In reality, it's a padlock, and will be featured as one of the ten shortlisted inventions in BBC1's flagship 'Innovation Nation' programme due to be aired in November. "The lock has many uses, including for bike chains," a BBC spokesman told

BBC prog finds better mousetrap

Ideas for ‘Innovation Nation’ were requested in April. The BBC put the call out to people to come up mass-appeal inventions and to compete for an opportunity to see their idea developed from paper to prototype to working model.

The competition is being run in conjunction with Nesta, The National Endowment For Science Technology and The Arts.

The three finalists will go forward to feature in a six part documentary series the first of which can be seen on BBC1 on Wednesday 12th November through to the final on 17th December where armchair pundits will vote for the winner in a live programme.

"Part of the documentary will follow our teams approaching manufacturers and retailers to generate interest in their ideas. These retailers and manufacturers will be featured in the documentary," said Robin Leach of the BBC.

"The response has been huge and we received more than 5000 applications and audition tapes from hopeful inventors across Britain."

One of the ten shortlisted ideas is a new type of padlock. Details, of course, are sketchy.

"The lock has many uses, including for bike chains, but I am afraid we cannot reveal the mechanics of the lock until the weekend of the 25th August due to patents pending rules," Leach told

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