The world according to Angelos Epithemiou
Is there a copy of The Big Issue in your bag Angelos?
No I don’t have one in my bag at the moment but as soon as I see one you know I’ll go and buy one. You know that.
Now you’re so successful I suppose it’s difficult for you to walk down the street without attracting a lot of attention from your fans.
I wouldn’t make it down the bloody street. It’s difficult.
It can only be getting worse now you have your own series. What should fans expect?
There’s some topical humour – topical only to me if I’m honest with you. And an interview with a superstar like Dr Christian Jessen, Gazza, all the top people. Top bands and explosions.
Things blowin’ up, yeah.
How do you get the celebrities to come on your show. Are they fans too?
No, they’re not fans, not even remotely. But if you bung enough money at these people they will come.
Have you had a letter from Sainsbury’s thanking you for all the exposure you give them?
No. The only correspondence I’ve had from Sainsbury’s is them saying we’re not going to stock your DVD thank you very much. All the bloody publicity I’ve given them and not a peep out of them.
Do you still own the burger van?
No, I don’t own the burger van anymore, Steven. It’s no longer with us. But I’ll always go back to that if I think I need to make a few quick bucks.
It’s good to have something to fall back on if the fame game doesn’t last.
I’ve always got catering to fall back on and if it’s not catering it’s modelling.
The van would’ve been handy for the Olympics. Lots of passing trade.
I would’ve been quite busy but there’s all sorts of red tape to go through if you want to get your van anywhere near. Normally I’d just rock up anywhere, park it and start flipping the burgers until the cops come and move me on, but at the Olympics they’d have the council out all the time looking for that sort of thing.
Is the council the natural enemy of the burger van proprietor?
And other burger vans, of course, but health and safety inspectors are the biggest stumbling block because they’ll close you down as soon as they see a dead rat.
Better than a live rat.
Exactly. If you’ve knocked it out with a spatula it’s not crawling into food.
With your catering background, why didn’t you become a celebrity chef?
It would be good to do something like Saturday Kitchen with that James Martin, where he cooks things and talks to people. You’re combining both my skills. My communication skills – which are second to none – and my cooking skills – which are ropey, but I can get by.
There’s a gap in the market for a cookery show that reflects the real diet of the nation.
Yeah, as if you’re ever gonna make a pork and seaweed dish…. But you might make a cheese roll.
Were you sad when Shooting Stars was cancelled?
No. I thought, they’ve been getting away with this for a long time, they got found out and that was the end of it really. Chancers.
You had outgrown it anyway.
It did feature a lot of glamorous women on though…
I was beating them off with a stick. Alexa Chung was a problem, Gabby Logan was a problem, Lisa Snowden, and whatsername, the big American Amazonian. Brigette Neilson, cor blimey. Once she gets her claws in there’s nothing you can do about it.
What’s the secret of your success with the opposite sex?
I don’t know Steven. If I knew that I would bottle it and sell it my friend. I just got the X Factor and I got to deal with that on a daily basis.
You’ve made lots of celebrity friends. On Twitter, you seem especially close to Derek Acorah.
Yes, very close with him.
Does that relationship mean a lot to you?
Me and Derek? It means the world to me and it will do for lifetimes, according to Derek. I wanted to interview him but we had a few problems getting him on the show. I want to find out what on earth is going on. How he can channel all those ghosts and pirates with his special powers.
You’re of Greek origin. What’s your solution to the Eurozone crisis?
I think Theo Paphitis should go over there and lend them some money. He’s one of the richest blokes in the world. He could go over there and sort it out tout suite. But when I put it to him on the show he wasn’t having any of it. That was my only gambit and that didn’t work so I don’t know what else to suggest. To be honest with you Steven, I haven’t got a clue about what’s going on in Greece. If you don’t know the problem you can’t find the solution.
I think the real problem is nobody knows what the actual problem is.
We’re all burying our heads in the sand because we’ve got bills to pay and TV shows to make. Maybe once I’ve finished this TV show I’ll turn my attention to Greek problems.