Rylan Clark-Neal reveals that taking part in Celebrity Apprentice - which starts tonight on BBC1 at 9pm - unleashed his competitive side
As a fan of Lord Alan Sugar, This Morning presenter Rylan Clark-Neal is delighted to be taking part in the latest celebrity version of The Apprentice for this year’s Comic Relief appeal.
Over two episodes, 10 famous faces will battle it out in two rival teams to raise as much money as possible for the charity. Here Rylan, 30, tells us more about Celebrity Apprentice
How exciting is it to take part in Celebrity Apprentice?
“I’m a massive fan of The Apprentice but being in the show is a very different experience. I felt nervous the second I walked in. I feel really honoured that I was even considered. It was a fantastic, once-in-a-life-time opportunity to raise money for Comic Relief.”
The teams are split into girls [Amanda Holden, Tameka Empson, Ayda Williams, Kelly Hoppen and Rachel Johnson] and boys [Rylan, Richard Arnold, Russell Kane, Omid Djalili and Sam Allardyce]. Was it very competitive?
“Yes! We all know each other and get on really well, but you do literally think, ‘Forget them, let’s ruin their lives!’ I became project manager for the boys because no one else put their hand up. I really hope viewers remember this is a show, not real life when they watch it! The task was to put on a cabaret extravaganza fundraising evening. All I will say is, it’s scarred me for life…”
What tactics did you use?
“Both teams got their little black books out and it was the one time when I wished I was a woman because Amanda’s got Simon Cowell on speed dial and Ayda is married to Robbie Williams. And then there’s me sitting with Richard, Russell, Omid and big Sam Allardyce thinking, ‘Where did this go wrong?’”
Can you reveal any secrets from filming?
“In the first episode the challenge is set, and there’s fallout from that. Claude Littner was with the girls’ team and Karren Brady with the boys. I still see her poker face in my dreams at night! The second episode is the boardroom with Lord Sugar.”
Had you met Lord Sugar before doing Celebrity Apprentice?
“I hadn’t met Alan – sorry Lord Sugar – before but we’d been in contact before over the years. He was very kind to me after The X Factor and said, ‘You keep going, me and my family think you’re great.’ So he’s already been really lovely. And, weirdly enough, I’ve just built a house 15 minutes from his, so he’s not too far up the road, so if he does slate me in any interviews, I’m going to get the eggs out, I know where he lives!”
Celebrity Apprentice starts this evening at 9pm on BBC1.