David Stevenson first came to our attention as one of the 18 candidates on last year’s series of The Apprentice. David lasted eight weeks in the competition, undergoing tasks such as marketing a cactus shampoo, selecting and selling products at London’s Pet Show, setting up a handy-man business and selling goods in a pop-up discount store.
Ultimately, Lord Sugar decided to fire David after messing up t-shirts during the party planning task in week eight. Many people, including ourselves, thought that he showed great promise and enthusiasm during the process and perhaps was given the boot a bit too soon.
We recently caught up with David to hear about his Apprentice experience, what he’s been doing since the show and why he’s currently raising money for Meningitis UK.
You were a contestant on last year’s Apprentice, which is known for being a gruelling process. How was the experience for you?
Emotional, and for many reasons. You see at home, people watch one hour of the show, they see us mess up, or do something amazing and then they watch a slanging match in the boardroom followed by someone walking out the door each week.
What they don’t see is the psychological and emotional effects it has on you. As every task goes by and the numbers dwindle, the pressure really gets to you living in a house full of so many egos all wanting to win. Even little things like people getting letters from home and opening them and seeing big smiles on their faces. I’d be sitting there never receiving anything and there would be times I’d be like.. “I could really do with a ‘pick me up letter'”.
In week four I was project manager on the pet task, and neither team knew who had won. I remember going back to the house thinking my team had lost. I went upstairs to the bathroom and actually sobbed for about an hour. The reason? Because my actions as project manager was going to result in someone else (potentially) getting the boot. And as you build friendships in the house it can be hard to ultimately “stab them in the back”. Thankfully my team won…by over 1k may I add haha so my fear of failure was for nothing that week.
Overall though I enjoyed the experience. I would do it again – I’ve made friends for life and would happily recommend others to audition for the new series.
What were your most and least favourite tasks?
My favourite task has to be week two and the shampoo marketing task. As my specialist area is marketing, I knew I had to crack this. I actually tried to be PM but Richard pipped me – I think my baby-faced looks went against me with it being so early in the process.
I take pride in the fact that I managed to come up with the branding for the product, shot the video for the commercial and edited it together (practically did the whole task on my own) and got told by Lord Sugar this is the best product he has seen in 10 years of the show! It really made me feel proud.
As for the worst task, it has to be week six and the DIY task. I am not a handy man at all, useless is the best word to describe me in this field. I cocked up on cutting the poles and spilling paint everywhere. I’m pretty sure the team would have been more efficient without me haha. I also got brought back into the boardroom that week and thankfully I survived a triple firing.
You made a bunch of good friends on the show, including Gary Poulton and Mergim Butaja. Do you keep in touch with all of the candidates?
Mergim was the most irritating parasite I had ever met at the auditions (yes, me and Mergim both auditioned at the same time and I hated him). We didn’t see eye to eye – he was brash and full of himself, he thought he was the real deal until I knocked him down a peg or too! In fact I remember now, we had to put ourselves in order of attractiveness and Mergim said he was the best looking person there, I quickly pipped up and told him to either get to the back of the line or get out the room!
When I first saw him as a candidate, I thought “oh my god how the hell have you got here?!” But living in the same room as him and getting to know him in tasks, he turned out to be the most genuine guy I’ve ever met! And even today we hang out on a regular basis. We speak almost every day on the phone talking about the world, business and his failed conquests of the ladies.
Gary is a strange one. In the house we didn’t actually “click”. I mean, we got on but never really formed a bond. It wasn’t until we actually left the process that I got to know the real Gary and he is the life of the majority of parties we go to!
I also keep in touch with Scott [Saunders] on a regular basis and Joseph [Valente]. I don’t really speak to any of the girls now the show has finished.
How about Lord Sugar? Has he given you any words of advice or kept in touch since the show?
Lord Sugar disappointed me really. I’ve a lot of respect for him, I really do but I feel like he hasn’t given me anything. I got fired for not being able to iron. It’s as simple as that, I shouldn’t have been fired. Gary, Charlene and Joseph almost killed the customer with the possible nut cake!
I remember watching the “Why I Fired Them” show and all the other candidates must have had a good 4/6 minutes of air time. I got 30 seconds and all he said was, “David got the t-shirts wrong, he had to go.” I sat at home and I was thinking he would say more, like “I don’t think he is ready yet”, or “David needs to work on this or that” but I got nothing back. So yeah, I kinda feel let down. I feel cheated.
You recently revealed that you first applied for The Apprentice in 2011, and told your followers “if at first you don’t succeed, try try and try again”. What other advice would you give for anyone looking to apply for the show or go into business in general?
My advice for people applying is that every year the producers are looking for something different, one year you might not be what they want but later on you could be a perfect fit. I actually auditioned in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, in which I got on the show.
Another thing is, don’t try too hard and do not lie! I think in previous auditions I tried to be someone I wasn’t. I bigged myself up too much and producers can see right through you. When it came to 2015, I relaxed. I told the truth, brought my personality with me and thankfully it was just what they wanted.
What have you been up to since the show came to an end?
Since the show finished I have been working on my sports marketing company Channel 10 Media. We specialise in helping sporting venues and sports club to boost footfall at their events.
You’ve taken part in a couple of Soccer Six competitions. Now you’re holding your very own charity football match in support of Meningitis UK. How did this come about?
So the charity match came about because back in February my dad sadly passed away of meningitis suddenly at his home. I didn’t know much about meningitis before, so after doing my research on it I just knew I had to do something for them.
My dad loved football and I’ve been waiting for the right time and right opportunity to help raise a little bit of money for the charity. I spoke to a few of my Apprentice buddies and they thought it would be a good idea to host a match so I though sod it, let’s do it. I play for the Hucknall town and they have been kind enough to let us use their facilities free of charge and they are going to be the team we will be facing.
Who’s on your team and do you think you can win against Hucknall Town?
We have a variety of players, including people from Team Apprentice such as myself, Gary and Natalie Dean. Aside from Team Apprentice, we’ve got Frankie VU who is a CBBC presenter and freestyler. We have Daniel Javi and Adam J from this year’s Love Island playing, as well as Ash Harrison and PJ who have both appeared on Big Brother. Oh and Charlie Williams, pro boxer…I’m sticking him up front!
Do I think we can win? Well Hucknall Town are Semi Pro, so the chances are slim. I’m expecting a cricket score… so in short form that means we will score less than 10 goals, and Hucknall will score over 10!
Where can people find out more information about your event?
The game will be held at Hucknall Town FC on July 30th and will be a 3pm kick off. Adults are £2 entry and concessions are £1.
On the 30th July myself and fellow TV peeps will be playing a charity football match. Come and show your support. pic.twitter.com/3TlJVdBsSM
— David Stevenson (@David2Stevenson) July 17, 2016
We thank David Stevenson for his time and wish him well with his charity football match which takes place this Saturday. If you’re in the Hucknall area, go and support a truly worthy cause!
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