Jenny bids to become The Apprentice

A BUSINESSWOMAN who contracted meningitis and was warned she might never lead an independent life is set to prove the doctors wrong and go up against television's toughest boss.

Craig Robinson

A BUSINESSWOMAN who contracted meningitis and was warned she might never lead an independent life is set to prove the doctors wrong and go up against television's toughest boss.

Jenny Celerier, who was born in Ipswich, will join 15 other contenders in a bid to impress Sir Alan Sugar in this year's series of hit show The Apprentice, which starts tonight on BBC1.

The 36-year-old sales manager will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of 2007 winner Simon Ambrose, whose grandfather owns businesses in Frinton-on-Sea.

The mother-of-one, who lives in Leicester but still has family in Ipswich, will be battling it out for a £100,000-a-year job in one of Sir Alan's companies.

Along with the other hopefuls she will have to perform a range of tasks that will test her business acumen to the hilt.

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Speaking in a video on the show's website Ms Celerier said: “I don't care whether Sir Alan is grumpy. I don't care if Sir Alan shouts, grunts or groans or anything. Essentially I deal with men who shout, groan and grunt every single day of the week.

“You have to be ruthless. You can't take any prisoners. If you are sitting on the fence you are taking up too much space.

“I believe my underlying determination will be essentially a rocket propelled missile within the competition.”

She cheekily added: “Its absolutely vitally important for any woman operating in a men's business environment to understand the importance that a good pair of legs can have.”

In Ms Celerier's biography on The Apprentice website it says she contracted meningitis in 2006 and doctors warned she would never live an independent life.

“Jenny is a stickler for detail who enjoys being a successful woman in a masculine environment,” it reads. “A single mum to Simon, who is now aged 17, she has combined her maternal role with a successful sales career.

“Before she began raking in awards, which have included being named Salesperson Of The Year three times, Jenny was a student. She retrained in the business world after a stint in social work during the 1990s.

“2006 was a year of reappraisal for Jenny; she contracted meningitis and fought to contradict doctors who thought she would never sustain independent living again.”

The Apprentice starts tonight on BB1 at 9pm and will run for 12 weeks.

THE 2007 WINNER - SIMON AMBROSE

§ Simon Ambrose was 27 when he won series three of The Apprentice.

§ The former investment banker beat the much-fancied Kristina Grimes in the final.

§ After winning the show he trained as a chartered surveyor and worked for Sir Alan developing a hotel and golfing complex near Stansted Airport.

§ He still works for Amsprop, the real estate division of Sir Alan's companies, and is assisting the estates management team.

§ His grandfather Percy Ambrose, 82, runs a jewellery business and owns a shop in Connaught Avenue, Frinton.

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