Brand recognition: Apprentice contestant Stuart Baggs is heading to Edinburgh
You come to expect all sorts from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Street shows, stage shows, live music, pantomime, theatre pieces about one man’s unrequited love for his horse etc. And, this year, an hour long comedy performance from The Apprentice contestant Stuart Baggs, ‘The Brand’. Baffled? Andrew Dipper allowed him to explain…
AD: Hi Stuart. We’ll talk about The Apprentice soon, but what made you want to do a stand-up show in Edinburgh?
SB: It’s a challenge, isn’t it? I went on The Apprentice to try and get a job and my life has turned out to be totally the opposite, really. I had a job interview on national television and ended up on holiday with Christopher Biggins. It’s not quite how I anticipated it to transpire. Before I went on the show I had these delusions that I’d have page 3 models throwing themselves at me and all that…and the reality is much more different, unfortunately.
I’ve prepared a few bits and piece for the show; a few post-Apprentice video clips and stuff like that. It’s not really a stand-up show as such – more a poor guide on how to become semi-famous – but Edinburgh’s all about unique voices and variety performances so hopefully people will come along.
Having said that, I think the main reason I’m going is to watch other people’s shows…
AD: What exactly do you hope to get out of the appearance?
SB: I’ve been doing plenty of stuff since The Apprentice so it’s not to perpetuate my profile or anything like that. I’ve always been fascinated by how ‘fame’ works and going to Edinburgh to tell people that it’s actually a load of bollocks. People seem to think the celebrity world is fantastic, but it’s about getting refused entry to nightclubs, having gay men come on to you and it’s not quite as glamorous as you might think.
AD: Has your TV exposure lessened your clout in the business world then?
SB: It absolutely does. It’s a line I’m still trying to define and understand. When you’re a bit more known some people will buy stuff off you to chat to you which is nice, but as far as the larger projects are concerned you have to be very careful to ensure the persona that is portrayed in the media of me as an arrogant wanker – which is absolutely true, don’t get me wrong – doesn’t scupper things.
AD: There’s been quite a negative response to your time on The Apprentice, but were you pleased with how you were portrayed on the show?
SB: I was personally happy. It’s 100% me – it’s a caricature, but it’s still me. I think a lot of contestants on The Apprentice complain or kick off about the editing process but that’s probably because it’s more difficult to see yourself in the mirror sometimes; whereas I knew I was like that all along. Having said that, if I put a camera on anyone for three days they would say and do stupid things…
AD: So what level of input does Alan Sugar really have with the show? Is he just a figurehead?
SB: He doesn’t own the format – he just slots in and is replaceable…so hopefully he’ll get fired. As far as his input is concerned all he really does is walk in the boardroom at the end and point his scrawny finger at me. I’m not bitter or anything!
AD: Have you been watching this year’s show? What did you make of the new format?
SB: I was contractually obliged to watch the latest series but it wasn’t as good as our series, I have to say. Obviously they changed the format this year and it was like the longest episode of Dragons’ Den ever. The Apprentice needs to make sure it is what it is and when they change they get it right. It’s like your girlfriend coming back from the hairdressers and saying, ‘I’ve actually had a sex change as well’ and you think, It’s not the best change you could’ve made, sweetheart.
Hilary Devey’s a great addition to Dragons’ Den, though – she looks so mean but she’s actually really nice. It’s just goes to show that being a bitter, vile wanker is not a pre-requisite of business. Alan Sugar, go fuck yourself!
If you want to see Stuart Baggs in Edinburgh, he’s performing at Just The Tonic @ The Caves at 1.30pm on Saturday 27th August. You can also follow him on Twitter: @StuartBaggs