Saturday 16 December 2017

I had no chance against Caroline's gang -- Niamh

blame: Fired Apprentice says team leader protected the boys

FIRED Apprentice Niamh Humphreys said a three-person clique was to blame for her downfall.

The mother-of-one said that her team leader Caroline McHugh had lined it up to keep her pals in the game.

Viewers have seen Caroline build a cosy alliance with Kieran Walsh and Jamie Moran in the programme to secure a €100,000 job with Bill Cullen, and Niamh believes that the other girls on the team were set up.

"It was like a train crash -- I could see it coming," she said. "I wasn't surprised at all to be brought into the boardroom.

"They had their own clique.

"You were not going to see the two boys in the boardroom."

Niamh said that a lot of her time in the show was "an uphill struggle".

"It was nearly like they wanted us to fail," she said. "They knew they weren't going to be brought into the boardroom so they wanted our task to be rubbish."

Niamh, from Limerick, said that she initially got on well with Caroline and the two men, but that things can switch instantly in the house.

"I also got on well with Nagaite, our project manager for the first task," she said. "But on the second day she turned on me."

Niamh (36) was on the team that bizarrely pushed for a camel in their advertisement for Lucozade.

And although they failed to locate an animal for the photo shoot, they were happy with a superimposed version in the final advert.

But GlaxoSmithKline and Bill Cullen were not impressed.

When Niamh and Ciara were brought in by Caroline, Niamh told Bill Cullen that she was disappointed but not surprised to be in the boardroom.

"I am not here to make friends," she said.

And after she was fired, Niamh refused to hug Caroline and said stubbornly: "You went with the boys."

Niamh, who is now looking for a job, was slammed by Bill in previous weeks for remaining for hours in the car while her colleagues pounded the pavement to do cold selling.

"They hyped up what the girls did," she said. "We weren't in the car for three hours.

"We went into one company and we were told we weren't allowed to film when we got there -- we needed to make an appointment," she added.

"I will take full responsibility -- in hindsight maybe we could have worked more on the ground."

And the sales executive laughed off the editing of the infamous scene which showed her struggling to operate a touchscreen phone.

"I was wearing acrylic nails and the touchscreen phone wouldn't work," she said. "When I pressed 5, it would dial 7.

"It was showing me going 'hello' but really when it was all added together, it looked worse," she added.

"Naively, I thought it was a pure business programme, but the production is a huge part of reality series."

clairemurphy @herald.ie

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