5 minutes with...

Baasit Siddiqui 

University of Derby graduate, Alumni and Membership Advisory Board Member, TV personality and educator

A portrait picture of Baasit Siddiqui
Credit: Paul David Drabble

You have been teaching GSCE and A-level students in the field of business and IT for more than a decade. What made you want to become a teacher?

One of my first jobs was working as an information analyst for the NHS, surrounded by amazing and inspiring members of staff whose vocation in life was to help people. During this, two children came in for work experience and I was asked to supervise them. That experience gave me the teaching bug and not too long after that I did my teacher training.

Your latest educational venture was the creation of Siddiqui Education in 2018 – what is the aim of this and its biggest success so far?

Having worked in the classroom for close to a decade, I’d naturally developed strategies to effectively motivate and engage many different children. Once Gogglebox started, I realised quite quickly I was fortunate enough to have a unique way of engaging students even more.

Since then, I’ve used my public profile, experiences and connections made in the television industry to emulate the world of television in the classroom and demonstrate how the skills children develop in school are used in the world of work.

In terms of success, applying for and winning a bid to be able to deliver my workshops in schools for free validated the work I do and meant that someone else saw the value in it too.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you’re not filming or teaching?

Being a father of a six-year-old and a six-month-old leaves very little spare time in my diary. However, I am slowly getting back into running and in August I’ll be aiming to run 10k a day with my brother in aid of charity.

A familiar face on our TV screens, you have starred in Gogglebox with the rest of the Siddiqui family. How do you balance TV stardom with your business?

Gogglebox doesn’t take up too much of my personal time so I am lucky to be in a position where I can balance that with running a business. I’m so grateful to have the platform I have because of the show and proud that I’ve used this profile to help create a business in which I can continue to focus on my passion, which is education.

In February, you became a member of the University of Derby’s Alumni and Membership Advisory Board – as a Derby graduate, what does this mean to you?

I was extremely humbled to be asked to join the Board. I’ve lived in Derby my whole life and to be involved in something that celebrates the University’s past but is also looking to champion its future, is something I am proud to be involved in.

What’s next for you?

One thing I am extremely excited about is developing my digital workshops; with everything surrounding the uncertainty Covid-19 has brought to the business and education world, I am lucky to be able to have adapted and implemented practices that will support my business. This will, no doubt, bring some new challenges but equally new chances for opportunity and collaboration.