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Apprentice Ricky gives pupils the inside track

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Apprentice winner Ricky Martin came face to face with the Stubbington teacher who first got him excited about science.

Ricky, 27, won the last series of the BBC1 show, featuring Lord Alan Sugar.

His prize was £250,000 for him to launch a recruitment agency specialising in science and technology.

Ricky, who now lives in Essex where his business is based, visited Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS) yesterday to give a talk.

And when he arrived, he was greeted by his former chemistry teacher, Dr Paul O’Neil, who used to work at Crofton School, Stubbington.

Ricky said: ‘I was really surprised to see my old science teacher.

‘He made science fun and engaging and stood out from other teachers.

‘He’s very charismatic and got the class engaged.

‘This helped me go into science because I was interested and my grades were better.

‘I sort of fell into recruitment after, and that’s why my business plan was for science and technology recruitment.’

Dr O’Neil taught Ricky for four years.

He said: ‘I recognised him on The Apprentice as soon as I saw him.

‘I was pleased to see he hadn’t changed – he was always bright and interested in science. It’s great to see him doing so well, and give a talk to students.

‘He gave some good ideas and advice.’

Yesterday Ricky, a former wrestler, spoke to around 100 pupils from years 9 to 13, doing business studies and economics at PGS, in High Street, Old Portsmouth.

The businessman gave a talk for half an hour, before opening up the floor to questions.

‘The experience I got from the show was invaluable,’ added Ricky.

‘I was quite arrogant and said some things I wish I could take back.

‘Life has changed since The Apprentice and so have I.

‘I hope I passed on what I learnt to the students at the talk.’

Pupil Daniel Rollins, 16, was at the event.

He said: ‘Ricky gave interesting advice and what it was like to be on TV.

‘I want to go into science and engineering, and he gave advice on how to follow that through.

‘Students are usually quiet, but he got people talking.’

 

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