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Posted on December 16th, 2010 by Barry Collins

Why Lord Sugar needs to fire his “technical expert”

Bordan Tkachuk

“I’m not interested in  any Steady Eddies or Cautious Carols,” barks Lord Sugar at the start of this week’s Apprentice – indeed, it’s Blundering Bordans that Amstrad Alan’s keen on.

The Bordan in question is Bordan Tkachuk, the CEO of computer firm Viglen, and one of the “trusted associates” dragged in to grill Sugar’s Apprentice candidates. Being the boss of a computer firm, Sugar naturally wants him to test out the technical acumen of Stuart Baggs – a hideous genetic blend of David Brent, Christopher Biggins and a cheap Burton’s suit.

Stuart “The Brand” Baggs runs his own ISP on the Isle of Man, and eagle-eyed Bordan’s spotted something iffy on his CV. Baggs claims he’s running a “fully licensed telecoms company”, but Bordan’s been on the blower to the Isle of Man authorities and found out that he only has a licence for broadband.

“Stuart you’re blagging to me,” said Tkachuk, cornering his prey. “I know what an ISP is. It’s an Internet Service Protocol.”

Erm… not last time I checked it wasn’t.  And given that Tkachuk’s “been running Alan Sugar’s companies for nearly the past 25 years” and so boasts that he knows “a little bit about technology”, he should know that P stands for provider not protocol.

Never mind. Anyone’s allowed a slip of the tongue, especially when they’re verbally beating up on the most irritating thing on television since Noel’s Christmas Presents.  Let’s move to the boardroom, where Bordan’s giving his feedback on Baggs to an expectant Lord Sugar of Brentwood.  “He says he has a telecoms licence on the Isle of Man,” snorts Tkachuk, with the Columbo-like flourish of a detective who has his suspect banged to rights.  “What he had was just a very simple broadcom licence.”

Broadcom? Broadcom? Either Viglen’s just invented an entirely new telecommunications protocol (Bordan’s keen on those after all), or Sugar’s technical lieutenant hasn’t got a chuffing clue what he’s talking about.

Sugar takes this news badly. Very badly indeed. He’d previously believed Baggs’ boasts of setting up his own broadband firm by the age of 21 – now it turns out he’s merely running an Internet Service Protocol with a broadcom licence. This young scallywag’s a fraud!

“My guy is not a mug,” said Sugar of Tkachuk. “You’re full of sh*t,”  before ordering Baggs to pack his, well, bags.

As my colleague Alex Watson sagely noted during the show on Twitter: “Given the quality of Sugar’s technical advisers, you can see where the em@iler came from.” Quite.

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42 Responses to “ Why Lord Sugar needs to fire his “technical expert” ”

  1. David Staples Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Does Mr. Sugar even need a computer specialist? Most of his wealth is tied up in bricks and mortar.

     
  2. Tim Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    The em@iler was a fascinating piece of technology, and I am sure 10s of people bought them. Some of them might even have bought them at full price.

     
  3. Richard Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Yes I agree anybody is allowed a slip up but surely if the guy had known what he was talking about “Internet Service Protocol” would have so jarred as soon it left his mouth that he would have instantly corrected himself. I actually felt sorry for Stuart “The Brand” although unusally he didn’t stick up for himself on this occaision. And as for Sir Alan, I think saying the guy was full of Sh*t was dare I say it a tad unprofessional. I’m sure Margaret would never use such a word ;-)

     
  4. Joel Hughes Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I (oddly) really felt sorry for Stuart – I thought he was going to go out this week for telling porkies but this seems trivial – if he’s doing well on VOIP over a broadcom (sorry!) licence then he should be applauded – doesn’t sugar like you spending money wisely?

    Sugar/Viglen have never really been associated with technical prowess and this cements it.

    Protocol my arse!

    @Joel_Hughes

     
  5. Jimbob Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    “The em@iler was a fascinating piece of technology, and I am sure 10s of people bought them. Some of them might even have bought them at full price.”

    I did, yes I paid full whack for it, yes i’m an idiot, yes it was crap and yes I do feel ashamed.

     
  6. Jeff Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Whose Viglen any way? Some second rate player in todays world IMO.

     
  7. Manuel Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Viglen are actually a very big player in the Education PC market.

    I’m surprised and the lack of knowledge for a company that specialises in IT equipment. They got very very basic technology terms wrong. That is appalling.

