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Watchtime episode 15: How to get on reality TV (and what to expect when you do)

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Watchtime episode 15: How to get on reality TV

On this Watchtime episode, Aleksandra and Elliott (co-founder of one of the most successful digital marketing agencies in London) will tell us about how Aleksandra got a place on The Apprentice, one of the most popular TV shows in the UK. From the application process (Aleksandra had to beat 100,000 applicants to secure her place) to the real experience of being in a reality TV show, our protagonist shares her feelings about the whole process: “it was an entertainment show, you are there just to entertain people”. In her own words, the goal of this show is to look for “characters”.

Moreover, Aleksandra will tell us about how she found the production of this TV show, the reaction of the public, the challenges she encountered, and what made her walk out of the show.

Do you want to know more about how does it feel to get into a reality TV show? Stay tuned for more insights!

*This episode was multi-streamed with ReStream.


Intro (00:02):
The WATCHTIME show sponsored by digital agency MintTwist.

Elliott King (00:13):
Hello and welcome to watch time. My name is Elliot King and we are from MintTwist, the international digital agency. And this show is being streamed, multistreamed to YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and a number of other places using Alekandra, what are we speaking about today?

Aleksandra King (00:34):
Well I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this one,but we’ve decided to make it about ‘The Apprentice’.

Elliott King (00:40):
That’s right. So ‘The Apprentice’ is obviously an international, very popular international TV show. It’s very big in the UK and in the UK at the moment it’s being that they’re repeating previous episodes and they’re currently showing the series 12 in which you was treating Alexandria in which I was truly Alexandria was was featured. And so we thought we’ll do an episode today talking all about your experience. Yeah.

Aleksandra King (01:05):
Yeah. All around experience, the process of getting in, being on the show and the after effects. So tell us why,

Elliott King (01:14):
What was it in your backgrounds that you felt made you right for the show?

Aleksandra King (01:19):
Well, I dunno about right for the show. But my daughter had a dream that I was on it. We used to watch the apprentice and I thought, Oh, that’s a bit strange. Maybe that’s a sign. And I applied after a couple of glasses of wine and got in, I suppose, what triggered me to try besides my daughter was the fact that before that I had been in full time billing systems, integration, quantify, fly all around the world, implementing these systems, building systems. And then I had my kids and I had to wind down and moving to more temporary work, a semi permanent. And I thought, actually, this is a great way to get me back into it properly. Yeah.

Elliott King (02:01):
And so the application process is obviously pretty competitive. I think it’s over a hundred thousand people apply in any 18 or so get onto the show. Yeah.

Aleksandra King (02:11):
As I mentioned in another watch type episode, I really enjoyed the application process. That part was very, very professional business, like, and pretty much real world stuff. So it wasn’t so much entertainment for anyone. It was just, you know, little business tests that you had to do. And maybe there was a bit of media stuff where you had to do pieces to camera and things, but overall that whole process, which took several months was for me the most enjoyable challenge. I loved it.

Elliott King (02:37):
Yeah. And what do you think the producers were looking for from the candidates?

Aleksandra King (02:41):
Well, what we have to understand about reality TV, and this is where I thought, you know, because this is a business show. It’s not, you know, love Island or celebrity. I’m a celebrity, get me out of here or anything like that. Or SAS who dares wins. This is a business show. So it’s going to be very professional and they expect to do our absolute best and give it all we got. But what I found was, you know, that I was on an entertainment show and the priority. It wasn’t really about your professional performance so much and doing the best job that you can do and doing it honestly and properly, it was about, you know, you were being served as a, on a platter, as entertainment to the public. Yeah. You know,

Elliott King (03:24):
And they’re looking for characters, they’re looking for people that stand up. Don’t want any shrinking violets here.

Aleksandra King (03:30):
They are looking for car. You have to be entertaining in some way. So, but you also, I suppose, at the end of it, in order to work with on sugar, there does have to be something there. So it’s big personalities with something that can be offered at the end of it, but throughout the process and ideally you’re there to entertain, you know, that’s, that’s the objective. Yeah,

Elliott King (03:48):
That’s right. Okay. And so, so the actual experience of, of the show of the production of the show, how did that work? How did, how did that go for you?

