Five minutes with ... Lucy Alexander

With another series of The Customer Is Always Right waiting in the wings, host Lucy Alexander hopes the daytime show will encourage more budding entrepreneurs to drive their products forward. Gemma Dunn finds out more.
Five minutes with ... Lucy Alexander

With another series of The Customer Is Always Right waiting in the wings, host Lucy Alexander hopes the daytime show will encourage more budding entrepreneurs to drive their products forward. Gemma Dunn finds out more.

WITH PEOPLE ASKED TO STAY AT HOME, DO YOU THINK THE SHOW WILL SPUR ON CREATIVITY AND WELCOME BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS?

I think there’s a budding entrepreneur in everybody; I really believe there’s been a time in everybody’s life where you’ve gone, ‘Oh this would be brilliant’. The entrepreneurs that we actually meet in the studio are these people. But some of them have taken it to the next level where they’ve re-mortgaged their houses, they’ve borrowed money, and their products are still not perfect. But the three people [in each episode], by the end of it, they’re like family. We have tears and we have highs and lows; it’s quite a roller-coaster, but I love it.

AFTER A SUCCESSFUL FIRST RUN, WERE YOU INUNDATED WITH APPLICATIONS FOR THE SECOND SERIES?

Yeah, it’s funny, it’s exactly like Homes Under The Hammer. When I first started that, we were scratching around for properties, and then ahead of the second, people would actually come up to you! So, this series we’ve had a nicer selection — from a car cleaning product to a bread baker — as we had a lot more to choose from. It’s just so much fun.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE SHOW?

Meeting the entrepreneurs. I don’t watch the customer feedback footage [beforehand]; I like to be neutral, so I don’t know what’s coming and I also don’t know who’s going to win. It’s a bit of game for me, because the producers were like, ‘Do you want to know?’ And I go, ‘Nope, nope’, and then halfway through, I go to my producer, ‘I bet it’s [so and so]’ and she’s like, ‘I’m not saying!’ So I go on the journey with them.

DO YOU HAVE A SERIES HIGHLIGHT?

A lot of my favourites all stem from the people that I love, that come across so well. There was one guy who made a hand cream called Nursem and basically it was for nurses who were constantly washing their hands. He was a nurse himself, and he was the kindest, loveliest man, and I just know the reasons why he did it. And another one was this bread oven — my God, well, I literally wanted to take it home with me. The [inventor] was fantastic and it really made the most unbelievable bread.

PRICE IS A HUGE FACTOR IN A PRODUCT’S SUCCESS, TOO. HOW DO THE ENTREPRENEURS HANDLE SUCH CRITICISM?

People certainly like to know what they’re getting is good value for money and, for example, I think the bread oven was quite expensive, but for what you get and for what he displayed, it was worth it. But our YouTubers are very honest and very brutal, and sometimes the people in the studio don’t want to hear it. But I used to say to them, ‘You’ll get no other opportunity ever like this. Even if you don’t win, just take away the experience’. You get a chance to sit and watch how your product is perceived — it’s just gold dust.

  • The Customer Is Always Right, BBC One on Monday, April 20.

More in this section