The Apprentice: Conor Gilsenan hits out at fellow candidate Aaron after brutal firing

‘You’d hope Lord Sugar could see through that,’ he said

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 14 January 2022 08:44
The Apprentice: Series 16 trailer

The latest episode of The Apprentice saw the surprise firing of a contestant many assumed would be around for a while.

For the show’s second challenge, the candidates were tasked with creating and pitching their very own electric toothbrushes for children.

Things didn’t work out too well for 28-year-old sales executive and former rugby union player Conor Gilsenan, who was sent home after being brought back to the boardroom by project manager Aaron Willis.

Following Gilsenan’s firing, he called out Aaron for his behaviour in the boardroom – something he says “gobsmacked” him as they had got on so well during the first task.

“I’m licking my wounds a little bit, but that’s what I signed up for,” he told The Independent, adding: “I honestly reckon I’d have a pretty strong case for unfair dismissal if I brought Lord Sugar to the courtroom.”

Conor Gilsenan says he wasn’t a’ggressive’ or ‘cocky’ enough to remain in ‘The Apprentice’

Gilsenan questioned Aaron’s decision to bring him and Nick back to the boardroom, stating: “Aaron just closed his eyes and picked two people from the sub-team and then just did whatever he could to stay in the process. Me and Nick were honest and didn’t backtrack on anything we said – but it ended up being our downfall. Well, my downfall.”

He called his backtracking “unbelievable”, claiming that he even managed to convince him he was remembering things.

“I remember leaving and being like, ‘I was sure I’d clarified that we’d do two characters and then, if not, we’d do a male character.’ I was like, ‘Did that not happen?’ and then, when I saw the episode, I was like ‘Oh, that’s fine, that is what i said.’ I’d stuck to the plan and did what was asked, but Lord Sugar decided to believe Aaron. It felt like he didn’t really have a full picture of what went on in the task.”

Aaron is to blame for Conor Gilsenan’s firing in the latest episode of ‘The Apprentice’

Gilsenan said he initially regretted not “being more abrasive and aggressive”, but that he’s now glad he didn’t.

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

“if I’d started pointing the finger at people and barking, I’d be kicking myself now watching it back,” he said.

“It’s the cocky abrasive style that gets rewarded in that process,” Gilsenan continued, adding: “I knew myself that I’d probably struggle in those dog-eat-dog environments and that’s ultimately what happened. Aaron was backtracking on some of the stuff and I just didn’t want to get into that. You’d hope that Lord Sugar could see through some of that stuff.”

The Apprentice continues next Thursday (20 January) at 9pm on BBC One.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in