Aleksandra King (03:59):
Well, for me, because there was this whole entertainment spin, which took priority over doing things properly and professionally, which I value and love. I actually found that quite stressful. I didn’t like the entertainment side interfering with what we had to do. And at the same time I was also moving house. So I was very worried about what was going on back home because often not ever leaving my children or husband ever, I was then put into this new environment when these people not talking to my family, not knowing what’s going on. And I was worrying about house, move, worrying about what’s going to happen. And when I worry, I tend not to eat and not to sleep at all. So I really started working myself into something and think I’m a terrible mum that I’m not at home. And then worrying about this entertainment thing and not being able to do things properly. And it was all just like I took it too seriously. And I should’ve just been like, do you know what this is TV? You know, you can just get fired by and sugar the normal way and everything will be okay.

Elliott King (05:02):
So it’s worth, probably pointing out for the viewers. It’s not like a day job thing. It’s like you guys away from me, come back to your home in the evening. You’re actually away. Full-Time

Aleksandra King (05:13):
Basically no contact, very limited. And if, and even if there is, it’s highly monitored and times, so it’s just not, it’s not, it’s not realistic. It’s not the real world. Definitely isolated on purpose. So it’s a highly strung environment. Yeah. And I suppose I just, wasn’t in the right mind frame at all at that period in my life. Not at all.

Elliott King (05:32):
So as the weeks went by, you know, you did well in week one, you survived, you survived in week two and week three, despite being in the, in being called back into the boardroom,

Aleksandra King (05:42):
They were in the boat. I was never called back into the bottom three. I always managed to get out of it. And I always managed to perform no matter what, but I think I just came to the realization that it wasn’t for me and I would let the younger kids get on with it. And so what, so

Elliott King (05:58):
Tell us for those of us who who’ve seen the episode, what happened in week four? Yeah. So Alexandra was the only candidate to have walked out mid task in the apprentice. And I guess it took the production team.

Aleksandra King (06:12):
It took them by surprise. It also took a lot of guts, you know, because you have a lot of sugar and he expects things to be done a certain way and everyone should abide ideally by his rules and you know, the rules of production. But you know, when, when I’d make a decision about something, that’s it. No one’s going to change my mind, but they did ask me to retake the scene a few times. So I did that for them and then went off and, you know, I never cry like maybe four times in my whole entire life. And I had a really long cry afterwards. It was just like a relief and I was really happy to go home. It sounds all really terrible and negative the way I’m speaking now. But overall it was a positive experience. I’m very happy that I did it

Elliott King (06:49):
For the positives, so I don’t want to be,

Aleksandra King (06:52):
But it was tough.

Elliott King (06:54):
It’s it’s yeah. It’s, it’s great. It’s great to hear the inside track. So your immediate feelings or having walked off of this show, you know, what, what, what were you feeling? What, what were your worries? What are your concerns?

Aleksandra King (07:07):
I mean, walking off the show, I, I was very worried about letting the team down. Oh, I still was in my mind taking this seriously and thinking that, you know, it’s like a job, but it’s not a job it’s entertainment. It was incredibly fantastic for them that I walked off the show because it was very entertaining. I had great ratings. So I did my job as far as the production of apprentice was concerned, but obviously, you know, for the task that wasn’t great. And then I just wanted to be at home and lick my wounds and recover mentally and you know, not beat myself too much up about it that I’ve, I’ve walked off, you know?

Elliott King (07:41):
Yeah. So we mentioned, look, it is a TV show. And I think word got out in advance of that episode, airing that someone was going to walk off the show. So actually that particular episode at the highest number of views out of all of the episodes, I think the final included 8 million people watched that in the UK.

Aleksandra King (07:59):
Let me just say, you know, this is, that’s the thing. It is an entertainment show. So to walk off an entertainment show, to go be with your family and move house made more sense to me. But of course, you know, when you’re on a real job, for example, when I was in Gambia and that got really tough and the work was really hard and I felt like throwing in a towel and going, I’m overwhelmed by what I need to do. I stuck with it because a country dependent on a billing system, this is quite different. It’s an entertainment show. And at the end of the day, as far as I was concerned, I brought the entertainment home. I delivered the entertainment,

Elliott King (08:37):
The entertainment, but, but, but the angle of the shot because of the nature of TV, the night to particularly reality TV, it had to be sort of boiled down into, into sort of a single narrative. And so the narrative for that particular episode and for your particular subplot in that show was, was Alexon for rights to walk, you know, or not. And I think initially you felt that the majority of the public would be

Speaker 4 (09:01):
Again, decision

Aleksandra King (09:03):
Completely supportive. I had so many messages coming in, I mean, very, very supportive, lovely. And I felt reassured it was fantastic. However, I also had trolls. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But you know, when you, when you have a little bit of a platform and you suddenly gained some fame and then you’re hit by the troll wave for the first time, it’s like, how could people be so mean to me? They don’t even know me. They don’t know anything about me, how can they say no? And then you just, it, you know, especially some comments like to say to me that I’m a quarter is like, don’t say that to me because I will do everything. And whatever it takes, when it matters, I will stick with it. I can die and I will still stick with it. But, you know, so to be called that I took immense offense to, and I found that really hurtful. However, I was, I realized that I’m stronger than I think. And I actually was able to absorb, you know, rationalize, grow thicker skin and become a strong person.

