Andrew walks over and gives us (myself and my photographer/close friend Helen) a huge smile along with a warm hello, and sits down with his coffee. He places his shopping bags on the chair beside and claims that it’s “my fault” because I’ve dragged him out into town, and now he’s done some “damage” (pointing at the shopping bags). To be honest, at first I am sitting there feeling a bit “starstruck”. Like every fan of the show, I have been watching this guy on TV for 2 months straight. So I guess it is pretty normal to have one of those pinch-me moments thinking, ‘Yup, this is really him. Andrew Brady from The Apprentice. Sitting right in front of me.” But then we start talking. About one minute later I’m completely relaxed, and it feels like I’m catching up with an old friend I haven’t seen in a while.
Andrew asks me where I’m from because I don’t sound local. We talk about home towns, laugh about how we met prior to the interview, and then Andrew jokes that this (pointing to us sitting opposite each other and having coffees) looks like a date, and that he hopes my husband doesn’t mind. I assure him that it was all approved.
Andrew Brady is a 26-year old engineering project manager / entrepreneur / guy full of charisma and wit from Sheffield.
He currently lives in Chester and is best known as the best Wembley Executive Box entertainer (Week 4), pro hotel room re-decorator (Week 2) and a Bruges city guide extraordinaire (Week 6). People also refer to him as “the guy who looks like Clark Kent“.
Andrew made it to Week 8 on The Apprentice, and we all enjoyed watching him compete for a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.
A few random fun facts about Andrew:
– Who/what did you want to be when you were a kid?
An assassin when I was really young. A marine biologist when I was a bit older.
– What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?
Pistachio. In India they call it kulfi – it’s so nice! What’s yours? Chocolate. Meh.
– Do you travel a lot?
I love traveling. I go to France twice a year because my mum and dad got a place there. I went to Asia for 2 months which was awesome.
– Best meal ever?
Baked Camembert with ciabatta. I love cheese!! Or a fried breakfast.
– Describe yourself in 3 words:
Caring, hard working and light-hearted.
How did you decide to come on the show?
I was watching the final episode last year and it said “Do you want to be on the next year’s show?”
Yup. So I just filled out the application form thinking nothing was ever going to happen. And then I had this really weird feeling about 2017. I thought, ‘This is my year’ but then I broke up with someone at the start of it, 4 or 5 days into 2017. So I thought maybe I was wrong.
Doesn’t sound like a good start, does it?
Definitely not. But then I got a call for an audition. I never thought I would be on it (The Apprentice). It was really exciting when I went through. There were different parts, different stages of the auditions and interviews. You have probably seen one of them. It was on the telly.
Yeah, the one where you talked about making friends with 70 year old women by the time you get to your bus stop?
That’s the one!
Were you allowed to tell you family and friends you were going to be on the show?
No. Definitely not. I was allowed to let only a few people know: my mum, my dad, my best friend and the person I was seeing at the time. So they had to sign the non-disclosure agreement. So when I went away, I told everyone else that I was going to South Africa. I even put it up on my Facebook, I even checked in in Johannesburg and said that I will have my phone off.
That’s a really good cover story.
Yeah, I thought so too. But then, one of my friends started panicking “I can’t get a hold of you”, “Where are you?”, “I’m going to call your mum and dad”. I think I got 20 or 30 messages from him on Whatsapp. So then I had to tell people I had my phone and my camera stolen because I didn’t have any pictures from South Africa and I couldn’t be in touch with anyone.
How did those you did tell about the show react to the news?
You know what, my mum and dad are not into reality TV. They are not into any of that. At all. I was thinking of paying them to watch because I was in it. But then my mum phoned me last night and started asking me about Harrison, Michaela and others. So I asked why is she still watching it.
She must have got really into it!
Yes! But when I told them, they were like, ‘Oh that’s nice’. It was very humbling. But my best friend, on the other hand, is such an extrovert, she was very excited about it and messaged me every day to say how excited she was. It was nice to have that balance: someone to keep you grounded and someone to tell you that this is big.
It’s nice because I’m sure the whole experience must have been tough. Was there a lot of pressure?
Definitely. It messes with your mind like you wouldn’t know. There’s more to it that meets the eye.
What advice could you give someone who’s planning on signing up to go on the show?
Understand that there’s only one winner. There’s a good chance they will edit you to look like an idiot so understand you will need THICK skin.
