Nelson businessman Matthew Riley grills Apprentice finalists

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Nelson entrepreneur Matthew Riley appears in TV Apprentice series with Lord Sugar
Image caption,
Matthew Riley first set up his Daisy telecoms business in a garage

A Lancashire businessman is one of a panel of entrepreneurs who will be shown grilling finalists on BBC One's The Apprentice on Sunday.

Matthew Riley, 37, started his Nelson-based telecoms company Daisy Group plc in a garage.

He left St John Fisher and St Thomas More RC school in Colne with no qualifications but now runs a business with a £340m turnover.

He said he had found working alongside Lord Sugar fascinating.

The entrepreneur joined Lord Sugar's former sidekick Margaret Mountford, business troubleshooter Claude Littner and magazine boss Mike Soutar in interviewing the final four Apprentice candidates.

Business tycoon

He said he had found himself in a similar position four years ago, when he had pitched his business case to retail guru Sir Philip Green in a bid to win £5m of funding.

"I understand the position the contestants were in and just how intense the pressure can be," he said.

"The competition among the final four is very strong and business cases impressive but the key question for me was, 'Where is the money in this?'.

"Whoever is successful will need to show the cash return to Lord Sugar and that is where the winner will be found.

"The Apprentice has become a mainstay of British culture over the last few years and has really taken entrepreneurism and the idea of running a successful business to a much wider audience."

The final episode of series seven of The Apprentice is being shown on Sunday 17 July on BBC1 at 2100 BST.

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