Apprentice star and entrepreneur David Stevenson speaks to the Dispatch about being too honest for his own good on TV and why his competitors were ‘like a pack of wolves’ but still remain his friends.
David, now 26, shot to fame last year as one of the hopefuls in the BBC One hit show, and although he got on the business end of Sir Alan Sugar’s firing finger too soon, he has no regrets about the experience.
He said: “I saw it as a TV show. You have producers on their mobile phones all the time, logging everything you say. They would ask me about the competition and I would say ‘This is easy.’ It wasn’t challenging me enough.
“I don’t think I was exceptional on the show. When you do your job properly it’s not interesting.
“I think I shot myself in the foot by admitting this!
“When they call you before the show they ask how would you feel if you were in the bottom three about to be fired. I said: ‘At the end of the day I am not going to beg for it. For some people this is their last chance.’
“I don’t think this helped me! I wonder if they thought I didn’t want it enough.
“When I got fired there were four people in the team. I messed up on the T-shirts, but I was ganged up on by the other three. They were like a pack of wolves if I’m honest.”
Despite this, David is still pals with many of his former rivals and even played in a celebrity football tournament with some of them last week. He said: “In the evening we all went out and had a great night out. We are always laughing and joking about things. I couldn’t have asked to meet nicer people. I never really saw them as competition.
“To me Sir Alan is someone I would have happily have a pint with. I know people think he is arrogant. But if I knew what he knows, I think I would be exactly the same!”
David started his first business venture - managing caravans for holiday lets - aged only 15. He taught himself how to code and built his own website. Work at Tesco and a BTEC diploma in media followed at New College Nottingham.
Youthful attempts at acting and sports coaching were followed by a job with E:ON, which he left to start his own firm Channel 10 Media in 2014. The firm boosts audience attendance for sports clubs through the clever use of social media.
He reports that the business is ‘going for strength to strength’ and he is currently in negotiations with a number of Spanish football clubs. If the deal goes through, David says, he ‘could be made for life.’
Unable to ‘do nothing’, David continues to set himself challenges: his latest involves seeing how much money he can make in a month, using only a £100 stake. True to form, he’d already made £400 in three days!