Every since appearing on the third series of The Apprentice back in 2007, Katie Hopkins has become something of a national hate figure. She’s a regular on ITV’s This Morning as well as appearing on shows such as Question Time, The Weakest Link Apprentice Special and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! and each and every appearance has featured her every so slightly snobbish views of the world. This Morning has featured her arguing points such as ‘Big is not Beautiful’ and ‘Children’s names reflect their social status’. Suffice to say, Hopkins is one of contemporary Britain’s most controversial hate figures, with most people branding her an attention seeking snob. I, however, have a slightly different view of Hopkin’s motives.
The best way to understand Katie Hopkins is to look back at her time on The Apprentice and there are four major points that must be raised here. Firstly, looking at the first two episodes reveals Hopkins as a game player. In the first episode she stays under the radar, does what her project manager tells her to do and, upon losing, stays quiet in the boardroom whereas the second episode has Hopkins take up the mantel of project manager, thus immediately placing herself in the foreground, and showing herself to be a very capable businesswoman. Basically, Hopkins doesn’t want to risk being fired first so stays out-of-the-way but compensates for this in the second task where she immediately becomes one of the most memorable contestants on the show. Another aspect of Hopkin’s time on The Apprentice that shows her character is her relationship with fellow contestant Paul Callaghan; a rather idiotic man who attempted to cook sausages on a baked bean can and sell cheese to the French, a move Sir Alan likened to taking coals to Newcastle
Or trying to sell guides to hacking dead schoolgirl’s phones to this sneering arse
It’s pretty obvious that Hopkins and Callaghan were close; they always appear next to one another in the house and in tasks with one shot in particular revealing Hopkin’s fascination with Callaghan’s earlobes. While their relationship doesn’t appear too sinister, I believe Hopkins used Callaghan in order to generate a romantic edge to the show which the producers could then use and provide Hopkins with more air time. Her reactions after Callaghan is fired certainly back this point up as she begins a vendetta against Adam Hosker, the man she blames for Callaghan’s departure. This is not the way a professional acts, Callaghan was fired for utter incompetence and Hopkins knows it. Her interest in him bottles down to air time and publicity and her angry reaction is an attempt to emphasise these factors. I honestly wouldn’t be that surprised if, just prior to appearing on the show, Hopkins planned to throw herself on the nearest idiot both to provide the romantic angle that reality tv show producers so desperately crave and to portray herself as a sexual, temptress.
The third major point that comes from Hopkin’s turn on The Apprentice is her trademark snobbery and bitchiness. Multiple examples have her talking down to car salesman, Adam Hosker and calling Kristina Grimes “too orange to be taken seriously”. One example in the tv selling task had Hopkins imagining the average viewer of tv selling shows as old, fat, and keeping the tv on for a bit of company, comments which resulted in some criticism.
Pictured: Average Complainer
The final point is the most important and revealing by far. Hopkins managed to find herself in the final three where she was chosen by Sir Alan to appear in the final. After a few minutes of silence from Hopkins and no real celebration on her part, Sir Alan asked if she was ok, at which point Hopkins decided to stand down because she wouldn’t be able to promise that her family would be able to move if she won and to continue without their imput would be disrespectful. This is fair enough but it seems obvious that Hopkin’s real motive for standing down was to, once again, generate as much publicity for herself as possible. This is the only time a finalist has stood down and it caused a huge stir, exactly what Hopkins wanted. I’m convinced that Hopkins planned this all out before hand and knew exactly what she was doing. Hopkin’s time on The Apprentice set the stage for her entire media career and gives us a very strong insight into how she works.
So what does Hopkins want? The answer to that is, in my mind at least, really very simple; Hopkins wants power. There is ample evidence for this claim; she’s run for political office before and failed miserably and her divisive views are just the thing that can get a person elected. Her fans view her as saying it how it is and standing up for the British middle class and working women everywhere. Sound familiar?
I think Hopkins views herself as a Thatcher-esque sort of figure; she’s certainly divisive enough and has the same sort of devoted fanbase. Hopkins has used The Apprentice to become a celebrity and recently she’s been using her celebrity to break into politics. Katie Hopkins stood for MEP for the South West England Constituency as an Independent candidate and managed to get 8,971 votes or 0.6%. Not detoured by this failure, Hopkins announced that she would stand in 2014 for the We Demand A Referendum party. Hopkins has used her fame and her Sun newspaper column to start the basis for a political career which, I am convinced, she plans to use to see her to some sort of minor governmental position, maybe something in childcare, after all her kids seem to like her.
Katie Hopkins is somewhat deserving of admiration. This is a ruthlessly ambitious and manipulative woman who seems to have carefully planned every major step of her career. Do I trust her with any sort of power? No. Do I agree with everything she says? Some of it. Do I like her? Meh. Do I have something of a grudging respect for her? Yes and I’m very curious to see just what becomes of her in the future.