Though he didn't make it to the final, Ryan-Mark Parsons was arguably the stand-out star of the 2019 series of The Apprentice, making history as the show's youngest-ever candidate.

Speaking with Daily Star for an exclusive Facebook Live on Monday, the young entrepreneur, 20, was full of praise for the BBC reality series, which sees a gaggle of businesspeople hustle for a job with Lord Alan Sugar.

However, Ryan-Mark claimed contestants interested in "serious business" would be better suited to Dragon's Den, insisting The Apprentice's primary function is to entertain.

One fan asked Ryan-Mark: "Would you recommend The Apprentice, or was it more effort than its actually worth?"

The former contestant, who was eliminated "with regret" in week eight, said: "It depends what you're getting out of it."

Weighing up the show as "90% entertainment," he explained: "I find a lot of the show is to do with entertaining, as opposed to business. There's a small element of business involved in the programme."

Ryan-Mark reflected on the aftermath of the show, and the public's response to the candidates, claiming some felt like a "laughing stock" post-production.

He said: "If you are a very serious business person, I don't know if the show would be right for you.

"Because the way they edit it is to entertain millions of viewers each week, so if you're looking to get serious investment and if you want to be treated seriously…

"Because, you come off that show and you're kind of a laughing stock in some ways because all of the memes I've seen, the U-turns and that."

Instead, Ryan-Mark recommended that serious entrepreneurs ought to consider a rival BBC series, Dragon's Den.

Airing since 2005, the show sees inventors appear in a studio, armed with a pitch, hoping to earn some dosh from the panel of cash-heavy investors before them.

Ryan-Mark elaborated: "I would recommend Dragon's Den if you're looking to be completely deadly serious."

While the BBC star felt The Apprentice was more driven by entertainment, he delighted in the experience, praising the production.

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With fifteen seasons to date, The Apprentice has continued to draw in viewers year after year, with Lord Sugar, Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner delivering cutting one-liners in the board room.

Comparing himself to past contestants who have spoken out against the series, he said: "But in terms of the actual show I loved it, and I would never criticise the show like others.

"I will always support what they do because it is an amazing, amazing production."

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