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29 October 2014
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The Apprentice series four 
The Apprentice: (L-R front) Ian Stringer, Nicholas De Lacy Brown, Kevin Shaw, Michael Sophocles, (L-R back) Alex Wotherspoon, Lee McQueen, Raef Bjayal and Simon Smith

The Apprentice – Let the boardroom battle commence!

Meet the boys

Alex Wotherspoon
Age: 24
Career: Regional Sales Manager
Qualifications: BA Managerial Administrative Studies at Aston Business School
Lives: Bolton


Alex is charming and tenacious and claims his "communication skills are second to none". He is currently a Regional Sales Manager who works across the north of the UK managing a team of 30 sales agents. Freeloaders and social loafers annoy Alex, who boxes and ballroom dances in his free time. His first job was selling horse manure with his brother to make enough money to go travelling to the Greek Isles for a month. They later expanded the business supplying to garden centres. Their top soil was dubbed "Wotherspoons Black Gold". Alex is incredibly accident prone – he has punctured a lung, broken ribs, shattered his knuckles, severed his voice box, broken fingers and dislocated his jaw.


He says: "I give 100% all the way. I always speak my mind."


Ian Stringer
Age: 26
Career: Software Sales Manager
Qualifications: 8 GCSEs
Lives: Flitwick, Bedfordshire


Born in Blackpool, Ian is a forward thinker with a good work ethic, he is people orientated but says he "certainly is not a wallflower". He has worked his way up to a Software Sales Manger from his first job as a sales assistant in Dixons and gives "110%" to everything he does. A devoted father, he has a daughter and son aged two and one respectively. Ian is an avid football fan. In his spare time he has done local radio weekend match reports for his local club. Ian's claim to fame was that he had a No. 8 hit in the charts – the second top selling unofficial World Cup record for 2006 – when he rewrote the lyrics to Tony Christie's Amarillo. The record was Sport Relief's charity record and Ian even appeared in the video.


He says: "There are two types of people in the world; winners and ... I don't know how to say the word, I can't say it."


Kevin Shaw
Age: 24
Career: Bank Manager
Qualifications: 11 GCSEs and 2 A-Levels
Lives: Woking


A bank manager at the age of 19, Kevin makes his team bond by singing, dancing and "having morning huddles". He claims to be a natural born leader who is so cunning he can make his staff do things they never imagined. He wanted to get on the show because since he was five he has had a dream that by the age of 25 he would be earning £100k a year. He says "every other objective I've set, I've delivered so I have to do it, it's the only thing I have to do now". Kevin is friends with Jenson Button and enjoys watching Formula 1 racing in his spare time.


He says: "I am driven, ambitious and hungry. It's obvious that I'll play a key part in the show from the start. I don't mess about. If I want something I will get it. I want to win"


Lee McQueen
Age: 30
Career: Recruitment Sales Manager
Qualifications: 8 GCSEs and BTEC Diploma in IT
Lives: Princes Risborough, Bucks


Son of a milkman and brought up in Perivale, Middlesex, Lee realised at an early age the importance of working hard and getting your foot on the property ladder. Lee bought his first house aged 18 and then went on to buy one for his mother in return for all the support she has given him. Lee describes himself as a cat – sometimes purring with affection and other times just biting. He has over eight years experience in the recruitment industry gained predominately in IT. To cheer up his colleagues he likes to do a "reverse pterodactyl" which involves him standing on a chair and screeching. He applied to the show because he believes Sir Alan to be "a true entrepreneur" and thinks he can learn to be a fantastic businessman working for him.


He says: "There is no airy-fairy stuff with me, I tell it how I see it."


Michael Sophocles
Age: 24
Career: Telesales Executive
Qualifications: MA in History & Classics
Lives: North London


Self-styled alpha male Michael is a fearless professional who claims nothing phases him. He describes himself as a "good Jewish boy" with a ruthless streak who "doesn't care at all about other people's feelings". His passion in life are women, food, drink and gambling. Despite a very middle-class background he says he has an uncanny knack and talent of being able to adapt himself to all types of situations. He says that his current job in media sales earns him an astronomical amount of money.


He says: "I am an exceptional individual. I am an exhibitionist, I am fearless, I want money and I am unscrupulous."


Nicholas De Lacy Brown
Age: 24
Career: Barrister, Artist and Property Developer
Qualifications: LLB Law degree and MA in Medical Law & Ethics
Lives: West London


Originally from Shoreham-by-Sea, Nicholas adopted his grandmother's name De Lacy five years ago as he felt it was more sophisticated. Although not born into aristocracy Nicholas fancies himself as an artistic, country hopping lord. He says: "From the moment I was born I knew I was destined for great things." And "allergic to chavs", he believes he has a privileged and luxurious life. Nicholas claims one of his worst moments of failure in life was when he once got a B in a GCSE. Since then he has been "outstanding" in everything academic he has taken on. Nicholas's great love in life is art and once became a short-term celebrity at the age of 13 when he exhibited a painting of each and every one of the 37 Shakespeare plays.


He says: "My name is very distinctive. De Lacy is a beautiful name. It gets me noticed in business and life."


Raef Bjayou
Age: 27
Career: Entrepreneur
Qualifications: BA Politics & History at University of Exeter
Lives: North West London


Raef is a highly motivated and ambitious individual with first- hand experience of dealing with clients in sales both home and abroad. A former School Captain, he founded the Exeter University Debating Society and claims to "have never lost an argument" yet. Raef has "faced death in the face many times". He even once asked Michael Heseltine a question on Question Time and was "surprised by the ignorance of his answer". He is a Company Director of an import, export business that specialises in products that are not available in the UK.


He says: "The spoken word is my tool (I'm a) terrific conversationalist and raconteur, with incredible charisma. (I'm) priceless, absolutely priceless."


Simon Smith
Age: 35
Career: Senior Satellite Television Engineer
Qualifications: 8 GCSEs
Lives: Harlow, Essex


Simon has served in the Royal Artillery as an NCO (non-commissioned officer) and specialised as a surveyor. He served in countries all over the world including Bosnia, Cyprus, The USA, Canada, Northern Ireland and the Middle East. It was there he trialled the army's first satellite communications systems. He was given exemplary discharge from service in 1998. He is now a Senior Satellite Engineer responsible for Sky TV installations. Simon is a tough but honest, likeable, salt of the earth kind of guy who claims planning is the key to doing anything well. He loves Sir Alan's no nonsense approach and claims to have never missed an episode of The Apprentice yet.


He says: "I get things done. I have enthusiasm for everything I do. I am loud, bombastic, I don't play games. Everyone wants me on their team."







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