There were 18 of us, plus 5 people who lived in the house with us. Minders as such. To keep everything in order, get the food, etc. It was intense. But I’ve been in the halls at the university, shared a house for the past 3 or 4 years so I’m used to it. I found it really easy. I mean, I was sharing a room with Ross until he got fired. I didn’t mind it at all. It did get a bit much when we were fighting over the bathrooms.
Were you discussing the task with each other or talking about what’s to come next?
You’re not allowed to discuss the task. If you get caught talking about it, you get hammered for that. So we were just getting to know each other, talking about the stuff happening at home and before the show. And you get very close to people and you almost forget about the life outside. Some people struggled because they left kids at home. I didn’t care about my life outside.
You immersed yourself fully into it.
Yeah, I did. Which is probably why I acted more friendly to people and a bit more laddish than I probably should have. I just had a fun time. I didn’t have any worries about the outside life so I got engrossed in what was happening and had fun with it.
I think you did come across like this happy-go-lucky guy, very chilled about everything. It looked like you were having fun.
Exactly! I think when you look at someone like Joanna or Jade, who were both very confrontational, I was different. A lot was edited out but Jade had a lot more arguments with people that anyone else in there. And then there was Lizzie who was so determined. Very big personalities. What I saw was that women worked so much harder than men. But Karren Brady actually said that this one was the worst season of the show in terms of the conflicts between the girls.
Oh wow. It did come across that way on TV but I thought it was edited that way. So it was all real?
It was intense among the girls. With the guys, it was a different story. We were very chilled out. People actually told me that in the first few weeks I came across as very quiet, and whether it was a game plan. But then there’s 18 of you, it’s your first task and you’re arguing about something that’s not even relevant. People were arguing about the name for the team. Just decide on that quickly, get on with it, go get things done. So I didn’t feel like I had to argue for the sake of arguing which doesn’t make good TV, I guess. It was interesting to see how it was portrayed and how it all came across. From day one I tried just to be myself.
Is it really true you have 20 minutes to get ready?
Yes, 20 minutes! Obviously, you don’t necessarily leave the house in 20 minutes. But you have exactly 20 minutes to get ready.
What time did you usually wake up then?
Even if you have an alarm clock, you never know what time you need to set it for. The worst one was when we had to be up at 2:30 in the morning, and we got to bed after 12! It was the first night, everyone was excited. We were having something like a slumber party. So we only got 2 hour of sleep. It was a bit tough.
Who decides who runs down to get the phone?
I don’t know. It’s never me. I’m completely knocked out when I’m asleep. James would usually enjoy being a show pony! (laughs) But the worst thing in the morning was having the camera in your face. The amount of times I would be doing my hair in front of the mirror and just tell them to leave me alone for a minute. They wouldn’t, of course.
Was there anyone who was chirpy in the morning?
I’m usually quite chirpy in the morning! When I’m awake and not grumpy because of the cameras in my face. And I was the first one to jump into the shower. You had to be fast!
Which task or week was your absolute favourite?
For me the most memorable were two: Wembley and Bruges. In the Wembley one I was PM. Still, to this day, the only male PM to bring the win to team Vitality. And I loved Bruges! It was just a lot of fun. The whole task was just hilarious. I did a beer tour and I got to drink some beer (laughs).
It was my favourite one as well. But it was a bit painful to watch at times.
Haha, tell me about it. The other team wasn’t great but ours was awful. What really infuriated me about that episode is that I did my job. I sold the most tickets and I gave the beer tour. And I did it well! Charles got lost and Anisa was so flustered. I just had to keep it together. There were two young couples our age on the tour and we got along so well. There was also an older couple and they were the ones who wanted their money back. I gave a really good tour, I’m good at it. Even the guy at that beer place in Bruges came up to me and said, ‘9 out of 10 for that tour, it was very professional’. But it didn’t make it on TV. It would be naïve to think that 160 hours of footage would make it into 30 minutes of the episode. Of course, they had to cut the good parts out. Which is a shame because it was probably my best episode in terms of my performance. And all I got was like a 15-minute montage of me saying “beer” non stop. Karren’s frown – they showed that a lot.
She’s incredible. I personally really like her on the show but she comes across as very tough. Is she really that harsh?
