Why Ben wants to be The Apprentice

By Lisa CleverdonHIGH-FLYER Ben Leary's success in television's latest reality show is a closely-guarded secret.So much so, that until the immortal phrase “You're fired” is uttered, the programme makers have banned any talk of the outcome.

By Lisa Cleverdon

HIGH-FLYER Ben Leary's success in television's latest reality show is a closely-guarded secret.

So much so, that until the immortal phrase “You're fired” is uttered, the programme makers have banned any talk of the outcome.

But with a year's job contract worth £100,000 on the line, it is hardly surprising that BBC2 is keen to keep the viewers in suspense.

Mr Leary, from Boxford, is one of 14 hopefuls starring in the latest offering from the programme makers behind The Dragon's Den and The Weakest Link.

The Apprentice, which hits the nation's television screens later this month, offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for someone to work for no-nonsense, self-made tycoon Sir Alan Sugar.

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The contestants will have to prove what they are made of as, one by one, they are eliminated by the tough-talking businessman in a gruelling selection process designed to give viewers an insight into the cut-throat world of business.

Despite leaving school with just one O-level, Mr Leary, 29, runs a recruitment firm from his home in Swan Street.

But he faced the biggest challenge of his life when he was chosen to pit his business flair and wits against the other contestants in the arduous 12-week show.

Each week viewers will witness the candidates competing in business tasks set by Sir Alan.

The winners will be given a reward, but the losers will have to report to the boardroom for a showdown with the multi-millionaire where they will be grilled on their mistakes.

Sir Alan, who launched the Amstrad computer firm in the 1980s, was once chairman of Tottenham Hotspur football club. Now aged 57, his global empire is worth £700million.

He said: “Lots of people claim to be an entrepreneur and they're not. You can't learn to be one, it's just something that's in you. I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but I'm looking for someone similar to me.”

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

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