When Daniel ­Daggers introduced himself to a global television audience last month, he did so in typically ­bombastic style.

Against the backdrop of a glittering London skyline, and profiled by dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, he boasted that he’d sold property worth £5 billion to the rich and famous.

‘There’s no “I” in team, but there is one “I” in Super Prime — and that’s me,’ he said in the opening scenes of the new Netflix series Buying London, a supposedly fly-on-the-wall series profiling the work of Daggers and his team of glossy agents at estate agency DDRE Global.

Super Prime refers to the top 1 per cent of the housing market, a milieu in which Daggers, 44, feels so comfortable that he has nobbled the term for his Instagram handle, where he goes by — you guessed it — ‘Mr Super Prime’. This is a world of staff quarters and swimming pools, walk-in wardrobes and wine cellars, ballrooms, and en-suite bathrooms so cavernous that in one house the crater-sized bathtub, lovingly carved out of a single piece of stone, is the size of the average person’s bedroom.

All these features, coupled with the overblown rhetoric of the primped-to-perfection agents, will be familiar to fans of Selling Sunset, the Netflix hit which follows a group of ferocious LA estate agents as they compete to flog super homes to the super rich. The U.S. series has developed a cult following since its premiere five years ago and, doubtless eager to replicate the formula, its British sibling sees the vast palm-fronded estates of California replaced by stucco-fronted London townhouses and country manors.

Daniel Daggers (centre) with agents of DDRE Global in the show Buying London

Daniel Daggers (centre) with agents of DDRE Global in the show Buying London

Unlike its U.S. sibling, however, Buying London has already found itself engulfed in controversy, with many viewers taking to social media to express revulsion at a series they feel is tone deaf in a world where spiralling costs make it increasingly difficult for people to make ends meet.

‘Crass’ and ‘vulgar’ are among the kinder epithets flung the show’s way.

Others have taken aim at what they claim to be clearly scripted performances and the fact that what appears on screen bears little relation to the reality of selling and buying property at this level.

‘There’s no “I” in team, but there is one “I” in Super Prime — and that’s me,’ he said in the opening scenes of the new Netflix series Buying London,

‘There’s no “I” in team, but there is one “I” in Super Prime — and that’s me,’ he said in the opening scenes of the new Netflix series Buying London,

‘It makes for good television but there’s no resemblance to what goes on in a proper estate agency business,’ sniffed Charles Lloyd, head of Mayfair sales at the high-end agency Beauchamp Estates, suggesting that the series had more in common with Love Island or Big Brother.

At the centre of all this, meanwhile, is the charismatic Daggers who, almost overnight, found himself catapulted from relative anonymity to the position of national ‘Marmite’ figure, accused by one newspaper critic of presiding over ‘the most hateful show on television’.

It’s quite the accusation but, as the Mail discovered, it’s not the first time the Daggers name has been embroiled in drama. Research by the Mail has uncovered an intriguing and colourful back story to the Daggers family which itself could be worthy of the Netflix treatment.

A close-knit trio — only-child Daniel often posts affectionate tributes to his parents on his social media channel — their ancestors fled to the UK from Russia in the 1880s to escape the pogroms.

Daggers’ paternal grandfather Abraham was born in East London and, in the 1921 census, was listed alongside his five adult siblings as a tailor. At various times, the family surname has been recorded as Daggus, Daggis, Dagas and Dagus before becoming anglicised to Daggers.

Abraham’s son Derrick — Daniel Daggers’ father, who also appears in the TV show — was born in Luton in 1943, and in 1979 married Noga Kapara, who is of Yemeni descent. Daniel came along later that year.

Today the couple, who are in their eighties, live near Tel Aviv where Derrick styles himself as a ‘freelance property consultant’. But back in the 1970s Daggers Sr had a more varied ‘career’.

Some of his exploits are detailed in fascinatingly lurid detail in the 2018 book Drug War: The Secret History, by investigative writer Peter Walsh, and the details are confirmed in contemporary newspaper accounts. In the late 1960s, Derrick had been a co-owner of the Penthouse Club and Pair Of Shoes casino in London’s West End which, until they lost their licences over Mafia links, were frequented by oil-rich Middle Eastern high rollers.

Both Derrick and Noga feature in the Netflix series, enjoying dinner in a restaurant with Daniel in episode five, after flying in to the UK.

Daniel with his parents Noga and Derrick

 Daniel with his parents Noga and Derrick

Both affectionately tease him that he is not getting any younger. ‘One thing we did want, just to change the subject slightly,’ his father says after Daniel has stiltedly talked about work, ‘Is there anyone special on the horizon?’ When Daniel reassures his parents that, when there’s someone in his life, he will tell them about it, Derrick suggests he gets a move on. ‘Is there any chance of this happening before we exit?’ he asks.

Daniel attended the Jewish Free School in North London, where he did not thrive academically but his potential as a footballer was spotted and, in his teens, he was given a contract to play for Hayes FC, a semi-professional feeder club.

Sadly, his dreams of becoming a professional footballer were ruined when he broke his collar bone aged 17. He subsequently took a job at an estate agency called Vickers & Company in Maida Vale where his first sale was a £127,000 studio flat.

Daggers’ salesmanship was good enough for him to move steadily up the corporate ladder and, ten years later, he switched to the upmarket agency Knight Frank. Once there, he moved again through the ranks from associate to partner before, in 2015, switching to the firm’s Private Office, where he dealt with high net-worth individuals.

