Mr Bouris means business
THEY may tweet their every move, pull favours and publicity stunts and call in their contacts during challenges. But when push comes to shove in Celebrity Apprentice, boss Mark Bouris puts the brakes on in the boardroom.
No matey asides. No phones. No worming out of questions. No taking notes. No stunts. No funny stuff. And that’s ‘‘ Mr Bouris’’ to you, thanks.
‘‘ I think they thought it was going to be a romp in the park,’’ says Bouris, the financial wizard who does the firing on the show.
‘‘ I think they got a shock first day. They thought they could just bluff their way through it, but it doesn’t work that way. I pulled them out of the pack real easy.
‘‘ I don’t mind people mucking around when you are doing challenges but when you hit my boardroom, you play by the rules.
‘‘ It’s ‘ call me what you are supposed to call me, it’s Mr Bouris, and be respectful to each other and the process’.’’
It’s not that Bouris ( pictured), who is making his second foray into reality television after playing the boss on Australia’s first Apprentice series in 2009, is humourless.
It’s just that he’s taking the same steely professional approach to his television gig as he does in business.
His professionalism may be a relief to those already tired of the celebrity hype and stunts which have bombarded many in the lead-up to the series.
The contestants – politician Pauline Hanson, The Block’s Polly Porter, dance guru Jason Coleman, comedian Julia Morris, beauty queen Jesinta Campbell, former NRL player Wendell Sailor, AFL legend Shane Crawford, PR guru Max Markson, former Olympian Lisa Curry, singer Deni Hines, model Didier Cohen and former AFL player Warwick Capper – have pulled in plenty of publicity as filming has been conducted in and around Sydney.
But Bouris says the real gold in the show might be seeing his charges in a new light. It’s certainly been revealing for him as the ‘‘ boss’’.
‘‘ I knew a few of them from meeting them before the show, but there were no ‘ mateships’ to be put aside,’’ he says.
‘‘ I know Wendell [ Sailor] but, you know, he played league for Queensland, so I wouldn’t have that much to do with him. I’d met Max [ Markson] – it’s hard not to know of Max – and I’d met Shane [ Crawford] from AFL sponsorship with Wizard [ the home loans company Bouris established with his sidekick in business and adviser on Celebrity Apprentice, Brad Seymour].
‘‘ But I wouldn’t say I ‘ knew’ them and, during this, I’ve learnt plenty about them.’’
Bouris knew it would be dangerous to assume Miss Universe Australia was ‘‘ just a catwalk model’’, but has still been delighted to discover just how ‘‘ smart and sharp’’ she is.
‘‘ And I look at Pauline Hanson as a politician and I have a preconceived idea of what she was like, and I have definitely seen the softer side and the more human side of Pauline. That’s not to say I agree with her politics,’’ he says with a grin.
WIN, weeknights, 7pm