Apprentice runner-up Camilla Ainsworth reveals the reality show's secrets… from getting taken to the loo by producers to a TV ban and getting up at 4am

The nut milk entrepreneur is launching her product, M+LKPLUS, in Holland and Barratt, and has lifted the lid on the gruelling process hopefuls go through to reach the final of BBC’s The Apprentice.

Camilla, 22, from Lancashire said appearing on the show was an “absolute roller coaster of emotions” but she “loved every minute of it”.

While she stood out from the crowd for her outspoken and cheeky personality, the finalist has now revealed the behind-the-scenes secrets and strict rules that push candidates to their limits during filming.

Speaking to Fabulous Online, Camilla claimed the crew banned the candidates from having mobile phones, watching TV and even listening to music that could help to “motivate them”.

She said: “Before we went into the house, you were allowed to take a book in and you had to send them a photo of the front cover and the back cover.

“It had to be fiction so it couldn’t be non-fiction like a psychological book to maybe give you tips on how to stay positive. They had to be chick flicks, it was bizarre.”

Camilla also said that live-in staff were on hand to monitor all behaviour – including banning them talking about tasks in the evenings.

She claimed: “There is always someone like a house staff with you at all times.

“Sometimes they’d sleep outside your room to make sure you weren’t talking about the task, they called it ‘task talk’. It’s like a psychological experiment really.

“You couldn’t go to the toilet by yourself, you had to go with someone from production so there was no task talking.”

Not only were they monitored in the house but also when they were out in public.

Camilla said: “When you went to the supermarket to buy your food, staff would check your receipt after to check you hadn’t smuggled alcohol into the house as there was no alcohol at all.”

Every day the candidates were woken up at the crack of dawn to start the tasks and did multiple days of filming before getting a break.

She said: “I can confirm those hours are ridiculous. The most common hour you get up is 4am.

“One particular task that nearly killed me off was donuts. We had to get up at 1.30am, bear in mind we had gone to bed at 11pm.

“I was project manager and there is a scene where I say ‘I think I need to prop my eyelids open with matchsticks’ and that’s the truth, I was genuinely so tired.”

She said the TV hopefuls would film for six or seven days in a row, before having a day off, but they wouldn’t be told when their next break would come.

Camilla added: “They don’t tell you anything as it’s top secret 007. You don’t get to call your family.

“You get one five minute phone call a week, no phones – and they time your call, it’s extreme!”

Many fans will recall seeing the bleary-eyed stars doing their hair and make-up after dragging themselves out of bed – and Camilla said there was a short time limit on getting ready.

She said: “We have 20 minutes so it wasn’t a glamorous experience at all. I had one eyebrow for one of the episode and one hoop earring for the chocolate task.”

While some people found the strict living conditions tough, the talented businesswoman said she was in her element.

She said: “I thrive off pressure, I always have. It’s weird as a lot of people started to crumble when it got to week six or seven, but that’s when I came into my own.”

Fans will know Camilla for her penchant to “sex things up” when it came to her marketing strategy – and she stands by favouring “cheeky” branding.

She said: “I think the branding for my milk is fun, cheeky and provokes a reaction.

“I look for something with personality on the shelf but it was all lacklustre branding.”

Although the businesswoman admitted she doesn’t want to become associated with over-sexualised branding, she also said they were often under pressure on the show to come up with ideas quickly.

She said: “It works for my business but sometimes I’d try to make it work for like chocolates and it just doesn’t.

“In those time constraints, you only have five minutes to come up with a name, people don’t realise that and think you have all day.”

Throughout her process, the tasks were observed by Lord Sugar’s aides Karren Brady and Claude Littner.

Camilla was full of praise for the “professional” pair, but said it was scary having them watch her every move.

She said: “It was terrifying actually. They are really nice, credible people but it was a bit off-putting.

“You just want to impress them so much but they have really good poker faces so you never know what they were saying.

“They are just scribbling on their notepads. Ultimately Karren and Claude had really nice things to say about me in the end, so that was really nice.”

Despite spending hours with the two aides, Camilla said: “They stay very separate so they don’t favour any candidates, which I think is right.

“You need to stay professional.”

Camilla said both Lord Sugar and Karren have been particularly helpful with her nut milk business launch and she’s been asking them for advice as recently as the past few days.

She even has Lord Sugar on Whatsapp – but says they aren’t friendly enough to send emojis to each other just yet.

She is close friends with the other candidates, however, and was full of praise for the eventual winner of the show, swimwear designer, Sian Gabbidon, 26, from Leeds.

Camilla gushed: “It’s nice it was an all-female final and Sian’s absolutely amazing and I couldn’t have lost to a nicer person.”

She said that one of the most common questions she had been asked recently was whether she is dating fellow contestant Daniel Elahi, due to their banterous relationship during filming.

But Camilla slammed any rumours and said they are just pals.

She joked: “Everyone keeps saying this. He’s definitely in the friendzone, 110 per cent.

“I had really great boy banter with the boys.

“Me and Daniel were on task together so you got to see it more but nothing else has happened. Definite friendzone.”

Romances are typically banned on the show, although certain contestants have dated in the past and Camilla confirmed crew stop relationships from developing.

She said: “There are rules yes. That’s why they monitor you at all times.

“No one did do anything, which was pretty boring. So even if anyone wanted to, they couldn’t. Everyone was in the friend zone from me, poor them.”

Those who watched the final will recall that the MD of Holland and Barrett, Steve Carson, was one of the business professionals who watched Camilla’s pitch at London’s City Hall.

She may not have walked away with Lord Sugar’s money but her nut milk product, which is being marketed as an alternative to dairy-based drinks, made an impression with Steve.

Camilla said: “He reached out to Claude saying ‘I’m really interested in this girl and the product’.

“He’s been amazing, he saw something in the product and saw the potential.”

Together, they have helped to create Camilla’s debut grab-and-go M+LKPLUS product, which is launching in store in early January.

Her first flavour is a Salted Honeycomb Hazelnut flavour, which will retail for £1.99 for a 330ml bottle, and there are plans to expand the range in 2019.

On the show, she was criticised for wanting to use 15 per cent nut in her drinks, which was far above the average nut-based drink, which typically has around two per cent nut content.

Camilla worked with Holland and Barrett to create a compromise drink with six per cent nuts and she said that it’s “perfect for cereal or slurp and go” usage.

Camilla gushed about her time on The Apprentice, and said: “I find it really hard to see it as a loss because it’s been such an amazing platform for me to launch my product from and at the end of the day I get to keep 100 per cent of my business.”

Apprentice winner Sian Gabbidon is ALREADY living a millionaire’s life with helicopter flights, designer bags and a whole ROOM of shoes at home.

The Apprentice fans think Lord Sugar and Sian Gabbidon gave away win by posting pictures from same place this week. 

Meanwhile, get the lowdown on the spectacular Apprentice home. 


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