Around the same time, Daggers spotted the potential of social media as a marketing tool and started to build a digital following, showcasing photographs and, in some cases, videos of prime properties on assorted social media channels.

It brought him to the attention of GQ magazine which profiled the so-called ‘Prime Negotiator’ in its Men of the Year Awards edition in 2018.

‘I meet with some of the most influential and talented people in the world, while seeing the best property and design that the capital can provide,’ Daggers told the magazine with typical braggadocio.

He was undoubtedly on to something, at the forefront of a new movement which harnessed the growing power of aspirational-influencer culture.

In 2018, he was involved in the £95 million sale of 3 Carlton ­Gardens, overlooking St James’s Park, to the American billionaire Ken Griffin. A marketing video for the property showed potential buyers arriving by private jet and chauffeur-driven Bentley (with security escort) alongside footage of the pool, health spa and several household workers, including butlers, chefs and beauticians.

Then, in November 2019, came a misstep: Daggers parted company with Knight Frank after sharing photographs of a client’s £10 million home on Instagram without their permission. The owner claimed it breached his privacy and put his family’s security at risk. Daggers was placed on three months’ ‘gardening leave’.

‘There were rumours that the property he had featured was subsequently burgled,’ an industry insider told the Mail this week.

With typical chutzpah, Daggers announced on his own Instagram feed that he had ‘resigned’, posting a picture of himself on a Tarmacked driveway pushing a lawnmower with the caption, ‘Me on gardening leave’.

What’s more, the moment his leave came to an end in February 2020, he launched DDRE Ltd —Daniel Daggers Real Estate.

‘DDRE is not an estate agency, it is a technology, media and marketing business that enables real estate professionals to deliver a transparent and accurate real estate service,’ he explained to some bafflement in one interview.

In less florid terminology, this means that instead of deploying the traditional estate agency model in which individual agents are paid a small salary and then receive a small slice of overall commission, Daggers follows the U.S. brokerage model, in which freelance agents pay a monthly fee to join the agency but receive 70 per cent of any commission earned on a property, which is billed at two per cent, plus VAT.

With properties on sale typically in the millions, this can mean robust six-figure paydays.

One month after he set up, the pandemic struck, playing right into Daggers’ hands: now, all sales had to rely on online marketing.

Daggers subsequently claimed to have sold £50 million worth of property within the first six months of launching his business.

Exactly when Netflix came knocking is unclear: one industry insider told the Mail that the streaming giant had approached several high-end agencies in the capital around 2021 and 2022 in a bid to create the British Selling Sunset. ‘None of us would go near it,’ he says. ‘In our world this is run-a-mile territory.’

Either way, in July 2022 — around the time it is understood negotiations with Netflix and DDRE started — the firm’s name was changed with Companies House to the flashier DDRE Global.

Three months later, three agents — glamorous Rosi Walden, a 28-year-old stalwart of reality show Made In Chelsea, glossy-maned Laurence Llewellyn Bowen lookalike Oliver Hamilton, 39, and fearsome Lithuanian Rasa Bagdonaviciute, 35 — joined or, perhaps more pertinently, were cast by Netflix, given that Daggers himself has admitted the streaming company chose who would appear. Certainly, for all its claims to be a fly-on-the-wall style show, the series is in no way a straightforward depiction of DDRE’s dealing.

The premises that Danny Daggers operates from are nothing like the penthouse office with balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows that features on the show.

Instead, the real office is a nondescript, serviced office in a period building close to central London’s Regent’s Park. And, unlike the female-heavy cast, in real life half of the 18 advisers are men.

Chewing the cud with members of his team in a scene from the Netflix show

Chewing the cud with members of his team in a scene from the Netflix show 

This, together with the stilted exchanges — and what feel like cringingly staged cat-fights between the uniformly glamorous women in the show over who gets to sell what — has led to a degree of ridicule within the industry. One insider told the Mail that many saw the series as little more than a vehicle for Daggers’ ego, rather than a genuine property show.

‘This kind of mass profile is great in the mass market,’ he says. ‘But, at this level, it tends to be seen as a disaster. Many of the properties featured on the show have been languishing on the market for some time, so this show is a last roll of the dice.’

He points out, too, that the show does not depict the variety of ethnicities operating at the top level: ‘We’re selling to Chinese and Indian billionaires. What you see on screen is not representative of the diversity of the industry.’

Those sentiments were echoed by Trevor Abrahmsohn, a longstanding blue-chip agent with decades of experience and founder of Glentree Estates, who calls allowing your property on the show a ‘scorch and burn’ manoeuvre.

‘There is a place for this kind of sensational marketing but when you climb the ladder to the very top of the market it’s all about discretion, secrecy — the opposite of this show,’ he insists.

‘Daniel is the subject of some ridicule within the industry, with many of us thinking it is a lot of show and no blow. There’s no question it’s a wonderful showcase for Daniel Daggers, but it’s not how you sell trophy properties, which need to be ‘placed’, not ‘flogged’.

Daggers himself, of course, disputes this. During a typically self-assured appearance on BBC Breakfast this week, he insisted the show’s profile had created ‘loads of business opportunities’, with ‘more than £250 million worth of real estate inquiries’ received directly on the back of the show.

Whether this translates into actual business only time will tell.As PR specialist Mark Borkowski puts it: ‘It’s a gamble, but in the fame industry, where attention is currency, sometimes you have to roll the dice.’

Additional reporting: Simon Trump.

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