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Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 08:56 UK
Apprentice loser: 'I nearly cried'

Interview by Chi Chi Izundu
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

The 10th boardroom casualty from The Apprentice, 24-year-old Howard Ebison, says Sir Alan is "belligerent" and is taking a risk keeping Lorraine instead of him. The retail business manager was fired after his team lost a task selling stuff on a shopping channel. He also reveals Kate as his pick for the top job and defends himself against claims he was too quiet.

Howard Ebison

Why do you think Sir Alan fired you?

I think he had a moment of temporary insanity and decided to go with Lorraine instead of me. He accused me of being risk averse, which is a fair point based on my career background to date. He demonstrated that he was a risk taker in keeping Lorraine on into the interviews.

You took some risks with your products in this episode didn't you?

Yeah, it was Kate's decision to go for the higher priced items. The ones I chose were lower priced items. I felt the product selection was the right decision to make and if I did it again I'd choose the same things. But unfortunately it wasn't enough.

It was quite a funny episode when Lorraine said, "I really like you Howard" and you said, "You really do my head in sometimes."

Well, I was always straight talking with people. If anyone was irritating me I'd tell them. But I'd tell them in such a way that they kind of ended up thanking me for the feedback. So it was an interesting one.

Who were your favourite people in the show?

I got on fantastically with Kate, she was so easy to work with. She's very professional and driven, proactive and she was great, really really good.

How did you feel about Lorraine?

I've got a real soft spot for Lorraine. I get on with her really well. However, she is difficult to work with at times and she has quite weak communication skills. She doesn't know how to express herself properly.

It seemed like you were on the back burner during the series and nobody quite got to know who you were? Do you think that's fair?

I actually don't think that's fair. I think it's easy to confuse people who are quiet because they're not doing anything and people that you don't see a lot of because they're only co-operating with people and making good business decisions and being successful.

I project managed in the first week. That's hardly the strategy of someone who's going to be on the back burner. But throughout there were bigger voices and people who were willing to shout and scream at each other. I think that's an appalling way to behave and I would never jeopardise my professional values.

At the end of the show it looked like you were going to cry?

I nearly did. I was so gutted. It's such an intense process that being fired is like taking a bullet. It was this huge surge of emotion that you've been trying to ignore because you're totally focussed on the task. You get this release and it's very emotional.

What was your favourite task in the series?

I really loved the latter ones, especially Margate, even though I was on the losing team. Part of the task that wasn't shown was that we had to make radio adverts. That was really really good fun. Also the baby selling task, I have no sales experience at all and I love children. It was a brilliant, brilliant day. Once we got the hang of it we were selling it [the pram] really well.

Who do you want to win?

I always thought from day one that the person I needed to beat to win The Apprentice was Kate. She's got everything that you need in terms of skill set to be in a big successful organisation.

How did you find Sir Alan? Is he scary?

I don't think he's scary. He's just a belligerent guy you have to handle. I come from the pub trade. Pub managers are notoriously belligerent themselves, so he was just someone else to encounter.

Howard Ebison was speaking to Newsbeat entertainment reporter Chi Chi Izundu.



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