By Max Clarke

The world’s most momentous business disasters will be exposed, discussed and evaluated by Dragon’s Den presenter, Evan Davis, in a new BBC documentary.

The three-part series, made in partnership with the Open University and entitled Business Nightmares will examine the nightmares that can engulf a business in three crucial areas: In the first episode; Evan lifts the lid on some of the fundamental errors in product design and manufacture; followed by the mistakes that can be made in marketing and public relations in the second episode; with the final episode looking at mistakes in strategic decision-making.

From the spectacular consumer backlash towards ‘New Coke’ to Persil’s clothes-destroying washing powder and Apple’s awkward handling of a minor defect in the iPhone4, to Sir Freddie Laker’s over-hasty expansion of his fledgling airline, this series not only documents what happened but also provides an insight from the people who made those decisions, dealt with the fall out and how some of these companies managed to bounce back after the nightmare struck.

Focussing not just on what happened, but why it happened, some leading lights from the business world examine the consequences and highlight the important lessons from the carnage. They are: Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur and inventor Sir James Dyson, Interbrand chairman Rita Clifton, management trouble-shooter Sir Gerry Robinson, CEO of global advertising group WPP Sir Martin Sorrell, and PR guru Mark Borkowski.