Apprentice hopefuls need thick skin - Aoiffe

Claire Murphy

FORMER Apprentice contestant Aoiffe Madden has advised new reality TV show contestants to build a thick skin and be prepared for a raft of negative comments.

Pretty Galway girl Aoiffe, who faced Bill Cullen in the boardroom last year, said that she is looking forward to watching the programme from the comfort of her own home this time around.

"I'm feeling really nervous for them," Aoiffe said. "I feel like I have butterflies in my stomach every time I think about it."

"There is nothing you can say that will prepare them."

Aoiffe said that she was shouted at by the public on the street and had negative attention during her time in the show.

"It's much easier said than done -- but I think that they must take everything with a huge pinch of salt," she said.

"A lot will be said about you -- some of it hurtful, some of it untrue. You can really work yourself up."

Aoiffe (25) said that her worst mistake was taking to heart everything that was said about her and how the show eventually portrayed her character.

"For the first four or five weeks, I was a nervous wreck," she said.

"Looking back, it was so consuming, it was difficult to concentrate on work at times."

Aoiffe, who is now working in Wilson Hartnell PR, said she used to dread watching her own series, but soon relaxed began to develop a sense of humour.

"The editing process is just torturous, the way you are made to look," she said.

"I think they have a very clear idea of what character you are supposed to be."

"I mean it's amusing, it is funny. But you have to realise that and enjoy that aspect of it," she added.

"You can get so stressed out about it, but the best advice I would give would be to just enjoy every second of it because it will go so fast. It's a great experience."

The PR girl said that she remains good friends with Stephen Higgins, Breffny Morgan, Steve Rayner and Maria Loughran, who have all been gainfully employed since leaving the show.

And Aoiffe has had numerous radio show offers as well as opportunities to write about The Apprentice as it unfolds on our screens.

"There's a huge hype about the new show," she said. "I'm looking forward to it starting."

The new series of The Apprentice starts on TV3 on September 20.