THE sole Yorkshire contestant in this year’s televised competition to find Lord Sugar’s next Apprentice says she is doing her bit to keep up the county image by appearing dour at all times.
Joanna Jarjue, who, at 23, is also the youngest of the 18 hopefuls in the returning BBC series, describes her default expression as “resting bitch face”.
“Some people have smiley faces but not me,” she said. “People always tell me, ‘Smile, love, it may never happen’.”
Miss Jarjue, who grew up as the only child of a single mother on Wakefield’s Lupset estate, went on to study politics at Newcastle University and is now a digital marketing manager in Manchester, creating “multi-channel strategies to improve the digital footprint of companies”.
She is being portrayed in some quarters as Lord Sugar’s “boardroom bombshell”, following the publication of bikini selfies on social media.
But she said: “It’s not an image I’m trying to present. Those pictures of me were posted long before I went on the show.
“Most people go on holiday and post pictures of themselves to family and friends. That’s all this is. I don’t have a massive following.”
She said she had formed lasting friendships with other contestants, though she would not be drawn on 34-year-old wedding company director Siobhan Smith, who tells the programme her role model is KFC’s Colonel Sanders.
The recording of the new series, which is on screen from Wednesday, has already been completed but the contestants are sworn to secrecy.
However, Miss Jarjue, who studied at New College in Pontefract before going to Newcastle, said that even with hindsight she would have been happy to appear and urged others to do likewise.
She said: “It’s a massive achievement getting past all the thousands who applied, especially being the youngest. I’d recommend it to anyone - everybody should be on the show.”
She said her business proposition to Lord Sugar was “based around the fashion industry”.
The new series begins on Wednesday.