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I messed up, but I'm no bitch insists Apprentice reject Tara

DUBLINER Tara Lee said she was physically sick before she had to face Bill Cullen in the Apprentice boardroom.

Tara (24) guessed immediately that she would be in the firing line after her team failed miserably in the marketing task for Appleby jewellers and made a disastrous presentation.

"I knew in my heart and soul I was going home," she said.

"I was picking out my clothes thinking what am I going to be wear to be fired."

"I messed up a lot -- I got really nervous. I was getting sick on the morning. And people said I looked sick when I came out of there," she added.

The property expert, who has returned to her job in CIE, said that her portrayal as a tough businesswoman was far from the truth.

Regrets

"I was not cast in the best light -- people who know me know that it wasn't normal Tara," she said.

"I think they picked me to be the bitch. I knew straight away by the questions they were asking," she explained about the programme producers.

"They would say to me 'You've had a hard upbringing.' I come from a working class family -- I've always had to work for what I've got, but it wasn't a tough upbringing."

Tara said she does have some regrets about how she carried on in the programme and wishes she wasn't so outspoken with some of the other contestants.

"Everything I did say, I was just saying what people were thinking," she explained.

"I regret being tough on Caroline -- I did give her a hard time on the show. But I didn't say anything personal about her.

Tara pushed for a nomination as project manager ahead of Panos Zametakis (33), despite his years of experience as a senior online advertising manager.

The team failed to grasp the concept of a viral -- a key online marketing tool -- and Appleby jewellers voted that the final product was not up to scratch.

But the team leader said that comments made by Bill in the boardroom stung.

Monster

"I think it was a bit unfair for Bill to say that we were the worst presentation he had seen in three years -- it really hurt," Tara said.

"I just crumbled --I saw what the others had in their room, I suppose it was a bit of a green-eyed monster. But I'm only one year out of college."

And Tara admitted that she didn't watch last night's episode.

"I was absolutely dreading it to be honest," she said. "But if I dwelled on it -- I would never go out in public, so I have to go out with my head held high."

And she said that her employers, family, friends and boyfriend have been very supportive.

She hopes to continue with her exams to become a fully qualified chartered surveyor.

"My mam was a bit upset that I was being portrayed as the ice queen, but she knows it's not me," Tara said.

"My boss doesn't pay too much attention to the programme."

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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