FORMER Huddersfield University student Leon Doyle is set to star on the next series of The Apprentice.
The 26-year-old was a graduate from the University of Huddersfield’s transport and logistics department.
And it was in 2009 the Examiner reported that life in student digs in Huddersfield inspired Leon’s first business idea – The Master Menu.
His concept proved so impressive that he was invited to travel to Manchester to pitch his idea to the judges on TV’s Dragon’s Den.
Now the Huddersfield student is one of the finalists on The Apprentice, which starts on Tuesday.
And he’s already making a name for himself, slamming “gimmicky salesmen”.
Leon said: “I don’t like your gimmicky salesman who thinks he can sell ice to an Eskimo. Chances are he probably can’t, and why would an Eskimo buy ice?”
Leon, who lives in Leeds, is a former paperboy and lorry driver and describes himself as “charming, genuine and honest”.
He survived a near-fatal fall from a tree at the age of 12, and once completed the Great North Run for charity.
He cites Richard Branson and Apple as inspirational.
In 2009 he founded The Master Menu and told the Examiner at the time: “My idea came to light while living in a house full of messy students. Actually, it wasn’t the students who were messy, but the takeaway leaflets and flyers clogging the doorway. That was my inspiration.”
He was helped by Huddersfield University’s Business Mine – a free, on-campus service offering advice to students or recent graduates aiming to start their own enterprise.
That same year his company was in the running for the New Business of the Year category in the 2009 Examiner Business Awards.
Now he’s set to appear in front of Lord Sugar in the boardroom of the hit BBC-1 show, which runs on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
And it changes from the previous format. Instead of winning a job with Lord Sugar, he will pump £250,000 into their start-up venture.
But it comes with a warning, as Lord Sugar said: “Don’t expect me to be doing all the work because I’m not looking for a sleeping’ partner. I’m not Saint Alan, the patron saint of bloody losers – you can look at it as a bit of an uncivil partnership, so to speak.”
Appearing alongside Leon will be fellow West Yorkshire resident Ellie Reed, 33, who is a managing director of A&E construction recruitment, based in Bradford. Like Leon, she also started with a paper round and went on to form her own company.
Another contestant, Melody Hossaini, claims to have worked with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.
Lord Sugar is joined once more by Karren Brady and Nick Hewer.