The Apprentice to 'go it alone'

Tim Campbell, star of BBC2’s The Apprentice, is set to ‘go it alone’ with the imminent launch of a consumer brand that he hopes will eventually be sold in “funky” retailers across the UK.

The ex-transport manager has already set up a company and injected £25,000 of his own money - reportedly saved from the £100,000 he was paid after winning the hit show in 2005.

Although he has no product; no name, no suppliers, no distributors and no retail outlets, he has oodles of self-confidence and crucially, a unique understanding of his core customer.

That’s because the target audience of his soon-to-be released brand seems based on himself, namely – well-groomed upwardly mobile male types who lead rather than follow.

“I will be synonymous with the business at the beginning then the company will have to stand on its own feet in terms of the quality of the product it brings to the market.

“I want to build up a business that has that high-end performance feel. When we’ve built up that reputation, we can bring it to the middle market,” Mr Campbell told The Times this week.

At this stage, he will approach retailers with the brand, which is expected to cover all the male must-haves, from suits to shoes to grooming products, to stock it as part of their range.

But the retailers should be “quite young, funky and dynamic, but non-exclusive,” Mr Campbell said, adding that his stint at Amstrad, and on The Apprentice, should hold him in good stead.

“The whole point of the programme for me was to learn tangible business skills,” he said.

“Now I want to put those into practice in my own venture. The Apprentice wasn’t about being a celebrity.”

Despite having resisted the red-carpet treatment snapped up by previous reality TV stars, Mr Campbell’s familiar face seems to have opened doors.

Last week he reportedly met with Diane Abbot, Labour MP, in addition to his capacity as Child’s Ambassador for London, in which he meets the capital’s youth, including budding entrepreneurs.

His reading of why youngsters are turned off enterprise centres on their ill-preparedness, which he claims stems from inadequate ‘life’ training.

“They teach you about the French Revolution at school, but they don’t teach you how to engage with people.”

Separately he added: “A lot of my generation don’t understand the difference between being rich and being wealthy. Being rich is having money today, next week, next year. Being wealthy is the ability to stop working next week and still be rich.”

The Apprentice returns to BBC2 later this month, with Mr Campbell expected to be present for a special edition programme, alongside the likes of Piers Morgan and Alastair Campbell.

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