Top Pendle businessman helps Lord Alan Sugar on ‘The Apprentice’

Matthew Riley - Daisy
Matthew Riley - Daisy

THE aide to Lord Alan Sugar and local multi-million pound entrepreneur Matthew Riley has said he hopes to inspire young businessmen and women of the future, after appearing on The Apprentice.

Daisy Group Plc CEO Matthew, was watched by tens of thousands of viewers last Sunday evening as he grilled the final four contestants in the nail-biting final.

And he said that when he got the call last year and heard the Cockney accent of the business tycoon asking for his assistance, he thought it was his friends staging a prank!

“I got a call on my mobile saying it was Lord Sugar, I thought it was a wind up at first and must have been my mates having a joke. He said he wanted me to do it because of my experience of starting up companies and selling businesses. I was absolutely amazed.”

And the two met in London where, over coffee, Matthew agreed to take on the role.

“I only got the business plans 48 hours before and really all I was judging was the plan, not the CV. It was really good fun but it was obviously difficult as I had Lord Sugar’s reputation to protect.”

And Matthew’s sharp tongue and business head got the contestants reeling, with one saying it was the hardest interview she had ever endured.

But now Matthew hopes to see more Northerners on the show. And his top tips for any aspiring young entrepreneurs out there?

“Keep it simple. Keep business models and the idea simple and make sure you do a little bit at a time. Do not try to be global but be prepared for a lot of hard work.”