In some way, yes. She’s a lady in business. You have to be tough to be successful. She’s really good at what she does and she’s always very busy. So in between shooting, she’s always on her phone, sending emails, taking calls, typing away on her Blackberry. She’s really good at multitasking. She’s often telling people where to go and what to do on the set. But you can tell she’s got a warm heart. You can tell she’s caring, that she’s a mum. After the episode in Bruges when I was sitting in the boardroom defending myself, she was nodding away and encouraging me so it was nice to get a bit of support from her.
What about Claude?
Claude is a gentleman. When we were split into two teams on the task, Claude was lovely on the set every time. He’s quiet, very polite, very submissive in the way he approaches the producers to help them do their job. You can tell he’s such a nice guy. When Karren is on set, she tells them what they need to do! She was taking control.
So you obviously saw Karren and Claude on the tasks. What about Lord Sugar? Did you interact with him briefly only when the task is given out and then in the boardroom or was there more communication behind the scenes?
Yeah, only then. You never get to see him off camera, shake his hand or speak with him. None of that. But I guess it’s just required of the show because you need to have that level of intimidation. But nothing intimidates me. I’ve been in meetings with army generals, big military men. Those people are seriously intimidating. Lord Sugar is a successful self-made man who’s worth over 1 billion pounds. I respect that but it doesn’t intimidate me. And I don’t think he enjoyed my jokes or my outgoing personality. He’s a good lad though (laughs).
Lord Sugar mentioned that if you came on the show a few years later, it could’ve been a different story. Do you think it would make a difference? 4 or 5 years later?
Of course, you change, you adapt to your surroundings and circumstances. I don’t know if it would make a difference though. For me, personality is the most important thing in business. So I don’t think I would be any different if I came back in a few years’ time. If I’m selling something to someone, they are buying it because of me. You have to get on with people, they have to trust you. You’re constantly building relationships. I am 100% real. I wouldn’t change. I probably just wasn’t what Sugar wanted his business partner to be. But that’s okay. He’s a good character and I really enjoyed the interaction in the boardroom.
Who did you get along with best on the show?
Saj, Sarah. They were my two. And Michaela. I got along with Harrison, James, Anisa sometimes, Lizzie. I got along with most of the people. I think most of them didn’t see me as a threat, they just saw me as a bit of a joker. I did miss Danny though. Danny was my boy. Charles should’ve gone that week. I think that’s why I’ve always had a disliking to him. He took away my Danny. From day one I was like, ‘This guy is my guy’.
So I’m guessing you didn’t really get along with Charles?
He wasn’t my type of person.
Was he not very easy to work with?
He was very confrontational, rude, backstabbing. He doesn’t have a personality. I didn’t like the guy one bit. You can put that in there, don’t edit it out.
What about Elizabeth? Some people said she is like sushi, either you love it or you hate it. I really enjoyed watching her on the show!
I don’t like sushi but I like Elizabeth. She’s really nice. She’s got the charisma and the personality for the industry she’s in. She might come across as if she’s lost the plot. I love it in every way. She’s great! In the real world she’s not as kooky as she came across on TV.
What about Michaela. She’s an absolute powerhouse. I was 100% sure she’d make it to the final two.
Michaela is a very strong person. She’s absolutely smashing it in the business world. You could tell – she doesn’t even need Lord Sugar’s investment – she’s doing so well on her own! She’s really good at taking charge and directing people. And she’s not scared to talk to anyone, unless she doesn’t know you. But on any task, she was a leader. It didn’t matter whether she was PM, sub-team leader or neither, she’d be in charge in a very calm and subtle way. Everyone would just listen to her because Michaela always talks sense. She was harsh on me when it came to the car advert task. We talked it out though so we’re good. She’s a very honest person.
Would you want to work with her?
No (laughs). Well, I would want her to work for ME but I wouldn’t want to work for HER.
So if you could go into business with anybody…? (haven’t managed to finish the question before Andrew answers)
NONE of them! They’ve all got their positives but none of them would be my type of person to go into business with. Maybe apart from Danny or Sajan. The only downside of Saj was that he wasn’t able to admit his faults. Charles, on the other hand, had no faults, according to him.
Do you think anyone would want to go into business with you?
I think ALL of them would want to go into business with me (laughs). Especially if any of them were opening the bar. Who wouldn’t want me there? I give good beer tours, you know (laughs).
