Rebecca Jeffery survived six weeks on The Apprentice . Right until her final moments it seemed clear how Rebecca’s time on TV would be remembered. In week five she had attempted to film a choir singing at the launch of a new product. Instead she mostly managed to record the pavement. Viewers were predictably amused.

A week later Rebecca was at the sharp end of Lord Alan Sugar’s firing finger. In the programme’s end-of-show taxi ride, when the sacked candidate is whisked back to real life, Rebecca mused on the reason for her departure. She concluded that she hadn’t been enough of a four-letter word beginning with ‘t’.

“I was amazed that the BBC showed that comment!” she laughs. “And I’ve been amazed by the amount of positive responses to it. People saying they agree that aggressive behaviour is rubbish in the workplace."

Rebecca is only the second Cumbrian to appear on The Apprentice during its 12 years. The other – food producer Oliver Nohl-Oser – was fired in week three of this series.

Rebecca lasted longer despite failing to feature on a winning team. She remained endearingly enthusiastic. In her audition she described her business style as “like a bouncing puppy”.

But did this help her or would she have fared better if she’d been more of a... you know what?

“We have still got some candidates who are nice,” she says. “Alana – I think her niceness is one of her strengths. But on The Apprentice being nice means you can be pushed into the background.

“In real life being nice is a good way to be in business. It’s a Cumbrian thing. It’s a northern thing. We’re chatty and friendly.”

Rebecca, 31, is the youngest of four siblings. She grew up in the hamlet of Asby, near Ennerdale, with her parents Howard and Jane Bouch.

They divorced when Rebecca was in her teens. She moved to Low Seaton, near Workington, with her dad and her stepmother Jennie.

It was a childhood of lakeside walks and playing in the garden with pet goats.

Today Rebecca lives in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, and runs Fi & Becs design and marketing company with her sister Fiona.

“I run my business around my little boy, Oliver,” she says. “He’s three-and-a-half. I work at home, sitting on the sofa in my leggings with a cup of tea. Take someone who’s used to doing that and put them in The Apprentice!

“It was very exciting. We went to the [Olympic] velodrome, the Shard. Meeting Lord Sugar and having him brief you. It’s quite a whirlwind. Your brain has to change gear a lot.”

Rebecca’s role with Fi & Becs includes copywriting for clients large and small, from Matalan to independent shops, some of them in Cumbria.

She retains a love of nature, family, and fun. Which sounds about as far removed from The Apprentice as possible.

Nevertheless, she says of the programme: “I loved it. It was fantastic. And it’s nothing like you imagine. Watching previous series, I would sit on my sofa screaming ‘You idiots! What are you doing?’ But when you’re in that situation yourself you think ‘Ah, I see now!’

“Online you see these comments like ‘They’d never survive in the real world.’ But we already run businesses. The hardest thing is, you’ve got 18 people who are good at business. Then you put them all in an environment where they’re used to being the boss.

“I didn’t negotiate that as well as I probably needed to. I’m not one for shouting to make my voice heard.”

The intensity of each weekly task came as a shock. This is business with the fast-forward button permanently pressed.

“Everything has to happen really quickly. You’ll do six things in one day, from designing a logo to casting models. In normal life you have time to sit down and evaluate things.

“I often felt like even though I’m really successful in my business, I wasn’t as successful in The Apprentice .

“I’ve always said I should have been fired. I’d lost every single task. I don’t think I’d done anything that had really shone. I had lost heart a little bit. I’d been away from home for six weeks. I was missing my little boy. I found that very hard. Access to friends and family is very limited.”

The end came for Rebecca in a task which features in every Apprentice series. The teams are tasked with finding all the items on a list and buying them as cheaply as possible.

Rebecca phoned a shop and established, she thought, that it sold tagines and African black soap.

After a drive across London it transpired that the shop stocked tahini, not tagines, and African black soup rather than soap.

“When that happened it was dreadful,” she says. “I knew that if we lost I was gone.”

Another factor was her failure to volunteer as project manager that week, despite Lord Sugar being keen to see her in the role.

Rebecca counters: “When volunteering to be project manager you should choose a task that suits your skills – Lord Sugar says that a lot. That task was based around the geography of London. Trishna is from London so it made sense for her to be project manager.

“I felt like a country mouse in London, trying to work out where I’m going. I’ve definitely more of a rural mindset.”

Looking back, she is proudest of her performance in the second week when the teams had to market jeans.

“My side of the team was all very happy. It was quite calm. I’d volunteered to be project manager and at the end Lord Sugar said I should have been. That was quite a compliment.”

Rebecca’s flair with words was apparent in the same task. She knew that her slogan ‘Claim your fit’ could also be interpreted as ‘Claim you’re fit’.

In the next episode she devised a name for her team’s seaside rock: Suck it and Sea. “I still say that was a good name!” she laughs.

As for the day she filmed a pavement instead of a choir, Rebecca claims that episode’s editing process was not particularly kind to her.

These are already anecdotes to revisit from time to time, back home with Oliver, husband Ben, and miniature sausage dog Bongo.

The Apprentice seems to have given Fi & Becs a boost. The company’s website used to have about 50 hits a day. This has now soared to as many as 7,500. “I’ve had some big, exciting brands get in touch,” says Rebecca.

She has already written for Matalan brochures and adverts. Within three years she and Fiona have attracted 120 clients. Those in Cumbria include Lake District Hotels, Bookends bookshop in Carlisle and The New Bookshop in Cockermouth.

Rebecca and family are frequent visitors to the county. Popular destinations include Crummock Water, La’al Ratty and Allonby, where her dad has a caravan. “It feels like you drop down a gear,” she says of returning to Cumbria.

She remains in touch with several former Apprentice colleagues, including fellow Cumbrian Oliver. And the programme which gave her six weeks of fame may influence her work for years. “It taught me I can deal with very high levels of stress,” she says. “It taught me tactics for that.”

Fittingly for someone who values home and family so highly, her beloved son helped Rebecca to cope with what might have been unbearable pressure.

“In the jeans task I had to pitch in front of the team, and in front of the nation really. I was about to go and do this presentation. And all I was thinking was, my son was having a swimming lesson at the same time. That helped me to feel calm.”