How does it feel now everything's out in the open and Celebrity Apprentice is done?
I mean that’s the main thing, having to keep it to yourself and not just blurt it out. Especially when I’m on stage - I’ve been pretending that I got knocked out in the first two weeks!
It was filmed a long time ago as well…
Yeah we filmed it last year. In order to do it both Shaynna and I had to do two weeks of quarantine, not together though! It was done at the end of at the end of last year so like six seven months ago now. It’s been it's been a long time, you watch it back and go ‘Oh god yeah that happened. I forgot about that!’
Was there anything that was left out from the show that you wish had been shown on TV?
The way I describe it is it's like watching the highlights on the news, you know, like the sporting highlights as opposed to watching the match. There were loads of jokes – I was coming up with some really stupid that I would just throw in there. If I was putting it in there, I would have put all of that in you know, but obviously it's not my show is it?
Did you have a favourite or a least favourite challenge?
Obviously the final one was a particular highlight, we got to raise a load of money for charity by essentially staging a live action movie which was really good. I really liked the previous one with the sand. The ones that I really enjoyed were the ones where there was very definite alchemy, like when we did the theatre task that was voted for by the public - I liked those ones because there was no question, they were easier to get your head around. My least favourite one, and it's not just because I was project manager and I lost, was the furniture where we had to collect people's data because that was boring! You had to go in a shopping centre, tell people about the furniture and then get them to fill out a form. I was trying to make it as fun as possible but yeah, that was a pretty dull time.
You had the opportunity to raise thousands for your charity The Red Cross and we heard about your bushfire story. What’s the support been like from fans?
It’s been great. When you're a comic and you’re known for joking around, it’s a bit of a hard gear shift. When I'm talking, usually because I'm saying stupid things and joking about, my worry about talking about things like that is that you don't want to diminish it. There are people that we knew – neighbours and friends who lived nearby were involved, you don't want to diminish the whole thing by seeming like you're being glib. But I think that the good thing is that people on the show could see that it was a really important thing that was worth supporting and people seem to be responding to the whole thing really well.
Wippa helped you out on the final task but it seems like you were all friends during filming. Who were some of the people you grew closest to during your time on Celeb Apprentice?
Wippa’s a great guy. He’s no nonsense, no bulls*** and there’s no ego to him at all. In terms of people to work with you know, people like him, Josh [Gibson] and Shaynna [Blaze] were actually proper business people but I’d say out of everyone my closest mate on there was Scherri-Lee Biggs. She was brilliant, I mean I feel pretty bad she got fired instead of me, but what I really liked about her from the outset was she was portrayed as being this beauty pageant Miss Universe contestant and there’s all sorts of baggage that comes along with that despite the fact that that was that was years ago and now she's a weather presenter and a journalist. She came in and I think it would have been very easy for her to be sort of pigeonholed into this kind of role as being a dumb model, but she came in and became project manager straight off the bat which is a really ballsy move. My sort of erratic madness overshadowed the fact that in those tasks we were working together she was just great, so she was probably the person I got on best with in the whole thing.
David was really good as well but the trouble was you were never quite sure whether or not he was playing you. You’d go to the pub afterwards and he would go ‘Just you know, I'm playing a game here’ and you’d go ‘Hang on he's telling us he's playing a game, but is he playing a game or is that him playing us by telling he’s playing a game?’
There were loads of great people on the show and also just that thing of very unlikely sort of friendships. One of my favourite things was like if Shaynna and I went out for dinner after filming, you’d see people looking at us, they didn't know we were doing the show at the time, going ‘What are those two doing? The queen of style and a man look that looks like he lives in a skip, what is going on?’
You had a bit of a reputation for taking the crazy, non-traditional route on challenges. Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
Obviously people say my ideas are mad, but quite a lot of the time I would be sitting there going ‘I'm the voice of reason in this’. If I'm the voice of reason at the table, we're in trouble! There were early tasks where I would think ‘Hang on we're on the wrong track here’ and I would voice my concerns and then I’d sort of be ignored and that happened quite a lot, people would go ‘He’s just insane’ and then we’d either follow my idea and we'd win the task or we’d lose the task and Lord Sugar would say in the boardroom ‘Did anyone suggest this?’ and they’d say ‘Oh yeah Ross did’.
That kept happening and then I sort of fired up a bit and went ‘No I'm gonna push it on this I'm right on this’ and things would get a bit heated. With hindsight you go ‘Should I not have gotten into the argument and just let us lose?’ My whole thing going into it was just whether you're right or wrong, just commit to it.
If you just make sure you’re working harder than everyone else or equally as hard as whoever's working the hardest then you just sort of hope that gets noticed. God that was a boring answer!
WATCH BELOW: Lord Alan Sugar stars in Celebrity Apprentice Australia. Post continues after video...
Would you do more reality TV?
No. Like if I'm perfectly honest, COVID hit and I had a year and a half’s worth of work just disappear - every theatre in the world was closed. It was the first time in 30 years where I was literally going ‘I've got nothing happening here’. They were saying this could be going on for three years so I just started writing and when they came in said ‘We’re doing Celebrity Apprentice’ I looked at it and just went ‘Well I would never have had time to do it otherwise’.
I’ve always been a bit snobby about reality TV shows and then COVID happened! I wouldn’t want to be a contestant but having done the show I've got a new found respect for the genre. The way the show’s put together, the production side of things is a very interesting operation. But you're not gonna see me in the jungle anytime or on Big Brother!