The Apprentice 2017: Danny Grant, everything you need to know about the Rochester cosmetics retailer

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:12 02 October 2017

This year's line-up

This year's line-up

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Find out all you need to know about the candidate here

The Apprentice series 13 contestant:  Danny Grant - (C) Freemantle Media - Photographer: Jim MarksThe Apprentice series 13 contestant: Danny Grant - (C) Freemantle Media - Photographer: Jim Marks

A non-league footballer who gave up a jet-setting job to see more of his son will appear on TV next week as The Apprentice returns to our screens.

The popular BBC One show, which features businessman Alan Sugar whittling down contestants until he finds one candidate to go into business with, will feature the 32-year-old who signed for Southern Counties East League Premier Division Chatham earlier this season.

And while contractually obliged not to reveal anything about how he gets on in the show, he admits the first episode is “explosive” as he and the other hopefuls vie for the £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.

Mr Grant, who lives in Rochester and runs an online cosmetics company, has certainly enjoyed a jet-set lifestyle.

Kent’s appearances on The Apprentice

Kent has featured heavily on The Apprentice over the years, with contestants often spotted in the county trying to complete their latest task.

TV cameras have followed the teams in action in Margate, Brands Hatch, Canterbury, Whitstable, Ramsgate, Dover, Ashford and Sandwich.

However, even those places involved in the filming are sworn to secrecy, so any Kent locations this year will not be revealed until it hits our screens.

Previous contestants from the county have had mixed fortunes.

Stella English was the most successful, winning the competition in 2010. Ms English, who lives in Whitstable, later quit her £100,000 job and ended up taking out a constructive dismissal case against Lord Sugar - a case she ultimately lost.

Maria O’Connor, who ran a restaurant in Sandwich, was the second to be ‘fired’ in 2012. Canterbury’s Vincent Disneur was booted out in episode five in 2011 and West Malling lawyer Felipe Alviar-Baquero who came a cropper in 2014.

He told KoS this week: “I spent 10 years travelling, building helicopters and Formula One cars for the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.

“It was great for a while, but I have a 12-year-old son in Maidstone and he would always say how he missed me, I realised I had to come back.

“After a while the lifestyle begins to take its toll, you’re basically living out of a suitcase, so I moved back, settled down and in 2014 I set up my own business.

“It started off just selling things like iPhone parts, but now I’m selling activated carbon, the black powder that everyone is using as a teeth whitener, and it’s been quite successful.”

Last year, Sevenoaks’ JD O’Brien tried - but ultimately failed - to win the TV business contest.

Billed as the job interview from hell, The Apprentice pits 18 candidates against one another in a series of business tasks with at least one candidate sent packing at the end of each show.

Famously, the US version of the show was once fronted by Donald Trump - prior to his decision to run for the White House.

The UK version launched in 2005 with the winners picking up a full-time six-figure job within Lord Sugar’s empire.

But in 2011 that changed and now candidates fight for the £250,000 investment into a business they will run as a 50/50 joint venture with the businessman.

Each candidate has a business idea, submitted before the contests begin, to Lord Sugar.

Adds Mr Grant: “I’ve always had these little ideas for start-ups, that’s why I started my own business when I came back to Kent.

“If the activated carbon keeps selling well I want to use that profit to create water filtration systems that fit into kitchen taps, and then use that money to provide water filters in Third World countries.

“I’ve been watching the show from day one, all of my family and friends have said that I’d be really good at it, this year I just thought, why not apply?

“I didn’t expect to get through to the auditions, let alone the actual show. Before you even get on to the show it’s such a stress with meetings and applications.

“The first episode we were all making and selling burgers; it’s pretty explosive with all of the contestants trying to make a good first impression.”

Pitching an ethical cosmetics company to Lord Sugar, the former Rochester Math student returned to living out of a suitcase when he joined the other contestants in living together in a luxury house in Chelsea when filming began back in the spring.

“It was quite a change of scenery from Rochester,” says Mr Grant, “Hopefully I’ll be able to afford a house around there some day.

“Because I used to travel, I think I coped quite well living in the house, whereas some of the others maybe got a bit homesick. I’m quite a jovial guy, so I think that will come across in the house and in the challenges.

“I went there as myself and I went in to win.

“When people watch, I hope it’s the most accurate version of me it can be on the screen.”

Viewers have already had a flavour of the self-proclaimed “cheeky chappy”, after a video surfaced of him rapping the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme, claiming he’s often told he looks like Will Smith, the star of the 1990s sitcom, “because of the ears”.

He said: “I remember it being filmed during the auditions, at that point I never thought I’d get through; there are thousands of entrants and I wanted to give off as much of my personality as possible.

“It had been a long day of auditioning, but I’m quite a playful person and I wanted to show that.”

The “massive fan” of the show added: “Going into it, I had a lot of respect for all of the previous candidates, of course you remember the winners and are inspired by them, but it’s such a stressful process, even the candidates you can’t normally remember have done really well to get there.

“I can’t wait to watch it, I really think it’s going to be the best series yet.”

The new series of The Apprentice starts at 9pm on Wednesday, October 4.


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