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The Apprentice: Northern Ireland hopeful Grainne McCoy gets tough in new rocky episode

Published 20/10/2016

Tonight on #TheApprentice, the candidates get their rocks off! 9pm. BBC One.

Posted by BBC One on Thursday, 20 October 2016

Thursday night's episode of The Apprentice saw Newry businesswoman Grainne McCoy get tough for a rocky challenge and the approach paid off as she avoided elimination.

Lord Sugar's candidates were challenged to make sweets - but as you can guess things quickly turned sour.

Oliver Nohl-Oser was left with a bad taste in his mouth after becoming the third candidate to be fired by Lord Sugar.

But the upbeat businessman said he "must congratulate" himself for landing a spot on the BBC programme regardless, which sees budding candidates vie for Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment in their business plans.

The founder and director of a sausage company fell foul in a food-based task after being elected project manager for Team Nebula by Lord Sugar when he mixed up the single-sex teams.

Lord Sugar asked the candidates to manufacture sweets and sell them to trade and the public in Brighton.

Nohl-Oser struggled to make decisions when it came to the pricing strategy and Lord Sugar also did not fancy his choice to produce salt and vinegar fudge.

The businessman, who has previously said his greatest business skills lie in his marketing ability and his powers of persuasion, was often challenged by members of his team and he also had issues with the creation of the goods in the kitchen.

After pitching to trade and selling to punters in the East Sussex town, Nebula made a total profit of £615.08 while Titan, who produced cappuccino and strawberry champagne-flavoured sweets, made £785.66.

Nohl-Oser opted to bring Paul Sullivan and Mukai Noiri back into the boardroom with him to face Lord Sugar in the showdown.

Lord Sugar returns with The Apprentice from October 6 (BBC/PA)
Lord Sugar returns with The Apprentice from October 6 (BBC/PA)
Grainne McCoy, one of the candidates in this year's BBC1 programme, The Apprentice.
Frances Bishop Age: 25 Occupation: Owner, Children’s Clothing Company Lives: Doncaster Frances is the owner of a children’s clothing boutique and describes herself as talkative with a feisty personality, which she believes is what has got her so far in the business world. She wants to impress Lord Sugar with her strong positive outlook. She says: “I’m a pocket rocket. I’m quite fiery and live by the rule ‘kill them with kindness’.”
Dillon St. Paul Age: 37 Occupation: Art Director, Fashion Magazine Lives: Dublin, Ireland Describing himself as super-creative, Dillon is currently a freelance Art Director at a fashion magazine. He describes himself as talented, kind and very funny. He intends to be ‘Machiavellian’ about tasks and says he will tell white lies if he needs to. He says: “Sometimes batting the eyelashes can get you a lot in business. Hence, the mascara comes in handy – so they can see those lashes.”
Courtney Wood Age: 29 Occupation: Owner, Novelty Gift Company Lives: Essex Courtney designs and creates novelty gifts which he supplies to national and international retailers. He describes himself as fun with a positive attitude and he believes his confidence is one of his strongest attributes. He says he is not one to sit back and plans to assert his authority in the process. He thinks his cutthroat tactics will help him reach the top. He says: “How would I describe myself in one sentence? I'll give you one word: awesome.”
Aleksandra King Age: 38 Occupation: Owner, Business Consultancy Lives: London Aleksandra owns and operates a business consultancy company. She describes herself as altruistic and extremely confident, believes she has a gift for spotting a good business opportunity and can sell to anyone. She cites her mother as an inspiration as she is fluent in seven languages and has an ability to ‘get people’. She says: “Like the Tasmanian devil in the famous cartoon, I will torpedo my way through to the win.”
Jessica Cunningham Age: 29 Occupation: Online Fashion Entrepreneur Lives: Derbyshire Jessica is owner of an online fashion company and the Operations Director for a PR and marketing agency. She believes her positive helpful attitude will propel her through the tasks, and says she wants to get close to the other candidates to find out how they operate, analyse their strengths and weaknesses and attempt to use them to her advantage. She says: “A motto I live by is: there is no competition if you're already winning.”
Trishna Thakrar Age: 28 Occupation: Recruitment Agent, IT Lives: London Trishna works for a large IT company to provide internal recruitment services. She used to play football semi-professionally, and says her friends would describe her as engaging and funny. She believes her best business skill lies in her charm, but suspects her sensitivity could be her downfall as, if you cross her, she will not hold back. She says: “My only tactic is to be myself; this alone will make sure I win.”
Sofiane Khelfa Age: 32 Occupation: Senior Sales Executive, Technology Lives: Essex Sofiane works in a high-end retail store, negotiating technology sales with high profile clients. He says he has the ability to adapt, deliver and build lasting relations with people in business, but his friends would say that he can sometimes be overzealous. He believes when he gets down to business, his skills and personality will shine through. He says: “The best survivors in the world are the people who adapt, and I’m the best at adapting. I’m like a chameleon. I adapt to anything, anywhere, anytime.”
Alana Spencer Age: 24 Occupation: Owner, Cake Company Lives: Ceredigion, Wales Alana is the owner of a baking company and describes herself as determined, creative and charming. She started her first business at age 17, a chocolate company, before moving on to selling cakes. She believes she is an adaptable businesswoman who will not shy away from any task Lord Sugar sets. She says: “I am incredibly hard working, driven, and I'll stop at nothing to get what I want.”
Rebecca Jeffery Age: 31 Occupation: Owner, Design & Marketing Agency Lives: Greater Manchester Rebecca is the owner of a marketing and design business, working as both the account manager and creative director. She prides herself on being relentless and possessing an infectious enthusiasm, but admits that numbers and calculations are a weakness for her. She says: “People often foolishly mistake my enthusiasm for silliness or positivity for naivety. I’m proof that you can get things done without whinging.”
Mukai Noiri Age: 36 Occupation: Digital Marketing Manager, Fashion Lives: London Mukai has lived in over six countries across three continents and recently gave up his position as a senior communications manager to focus on his business idea. He believes his charm is one of his strongest qualities, though he is a straight talker which he thinks some people might perceive as being insensitive. He says: “I feel sorry for Lord Sugar because previous applicants have been weak.”
Karthik Nagesan Age: 33 Occupation: Owner, IT Consultancy Lives: Northamptonshire Karthik owns an IT consulting company and says his friends would describe him as a born leader who takes charge and blazes a trail. He cites his role model as Alexander the Great because he is a master strategist and a brilliant tactician. He believes he is firm yet polite, making him the ultimate ‘human magnet’. He says: “If I wanted to be like everyone else, I’d have waxed my monobrow.”
Oliver Nohl-Oser Age: 33 Occupation: Owner, Food Distribution Business Lives: Wiltshire Oliver is the founder and director of a sausage manufacturer which supplies supermarkets both in the UK and internationally. He believes his greatest business skills lie in his marketing ability and his powers of persuasion. When it comes to winning, he regards honesty as the best policy but says he won’t be befriending other candidates as he wants to focus on the prize. He says: “Sometimes I feel like James Bond when I’m in my suit.”
Natalie Hughes Age: 30 Occupation: Owner, Hair and Beauty Salon Lives: Glasgow Natalie owns and runs two beauty and clothing businesses. She considers her best quality to be her quick-thinking, but she is also a persuasive talker who insists that nothing embarrasses her. She prides herself on her ability to buy and sell with ease and believes she has the motivation to win. She says: “I started at a young age, I'm a hustler, I've got the hustler’s ambition.”
JD O’Brien Age: 37 Occupation: Owner, Beachwear Company Lives: London JD is the founder and owner of a men’s beachwear company. He believes he can make the best of any situation whilst still being a ‘good bloke’. He says he is going to put in the hard work and aims to make no mistakes along the way. He says: “I won’t suffer fools. I will get upset by other candidates who don’t know their arse from their elbow.”
Samuel Boateng Age: 27 Occupation: Sales Manager, Major Car Brand Lives: London Samuel is responsible for managing and generating new business for over 700 businesses across London. He regards his ability in developing new and innovative ideas to be his strongest business skill. He says he has excellent public speaking abilities and admits he will be ‘on the charm offensive’, but doesn’t want to seem an easy target. He says: “My creativity, my passion, my charm, and my likeability all roll into one, creating one perfect guy.”
Michelle Niziol Age: 35 Occupation: Owner, Property Consultancy Lives: Oxfordshire Michelle is the founder and owner of three companies in mortgages, property and lettings. She describes herself as straight-talking, passionate and honest but admits that she can sometimes be bossy and impatient. She says letting others take the lead could be challenge for her. She says: “I work 15 to 17 hours every day. 100 per cent, I'm a workaholic.”
Paul Sullivan Age: 38 Occupation: Owner, Marketing Agency Lives: Chigwell, Essex Paul is the owner and director of a marketing company specialising in finance, technology, construction and property. He is a self-proclaimed charmer but doesn’t think he needs a ‘USP’ to win; consistency and sincerity will put him ahead. He says: “I'll play the team when I need to be part of the team, but I'm here to win; I'm not here to make up the numbers.”