Elliott King (10:05):
Yeah. There was definitely some pretty negative abuse, but it was almost like the more negative abuse that you had, the more strongly, some people. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (10:16):

Aleksandra King (10:17):
Sorry. I’ve just never experienced that before. That was just the most crazy thing. Cause you have these arguments going on on Twitter and you know, you’re watching this and there’s people defending you that you’ve never met until this day. I’ve got like, I have to just say thank you. Cause I have the most wonderful fan base and people that are so supportive and lovely and you know, whenever I can help and, you know, give back, I do to those, you know,

Elliott King (10:40):
It’s a really interesting sort of side effects of a bit of press, probably particularly because you had this quite sort of interesting storyline, you’ve attracted a section of people that have followed you ever since.

Aleksandra King (10:54):
Well, maybe not so much lost officially, but lost unofficially is some, some friends that I thought were my really good friends. As soon as I got on the apprentice, they’re just, they just turned out not to be the friends that I thought they would be. And it’s just so sad because,

Elliott King (11:13):
So what do you think that is then? What is that? Is that jealousy? Is it, is it,

Aleksandra King (11:18):
I don’t know. Maybe, maybe I, I, I suppose I started to post, then I had a platform and put myself out there and maybe they thought, well, we don’t like your posts or you look a little bit too sexy that day or you look a little bit like this or, or, Oh, you just look bad. I don’t know. You know, or just all your faces and whatever it is or like, or don’t talk about the apprentice. I dunno, whatever it was, it just became really negative for a certain group. But that’s why I think for anyone going into this, you’ve got it surround yourself and actually cocoon yourself with people that, you know, love and trust and they love and know you and trust you just the same way, because that will see you through everything no matter what happens, no matter what it is matter what’s thrown at you no matter which troll comes. If you have that support network, you’re S you’re very strong and the friends that aren’t really friends, you’re going to find out who they are really quickly. So it’s just

Elliott King (12:12):
Certainly an interesting, an interesting experience. So I think you’ve said to me before, you know, when people are paying you compliments, you know, don’t take them too seriously when people are giving you negative feedback, don’t take it too seriously. So I’ve always thought it was

Aleksandra King (12:26):
Because you can’t define yourself by your fans. You can’t define yourself by your social media. You define yourself by what’s really important. Your family, the love that your children. And I would even say, make your pets, animals, nature, things that really really matter, but trivial things and likes and no. So yeah, and just, just, you know who you are. So if someone gives you a compliment, people don’t owe you anything. No one has to give you a compliment. It’s lovely to get a compliment. He say, thank you, but you don’t let your head swell. And the same way, if someone’s nasty, do you just go, okay, well, you know, and if you can learn something, cause some criticism can be valuable, then you, you take that. Uyou learn from it.

Elliott King (13:04):
Okay. It’s very nice. So any, any final words that in for, for any of those people that have been following your story over the last few years?

Aleksandra King (13:14):
Well, there’s going to be more to come. I, I mean with my son, I’m quite spontaneous, but I always have something up my sleeve. So watch this space. And I would say to anyone, thinking of embarking on a crazy journey, such as the one I’ve embarked on and plunging into some sort of reality TV, just be prepared for the positive and the negative cocoon yourself, protect yourself, look after your mental health and never let anyone bully you and tell you what you need to do. You do what’s right for you, for your family, for your circle, for your mental health, for the good of the world, trust your own instinct, not what society tells you or what a production crew wants from you or anything like that. You are the boss and you’re the one that can fire, not the other way around.

Elliott King (14:04):
Okay. All right. Well look, thanks very much for listening. We’ll look forward to seeing you again on another episode very soon. Take care. Bye bye.

Aleksandra King (14:14):
And that concludes today’s episode. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. And if you have, do subscribe to get subsequent episodes automatically in the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about digital marketing, please visit Thanks so much for joining us and see you again soon.

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