Though he was eliminated around halfway into the latest series of The Apprentice, contestant Sam Curry doesn't hold any malice towards the show or the people involved.
Instead, he's partnered with fellow contestant Elle Stevenson, coming up with a brand new children's book with a strong moral message.
Here, we speak to Sam about his experience on The Apprentice, how it's changed his life and more. Click here to find out more about new book Gobble Gruff.
What did you learn from taking part in this year's series of The Apprentice?
I learnt so much it's hard to know where to begin. I can honestly say I've changed as a person because of the show. It's a massive learning process about business, about working with people and about yourself; especially for someone like me who's 24 and has only been out of university for less than two years. I think as a whole the show really clarifies what values and views are important to you. It's something of a trial by fire but it certainly teaches you that it's important to stick to your guns.
Can you tell us a little bit about the business plan you'd put together for the show?
I was asking for investment in a private tutoring business, Scholarly Tutoring, which I've now set up independently. We offer one-to-one teaching and mentoring tailored to needs of our pupils and clients. Our tutors all come from Russell Group universities and work with students throughout London, the UK and internationally. The plan itself took a long time to write, it's a 40 page document detailing everything from marketing strategy to financial forecasts.
The Apprentice has been huge in the media this year, what do you think of the final four, and who would you like to see win?
I think that the final candidates are a strong bunch. I've said it before and I'm not afraid to say it again, I think I'm in love with Vana. She's a close friend, and we have a lot in common including a few family friends! She's intelligent, level headed, passionate and has an incredible ability to retain minute detail in a way which I have rarely seen before. She's just one of those people that if you were picking people for a team in a line-up, you'd pick her first.
Selina has had a lot to say about the show since leaving, even suggesting it may be rigged, how do you respond to that? Does it at all reflect on your experience?
I certainly don't believe that the show is rigged. I think it's a shirking of responsibility for someone to say that they didn't win because the final candidates are already chosen. Yes it's a TV show. Yes some elements have to be staged so they can get the right shots and meetings will have been pre-planned but the majority of what you see is what you get.
How would you say taking part in the show has changed your life?
Again this is a tough one to answer, in some ways everything has changed. I'm definitely more entrepreneurial, I'm more driven and I often still wake up at 5:30 in the morning! In terms of business and a career it has opened so many doors, I'd never have thought about writing a children's book if it weren't for the show. The feedback we had from Cressida (author of How To Train Your Dragon) and seeing copies sell on eBay for close to £70, that gives you the confidence to try writing in earnest, which, as an English graduate, is something I find immensely rewarding.
Would you return to the show if they did an all-stars series?
Absolutely. It's funny, if you'd asked me that question this summer after we finished my answer would have been a resounding "NO!" There's no two ways about it, the process is exhausting, completely exhausting and once I'd been fired I was thrilled to return to normality. However, now that some time has passed I look back on the process incredibly fondly. There's been a lot of talk online about an 'all-star' series. I think it's a brilliant idea, if they do one I'd certainly like to take part!
Sam and Elle's book Gobble Gruff is out now.
A strictly limited run of paperback copies, priced at £5.99, are available on Amazon. Aimed at ages 3 to 5 the book is written in rhyming couplets and includes a number of longer words - such as sculpture, steed and technique - designed to stretch a child's vocabulary and imagination.
The Apprentice continues tonight (November 16) at 9pm on BBC One.
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