Hucknall’s own candidate for the Apprentice spoke exclusively to the Dispatch about doing business with Sir Alan Sugar and the secrets of his own success.
David Stevenson, who presented trophies at the Pride of Hucknall awards on Friday night, says he is riding high on a wave of support from the public who have seen him on the show.
He said: “I am overwhelmed by a lot of the support. I think people have got behind me - which is really nice. You hope to get that.
“I like to think I have got a face that blends into the background. But in a club - as soon as one person takes a picture - that’s it. Everyone is at it!
“The papers tried to run a story on me. Just because I did acting, people think I am trying to get acting parts.
“My life has changed. I am genuinely doing this for business.”
David says the acting world is a ‘dog eat dog profession’ and decided on a change of direction: “I went into the world of business to make more money!”
He founded Channel 10 Media last year and the firm is “doing really well. We are on the verge of signing a multi-million pound contract. That was in place before the Apprentice.”
David, 25, started his first business venture - managing caravans for holiday lets - at the tender age of 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.
“I actually left the course a month before I was supposed to so I could work on a children’s camp in America. But I still passed!”
An ex-girlfriend who played football professionally led David to take an interest in women’s football as a business proposition.
He saw that sport clubs make money based on audience attendance and spotted a gap in the market for a company that could boost numbers through the clever use of social media.
He said: “If I increase the average attendance of a club like the Milton Keynes Dons by £2,000, the club will make £3.6m.”
At the time he was working for E:ON and he was able to hand in his notice last Christmas.
“It was a good feeling!” David said. “My record speaks for itself. We have hit over eight records, we have sold out Wembley! Everyone wants a piece of my pie now!
“Some people have great ideas for businesses but don’t do it. I did it.”
Although David describes the experience of being an ‘apprentice’ as ‘enjoyable’ and would recommend others to try their luck, he does admit the pressure of being filmed is intense.
“You have two or three cameras watching how you make a cup of coffee!”
So far he has been on the winning team in every episode - and single-handedly led a task to produce a new shampoo.
“What they didn’t show was that I drew the logo, I came up with the name, and I filmed and edited it. What else do I need to do?”
Focus is important to David if he is to survive in the competitive atmosphere of the show.
“To be brutally honest, in the house I keep myself to myself. You interact for the sake of it and you’re friends for the benefit of the competition.
“There are some people I would go for a drink with afterwards. And some I wouldn’t! At the end of the day it is a competition.”
David is under strict instructions from the producers not to reveal any details about the hit show, which is now in its eleventh series.
He said: “I will find out what Sir Alan’s like at the wrap party!”