Wednesday, May 06, 2009

PLUMBER WINS GULF TV 'APPRENTICE'

Hannah Dodkin
Hannah Dodkin qualified as a plumber at Taunton College

A British woman has won a share in a $1m business after winning a Middle Eastern television reality show.

Hannah Dodkin, 30, a qualified plumber from Somerset, took part in "Hydra Executives" that was shown on Emirates TV and four other Arab TV channels.

The show, based in London and Abu Dhabi, has two teams of eight, who compete for a share of the prize to fund their own businesses.

One of the world's richest men, Dr Sulaiman al Fahim, is behind the idea.

Ms Dodkin, of Polsham, was invited on to the programme after a successful audition in London but was knocked out during the middle of the show's run.

The producers were however very impressed with her performance and she was re-entered for the final as a wildcard.

She said: "I was called up by Dr Sulaiman al Fahim and told personally that myself and Sara Millinder would be brought back for the final episode to give the US finalist Richard Best and Steve Rumney, the UK finalist, a run for their money.

"We were briefed by the producers to challenge the finalists for a share of the winnings and to try to convince them that our own business model was better than their own.

"So I negotiated 50% of the winnings and convinced Richard Best to joint venture in an interiors and architectural practice."

Ms Dodkin said her experience as a plumber taught her a lot and she paid tribute to the man who trained her.

"I trained a Taunton College in Somerset. I was an apprentice to Roger Alsopp an amazing man and plumber and heating engineer.

"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity he gave me to train with him - it taught me a lot.

"A surprising amount of experience in small UK enterprises has a similar relevance in the corporate world. I guess it's the same mechanics but on a larger scale."

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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