     
  8. Steve Cassidy Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    there does seem to be a bit of an Expert Repulsion Field at work when it comes to the telly. Peter Jones likes to claim he knows computers on the Dragon’s Den, then persistently makes it entirely clear that he doesn’t. Disclaimer; one of my very first PCs was a Viglen, and I was at the time very impressed by their tech support, but they seemed to give up on our marketplace and go off somewhere completely different, so I can’t really say whether they are doing a good job, or not.

     
  9. El Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Stuart missed a great TV opportunity to correct him on what ISP actually meant.

     
  10. Mike Read Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Its much more of a show of incompetency than just a sign of the times, believe it or not the most logical terms of any business now days has lost the plot entirely just to remain viable in the insanity of a profitable corporate world,on its last legs. Its kind of Like leading the customer off to the left of the shopping isle, whilst he steps to his right. whilst his apprentice follows him to attention…only to complain that he cant find what he wants!…”No your other left sir!..there right behind you”. These guys with-out exception

     
  11. Steve Cassidy Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    @El: those interviews are heavily edited – maybe he did correct him. What I find quite shocking is that this is the first time they have used data from *outside* the competition to fire someone – this isn’t how he fared in some stupid party game selling ice to eskimos, it’s about the real job in the real world he’s going back to. And they got it comprehensively wrong, and used that wrongness as their basis for publically firing him. I think he probably has a case for suing them.

     
  12. James Bassett Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Re: Those who felt sorry for him.

    Really, don’t. I’ve worked in IT on the Isle of Man for many years and nobody has ever heard of this kid or his company. From the looks of the website it does exist but it basically offers WiFi hotspots and some (horrifically expensive) server space.

    There are only a few telecoms companies on the Island. His isn’t one of them.

     
  13. David Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I thought it was odd, and did Bordan really need to labour the point about the fully licensed telecoms company. To me it is fully licensed if he was only training his ISP License.

    David.

     
  14. Paul Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    @SteveCassidy

    I think the problem was his CV made claims that made him appear a telecoms operator – like Orange, BT, etc.

    In fact he provides broadband – nothing wrong with that but I guess he rather over egged his CV.

    Its really an entertainment programme – the CV lies an excuse for not hiring someone who’s a big mouth trouble maker but makes for good TV.

     
  15. Paul Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Agreed. Was really cringing when I saw this. No wonder Viglen are a no-name company.

    Not only the Viglen guy, but all the interviewers came across as completely arrogant, obnoxious, clueless, and unreasonable (makes a change as usually that is the candidates).

    As much of a buls*tter Stuart normally is, he did seem to get the rough end of the stick here. It all came down to different interpretations of the word “fully”, as I don’t think Stuart’s claim was all that unreasonable.

     
  16. Alan Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    We can only base our opinons on what we see, and lets not forget that the purpose of the show is *entertainment*, and NOT to showcase the best of British business talent. That’s what Liz was fired last week – to retain Stuart for the “car crash TV” episode this week.

    What we do know is that Stuart claimed he had a full telecomms operator licence. From what we saw, I think he set out to mislead that he had a rather different licence, a full “telecommunications” licence, hence why he always reffered to his company as a ‘telecommunications company’, and not ‘an ISP’. This is given weight by his choice of words when Bordan challenged him on, Baggs tried to weasel his way out of it, instead of either a) admitting a mistake/cheeky attempt to embellish his CV, or b) argue his belief he had a telecommns company.

    The rather disappointing use of “internet service protocol” was, well, a jawdropper, but maybe he corrected himself and this was edited out? We only see what the producer wishes to see.

    That said, Baggs certainly did himself no favours at by admitting to lie about a competitor… If I was that competitor I’d be asking my solicitor some questions.

     
  17. Kieran Donnelly Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Amusing read, ISP is the sort of thing tech guys say all the time, a bit pants that he didn’t know what the P stood for. Still on the upshot, shows how not even the guys at the top of big tech companies need to be master minds.

    Hope for us all! well except that BS’er Baggs.

    MD of F8 IT Solutions Limited in Aylesbury. http://www.f8-it.com

     
  18. Jamie Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I did notice this too, but I’m thinking it was possibly said to see if Stuart would correct him or agree with him. Could be one way to test a candidate?

     
  19. Nick Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Wasn’t just the ‘P’, he followed that by defining it as “A protocol that allows telecoms over bandwidth”!
    I’m guessing he meant VOIP and over broadband not bandwidth.

