The Apprentice: Baroness Karren Brady opens up about making candidates cry in intense interviews

Virgin Radio

26 May 2023, 10:22

(L-R) Baroness Karren Brady, Brady with Lord Sugar and Tim Campbell

Credit: BBC

The Apprentice star Baroness Karren Brady has broken her silence about bringing two candidates to tears during the latest series of the business competition. 

During the famously intense interview process in the 2023 series, both Dani Donovan and Victoria Goulbourne were reduced to tears as Baroness Brady scored their business proposals.

The industry titan didn’t pull her punches as she interviewed Dani and Victoria alongside fellow Final Five candidates Megan Hornby, Rochelle Anthony and eventual winner Marnie Swindells. 

During the dreaded interviews stage, both tearful candidates failed to hold back their emotions as Brady ripped apart their business plans, with the industry titan telling Victoria that messing up her number projections was “a pretty big mistake.”

(L-R) Victoria Goulbourne, Dani Donovan on The Apprentice 2023

Credit: BBC

Some viewers found the emotional display too much to bear, with many fans scolding Baroness Brady for her harsh tactics, but now, in a new interview in the Express, the business exec said nothing said was meant to be mean. 

The star explained: “The contestant got upset because I said to her that of all the candidates, I was the most disappointed in her business plan. That was the truth.

“I didn't say anything to her that was mean, I just said that out of everybody I was the most disappointed that her business plan was a letdown.”

She continued: “You know, when you forget to put the staff costs in, your stock costs, you get your rent costs wrong, it's not a great way to start.'It is never deliberately set out to upset anybody, I would never want to do that.”

Believing the experience can prove you’re more powerful than you believe, Baroness Brady added: “Is [The Apprentice] easy all the time? No. Is business easy all the time? No, it isn't. Do you have to have resilience to get through it? You absolutely do. I cannot tell you how hard it is to run your own business.”

The revelations come after The Apprentice head honcho Lord Sugar said himself that he found this year’s interview stage was “harsh.”

In a new interview with The Times, Lord Sugar admitted he found the interview stages this year “hard to watch” and called for the segment to be “toned down.”

He shared: “Unfortunately when that was recorded, I wasn’t there. Anyway, I’m not making any excuses. When I saw it in the end, I thought, 'This is too harsh', and we’re going to tone it down now.”

The Apprentice is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.