Friday 9 December 2016

Michael O'Doherty: How I helped flamboyant Irish apprentice star to shine

Published 03/10/2016 | 07:44

Dillon St Paul, one of the candidates in this year's BBC1 programme, The Apprentice. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 27, 2016. Photo: BBC/PA
Dillon St Paul, one of the candidates in this year's BBC1 programme, The Apprentice. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 27, 2016. Photo: BBC/PA
Holly Carpenter & Dillon St Paul at the launch of the Heineken Star Series at The Ivy, Parliament Street. Picture Anthony Woods

About 12 years ago, I interviewed a designer from Limerick for a job in Kiss, my teenage girls’ magazine.

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After an hour, I was convinced that Paul Dillon was the right man. There remained only one issue – Paul insisted on being known by the flamboyant nom de plume of Dillon St Paul.

Over the next 10 years or so, Dillon proved himself to be a hugely talented designer.

In December 2014, he decided it was time to seek pastures new and there was no ill feeling.

Holly Carpenter & Dillon St Paul at the launch of the Heineken Star Series at The Ivy, Parliament Street. Picture Anthony Woods
Holly Carpenter & Dillon St Paul at the launch of the Heineken Star Series at The Ivy, Parliament Street. Picture Anthony Woods

In the intervening time, he had done sterling work on both Kiss and Stellar magazine and had provided regular entertainment for the staff in VIP Towers.

He had also shown himself to have a fondness for the camera when he, and the rest of the Stellar staff, were given a part on Fade Street, RTE’s reality TV show.

Little did I think, however, that he would land a role on the UK edition of The Apprentice, which airs on the BBC this autumn.

Describing himself in his promo video as “Machiavellian”, he confessed to being brutally honest, manipulative, and said that “there’s nowhere to hide with me with regards to business”.

It’s all a bit of a surprise as, to the best of my memory, Dillon’s only business idea in 10 years was to try and develop the new “selfie” craze by posting photographs of himself lying on wall-mounted furniture, which he trademarked as being “shelfies”.

Curiously enough, his high concept never caught on ...

I remain sceptical that Dillon has suddenly developed business nous, having managed to conceal all evidence for the best part of a decade.

However, there is one thing I am sure of. As long as he’s on camera, there will never be a dull moment ...

Herald

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