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All the best: Grainne McCoy on her favourite things

 

By Kerry McKittrick

The 32-year-old was a semi-finalist in last year's The Apprentice TV show. Grainne, from Newry, is a make-up artist and inspirational speaker. She has one son, Ryan (15).

My best moment

Probably the afternoon I got the phone call from the production company telling me I was going to be on to The Apprentice. My parents were watching through the door and could see me nearly passing out in the hallway. Apparently the series got the highest ratings in Northern Ireland so I must have done something right.

My best song

She's Like The Wind sung by Patrick Swayze from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. I nearly cry every time I hear it.

My best way to relax

I love me-time so whenever I can, I climb to the top of Slieve Gullion mountain and talk to the world. There's a big lake up there and I love it so much that I go up and just relax by myself. I'm a big walker and runner so if I can't get up there I'll take to the road.

My best job

What I'm doing at the moment. I've used my 12 years of experience in the make-up industry to help 16 to 21-year-olds in Northern Ireland by setting up programmes. These initiatives help to build up their confidence and learn skills through make-up. I have a scheme especially for young single mums - teenage girls under 19 - to equip them to get into the world of work and know they're worth something.

My best advice

Lord Sugar told me to slow down, that I had too many things going on at one time. After I left the show I decided to build a brand around me and to do so in baby steps. I'm continuing my work as a make-up artist but gradually becoming involved in other projects. It was great advice and I use it in all my workshops.

My best movie

The Shawshank Redemption because I love the scenes where Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins' character) writes lots of letters (in prison) to get library books. It reminds me of myself. I have no shame in torturing people to get work - I'll email them continuously until I get a reply.

My best gift

I tend to lose most things I'm given, except a gorgeous pendant necklace which was a 16th birthday present from my mum. It is one of the few things I haven't lost and I always wonder why. It always stays with me and I wear it all the time.

My best achievement That my son can be proud of me. Before appearing on The Apprentice I would mentor school children because being a teenager can be hard. I have watched Ryan as a teenager and how miserable he can be and decided it would help if there was someone around for young people to get some guidance from. He's proud of punch of me and what I've done.

My best buy

Ryan's 16th birthday is in a few days and he's getting a set of (DJ) decks. This is a huge surprise for him because for years I was earning pennies as a freelance make-up artist and he never complained. Ryan has never asked for a thing so I wanted to get him something he would really love. The fact I can do it now is a massive plus for me.

My best book

I love biographies and enjoyed Claude Littner's Single Minded: My Life In Business - he was on The Apprentice too. I read it before I went on the show and loved it because it's full of inspirational quotes.

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