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Alan Sugar will be sweet on Northern Ireland charmer, his old boss maintains

Apprentice hopeful Jim Eastwood will “charm the socks off Lord Alan Sugar”, his former boss has said.

The 32-year-old Tyrone man will battle it out in the boardroom with 15 other contestants to impress the multi-millionaire business magnate when the new series begins tonight.

And according to Sean Coyle, chief executive of Keystone Lintels in Cookstown, Jim, who worked there for three years as a marketing manager, has “all the right attributes” to win the competition and secure a £250,000 prize to start up his own business. Mr Coyle said: “Jim worked with us from 2005 to 2008 and was a very enthusiastic, committed and hard-working employee.

“He was also extremely charismatic and popular. I'd say Jim definitely has all the right attributes for the boardroom and he'll have no problems charming the socks off Lord Alan Sugar.” Jim, an ex-pupil of St Mary's Grammar School in Magherafelt, left Keystone Lintels in 2008 and took up a new position in sales and marketing at W&G Baird in Co Antrim. A spokeswoman for the company said she wished him every success in the show.

Jim's interest in business began at an early age when he worked in his father’s fish and chip shop.

After leaving school he went to the University of Ulster, where he undertook a course in sports studies. He graduated with a first class honours degree and went on to complete a Masters in business administration in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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