Celebrity Apprentice: Wippa reveals truth behind on-set ‘rumbles’

Michael 'Wippa' Wipfli is used to interviewing famous faces as one-half of Nova 96.9's Fitzy & Wippa show, but he'll soon be stepping into the spotlight in his own right.

Wippa, 41, is one of 14 Aussie stars set to battle it out to raise money for charity on the upcoming season of Celebrity Apprentice.

Radio co-hosts Ryan 'Fitzy' Fitzgerald and Michael 'Wippa' Wipfli In the Nova 96.9 Studio
Wippa (right) with his Fitzy & Wippa show co-host, Ryan 'Fitzy' Fitzgerald. Photo: Nova 96.9 (supplied).

Celebrity clashes

A recent trailer sees the likes of MAFS star Martha Kalifatidis, Australian Idol runner-up Anthony Callea and Lisa and Jess Origliasso of pop duo The Veronicas storming, Godzilla-like, through the city streets.

"'Giants of the industry,'" Wippa laughs while quoting the voiceover in an exclusive chat with Yahoo Lifestyle ahead of Sunday night's season premiere.

"It's extremely flattering," he goes on. "I didn't always aim to be an industry giant but we'll go with that."

Surely, with so many big personalities going toe-to-toe, viewers can expect a generous serving of celebrity bickering, tantrums and drama?

Celebrity Apprentice Australia Cast
Wippa (front row, far left) says there were no major upsets among his fellow Celebrity Apprentice stars. Photo: Channel Nine (supplied).


"No, I don't think there were too many clashes," Wippa admits. "You're talking about celebrities with the opportunity to go on TV and represent their charity.

"Whenever there was a moment that you could consider heated or passionate, it was coming from a good place because we're all there to fight for our charities."

If there ever was a 'blow up' between celebs, Wippa explains, it was often defused by taking a deep breath and remembering that it was all for a good cause.

"If there was a moment or a rumble, which there are — even I was involved in some — we walk out of there and go, 'Were you ok with that? Because I was ok with that. Okay, good'," he says.

Celebrity Apprentice Australia star Michael 'Wippa' Wipfli on set
Wippa in boardroom mode during Celebrity Apprentice. Photo: Channel Nine (supplied).

'Biggest honour'

Wippa also hinted at the extraordinary challenges the celebrity apprentices face on the show to avoid being 'fired' by British billionaire and business magnate CEO, Lord Alan Sugar.

"The tasks that are thrown at us, if you were asked to do them on an average day [outside of the show] you'd say, 'Give me a month'," he explains.

"But the demand is to have it done within eight, 12 hours or by the morning. It's just absolutely mad what goes on," he adds.

Wippa's chosen charity, the Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation, was the fuel he needed to push through.

The foundation is named for the junior elite athlete Cooper Rice-Brading, who passed away from an aggressive and rare osteosarcoma or bone cancer aged just 17.

As a CRBF ambassador, dad-of-three Wippa got to know Cooper personally and describes him as a "very bright and brave boy".

"So for me was the biggest honour to have the opportunity to represent the charity," he says.

Celebrity Apprentice Australia starts 7pm Sunday, May 23 on Channel Nine.

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