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Reality TV regulars banned from Celeb Apprentice

IT starts shooting in July.

But TV3 have banned 'the usual' Irish reality show contestants from their upcoming celebrity version of The Apprentice.

This week producers from the show began contacting well-known figures in the hope of signing them up for the six-part series.

However, Irish celebrities who have appeared in previous Irish reality shows will not be getting a call.

"We've looking for new faces. Not the same people who would turn up for the opening of an envelope. What we are looking for are well-known Irish people you wouldn't expect to see in a reality show, and the kind viewers would want an hour with over several weeks," said a TV spokesman.

Key to attracting the five men and five women producers want will be the chance to raise money for their individual charities.

Renowned charity fundraiser Caroline Downey-Desmond takes the place of mentor Bill Cullen in the series, with her appearance fee donated to the ISPCC, of which she is a patron.

"Everyone thinks I will be tough, but I will only be tough when it comes down to how the celebrities are doing for their charities.

"If they don't cut it doing their tasks, they won't cut it in the boardroom. Only the right people will go forward," Caroline told the Herald.

It was two years ago when Dublin company Screentime ShinAwil first attempted a celebrity version of the Irish Apprentice series.

However, the spring series, which was to run before the main Apprentice each September, was abandoned due to a lack of sponsors.

But producers are more confident this time around, and are already in contract negotiations with four contestants willing to take part.

Although Caroline is a director of music promoters MCD, none of the tasks will involve the company's summer festivals and instead be connected to the ISPCC charity.

Bill Cullen's sidekicks, partner and businesswoman Jackie Lavin and PR man par excellence Brian Purcell, will be other missing faces from the new series.