‘Disappointed’ Karren Brady speaks out after upsetting The Apprentice stars

The Apprentice: Dani cries whilst being interviewed by Karren

Baroness Karren Brady divided some viewers after two The Apprentice contestants were reduced to tears after a tough interview with the West Ham vice-chair. In one instance, the business magnate fired back at one hopeful who had addressed her by her first name. In the now-viral clip, she replies: “It’s Baroness Brady to you, my friends call me Karren.”

Despite the interview stages always being brutal, this year seemed to have particularly angered some viewers and several took to social media to describe it as “nasty” and even “bullying”.

Now, Lord Sugar’s aide has backed her comments saying that the BBC series “highlights the resilience that you need to run a business”.

She told Express.co.uk: “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.

“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.”

Karren added that to make it in business, and on The Apprentice, you need to have “resilience above everything else”.

The mum-of-two continued: “Is [the show] 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.”

Baroness Brady is now helping to raise awareness of the struggles facing small business owners across the UK.

On the back of Mental Health Awareness Week, research by Simply Business shows that owners are at breaking point due to factors such as financial worries, lack of time off, overworking and getting less than five hours sleep.

As a result, the insurance provider has partnered with Mental Health at Work, a programme curated by Mind which offers a wide range of resources to aid workplace mental health.

Karren said: “When we think about how important small businesses are to the UK, we really have to highlight this issue and we have created and tailored mental health resources to help them cope with some of the pressures they are under.

“When I was starting out in the early 1990s, there was no understanding of mental health. We would just say our nerves were bad or we were feeling burnt out.

“I think it is good that there is much more focus on how you feel as opposed to how you should feel and the importance of taking time for yourself. I think those things are really important and the more awareness we raise, the more people have the resources to help them improve their mental health.”

Baroness Karren Brady CBE has partnered with business insurance provider, Simply Business, as their Small Business Ambassador. She’s working with Simply Business as part of their Mind Your Business campaign to highlight the mental health challenges facing SMEs across the UK. Visit for more information: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/mind-your-business/ 

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