Former accountant Ed Hunter became the first person to get the boardroom boot this evening. But while most Apprentice firees are eager to blame one of their hapless colleagues for their demise, there was only one pair of culprits in young Ed’s mind. Those damn juicers. We caught up with him to talk notoriety, what you need to be a leader and.. of course.. rolling with the punches.
Do you regret putting yourself forward to be team leader so quickly?
No I don’t.
So was it part of your game plan?
I didn’t have a game plan, they needed a leader because everyone was just squabbling over the team name. And you can’t really just say “Guys, we really need to sort out who’s going to be project manager” without putting yourself forward for the job, so I just did what had to be done because the team needed it..
Do you think maybe another task would have suited you better?
No not really. This is really what I’m bored of defending myself about. We didn’t do anything wrong, we actually did really well…
Well you didn’t squeeze half your oranges so there was room for improvement…
Yes and if we’d done all our oranges we’d have won by a country mile! There was nothing wrong with the team, it was the equipment that was below par. I don’t blame anyone for that, it’s just part of the show..
But you did have a very laid back attitude to management. I remember you saying that you were going to make it up in the cab or something similar?
You know what, there are two things you need to lead people, and those things are character and personality. I didn’t have the luxury of time to show these guys my character, therefore in order to get their attention and respect I tried to give them some personality and it worked. I did what I had to do. i tried to encourage people and get things done, I’m a doer. Some people want to chat, but to me there’s nothing to talk about. The juicers were rubbish and we lost the task because of that. I don’t know what else I need to say..
So you don’t blame the bloke who broke the juicer?
Not for one second. I don’t blame anyone for breaking the juicers, they were rubbish. You’re on the Apprentice so you expect industrial equipment…
Do you think there’s anyway you could have saved yourself once you were in that boardroom?
I’m sure I could have done, I could have schmoozed, I could have lied, I could have all those things that Lord Sugar says he doesn’t like and if I’d done any of them then I probably would have stayed, but that wouldn’t have been me. I wasn’t going to beg. I’d taken on the task, we’d done well, we’d almost doubled his money and if he wanted to fire me then it’s his decision. I’m just a bit sick and tired of people saying “You should have never put yourself forward..” Of course it’s easy to say that afterwards, but I think it’s a load of rubbish. I don’t regret going for it.
It must be a bit nerve-racking going into that boardroom in the first episode..
It’s as hot as the Afghan Desert in there. It’s quite an experience. It’s particularly tough the first week because everyone’s getting used to the boardroom. Obviously it was difficult because the focus was on me and to be honest, I don’t really like being shouted at
I thought you rolled with the punches quite well..
(laughs) Yeah I think that expression is a good way to live your life, because nine times out of ten life isn’t what you make it, it’s actually how you take it, and “Roll with the punches” is a good way of reminding yourself to try and deal with what life throws at you. I’ll have to start doing that now I expect..
Yes I expect that phrase will be trending on Twitter by the end of the evening.. You came in for a lot of flak for not showing off your accountancy skills in the boardroom. Do you think that’s a career you’d want to go back to?
Well you never know. I never had a problem with doing accountancy but that whole thing got blown out of proportion by the edit. I actually had a very good job, where I was well-liked and was going to go along way. I met with board members of a FTSE 30 company, which is a pretty big deal for a 25 year old. I was going places and I was good at it, but I felt no need to be a peacock and show off how clever I was. My plan was just to buy loads of produce, squash it all up and sell it, and we’d have won if we had managed to squash it. I think it’s just going to get a bit frustrating trying to re-iterate that point to people. I don’t see why the papers have had such a go at me, especially The Daily Mail…. well I am part Afghan I suppose. (laughs)
So what can you tell us about the application process. It’s quite an achievement to get on the show…
Well it was wife that persuaded me to go for it because she always thought that I could do really well on it. She’s obviously been very upset by it all, but she’ll be fine. I had to go through a few rounds of interviews as you would for any job, but I don’t necessarily take it as a compliment that they selected me, if you know what I mean…. It’s a compliment in one sense, but in many ways I think they chose me for other reasons.