     
  20. Paul Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    @Alan – but surely an ISP *is* a telecoms company?!

     
  21. Steve Cassidy Says:
    December 17th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    @James Bassett: Two wrongs don’t make a right. Whatever the kid has done, if they are going to use a justification for firing him then they have to at least pretend to be better informed. I’m not too bothered by how large or successful he is – he’s 21! Lots of time to grow, fail, get another “licence”, whatever. Being 21 is all about making a plonker of yourself: I know I did. Bordan, on the other hand strikes me as a classic Computing person, who thinks that as a result of using something electrical, they know telecoms: it’s a common and arrogant delusion. The practical difference between this kid’s “licence” and what Bordan and Sir Nookie Bear *thought* it meant is, in reality, just not worth making a fuss about. I don’t mind someone being made a laughing stock within the terms of reference of a game show (which is what this is) – here, however, this has gone a lot further. They are into life-wrecking territory, and to play in that field they had better have their facts straight.

     
  22. Stephen Says:
    December 17th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Even my brother, who describes himself as “an IT c**t” knows what an ISP is. Anyone who Googles Bordan from now on will see that he hasn’t a clue. As for the reason why Stuart Baggs was fired so dramatically (or even still there) – it’s showbusiness, folks!

     
  23. Robin White Says:
    December 17th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I said to my GF straight away – eh Protocol – no it’s not.
    I agree with the post earlier. The gorgeous Liz was sacrificed so Stuart could come a cropper this week.

    Jamie was also found out. He reckoned he’s a great salesman then he states that it’s his business partner who does the “closing” on the properties in Cyprus.

    Can’t wait for the final on Sunday though. Go Stella go :)

     
  24. Andy Says:
    December 17th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Been ranting about this to anyone who would listen for the last couple of days (i.e no-one). Baggs was an idiot, but the chap with the beard is just incompetent. No wonder Viglen were pants (are they still going btw?)

     
  25. Marcus Says:
    December 17th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    What is even more scary is that the mistake wasn’t picked up during editing either..

     
  26. rpb424 Says:
    December 17th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    The editing of his dismissal was somewhat odd in that the overall feedback from all four ‘advisors’ came across nowhere as near as bad as to justify the rant from LordSirAlan that ensued. A least half of it seemed positive feedback.

    In reality, I suspect that Baggs was doomed weeks before this anyway. LordSirAlan probably had a fair idea who he wants in the final some weeks before, at which point the exact order in which the other candidates are fired is largely irrelevant. Baggs was probably therefore deliberately kept in at the behest of the producers until the interview stage precisely such that he could be mauled for the sake of entertaining telly. I’m sure that the show’s producers have more than a little say as to what happens, given that LordSirAlan is undoubtedly paid by them handsomely for his services, even if they don’t get to choose the eventual winner.

     
  27. James W Says:
    December 18th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Cool… new that ‘P’ for Protocol would not go unmissed. There’s nothing better than a self confessed expert then imiediately proving they don’t have a clue. Priceless.

     
  28. RP Says:
    December 18th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I have never even seen a Viglen let alone want to own one so why bring out this guy who cant work out his ISP from his TCP/IP. He needs to shave his 70s beard.

    Merry xmas hohoho

     
  29. Chris G Says:
    December 18th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Broadcom is a fairly large telecoms chip manufacturer. They have been known to license their designs as here

    http://www.betanews.com/article/Qualcomm-Rejects-Broadcoms-6perchip-Licensing-Offer/1183142771

    So it is perfectly possible to have a Broadcom License – but it won’t allow you to run any telecoms services in the Isle of Man

     
  30. Jon Says:
    December 19th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Watch the program again on Iplayer and you will see several attempts to rubbish other candidates but was pushed back on by everyone. When it came to Stuart they thought he was bright and a real potential – bordons comments acted as a bombshell but in reality I think helped them out of a spot in making a decision to boot one – talk about a 180 in 5 seconds. Thing is Stuart is 21 and even if he was a bit creative – he had sizeable results which were demonstrable. If that that made up then all comments were justified – but they weren’t – bordans comments caused confusion. With Joanna he asked her about what viglen was – she wasn’t prepared and didn’t know which was one thing – bordan communicated that she didn’t know the business basics which came across as she didn’t know the basics of business full stop. They nay have come to the same conclusions in that Stuart is perhaps too young and needs alot of honing – and for Joanna it would be maybe too bigger step – but borden introduced some dangerous and misleading politics to what I felt was the detriment of the process.

