More than 1,400 people packed into a sold-out Music Hall for An Interview with Steven Bartlett - the final Ultimate Masterclass Festival (UMF) event of 2023.

The millionaire business mogul engrossed the Union Street venue with his insights during an hour-long chat with Aberdeen's Fiona Stalker, drawing laughs from a thoroughly absorbed audience throughout.

His stories about his mother picking him up from school in lingerie, interviewing and spending time with some of Manchester United's greatest ever players, investing in psychology, and how he went from a university drop-out to the youngest dragon in Dragons Den history in less than a decade, will live long in the memory those lucky enough to secure a ticket.

Perhaps his most memorable quote of the evening - when talking about the success that's found in failure - was: "failure is feedback, feedback is knowledge, knowledge is power".

An interview 14 months in the making

Bartlett joined the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) as the headliner for the UMF event this year, which has also brought one of the world's top digital marketing experts, Brendan Kane, and award-winning author and broadcaster, Elizabeth Day, among others, to the Granite City.

The event kicked off with speeches from the Policy and Marketing Director at AGCC, and one the event's main organisers, Ryan Crighton, before the Chairman of Our Union Street, Bob Keiller, took to the stage.

Aberdeenshire entrepreneur Ben Leonard then inspired the audience with his story about rising from a cupboard in Stonehaven to building a seven-figure business.

Ben sold his company Beast Gear in 2019, and has now turned his attention to helping others build their own e-commerce brands.

Ben sold his company Beast Gear in 2019, and has now turned his attention to helping others build their own e-commerce brands.

That was before Stalker took to the stage to introduce Bartlett as "a billionaire by 25, a Sunday Times Best Seller by 28, the youngest dragon on Dragons Den by 29 and his podcast was the most downloaded podcast in the UK in 2023."

Keep trying to fail

The hour-long chat was packed full of anecdotes from Bartlett's childhood, guests on the Diary of a CEO podcast and insights into some of the world's biggest companies.

An interesting talking point revolved around failure

"Thomas Watson, once the richest man in the world, he said 'all you have to do is measure your failure rating, and increase it'.

"Out-fail your competition.

"When asked in an interview if he was going to fire one of his colleagues who'd just lost the company $600,000 because they tried something and it went wrong, he said: 'Fire them? I've just spent $600,000 training them'."

What's next for UMF?

The Happy Sexy Millionaire's interview was met with numerous applauses from a thrilled audience.

It marks an incredible first year of UMF, which saw over 3,000 entertained across six events.

Next year promises to be bigger and better...

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