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Sugar finally fires Apprentice hopeful Grainne McCoy

By David Young

It was the end of the line for Northern Ireland make-up artist Grainne McCoy last night as she was finally fired from The Apprentice.

The Newry woman had made it through 11 weeks of tough business challenges to the final five of the high-profile business talent spotting series.

But her luck ran out when an over-ambitious business plan for a make-up training and recruitment empire in Northern Ireland was torn to pieces by Lord Sugar and his team of business gurus.

As the ordeal began, Grainne oozed confidence.

"I'm going to be cool, calm and collected today," she said as she headed to a final round of grilling by Lord Sugar's panel of experts.

"I'm really gonna nail this."

But it wasn't long before the candidates' plans began to fall apart under questioning, and their swagger and poise began to evaporate.

By the end of the interviews Grainne confided to her fellow candidates she was just about ready for a stiff drink.

"This is worse than childbirth. This is contractions times 20," the Dromintee mum said. "I will never fear doing an interview ever again - and I could do with a large brandy."

In the end, she was the first to go.

Football boss Karren Brady spoke up for Grainne.

"She's a really strong candidate," she said.

"She's very logical, she makes decisions well, and she's a good team player."

But it was not enough.

For Lord Sugar, she had lots of ideas, but not enough focus for him to risk £250,000 on her plans.

"Grainne, I'm going to be bluntly honest with you... I just can't see it," he said.

"It's been nice to be associated with you, but, with regret, you're fired."

Fashionista Jessica Cunningham and kids' clothes entrepreneur Frances Bishop soon joined her.

That left cakemaker Alana Spencer and novelty designer Courtney Wood to do battle in next week's final.

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