August 27 2015
In what is his frankest interview yet, Moses one of the stars of Reality TV show, ‘Desi Rascals’, tells us
- he won’t be doing any more reality TV after this series
- isn’t interested in romance with Farha, and was just polite when her mother performed an ‘anti-Nazaar’ ceremony on him
- him and Jo (MoJo), his ex-girlfriend, are in a good place, but suggests her parents remain disapproving
- it isn’t a “completely fake show”, but blames demands of production for putting him in ‘awkward’ situations with new people
- criticises new cast members for saying things to invite fame and then passing off hurtful statements as just ‘banter’
www.asianculturevulture.com (ACV): How do you think Series 2 is going so far?
Moses Baig (MB): Anj (his brother) and me had a lot of issues with this series. It’s good to meet new people but after this series I don’t think I will do another, even if they do commission another, because it’s just not my thing. They put me in predicaments that wouldn’t happen in real life, for example, with Farha. I wasn’t into Farha, but they wanted it to be a bit of onscreen conflict. There’s nothing wrong with her, we get along fine but we have different interests.
ACV: Do you think that what we see on TV is an accurate snapshot of how you all are personality-wise?
MB: Yes I do believe so, because there’s some things that are and aren’t real – that’s why it’s called a reality show. If you’re on the same programme as me, and I’m not saying nice things, you’re watching it with family and friends. This then can later become a source of conflict – the fights and arguments you have on the show are real. There are some people who ended up hating each other on there!
I can’t say it’s a completely fake show, but sometimes when random people are brought onto a scene, it’s awkward. You don’t want to be rude on national TV, because you don’t want to disrespect anyone – as I’m not really like that. I say things to people’s faces and here (on TV) it made me look like I said it behind people’s backs. I also felt the new cast didn’t get to know us properly and started trouble; it felt like they were saying anything for fame and afterwards they would come to us and say they’d done it for ‘banter’, when it didn’t feel like it.
ACV: How are you feeling after Harjit’s ‘anti-Nazaar’ experiment (she performed a quick ceremony using chillis to ward off evil spirits)? Has anything lucky happened to you since?
MB: That was one of the weirdest scenes I’ve done. I don’t really believe in superstitions but my religion teaches me not to disrespect anyone’s beliefs; I’d rather just pray and leave it as that. I don’t think she understood or respected my opinions; I felt awkward and didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want to disrespect someone’s mum. It happened randomly; I thought that she was superstitious as that’s all I was told by the production team. With such reactions, you can’t fake them and I think you can tell that it was so awkward for me. Other than that, they were quite cool. I was quite hungry in that scene, so I was just concentrating on eating the food! If I fall in love with Farha or something crazy, those chillis have definitely worked and done some magic on me!
ACV: For someone your age, you’ve accomplished a lot and look set for a rosy future. (Along with brother Anj and Uncle Nuss the trio set up PMG (Pure Muscles Gym) and have two outlets in Harrow and Walthamstow). Did you know that you always wanted to work alongside Anj and Uncle Nuss in the gym?
MB:I thought I’d do it part-time, after school I was going to the gym. I got away from so much trouble as I couldn’t do the whole ‘girls, drugs and drinking’ because I was in the gym until 10pm. I was getting boys off the road and stopping them from doing drugs; it became a positive thing for the younger generation in East London. I grew up in the gym all my life, and after I turned 16, we moved to West London. Uncle Nuss had issues with the landlord of the gym at the time; we’ve had a dessert parlour and other businesses, so we decided to open our own gym. We found a block near our house in Harrow, opened a gym and that’s how PMG started.
ACV: So would you say that this is your dream job? What are your plans for the future?
MB:I do believe that, but that’s no one’s faults, we didn’t know that there’d be 24 hour gyms running. This is my dream and I enjoy doing it, I can’t see myself doing a 9-6pm, for me even though it’s not the greatest. It’s something that I enjoy doing and I will push it as much as I can, hopefully expand the business as much as I can. I want to help every person; our gym is like a family because everyone knows each other, helps each other and we all know each other. I believe I could take this gym to the next level – if you believe in yourself it can happen. In the next five years I want to have five gyms and ideally I want to take PMG abroad.
ACV: Since Series 2 began, you’ve been quite reflective and kept to yourself. Can we expect to see you and Jo to get back together or just stay good friends?
MB:I don’t want to give away too much! But you’ll see a happy side soon! The only reason I’ve not mentioned too much about Manoj is because I’ve got so much love for Jo. I’m going to be the bigger person and have that respect for her, despite what her parents think. Most scenes were real to be fair, but I wasn’t paying too much attention to Jo because I was fasting (during Ramadan). When you fast, you just want to stay indoors – I wasn’t even training and I saw her on the last day of Ramadan. That was the first time I’d seen her after three weeks and there were cameras around us.
We’re still speaking and everything is cool; I’m glad it worked out between us. Our emotions are really strong for each other and it could have ended badly. The hardest thing is trying to be friends with someone you see as more than a friend, because there’s mixed emotions. This is what I’ve told her, I don’t say things for the sake of it, but based on our experiences. We’re both still young; the future will tell us what will happen. If it’s meant to be or not that’s something only the future can say. I’m there to support her and she’s there to support to me – MoJo will never die!
Chayya Syal spoke to Moses Baig after screening of episode 6.
Top pic: Moses and Farha in the gym
Chayya Syal continues her regular review/preview next week
More coming soon: interviews with Yasmim Karimi, Manoj Shah, and Ang Baig. Stay tuned here.