Lord Sugar was unimpressed with their efforts, telling Sullivan that his aides Karren Brady and Claude Littner "put the alarm bells up as far as I'm concerned in that they think you've gone into a kind of despondency, but I've got no time for people like that".

He told Noiri: "Mukai, you've got an explanation for everything but when you kind of add it all up, it doesn't add up to a row of beans, really to be honest."

But he finally aimed his firing finger at project manager Nohl-Oser, admitting he was "confused" over why he failed miserably.

Grainne (right) with other contestants in The Apprentice
Grainne (right) with other contestants in The Apprentice
Apprentice candidate Grainne McCoy
Grainne McCoy with the other female candidates in this year’s edition of The Apprentice
Jessica Cunningham, Michelle Niziol and Grainne McCoy, candidates in this year's BBC1 programme, The Apprentice. PA
Grainne McCoy

Lord Sugar said: "Oliver, your best hope for £250,000 is to buy yourself a scratch card... You're fired."

Nohl-Oser admitted to the Press Association that he "got flustered" and that "with a lot thrown at me I slightly began to panic".

He stressed that despite losing the task with lower profits than rivals Team Titan - led by Alana Spencer, also chosen by Lord Sugar - they "had the lowest cost of production" and that "we made a profit".

For all of his failings in the task, Nohl-Oser does think he is a natural leader.

He said: "Maybe not with other people, though, because there will always be crossed wires. But in my own industry, yes."

Following his departure, the sausage company boss said: "I couldn't be more motivated and determined to go full steam ahead with my business plan."

He hopes to license his food companies further afield and will press ahead despite not having won Lord Sugar's investment.

He added: "I'm really in a good place. Of course it would have been nice to get to the final, but just being on the show, I really must congratulate myself for getting on with the thousands of people who apply."

The Apprentice continues next Thursday at 9pm on BBC One

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