Badger Or Bust

Badger Or Bust

Ruth Badger Is Back!

Following her experience on the hit BBC show the Apprentice, the feisty, straight talking 28 year old set up her own Consultancy business, Ruth Badger Consultancy Ltd and has done training and consultancy work for five major international companies, helping improve their staff and profits. She does a weekly column in First magazine and is an Ambassador for both Compton Hospice in the Midlands and for Enterprise North West. To cap off a very memorable and busy period, in November last year, Ruth also won the outstanding Editors Choice Award at Cosmopolitan’s Fun, Fearless, and Female Awards.

Now, 2007 sees Ruth embarking on her very own six part series entitled Badger or Bust for Sky One, in which she visits six different struggling businesses.First were able to have a chat with this top British performer before she left to roll her sleeves up again and give other firms advice on how to better perform and get results. Find out more of what she had to say below:

Can you tell us more about the Badger sparkle that you bring to the businesses in this new TV show of yours
Yeah, well this programme has had a lot of planning, a lot of time and a hell of a lot of money spent on it. I’m not the presenter of the show. I was part of the original actually formatted team. Basically when I came out of the Apprentice show, so many production companies approached me and asked what I wanted to do. I decided to go with this idea, because it’s going into small businesses and actually helping them. Not many people focus on small businesses these days and what I wanted was not just attitude problems and all those things that make divisions but actual problems too. It’s not as if it was part of a media plan - it was a show that was agreed the moment I left the Apprentice. The one episode that I didn’t like was an estate agents’ in London. It was actually the only all female business and it was like walking into five Jade Goodys’. The problem was that I went in there and this business was bad. I went in there and said all the problems and the lady who ran the business would go "Oh Yeah," "Oh Yeah" "Oh Yeah." However then behind my back she would slag me off. Obviously I didn’t see that until I watched the show back. So it went fantastically well and the show was good but I didn’t particularly enjoy the continual uphill battle with her. I really enjoyed the second show, which is called "Greentrees." It’s filmed in Norfolk and is about a caravan company. I loved that show so much because one of the lads had such bad confidence issues. He was the worst salesman in there and he ended up being the top one in the end. He overcame it and you could actually see an actual change to his attitude - the way he sold and everything. That was very rewarding.
Do you think more women want to become entrepreneurs thanks to programmes like the Apprentice
Yeah and this is the reason why I enjoy doing it so much - the fact that you can touch me, I’m real. Everything that I have achieved, you can achieve. So I do actually think the Apprentice has highlighted business and women in business. The reason I applied for the second series was because I thought the women in the first were so poor.

In that case as a role model, have you any further tips to offer our readers who perhaps want to start out with their own company and get ahead with it
Well the first thing is, it’s all going to the one thing - which is you. It’s all to do with your mind-set - if you want to start your own business it is achievable but you have to know what you want to achieve. If you want to step up in your career I would actually say be prepared for it. Be prepared for the worst; be prepared for all the things that are going to come your way. As long as you have the right attitude and you work hard you can accomplish anything.
Gordon Brown - do you think he’s fit for office
I’ve actually met Gordon Brown and I like him as a person. I don’t like his tax rules that’s for certain. I do think he’s fit for office. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a raving Labour supporter. I like him more than I do Blair but as I say I’m not keen on his tax policies and I’m fed up of people trying to link the environment through tax and all it is really is a way for the Government to make money. But I think we should have a vote on whether we want him.

You’ve been quoted in the media recently with your thoughts on this year’s Apprentice candidates. Have you any juicy new information that you’d like to leak to us?

Well as you say unfortunately I know a lot more about the Apprentice than most people. Obviously I won’t say who will come out on top, that’s not because I’m awkward, but because I actually know who the final two are. But this year is very different. I wish them all well though.

What do you think about the number of other "business" series’ that compete with yours, like "Dragons’ Den" and Channel Four’s "Risking It All"
Do you know what, I’m not a fan of Dragons’ Den. The reason is not because it’s been a competitor to any show that I’ve ever appeared in but the actual thinking behind the show is wrong. You can go to the bank and get a £100 grand. If you’ve got a good business plan, you can go to the bank and get the money and actually better it. Why would anybody give an equity stake in their business and then let somebody come in and run it for you. You wouldn’t, but it’s good PR and that’s what it is. But I wouldn’t stand the humiliation, if I were being honest.

You appeared on Big Brother, Little Brother once. Are you a fan of the Channel 4 reality series then
Oh no - to be fair the only reason I did that was because Dermot (O’Leary) said he’d take us out for lunch. (She Laughs) It wasn’t something I was quick to agree to. I turn down about 60% of work.

Michelle Dewberry agreed to go on that Celebrity Hairdressing programme-Celebrity Scissorhands.

Yeah, that’s not my thing though. I’m a businesswoman first - I’m not daft, I know the media generates a hell of a lot of business and it’s good for profile building. But don’t worry, you aren’t going to see me on I’m a Celebrity or Big Brother.

I absolutely wouldn’t appear on celebrity version of the Apprentice. (Like Tim Campbell) Absolutely, categorically not. To be honest I’ve had my bloody fill of it. (She Laughs) There are only so many times you can sit in the boardroom.

Women often have difficulty balancing motherhood and their careers though - is that a definite concern of yours for the near future
Yeah - the thing is if you’re a working mum you’ve already got an advantage as far as I’m concerned because when you sit down and interview somebody and say "So How Do You Prioritise?" If you reply by saying that you can get a child dressed, fed and ready for school by 9 ‘clock, bloody hell then you do well by my book. My three-year-old nephew runs rings around me. Do I want kids - absolutely course I do. But it’s not something that I’m consciously thinking about every minute of the day.

The British Press ran stories about your sexuality last year. How do you feel about that now
Well the Apprentice is a business show, you know... Do you know what Duncan Valentine’s wife is called? No? - Because that’s a business show. I thought it was very unfair. You know how mad I am, but even if somebody put a million pounds down and said "Ruth, talk about your private life," the answer would still be no thank you. So - no comment on relationships.

It can be difficult to clamber up the career ladder without clashing with your colleagues. Who have you kept in touch with from the Series 2 group of the Apprentice show since it ended
Well Michelle and I do actually keep in contact with each other. I know she was in Brighton yesterday and we tried to meet up with each other, but our paths kept crossing. Sir Alan - not that I see him very often or speak to him but we do maintain contact, yeah. That’s it really. Adam Hosker - well that’s news to me, although I know the newspapers say otherwise.

I would never have done anything differently on the Apprentice. Never regret anything. It the decisions you don’t make that you regret, not the ones that you do. It’s done now anyway, I work on the things that I can control not the things I can’t. I mean if I put a camera in front of you and followed you around for three months you’d go "Ooh", it’s self-reflection, but there’s nothing I’d change.

Besides Sir Alan of course, who else would you say has inspired you to be the person you are today
Nicola Horlick - superwoman and Phil Green.

What other projects have you got planned
It is too early to take about another series of Badger or Bust but I’m sure Sky will be discussing it with me. At the moment I’m planning on what I’m doing with my business life. I’m not sure if I’d do it again. I loved doing the show, it was fantastic but at the moment I’ve got other things on the go.

Catch Badger or Bust on Tuesdays at 10pm on Sky One.