Stuart Baggs was the entrepreneur who gained celebrity status during his appearance on the 2010 season of The Apprentice, the business competition presented by Lord Sugar. Although he didn’t win, his larger-than-life character won the hearts of audiences through his self-styled nickname, “The Brand”, and his memorable use of catchphrases, ranging from the overstated “Everything I touch turns to sold” to the surreal “I’m not a one-trick pony, I’m not a 10-trick pony, I’m a whole field of ponies – and they’re literally all running towards this job.”
Baggs was born in Plymouth in 1988. He started in business early, selling yo-yos to classmates in the school playground. He launched his company, Bluewave Communication, on his 13th birthday and incorporated it as a limited company as soon as he was legally able, on his 18th.
He was 21 when he appeared on The Apprentice, the youngest contestant to feature on the show. His self-assured manner saw him through to the semi-final stage, but the interview did not go well when Sugar disclosed that Baggs’ claim to have founded “a fully-licensed telecoms operator on the Isle of Man” was untrue. Sugar exploded, “I don’t believe a word you say, Stuart. I’m annoyed with myself... Stuart, you are fired.”
The eventual winner of the series was Stella English, who gained a high-profile job with Sugar’s Viglen company but later quit claiming that she was treated as “a glorified PA”.
Baggs subsequently appeared on Celebrity Five Go To... during May 2011 and Pointless Celebrities two months later. He never lacked confidence: on The Sarah Millican Television Programme in 2013 he told the comedian that his appearance on The Apprentice had made him “the most unemployable person in the country”.
He had recently launched plans to create a 4G network for the Isle of Man, providing high-speed broadband without the need for a landline. “I work, as my hair will tell you, at least 18 hours a day,” he told a local newspaper last week. “I sleep for four hours religiously, I would not have it any other way, like Margaret Thatcher.”
He was found dead at the age of 27 at his home on the island of as yet unknown causes.
Stuart Mark Alden Baggs, entrepreneur and television celebrity: born Plymouth 1988; died Isle of Man 30 July 2015.