Interview: Adam Hosker
ADAM Hosker was East Lancashire's first contestant on the hit TV show The Apprentice.
Twelve months on he reveals what has happened to him since Sir Alan Sugar told him "You're fired" and gives an insight into what this year's contestants are going through.
ADAM Hosker's favourite moment since coming out of The Apprentice?
"I was queuing to get into Liquid (nightclub) in Blackburn and the bouncer decided he wasn't letting me in.
"I asked why but he just said: 'You're not coming in mate, sorry.' You know how they are sometimes.
"All of a sudden, this lad piped up out of nowhere 'Do you know who he is? Google him'.
That really made me laugh. The bouncer still didn't let me in though."
The 29-year-old was East Lancashire's first candidate on the hit show, which sees Amstrad tycoon Sir Alan Sugar searching for next next employee from a group of the country's finest entrepreneurs.
Adam's "firing" from the show was surrounded by controversy as it followed a north/south rift with a number of the other contestants.
The spat won him legions of fans and the support of the north-west.
Adam, who now lives in Whalley, and works as a sales director at Waterfoot-based IT Team Solutions, said it felt strange watching this year's show, which started on Wednesday night.
"This time last year I had 150 round for a party to watch the first episode," he said.
"I remember cringing hearing my accent on the telly and laughing at my choice of pink shirt and tie.
"This year I watched it in my living room on my own.
"I thought to myself 'Well, my 15 minutes are up'."
Adam is refreshingly down-to-earth in his attitude on life after the show.
Rather than chasing newspaper deals and reality TV shows he concentrated on getting a job after being fired from the show.
"I thought 'I can either go on and be myself or I can be totally obnoxious, stab people in the back and made a name for myself'.
"I decided to be myself because I wanted longevity in my career."
Adam's verdict on this year's contestants so far is pretty damning.
"Last year I thought half of them were lunatics," he said, "but they're even worse this year.
"Most of them sound like David Brent on steroids."
Adam did see a glimmer of potential in Alex Wotherspoon from Bolton and Cockney sales manager Lee McQueen.
"Alex reminded me a bit of myself," he said.
"He's just a normal lad, doesn't talk a load of nonsense but gets on with the job.
"When he was in the boardroom the posh boys ganged up on him and I thought 'I know how you feel'.
"I wanted to go back in there and back him up!
"These extremely posh people living in their ivory towers seem to have a warped sense of the north - they think it's like Coronation Street," he said.
"In my experience the posher someone is the more clueless they usually are.
"To succeed in business you need common sense and emotional intelligence."
Adam has been disappointed by Sir Alan Sugar since he left the show.
"I sent him a couple of emails saying thanks for the opportunity and asking if he had any business contacts, but he didn't even get back to me," said Adam.
"I also invited him to come to watch Blackburn play Tottenham, but no response.
Adam doesn't regret his time on the show though.
"I'm enjoying my job and I'm happy with my life," he said.
"Even if I'd have got the job with SIr Alan I'd have stayed in Lancashire and commuted because I love being near my family and friends.
"One of the best things that's come out of The Apprentice is that I get to present half time at Rovers and draw the raffle and stuff.
"I've been a massive Rovers fan all my life and that was a dream job.
"The only thing I'd change is that I wish I'd have gone on this year's show.
"I think I could have wiped the floor with the lot of them."