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Newry Apprentice hopeful Grainne counting on Sugar to help her bank first £1m

By Ann W Schmidt

It may be one of the most nerve-wracking reality shows on TV - but Grainne McCoy should have no problem putting on a brave face when she appears on the new series of The Apprentice which starts next week.

Not only does the Newry woman own a make-up studio, but she specialises in television and film work.

Grainne will be competing against eight other women and nine men for a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar in the 12th series of the BBC series.

The 31-year-old earned her make-up artistry diploma in 2006 from the LA College of Creative Arts in Dublin and she has been freelancing since 2008.

She got her start as an account manager at Laura Mercier Cosmetics, but moved to London in 2012. Grainne's business is based out of both Northern Ireland and London.

Grainne works throughout the country on projects from film sets to fashion shows.

As she has been preparing for the show, Grainne said her passion pushes her to succeed and she puts maximum effort into everything she does. And she is confident that her self-belief and strong-mindedness will see her through the tasks.

"I need guidance and a little bit of mentoring to help me make that first million," she added.

Grainne has worked for the high-end department store Selfridges, cosmetics company Trish McEvoy, Google London, YouTube London, Above & Beyond Group and at Cannes as a make-up designer.

She is also credited with being the head of department make-up designer for four released feature films: The Best of Years, Late Shift, Ibiza Undead and Deny Everything.

The make-up and fashion blogger also posts tutorials on her YouTube channel.

Her 17 competitors on The Apprentice come from workplaces that include bakeries, IT consultancies, fashion entrepreneurs and marketing agencies.

Lord Sugar guaranteed the competition will be cut-throat.

"There are going to be occasions where more than one person is going (to be fired). And I don't care how many it can be. I really don't care. I'm very flexible and it is a very, very competitive situation," he said.

"You can compare this to being on a life support machine and one of your colleagues here pulling the plug out just to charge their mobile phone up. That's how competitive it will get."

Another Northern Ireland woman won The Apprentice in its ninth series in 2013. Leah Totton (28) from Londonderry won with the Dr Leah Clinic, a cosmetic skin clinic. It was opened in London in 2014.

The Apprentice premieres on October 6 at 9pm on BBC One.

Further reading

Meet the Northern Ireland woman looking to get hired on BBC's Apprentice

The Apprentice teams are split by sex 'to help viewers engage' says Lord Sugar

Apprentice boss Lord Sugar is fired up at Bake Off move 

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