I think a lot of people miss you on the show and think it wasn’t fair you got fired so quickly.
Oh, thank you.
Do you think it was your time to go?
It’s two-fold. I would obviously like to get to the final 5 to showcase my talent and my business plan. To be able to sit opposite Claude Littner. I would’ve liked to have done that. He’s absolutely brilliant! I got further than I thought but I didn’t get as far as I would want to.
Were you allowed to use phones in the house or while you were filming?
No. Your wallet, your phone, your laptop – they take it all off you and put it into the safe. And then on the day when you get fired, you go to a hotel for a night and then you return to the house the next day – that’s when you get it all back.
So when you have your suitcase before you go into the boardroom, do you actually have your stuff in there or is it empty?
Well, you pack more like a night bag. Because if you get fired, you film the taxi scene and then you will have to spend the night at the hotel so you’d need your toiletries, a change of clothes. The essentials. There was such a funny story after the hotel design task!
Is it the one where you thought your red, blue and yellow British flag was a success!
Haha, yeah. Our team thought we completely smashed it. We were so confident about it! So none of the guys packed their suitcases apart from Charles. He was scared he might go because of the previous week. So Jeff got fired, and the poor lad had to go to a hotel room with no clothes in his bag. He had nothing. No change of boxers (laughs). Then he had to return to the house the next day in a suit. He deserved it (laughs). I will be honest, we were howling the night after at the house. We were in stitches. Sorry, Jeff. (laughs)
What was the most challenging about the whole experience?
I was exhausted a lot at times. Not necessarily mentally. The worst part of the entire process was the silence. Sitting in silence waiting for cameras to move, waiting for someone to be somewhere, waiting for the boardroom. It was the silence. It was the most difficult part, especially for me. As you can tell, I love to talk. We also had very long days but it wasn’t mentally draining.
What about the best part of it all?
The support I got on social media. I couldn’t believe how many people have been very encouraging. For months. And they still are! It’s amazing. I love social media. Especially Snapchat. Do you use Snapchat?
I used to. Now I’m more on Instagram. I haven’t deleted Snapchat because of the filters, to be honest.
Yes! They are the best for selfies, those filters. I sometimes open my DMs so people can message me. I even took a few calls and talked to people. But, of course, you have to know when to draw the line and not let social media world overtake your life. And then there’s Instagram. It’s all about marketing there, isn’t it? Here I am at the beach enjoying my protein shake. No, you’re not. I think if you are advertising something, do it the right way. Have you seen Chris & Kem’s ad for Sainsbury’s? It’s an ad but it’s a lot smarter, a lot more natural.
What would you like to use your platform for then?
I like you, bloggers. Maybe I will become a travel blogger myself. I’ve always wanted to get a van and turn it into a home and just drive around the world. That would be a dream. So it would be great to be endorsed to do something like that. Jokes aside, I wouldn’t want to be a walking advert. I would like to use my platform for better things. What we should be using social media for is changing the world. We should make people feel like they are capable, that they are beautiful, that they are enough. Social media can make anyone feel like a failure but it should be used to motivate and inspire. Also, we should be using it to raise the awareness about different important issues, like slavery in Libya, not what Kim Kardashian is wearing today. Ultimately, we should be using social media in a positive way.
If you could do the whole thing over again, would you do it?
One million %. And I wouldn’t do anything differently. I walked away from it knowing that I was myself. I don’t think many could say that 100%.
Being yourself is key.
That. And working hard.
What are your best tips for staying motivated? Any advice on finding the perfect work/life balance?
Set yourself goals. They don’t have to be as big as “millionaire by the time I’m 30” but achievable. Focus on what it will take to achieve them and how much effort they will require. Understand that you are the ultimate reason you will fail and if you do then start again. Never take no for an answer. Exercise daily even if it’s only for 30mins and make time for the people you care about.
So what’s the big plan for 2018? What’s next now that The Apprentice is over?
All I can say is…watch this space.
Big things will happen?
That. Or I will just get plastic surgery, change my name and start over (laughs).
We keep chatting probably for about 20 minutes after I stop recording. Then we agree to arrange a catch up some time in 2018 over a coffee. I promise Andrew it won’t be a Bridge Cafe one.
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Andrew Brady.
Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of this interview.
Have you enjoyed Season 13 of The Apprentice UK (if you watched it, of course)?
What did you think about the final?