Dragon Hilary's really not as scary as she seems

Jonah Ripley will be appearing in Channel Four programme The Intern next month.

Jonah Ripley will be appearing in Channel Four programme The Intern next month.

First published in Echo News

A BUDDING graphic designer from Westcliff is to appear in a Channel Four TV programme next month under the steely gaze of Dragon’s Den star Hilary Devey.

Jonah Ripley, 20, was picked to go on The Intern alongside two other contestants in the hope of impressing entrepreneur Mrs Devey.

Each episode of the show centres on three aspiring interns doing a week’s work experience at a prestigious company in their chosen field.

So far, interns have got to work at online retailer mywardobe.com and luxury hotel chain Red Carnation. Along the way, they are set challenges and put in awkward positions by demanding staff to test their resolve and ability.

Jonah applied for the show after seeing an advert at South Essex College.

He said: “The production company, Fremantle, sent me to London for an interview.

“They put me in a waiting room and I was convinced I was being filmed. When I was asked into a room for questioning, I worked out it was a bit of an X-Factor style judging panel and how successful you were was possibly determined by how long you were in the room.”

The show was filmed in November and Jonah had to promise not to talk about it and how he fared.

He did however, reveal former England rugby star Matt Dawson makes a guest appearance.

While Mrs Devey has left many a Dragon’s Den hopeful quaking in their boots, Jonah took her stern manner in his stride.

He said: “She was very nice and not as scary as people think. I was nervous going to meet her because of the way she is portrayed on the TV.

“She was very real. If she didn’t think we were doing something right, she said so.”

Jonah has been helping as a teaching assistant at Westborough Primary School, but has always had a passion for graphic design, the side of advertising he wants to get involved in.

He said: “I did graphics at school. I struggled a lot at school with learning problems and had quite intense dyslexia, but the creative side spoke to me. We used to do a lot of art and I really enjoyed all of that.”

A transmission date for Jonah's episode has yet to be confirmed by Channel Four.

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