Dublin women join Apprentice

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To-night’s the night. The new series of The Apprentice starts. What a sad life I lead.

Do you remember when an apprentice was serving their time, learning a trade? (That’s except here in Derry where an apprentice can also mean a boy who’s a member of a loyal order.) Incidentally, a ‘trade’ in Ulster/Scots, or maybe it’s just in North Antrim speak, can also mean a ‘hanlin.’ If someone says, “That was a trade,” it may mean they had an unpleasant job to do like clearing a blocked drain. Hmm, maybe it is a foreign language, after all! Sorry for that digression.

For the next 12 weeks, “apprentice” will mean a contender on the hit show with Alan Sugar. It’ll mean celebrity status for some and humiliation for others.

Last year Derry’s Dr Leah Totton won the honours and that £250,000 business investment.

Sure we’re great at colourful apprentice boys and girls. You’ll also remember Cookstown’s Jim Eastwood and Belfast’s Ben Clarke.

This year 20 contestants will battle it out for the title and that investment. Bringing brains and beauty to the party will be Dublin’s Pamela Uddin 23, and Roisin Hogan 32.

Pamela is a “brand manager” and Roisin is a chartered accountant.

Pamela says she can, “talk too much”. Hmm!

That could be a strength or a weakness in the boardroom.

In Sugar’s boardroom there’s a time to grovel and a time to take a stand. The secret lies in knowing which is which.