Fired Apprentice star Harry Mahmood slams Aaron Willis for unaired mind games

The Apprentice was back with a bang tonight (January 6), and the first casualty of the Boardroom came in bath bomb entrepreneur Harry Mahmood – but he insists 'mind games' are at play from one of his co-stars.

While Akshay Thakrar and Akeem Bundu-Kamara were both yanked back in to face Lord Sugar's wrath, it was Harry who eventually fell to Lord Sugar's firing finger – despite his insistence on changes that might have scooped the team the win.

Ultimately, it was the 'poo'-shaped logo for a cruise ship company which meant the girls steamed to victory with their Bougie Cruises brand, leaving Never Ending Nautical in the dust.

And now, Harry has spoken exclusively to Daily Star about the 'mind games' bristling beneath the surface of the hit BBC reality show, with one candidate in particular facing criticism.

Flight operations instructor Aaron Willis made an impression on viewers with his part in the team's TV advertisement, and his CV states that he was in the RAF for 12 years after being both a milkman and a horse man.

But, according to Harry, Aaron has some "tactics" in play, which went unaired in the first episode.

He explained: "I didn't get along with – and this is based on me not spending much time with them – Aaron and Kathryn [Louise Burn]. I didn't really get to know her much, due to the limited time.

"I wouldn't say we didn't get on, but I didn't really understand how they behaved in terms of etiquette, manners, decorum, process, professionalism.

"For me this all applies more to Aaron, because what I’ve seen of him… the way he did things, I didn’t agree with.

"The tactics he used I didn’t agree with whatsoever, personally, in my own realm of work and professionalism. I didn’t agree with what he was doing or how he was doing things. But obviously that wasn’t really broadcast, [the audience] didn’t see things really."

Harry continued: "I think for me, I need respect. Respect in terms of working with people, listening to them, sharing your views and not showing levels of any sense of anger, frustration or exerting aggression of any kind.

"So for me – and I'm not using the word bullying – but mindful games, to other people in the process. I will address any issues I have with any candidate, regardless of who they are.

"Everyone is equal in my view, so if you’re not treated equally you have to take a stand, especially in the world we’re living in! Be kind to each other – we’re all in it together, we’re all frustrated, but the way he did certain things I didn’t agree with at all."

And speaking on his firing, Harry insisted Akeem should have been in the firing line instead.

He explained: "I think the whole country will say Harry should not be fired! Akshay had the role of leader, and Akeem ultimately had to take accountability with the brand, because the logo was the whole thing we failed on ultimately.

"I tried to steer them in the right direction of creating the logo with everything on the brief we were given, but I was just ignored.

"There was nothing coming back from any of the other guys – Nick [Showering] wasn’t coming back with any ideas, nor was Navid [Sole] and obviously the specialist himself, Akeem, who was the experienced brand management sports consultant, he had nothing forthcoming either!

"I think all in all, I don’t think I should be fired and I think the audience will highly agree. Unfortunately, it is what it is, I didn’t get to showcase myself and my business credentials to the world or to Lord Sugar. I’ve got so much more to show."

But Lord Sugar himself definitely made an impression on Harry, as he reminded him of his grandfather.

He told Daily Star: "I actually loved every second of being in the Boardroom with Lord Sugar, because he’s a very warm, welcoming, kind and respected man.

"He’s got the warmest eyes. He’s got similar eyes to my grandad, and that’s probably why I like him a lot to be honest, he reminds me of my grandfather.

"So in the moment looking at him I just zoned out, engrossed in what he was saying and just having him in front of me, having him invite me. It is just an honour to be in his presence – it’s so humbling and makes me want to work hard, find that positivity and really be a success just like he is."

The Apprentice continues next Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.

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