannatyne, 66, asked Rocco Rose, of Darfield, South Yorkshire, "who do you think you are?" after broadcasting the request to 770,000 followers.
The businessman, who has just appeared in reality television show I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here, said the "demands" made by the schoolboy were "rude", before coming to blows with Rocco's father.
The child said he had in fact tweeted the entrepreneur to thank him for previous business advice.
@DuncanBannatyne Hey I asked you for a idea for another business plan of what I can do,I took up buying and selling stuff online thankyou!— Rocco Rose (@roccorose_rose) December 6, 2015
He wrote: "Hey I asked you for a idea for another business plan of what I can do,I took up buying and selling stuff online thankyou!"
Bannatyne replied to the message with the words: "I know you did & I ignored you. Who do you think you are?".
He went on to share the message with his followers, telling them: "This tweet is rude as it demands I should have answered previous tweet ."
Rocco told MailOnline he suspected he had inadvertently angered Mr Bannatyne with his use of "hey", which may have come across as impolite but was intended as a greeting.
He tweeted the Dragons' Den star to say: "Still waiting for your apology Duncan I only wanted some advice."
His father, 39-year-old Justin Rose, then leapt to his defence on Twitter, calling Bannatyne "a joke, a bully, a very arrogant man".
He went on to challenge him to a boxing match and threatened to go to the press with the businessman's tweets.
Undeterred, Bannatyne retaliated to call him a "terrible dad", and suggested he take "grammar lessons".
The online spat led to fans criticising Bannatyne for continuing the very public argument, calling on him to remember Rocco's age.
He replied to one: "I will decide how I use my Twitter account but thank you for the advice."
Rocco told MailOnline: "I feel upset and ashamed and disappointed."
A spokesman for Bannatyne said: "Duncan gets lots of business ideas on Twitter and cannot respond to them all."
It is not the first time Bannatyne has found himself in the public eye in recent weeks, after a high-profile appearance in the I'm A Celebrity jungle.
There, he clashed with fellow contestant Lady Colin Campbell, who accused him and Tony Hadley of bullying her; an accusation he and other campmates have refuted.
The businessman, who owns a health spa chain and hotels, as well as writing books about entrepreneurship, finished 7th on the programme donated his fee to charity.
He has previously used Twitter to share his forthright opinions, once calling his ex-wife a "gold digger” online.