“I knew I was going” – we meet The Apprentices Jane

Having exhausted her supplies of Irish Luck™, mother of one Jane McEvoy became the latest Apprentice hopeful to be found bouncing about in the back of a black cab with just enough fare to reach Obscurityville.

But she could see that taxi coming a mile off.

“I didn’t even know what Brick Lane wasâ€?, she confesses in her Kilkenny twang (I imagine her eyes wide, bulging earnestly beneath a shock of black hair). “I couldn’t be passionate about selling junk on the street because, I’m not into that kind of business at all. I knew I was going in the boardroom, it was quite easy to tell.â€?

The latest Apprentice task forced our business hopefuls out onto the streets, flogging junk to hipster types in London’s East End. Redundant lampshades, “upcycledâ€? tat and flea-bitten fabrics were piled high in each team’s pop-up “retroâ€? shop. Such was the sales fervour, that if a horse had dropped down dead outside the door they’d probably have painted a Union Jack on it and flogged it for a bag o’ sand.

Ultimately it was her “pushyâ€? and “aggressiveâ€? sales technique – combined with a pitiful sales total of £10 – which placed Jane at the other end of Lord Sugar’s digit. Meanwhile, softly spoken project manager Laura skipped gaily back to the house, blonde locks flowing – and Jane doesn’t seem bitter at all. “If she can use her looks to get further, she should. Everybody uses whatever strengths they have whether its business skills, charm or good looks.â€?

Although Jane is “very disappointedâ€? by her early exit from “the processâ€?, she is not too distraught to offer a prediction about who will be the winner of the grand prize: 250,000 of Alan’s finest. “I’d really like Nick to win, he’s very strong. He’s so easy to get along with and if I had £250, 000 to invest in someone, it would be himâ€?. Could an early favourite be emerging? Back in week one, Bilyana also opted for fluffy-haired Nick as her top pick…

Since the programme’s prize switched from a job offer to the promise of partnership with Lord Sugar, being an amenable candidate has begun to trump unbridled ambition and pushy sales techniques. “It’s different now; this is Lord Sugar’s money and I guess he just didn’t think I was the right person to share it with. I read his book before I went in and I thought we could work well together – but obviously he didn’t!â€?

As the owner of her own food-based business and with plans to expand into the “chilled soup for babies marketâ€?, Jane only became interested in the show since the format switch last year. “It was all really last minute…I applied 20 minutes before the deadline without proofreading my application or anything. Right from the start I decided that I
wouldn’t have any ridiculous strategies; I’d just be meâ€?.

“Anything is achievable if you have drive, determination, and a seriously good work ethicâ€?, said a bright-eyed Jane before the process began. She might want to add “a ridiculous strategyâ€? to that list after her Apprentice experience.

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