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It’s not every day our Saks hair salon in Chester gets a call from Sir Alan’s people, asking you to join their hair industry expert panel in the finale of The Apprentice 2023!

Excitement overload hit, as salon owner Nikki jumped at the opportunity to appear on the show, joining Sir Alan and his aides to consider finalist Rochelle’s salon and training academy concept, alongside other well-known experts.

Fancy watching the episode if you’ve not already? If you just want to watch Nikki you could fast forward to her appearance at 43:36.


How did it feel when you got asked to contribute in such a high-profile show?

“At first it didn’t register. Only after the show aired did I realise how many people watch it. Surreal.”

You were booked with customers on the day of the final and we never want to shuffle. What was your approach?

Obviously I couldn’t breathe a word so I rang everyone and explained that I had an unmissable opportunity, was it OK to rearrange. Filming was on a Saturday so I worked late Friday and came in on Sunday. My customers were fine – they knew I’d only ask if I had a good reason to.”

Train chaos on the day. Did you get the bike out?

Err in a long dress, not a chance – it might get stuck in the chain and ruin my bike! We made it from Chester to London but had delays and a long taxi ride home. Landed around 2am, my youngest daughter had a raging temperature – poor thing – so I got four hours sleep and was then back in the salon. Such is life!”

Describe the vibe?

Everything was cloak and dagger when we arrived, but it was a very chilled experience. The production crew had everything under control. It all went very smoothly.”

And Lord Sugar?

We chatted with Sir Alan and he was exactly as you’d expect. A straight-talking businessman. He was very interested, spoke objectively about the two contestants and was kind and balanced in his approach.”

Sir Alan Sugar with his aides Karren Brady and Tim Campbell.

Anything challenging for you?

Knowing what to do with my hair, of course! I can talk about the hair industry all day, but I’ve never been on TV. And I had to look like a hairdresser. I left the house at 9am and we didn’t start recording till 2pm, so I had to create a look that would last.”

How did everyone react to seeing you on TV?

It was 100% confidential beforehand so it was a massive surprise. When the programme aired my phone was beeping away with supporting messages from customers and friends, some of whom I’d not seen in years! They said they recognised my voice first, haha. I had customers who had been shouting at the TV, that I could do all hair types, so it wasn’t a USP. Amazing feedback, and it’s been brilliant to make everyone proud, especially my Saks family!”

Any interesting reactions or messages after your appearance?

Yes, from a customer who’d booked in afterwards. We were chatting and she said ‘someone from Saks was on The Apprentice last week’, and I told her it was me. She gave me the once over and said ‘Well it didn’t look like you’ – hilarious!”

What did you take away from the experience?

My belief has always been to grab every opportunity and live with no regrets. And this experience has empowered me to believe in myself more and be even more passionate about empowering others to achieve their dreams.


Find Nicola, and the rest of our talented hair team (Claire, Gail, Danelle, Sara, Ellie-May, Tia, Erin and Martha) at 19a Upper Northgate Street.

Not sure what to you’re looking for? No problem – chat to us on 01244 341 212 or browse our hair menu.

Know exactly what you want? Perfect – you can book online here.

See you soon, love Saks xx

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