Last Night’s TV – Around the World in 80 Trades


This Channel 4 show last night was the first episode which followed Conor Woodman – an ex-City Analyst – on his entrepreneurial adventures in Africa, Egypt and Sudan using £25,000 as collateral – which he claimed was from the sale of his flat, but I have to wonder if in fact the show’s producers provided the money – off he went to explore the Del Boy market in these countries which last night, involved trading in camels and coffee.

Using the fundamental Trotter’s Independent Traders theory of supply and demand, his plan was to buy camels at a market in Sudan, load them on a truck and send them off to Egypt with the hope of flogging them on for double his original investment. He couldn’t see why this was in any way not doable, nor could he understand the usually painfully slow process of multi-trades en-route to Egypt…


“All they need to do is cut out the middleman” Conor said with confident exuberance but surely it must’ve occurred to him that someone else would’ve thought of that long before he showed up with his ex-city boy ways? Well, apparently it hadn’t…

It transpired that Conor just hadn’t banked on the savvy business acumen of the camel owners who refused to sell to him at the price he offered, so it seems that middlemen and the multitudinous trades on the well travelled route to Egypt is in fact a must-have-must-do part of the trade. Conor lost out there, bless him.

Next, he reckoned he’d spotted a gap in the coffee market and eager to plug it, he bought two tonnes of it and entered into negotiations with a South African coffee roaster who promptly decided that Conor’s coffee was substandard and refused to buy any of his two tonnes of black gold.

Undaunted, but with a little more trepidation than he’d previously had, Conor hefted the bags back into his pick-up and began trying to flog it off in town, all the while trying to dodge the pretty much incessant rain that would’ve ruined the lot had it got into his precious cargo.

To his delight – and vicariously my own, given Conor is a very personable and very pretty young man with a smile that made me melt – he eventually found a buyer, but only after much effort and negative remarks from other potential buyers such as “It’s far too bitter” and teeth sucking and sighing, “Not for us” responses.

Next week, Conor’s going to be trying to flog chilli sauce in India which I’d have thought was akin to selling ice to Eskimo’s, but what do I know? My trading experience is limited to eBay and the odd car boot sale, but it’ll be interesting to see how he does in a country where there’s surely as much spicy sauce as there is white on snow…

All in all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable show and whoever it was who chose Conor for this project did well; I can’t imagine many other City Analysts being as charming and gorgeous as he is!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.