herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Please, spare our children from the 'Breffmeister' and his jumped-up, pinstripe, smiley school of nonsense

Their teachers are on a work to rule, some are being taught maths by people who aren't qualified, but the worst has yet to befall our secondary school students. The Breffmeister is coming.

Breffny Morgan is the bumbling character who intrigued us during the last season of The Apprentice.

Although he had been to Harvard, his inability to cope with the basic challenges presented to him left us all scratching our heads wondering what on earth he had been up to in the illustrious US university.

Turns out he had been there on a rowing scholarship and his explanation during the show, that his ideas were stuck in his head but wouldn't come out, seems to suggest that his skills are limited to the paddle boat.

Now he is planning to launch an assault on our schoolchildren, charging them a fiver each to talk to them about how to use their initiative to further their ambition. The self-proclaimed 'bone fide celebrity' thinks that he is a perfect role model for children who want to get ahead in the world.

Breffny paid us a visit in the Newstalk studios a few days ago. The pinstriped-suited one entered in a flourish, ready to talk about his latest enterprise. But before we got the chance to chat, I smiled at him by way of greeting and was rewarded with a wink.

It was the first of two that I elicited from the Breffmeister -- one on entering and one on leaving.

I wondered whether this method of introduction to a female might be one of the gems of advice he will offer to aspiring business moguls as he tours Irish schools.

He says he learned a lot from his Apprentice mentor Bill Cullen, but winking at the ladies is a skill he certainly didn't pick up from the wizened business man -- Bill Cullen knows better than to instantly get on the wrong side of an interviewer.

But what can secondary students learn from Breffny?

He failed to win The Apprentice, he didn't even come second.



MYTH

He still doesn't have a full-time job and rates media appearances and holding brand ambassador roles as being weighty enough to call a career. He has also admitted that celebrity is important to him and has thought about it so much that he has decided that he is in 'phase two' of his celebrity life.

According to the Meister, phase one -- crazy fame -- involved being paid to show up at events while he is now given money to lend his name to various brands.

His idea of a career is the malignant and dangerous side effect of celebrity culture. Famous for being famous and little else is not a hook on which to hang your future, but the likes of Jordan, Breffny and most of the Big Brother contestants propagate the myth.

Surely there is some quality control exercised by the Dept of Education or head teachers to keep cranks and snake oil salesmen out of the assembly halls. Breffny has managed to slip through the net and

Breffny Morgan has had his 15 minutes of fame. He needs to find a job, make a success of himself and maybe, just maybe, then he might be allowed in to schools to lecture about how he made it.

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