The Apprentice: Series 14 - We're Backing Brooksy

Whilst in previous years there has been a north-south divide, or favouring, in the selection (or casting) of candidates for ‘the process’ of reality TV business show The Apprentice, there seems to be a fair geographical spread (and why not?) for this year’s series (perhaps a few more from further north than you would expect...and Yorkshire!) which returns to BBC One next Wednesday at 9pm, followed by You’re Fired at 10pm. There is even the usual stretch of age range, well 20s and 30s among the professionals.

Having carefully assessed the chosen 16, we’re already firmly set to back 27-year-old Senior Marketing Manager Frank Brooks from London. He is currently Marketing Specialist at Thomson Reuters in the capital.

On his profile, he is described as “a self-proclaimed trend-setter who likes to push boundaries with his humour.” He uses charisma and charm for both negotiating and building morale within a group and admits he can sometimes play people off against each other to get what he wants. He can be brutal when he needs to be and doesn’t stand for people who are lazy or shirk responsibility (I hear ya! Preach!).

Like any passionate, aspiring candidate, Frank promises to bring a ‘hardworking attitude’ with ‘fire in his belly’ and is a “unique, one-of-a-kind, generous, fun-loving soul who really knows what he wants in life.”

He philosophically claims that “being good at business is like being good at karaoke. You need to be able to be confident, command the attention of the room and to roll over failure” - I guess that is good advice for anyone looking for a new role. His karaoke song is ‘Relight My Fire’ by Take That and Lulu and hopes that he “can be the Lulu to Lord Sugar’s Take That (yay! a Manchester reference).

If he was a dinosaur he would be a T-Rex and, apparently, he smells like success!

Let us know who you’re supporting. Email

Check out more about Frank on LinkedIn or the candidate pages of The Apprentice website

The other candidates (in age order) include:

IT Analyst, Alex Finn (21) from The Wirral

Nut Milk Brand Owner, Camilla Ainsworth (22) from Lancashire

Law Graduate, Kurran Pooni (22) from London

Tennis Events Company Owner, Sabrina Stocker (22) from Middlesex

Professional Speaker, Kayode Damali (26) from Cheshire

Swimwear Brand Owner, Sian Gabbidon (25) from Leeds

Tree Surgery Firm Owner, Tom Bunday (28) from Southampton

Eco-Cleaning Company Owner, Khadija Kalifa (28) from Lincolnshire

Lifestyle Brand Owner, Daniel Elahi (28) from London

Actress and Children’s Acting Academy Owner, Sarah Byrne (29) from Manchester

Tax Advisor, David Alden (32) from East Yorkshire

Sponsorship Consultant, Jackie Fast (34) from London

Learning and Development Manager, Jasmine Kundra (34) from West Midlands

Quality Controller, Rick Monk (33) from Lancashire

Solicitor, Sarah Ann Magson (37) from Teeside

Analysed in one foul swipe

Imagine a world where people are judged in the blink of an eye, the glance at a CV or the swipe of a finger. Oh wait..erm, oh yes!

With the many new series popping up on paid-for streaming channels like Netflix, it’s hard to separate the good from the bad or the real from the fantasy - a bit like the job of a recruiter - but who knows what the future holds (that sounds like an SClub7 song!) and will be like. After all “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” Anyway, Chris was advised (made) to watch an episode of a series called Black Mirror (the first episode in series 3). Entitled ’Nosedive’, a woman desperate to boost her social media score hits the jackpot when she's invited to a swanky wedding, but the trip doesn't go as planned.

A more detailed plot is below but the premise of her journey is that everyone rates one another using their mobile phone, taking into account conversation quality, looks and personality. She starts at 4.2 and is told that she will need to ‘up her score’ if she wants to be in with a chance of getting the apartment of her dreams, or the job of choice. Just imagine, getting rejected because you don’t fit the bill just looking at your photograph or experience. Yes experience often counts for whether someone can competently do a job, usually at amore senior level than an entry level beginner, but there’s something to be said for those with a natural passion and drive, against textbook jobbers. The correlation between this and the role of a recruiter finding the right person to match job culture and spec is uncanny. I guess the moral is that candidates need to try and sell themselves more through a polished CV and relevant experience for the role and sectors there are applying for.

We know some employers still filter candidates from looking at their (personal and professional) social media accounts but are we already in the world where jobseekers are dismissed before they get through the door or are spoken to by a consultant, or recruitment agent? Many get frustrated when they don’t hear whether, or not, they have been successful.

To explore how to improve communication with all candidates as well as internally, give us a shout!


The plot: Using eye implants and mobile devices, people rate their online and in-person interactions on a five-star scale. This system cultivates insincere relationships, as a person's rating significantly affects their socioeconomic status. Lacie is a young woman currently rated at 4.2 and keen to achieve self-improvement, hoping to reach a 4.5 rating to qualify for a discount on a luxury apartment. She tries to gain favour from highly-rated people, as they have larger impacts on scores, and sees a great chance to achieve her goal, when school friend Naomi asks her to be maid-of-honour at her upcoming wedding, with many highly-rated guests. After a series of mishaps on her way to the wedding that send her ratings plummeting, Naomi calls Lacie and tells her not to come. Enraged, Lacie manages to get to the celebratory dinner; she grabs the microphone and starts giving the speech she had written. The guests rate her negatively, causing her rating to drop to zero. She becomes dangerously upset and security removes her from the area. She is placed in a cell and has the technology supporting the rating system removed from her eyes. Feeling liberated, she gets into an argument with a man, without worrying about being rated.