     
  31. Paul Says:
    December 20th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Additionally this pretentious moron Bordan kept talking about “bandwidth” as if it was some physical medium, even though bandwidth is really just a measurement of a frequency range or data throughput rate.

     
  32. Steve Cassidy Says:
    December 21st, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    @Paul: deep concept. Bandwidth is physical, in as much as time, too, is physical. May I refer you to Sir Iggy of Pop? “Time is money: saving it rocks!”.

     
  33. Julia Fox Says:
    December 22nd, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    The issue with Stuart Baggs was about much more than just his telecoms licence. I heard an interview with him on BBC Radio Scotland after he was fired. Although he denied having lied on the show, he explained that he is actually the director of two companies. He is a non-executive director and the full-time employee (IT guy) of an eBay import/export company owned by his parents, who are the executive directors. That company has a £3 million annual turnover. Baggs is also the director of BlueWave, his own telecoms company. It hasn’t got that sort of turnover. That’s as much as I got from the interview. The next bit is my own deduction. I think it’s really obvious that Lord Sugar and everyone else assumed Baggs was claiming that his own telecoms company was turning over £3 million p.a, that is, that he had achieved that success single handedly. When the true state of affairs was revealed, Sugar must have realised the deception and Baggs was fired. Your guess is as good as mine as to why none of this was revealed on television but I think Sugar’s lawyers may have had something to do with it.

     
  34. Liam Hamilton Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 12:08 am

    I was surprised that Viglen is run by someone who didn’t know what ISP stood for (I’m Sure he does now). That said Sugar has already said he knew little about computers despite running Amstrad.

    As to the who are Viglen comments they are a player in the Public Sector/Education markets. When I was in education I did have the delight of using their machines (not great to be honest) but then again their major competitor in that market is Research Machines (or commonly shortened to RM) who are the market leader. However, that said RM seem to be worse than Viglen (having used their products too)!

     
  35. Terry B Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Protocol/provider etc. My guess is it’s a slip or two of the tongue, but the editing staff are media studies graduates who think IT is a cute alien.
    BTW Viglen computers are sitting in a lot of schools now. They seem pretty reliable and work well. ( So far).

     
  36. Dairs Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I remember Lord Pym – one time chairman of GEC – explaining the importance of his company’s role in a defence contract – using the expression ‘knots an hour’. Not sure I would have bought any kit off him!

     
  37. peter Says:
    December 29th, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Does anyone here not realise the whole show is pre-destined. They full well know who is telling what porkies before they even choose the cadidates because it is a entertainment show and they they want to maximize column inches at the right time.
    Has no-one cottened onto the fact the every reality show had a headline grabbing shocker in the run up to Xmas.
    We are all suckers for even talking about it.

     
  38. Ian Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Had dealings with this Bordan guy before, he is a two-faced scumbag. No wonder Alan Sugar thinks the world of him!

     
  39. Paul Faulkner Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Amstrad all over again, crap technology, product and implementation, but “Joe Public” seemed to buy in to it! So called high tech Audio Amplifiers at bargain basement prices! Quality build with mains cable routed through a hole in the back panel safely secured by knotting to cable, terminated on a tag strip bolted to low voltage output device, no lock washer or blot provided, so cable movement could easily align a 240v live tag down to earth out on metal can of output device with quite alarming consequences – a home-made incendiary device. My Barclays Bank Manager could never understand why I wouldn’t stock and sell these products. SIMPLES – technological garbage. A former Proprietor of an Audio and Electronics Retail Business.

     
  40. Rancho Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I have noticed today that Bordan keeps editing his Wikipedia page to remove reference his ISP Blunder. It may be a different “BordanT” – I don’t know. I’m only offering this as information, and certainly not to inspire any mischief making.

     
  41. Soldier X Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    This man was known as ‘bored with two cheques’ in Australia. Word was he had two jobs with competing companies but neither knew he worked for the other. Ask him about the Atari ST4 saga. Didn’t turn up for an appointment with me after I’d flown over 3000 kms to see him. Had a reputation for not returning phone calls or faxes from dealers and was generally despised by all. Not rumour and innuendo, simply the checkable truth. He is richer than me so I not giving my real name but this isn’t bitterness, simply anger that this clown has been fooling all of the people all of the time for far too long. Him checking other people’s credentials? The irony of it is disgusting!

     
  42. Synaptic_Fire Says:
    January 9th, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    @James W
    ‘Cool… new that ‘P’ for Protocol would not go unmissed.’

    Yep, and neither did that ‘K’ for Knew.

     

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