After scrapping, swearing and bullsh*tting his way across London in this week’s Apprentice, it looked for all the world like Stuart Baggs would be packing his rather swish travelling man-case and hailing a taxi. Yet against all odds, the bold young banter-machine somehow managed to charm Lord Sugar with some pretty wild promises and save his neck at the expense of doe-eyed Liz Lock. Which is a shame because they’re both twice as much fun as Stella.
“I’m not a one trick pony, I’m not even a 10 trick pony… I’ve got a field full of ponies!” boasted Baggs before spinning a story of a childhood yo-yo venture that almost brought a tear to Lord Sugar’s eye…
“When you weigh up the contributions of the three people in that boardroom then I don’t think I was the weakest candidate,” explains Liz. “But at the end of the day Alan Sugar knows what he wants.. I don’t think survival should have come down to the boardroom strategy alone,” explained Liz as we discussed Baggs grovelling in the boardroom. “Let’s think about it – we lost the task and he was project manager and I sold twice as much as him! If only his sales pitch to get people on the bus was as good as his speech to Lord Sugar. I think Stuart would have been fired tonight, but he totally pitched himself and managed to save himself.”
“Having said that, I don’t think that enough time was spent looking at that week’s task and what everyone achieved on the day. Instead we just talked about the new companies Baggs was going set up for Lord Sugar and how many millions he could make him. It was all a bit surreal! Neither me nor Stella could get a word in edgeways. I didn’t really know what to do because it’s a business show and I was trying to remain credible..”
She may have remained credible, but the incredible Stuart managed to talk his way out of the firing line like the fantastic salesman he claims to be. But did Liz realise that ‘The Brand’ was actually talking his way out of trouble at the time?
“You can see Stella laughing at one stage and I remember thinking that he was talking himself into the sack,” she explains. “But as time went on and he kept going and going, Lord Sugar’s eyes seemed to fill with affection, especially when he started talking about yo-yos and the rest of it.. It was just surreal. You could almost see Lord Sugar thinking: ‘Well, maybe he is the next me..’ by the end. It was just so bizarre..”
So Baggs snatched salvation from the jaws of ignominy at the expense of poor Liz, who has been dubbed ‘Bambi’ by The Guardian (in a very affectionate way of course) but what did our wide-eyed former trader think of the ‘handbags’ in Trafalgar Square?
“Which incident are you talking about?! There were a few weren’t there? I remember Stuart chasing Joanna down the street while she had a couple of clients trying to undercut her on prices and the rest of it. I think the pressure this week was enormous because we were so close to the end. I think people got out of hand and they let the pressure get to them. I think Stuart wasted his energy arguing with Chris and the Tourism Centre Manager.”
So who would Liz have had her money on if things had kicked off between Stuart and Chris? “Haha.. Oh I don’t know. Chris is a big lad, but after this week I don’t think anyone should underestimate Stuart..”