Axed Apprentice star says Lord Sugar and co are tough critics after show exit

The Apprentice star Conor Gilsenan is the latest entrepreneur to be fired from the boardroom after a dentistry inspired task.

He has revealed that Lord Sugar, Tim Campbell and Karen Brady are "tough critics" but that the comments are just said in "the heat of the moment".

While the girl's team rocketed to victory with their space inspired toothbrush and app during week two, it was the boy's team that faced defeat when their wizard themed product failed to enchant the boardroom.

The team scored zero sales of their product and team leader Aaron Willis chose to bring Nick Showering and Conor back into the boardroom – with food and drink vendor and former professional rugby player Conor ultimately at the receiving end of Lord Sugar's firing finger.

Conor has spoken exclusively to Daily Star about working with "tough critics" Lord Sugar, Tim Campbell and Karren Brady – and how the boardroom panel have no input into the products they create.

The boy's team received criticism for their wizard inspired toothbrush and app, with the colours of the toothbrush being compared to a 'turd' and the app being branded "boring".

After being told by Lord Sugar that he was going to "make one of you disappear today that's for sure" and branding their product "a piece of rubbish", Conor has revealed that the boardroom panel's comments did "sit with him" after he was fired, but that its their job to be tough on the contestants.

"They don't have any input, they just offer opinion retrospectively. That's what they're there for. They're there to critique you and they are very tough critics," said Conor.

He added that the boardroom panel commented on his business style, saying "Definitely when I left, it did sit with me a little bit, some of the criticisms they gave to me and not all of them made the edit.

"It's kind of a bit of a pressure valve that has been let off since it has gone to air," adding it "makes you realise that this is entertainment."

Conor explained that while the criticisms were tough to hear, they are all part of the TV show and that the contestants shouldn't take the comments to heart, saying: "You can't dwell on these things.

"They're saying these things in the heat of the moment and they've got to make a TV show.

"In reality if I'm in a boardroom or a business meeting with those guys and there's no cameras, they're not going to dress me down like that. You've just got to take it with a pinch of salt."

He added that having played rugby professionally, something he described as a "a high pressured situation", Conor was used to facing criticism but hearing the comments from the boardroom panel was still tough.

"You have to be comfortable getting criticised in front of your peers. I was accustomed to it kind of, but it was tough."

Yet despite receiving tough criticism from the panel, Conor said that he enjoyed the days when the teams revealed their products to one another, and was proud to have created a product in a short space of time, saying: "Those were fun days.

"You'd worked so hard the day before, and then you see what the other people have done and you think, I created that in 24 hours, like that is cool."

Conor also added that he enjoyed the working environment of the second task, saying "When I was in there, I was loving it. It was such a good challenge.

"Doing all these tasks. So much resource goes into the show and they're there for you."

"There's just this massive army of people who are there for the show and the candidates.

"That was cool to see the inside of it. It was fascinating seeing how a big production like that is made"

Although Conor may have gotten into the black taxi cab to go home and his Apprentice journey has come to an end, he continues to support his fellow contestants, adding: "I'm sure whoever goes on to win it, it will be a life changing moment for them and the very best of luck to everyone there.

"I really do wish them all good luck and they're all good people."

The Apprentice airs Thursdays on BBC One at 9pm

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