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Life Still Sweet For Chesterfield Apprentice Fired By Lord Sugar


Wednesday 26th November 2014
pictures courtesy and © the BBC




"I see some sparks of entrepreneurism but you are immature with a lot to learn - can I afford to take you any further in this process?"

That was Lord Sugar, condemning Chesterfield lad James Hill to a week 8 exit from the BBC1 flagship show 'The Apprentice' earlier this evening.

That was Lord Sugar, condemning Chesterfield lad James Hill to a week 8 exit from the BBC1 flagship show 'The Apprentice' earlier this evening.

James
, 26, (above), described as a 'multiple business owner', talked with The Chesterfield Post after leaving the boardroom and said that, having enjoyed the experience, he was gutted to have left the show but delighted to have reached over half way, "It's been a seriously intense process - a whirlwind.

"The show is amazing and the amount of work that goes into it and the amount of time you have to turn things round is unbelievable. I used to sit and home and think I could do that better and, when you're actually involved in it, it's hard and you have to make snap decisions - sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don't!"

An ambitious but charming and likeable lad, James said his motivation for joining was simple, "From a young age, things were tough - and that gave me the hunger and drive to get out of bed in a morning and create something for my family in the future. In life, things happen to us that make us who we are and to give us the hunger and ambition.

"Things have been hard - I've had both good and bad times in business, I had some tough years and I thought I wanted a break. I have a lot to learn and I wanted someone like Lord Sugar to give me that guidance and show me how to achieve what I wanted to. I wanted to be a part of that process."

That 'process' involved many tasks and challenges - with James saying unsurprisingly that New York was his favourite of the series to film telling us, "It was amazing to be part of that task and be over there. It's a lifetime experience!"

This week's task saw James and his team - 'Team Summit' - taking on the challenge of picking products to sell at the Royal Bath and West Show.

Whilst half of each team headed for Somerset to pick out sure-fire show day sellers, the rest stayed in London to seek out innovative products never before seen at the show that could take the countryside by storm.

The candidates jostled for the right portfolio of products - from pet trackers and hot tubs to flat-cap handbags and ride-on lawn mowers. A case of mistaken identity scuppered a deal and one candidate's over-enthusiasm almost caused a calamity.

On sales day, against a backdrop of Morris dancing and livestock competitions, the candidates took the bull by the horns and battled for sky high sales. But before long, the mudslinging began and there were ruffled feathers on both teams.

Back in the boardroom, the sales figures were revealed and a shocking secret came out. There were rows and pleas for forgiveness, but in the end the axe had to fall as Lord Sugar says the words "You're Fired!"

Having made just £4,757.50 from sales of ride on lawnmowers and foldable wellies and hanging chairs, James found himself back in the boardroom - having taken Roisin and Sanjay with him (below).

Having made just £4,757.50 from sales of ride on lawnmowers and foldable wellies and hanging chairs, James found himself back in the boardroom - having taken Roisin and Sanjay with him

Sadly for James, the 'finger' was pointed very firmly at him - and, after being told by Lord Sugar that he needed to "Culture that bit of good stuff and you will go far", the Boss then uttered the words, "But with regret, you're fired!"

James admitted it was hard, "The firing made me cry - with happiness! I've worked so hard and had so many tough times and it was so nice to have someone of his stature see something in me and give me that constructive criticism - it overwhelmed me.

"It's been a journey for me. I've learned more about myself than anything. You can sit back and watch yourself. I have a lot to learn, I'm a young man and I've had to lean from my mistakes but it's nice to have people to give you advice. I need to listen more, to slow down and that's something that will happen."

Asked if he would have done anything differently, James was emphatic, "I am who I am - I am a character - I like to have a good time and have fun but at times, I could be serious and I am in life. I am professional but I like a laugh and a joke. No I don't think I would. I was me from day one. I don't have any regrets - it was my time. I am so proud to have got as far as I did. Lord Sugar was very positive and nice about me and that made it all worthwhile."

James says though that that experience was not as intimidating as it looks, "The boardroom was my favourite place - it was my chance to speak to Lord Sugar - that's your chance!"

And, having enjoyed and learned from the mentoring on offer, he now says that's where he feels he can help others, "I enjoyed being on TV. I can relate to young people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have aspirations but don't know how to achieve them. I have had so many comments from young people who say I have inspired them, so if can help them, then for me, that would be like giving something back."

"The reaction has been fantastic around Chesterfield", he admits, "I can't thank people enough for their kindness. I've been overwhelmed, it's mad! It's made everything easier and nice. I'm a very lucky person!"

Having left the boardroom tonight, James has advice for those thinking of applying for in the future, "Be yourself and go for it! You have one chance, give it everything you've got, believe in yourself - if you do that, you can achieve anything."

And finally, asked who he tips to become this series' Apprentice, James said, "As a rounded individual, I think Mark knows his industry well and has proved himself and is the kind of person that, with Lord Sugar's infrastructure, is the man who will get on with it and do well. I hope Solomon will win - he's a lovely guy - we got on really well."

Listen to the interview with James in full here (we apologise for the poor sound quality)...

 

 

 

 

 

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