Thursday, 24 January 2013

Interview: Ricky Martin – ‘Apprentice' Winner 2012

by Fergus Houghton- Connell

Ricky Martin, 27, first earned his fame through wining the BBC game show "Total Wipeout" and then with his successful run on the Apprentice in which he won £250,000 towards starting a new business. Now, Ricky is still running his recruitment firm, with the help of Lord Sugar, and has even relocated to Lord Sugar’s Headquarters in Essex. After an interesting talk to the PGS pupils, Danny Rollins, Jonathan Blackwell and I caught up with Ricky to see if we too could ‘witness the fitness of Ricky Martin’.

Ricky infamously stated in his application that he ‘could be liked to Thor’ and that he was able ‘to teach an old dog new tricks’.

Q: “With your application, do you think the BBC chose you because you would be funny on TV or because you actually had business potential?”
A: “It’s probably an element of both really. Lord Sugar was on the panel selecting (the candidates) so he wouldn’t have just selected someone who was good for TV and had no credibility to back it up. If they just thought I was a joke and there for TV value, I don’t think I would have got on the program.”

Q: “You've won both Total Wipeout and The Apprentice, do you fancy going on any more BBC TV programs?”
A: “Absolutely not! No, definitely not! I’m all TV’d out. That’s me done. The only thing I’ve got left to do is the National TV Awards on Wednesday, but apart from that, that’s me done for TV. If I had the time to go on loads of TV programs, I shouldn’t be starting a business. I’d be a fool.”

Q: “You say Science is what gets you up in the morning, but what exactly do you like about Science?”
A: “It’s the end application of Science that really interests me. With a Drugs company, even if it takes 30 years to complete the drug, it’s the fact that it saves lives is what interests me. Also, Science can manipulate different molecules in a compound, for example a detergent can be used to make teeth whiteners. It may take 30 years to complete, but if you remember how important the product will be at the end of it, then it’ll all be worth it.”

PGS Chemistry teacher, Dr O’Neill taught Ricky Chemistry as a child at Crofton School.
Q: “Did Dr O’Neill inspire you?”
A: “He did actually! I didn’t know he worked here until today. What I liked about Dr O’Neill was that he is a very charismatic science teacher. He was different to my other science teachers. He made what I’d like to do, he made science fun! He made it interesting and engaging. It was great to see him today, because he’s exactly the same as he was, and he looks the same too!”

Q: “What would you say is the most important tool for a business, other than money?
A: “Passion. To be passionate and interested in what you’re doing makes a difference. I could’ve taken the money and put it into something that would have made money faster, but that’s not what I’m passionate about. Also, a business plan is needed, you need to figure out how your business is going to work around life.”

Q: “You’re from the area, so have you every thought about relocating to the Portsmouth area.”
A: “Right now, probably no. It depends where the company goes really. When I think about science, I think about key locations in the country. There’s Cambridge and Oxford and where I’m located now (in Essex) is within an hour’s drive of each of those, so at the moment no, I won’t be moving.

Q: “ When can we be expecting the book, ‘Ricky Martin – The Life Story’, to be coming out?
A: “Forty odd years probably. No, unlikely that there’ll probably be a book. I’d be flattered if someone wanted to write a book about me, but nothing soon, no.”

Q: “Are you still the reflection of perfection?”
A: “No, I’m now a much more toned down person.”

So, if there was anything we could take from Ricky Martin is that you should ‘follow your passion’, you should ‘think positive, be positive’ and whatever you do, don’t call a prospective business partner an ‘old dog’.


  1. It was a good speech though Ricky Martin was being really overconfident.

  2. I went to this talk but he didn't really mention anything about the subjects that he took


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