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The Apprentice: Former Dagenham Sunday Market trader says Lord Sugar liked his 'banter' ahead of show's start

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 September 2019

Thomas Skinner, 28, from Romford, is one of this year's 16 candidates on BBC One's The Apprentice. Picture: BBC/Boundless/Ray Burmiston

Thomas Skinner, 28, from Romford, is one of this year's 16 candidates on BBC One's The Apprentice. Picture: BBC/Boundless/Ray Burmiston

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Business reality show The Apprentice will be returning to our screens next week and this year we'll see how a former Dagenham Sunday Market trader does his best to avoid the firing line.

Thomas Skinner, 28, from Romford, is one of this year's 16 candidates on BBC One's The Apprentice. Picture: BBC/Boundless/Ray BurmistonThomas Skinner, 28, from Romford, is one of this year's 16 candidates on BBC One's The Apprentice. Picture: BBC/Boundless/Ray Burmiston

Thomas Skinner, 28, from Romford, was entered into the competition by his girlfriend and was thrilled to hear he made it onto the popular BBC One show.

"I thought she was applying for me to go on Love Island!", he joked.

"I was absolutely over the moon.

"It was just mental, I was overwhelmed that they picked me.

"I'm not your normal businessman, I used to be a market trader so I'm used to getting up at 4 o'clock in the morning and working hard."

When he was 12, Thomas was a paperboy in Romford and then started selling handbags and purses in Romford Market and Dagenham Sunday Market at 16.

Last year he set up furniture and pillow business The Fluffy Pillow Company.

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He said: "I wanted to go on the show because I needed the investment.

"I'm at the point now where I'm getting these bigger orders and I can't complete them because I haven't got the resources or the financial backing to do so.

"So going on The Apprentice was a great opportunity for me to try and get that investment."

The Apprentice will once again see 16 entrepreneurs take on a series of challenges set by Lord Alan Sugar in the hope of winning £250,000 for their businesses.

From selling sausages and flogging random antiques to those dreaded interviews, the candidates will be tested and all under the watchful eyes of Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner.

Thomas said: "I really enjoyed myself, it's for TV so of course they're going to make you do some ridiculous things but I liked the challenges.

"I think I just get on with most people, I'm not really argumentative and I think Lord Sugar liked my banter.

"I got on with Karren as well because I'm a big West Ham supporter!

"It was an amazing experience and I'm really happy that I did it."

The Apprentice starts on Wednesday, October 2, at 9pm on BBC One.

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