The son of a Longford man is the latest contestant to fall under Sir Alan Sugar’s axe and hear the infamous words, ‘you’re fired’ on the BBC version of The Apprentice.
Stephen Brady, who is the son of James Brady from Abbeylara, was one of two people “fired” from the hit show during last Wednesday’s episode. Stephen lived in Mullingar until he was seven-years-old and remains in touch with his relations both in Longford and Westmeath.
Speaking to the Leader from London, Stephen described the process of filming the show as “absolutely relentless.” Much of the recording was completed earlier in the year in a concentrated block over ten weeks.
“It’s straight through without a break, you’re up at 4am and you crack on for 16 hours everyday, beside highly competitive people competing for the same goal and then you have to be at your best in the boardroom at the end of that. It’s exhausting.”
“The show becomes your reality; you simply forget the outside world,” he added.
Over the past two episodes, Stephen felt his days on the show were numbered after a few disastrous projects, which brought him on a collision course with Alan Sugar in the boardroom.
“As project manager, once we lost the task I knew I was gone. Sitting across from Alan Sugar in the boardroom is an intimidating process – in fact it’s quite scary. When he said ‘you’re fired’, my heart did skip a beat.”
“When you go through it and when you put so much time and effort into something you have to really think that you can win it, and I thought I would win.”
Stephen came in for some criticism from other contestants, with the previously fired contestant Jenna Whittingham accusing him of being two-faced. Stephen laughs off the suggestion. “You need thick skin for this show. In the boardroom you have to protect yourself. But I will say is if you get criticism from one side, there’s always the other side who agree with you.”
“You don’t always see the whole process. They always have to go for the dramatic, but there are times when I wish they showed other bits,” Stephen revealed, adding: “I can certainly hold my head up high after The Apprentice.”
Stephen, who visited friends and family in Ireland at Easter, is looking forward to the future. He is set to launch his new business, BoxClean, a 24 hour dry-cleaning home delivery service in the UK. He also hopes to do some more radio and TV work.
While visiting Mullingar in April, Stephen was surprised by the amount of people who recognised him from the show. “I was overwhelmed by the amount of people coming up talking to me about the show and wishing me luck. I’m very proud of my Irish roots.”