Karren Brady talks to TV Times magazine about not giving up the day job to be an Apprentice mentor and how Lord Alan’s secrets are safe with her…
Do any of the contestants on The Apprentice this year remind you of yourself?
“I don’t sit there as a little old lady reflecting on my glory days. I am an acting CEO running a business that employs 800 people. I sit on a number of boards, some that employ 45,000 people.”
How do you feel as though the candidates develop throughout the show?
“For the first few tasks is all about them and their ego and you see some very strange decisions. Later it suddenly dawns on the candidates that if you are in a winning team and you win because you have worked together then you don’t get fired. At that point they pack up their egos and they start looking at the business process and those you might have written off, come through and often lead.”
Is it important that you bring all of that to the show?
“That is the experience I bring to the show, and the opinion that I give matters because I am out there working and doing it. One of the things that keeps me awake at night is ensuring that all of the people I employ have a job to go to the next day.”
Something you’ve been working on is moving West Ham Football Club from its present Boleyn Ground home in Upton Park, East London to the new Olympic Stadium…
“It has been a project I have been running for three years and we have won it twice before and not been handed the keys.”
How do you make working at West Ham and on The Apprentice fit?
“I try to do everything at the same time, not always successfully, but I do try. Some days I am quite stretched, but I always say nothing is work unless you would rather be doing something else and I love The Apprentice and I love West Ham, so I will find a way of doing them all.”
Do your husband, Paul, and children, Sofia and Paolo, watch The Apprentice?
“They get very involved, but I never tell them anything. Even at the end when they want to know who is fired I won’t tell them and they get very annoyed with me.”