As discussions concerning the ratings of TalkTV and Piers Morgan’s new TV show Uncensored continue, Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett believes it’s ‘a bit early’ to tell if it will flourish or not.
In January this year, Steven, 29, made his debut as the newest investor in the Den, having previously founded a social media marketing agency called The Social Chain – which went on to have a market value of over £300million – when he was in his early twenties.
He also hosts a podcast, titled The Diary of a CEO, which has recently seen him engage in headline-grabbing conversations with guests including Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague, former health secretary Matt Hancock and ex-Good Morning Britain presenter Piers.
During an exclusive chat with Metro.co.uk, Steven shared what he thinks of Piers Morgan Uncensored, which – after drawing in nearly 400,000 viewers for his heated interview with Donald Trump – has since suffered a decline in ratings, falling behind BBC News and Sky News on Wednesday evening this week.
The businessman, who’s just started filming his second series of Dragons’ Den, remarked: ‘I think generally time will tell, it tends to be the case with business,’ outlining how he thinks it’ll be easier to judge after a year or two.
‘It’s a bit early to know what’s going to happen there, two weeks in,’ he continued, explaining that he doesn’t believe a fortnight would provide ‘enough data’ to ascertain ‘how things are going’.
One of the heavy focuses of Piers Morgan Uncensored is cancel culture, or, as the host puts it, his committed pledge to ‘cancel cancel culture’.
In Steven’s opinion, cancel culture ‘is a moment in time’, as he believes everyone needs to realise that ‘we’re all kind of flawed and imperfect’.
‘I think that when all is said and done we’re probably going to see – and I think we’re already seeing – a pretty adverse reaction to cancel culture. I think everybody’s really flawed and imperfect and makes mistakes,’ he stated.
‘I think that where we’ll end up is with a society that has a greater appreciation and sense of empathy for the fact that we’re all kind of imperfect. But I think there’s a lot of perception that people portray, and I think we all need to admit that we’re all kind of flawed and imperfect.’
Earlier this year, Steven spoke out in defence of Pretty Little Thing creative director Molly-Mae after her appearance on his podcast, saying that she was ‘crucified’ after a clip from their interview where she said that ‘everyone has the same 24 hours in the day’ went viral.
In April, he addressed criticism he received after announcing Piers as his latest podcast guest, stating online: ‘Imagine judging a conversation before you’ve even heard it.’
While speaking to Metro.co.uk, Steven said that responses to the conversations he has on his podcast are typically ‘pretty amazing’, saying: ‘If you look at any public comment channel on the episode itself, like YouTube comments, it’s amazing.
‘Where you see the bad comments is when you announce that you spoke to the person. So before they’ve even heard the conversation.’
Stressing that as an independent podcast, he can decide who he invites to take part, Steven said: ‘Ultimately, am I going to run a podcast where all of my guests agree with me and have the same point of view? I think that would be like speaking to myself.’
He added: ‘Generally I think if you care about progress intellectually or in public discourse, then you have to see competing ideas go up against each other.’
Steven acknowledged that his own personal views about his guests usually change after he has sat down to speak to them, explaining that if anyone were to sit with someone for two hours and ask them personal questions, ‘you should have your perception shifted’.
He added that when he’s had guests on his podcast who were deemed ‘controversial’, he doesn’t ‘really understand’ why they might not be viewed in a similar light if interviewed on channels such as Sky News, GMB, ITV or Channel 4.
The businessman, who founded companies including investment platform Flight Story and app builder Third Webb, is taking part in an eBay campaign called the WINtern scheme, which will see participants enter for a chance to win the prize of Steven becoming their intern for a day.
They can also secure a £5,000 cash grant for their company, submitting 30-second videos on TikTok with the hashtag #eBayWintern to apply to take part, where they’ll explain what their business is and why they believe Steven’s input could benefit them.
Steven said that he was intrigued by the ‘role reversal’ of the campaign, which allows him to enter businesses as an intern while helping out other entrepreneurial-minded individuals as a mentor.
He emphasised how much he ‘loves’ going into businesses and helping them improve from the inside out, which he also ‘does for free in his spare time’.
Dragons’ Den is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. Piers Morgan Uncensored airs weekdays at 8pm on TalkTV.