Dereham business featured on popular BBC One show

Just three-and-a-half years ago Alex Horne was working as a steel welder but last night he saw his business venture feature on a hit BBC One programme.

The 30-year-old, who grew up in Dereham and still lives in the mid-Norfolk town, is co-owner of Black Sheep Events, based at Rashes Green Industrial Estate, in Toftwood, on the outskirts of the town,

He runs the business with his stepfather, Dennis Reeve, 59, also from Dereham, and hires out 1940s vintage style bikes selling ice cream, strawberries and cream and popcorn.

Two of these bikes were used on the first episode of Young Apprentice, aired at 9pm, which was filmed in July over three days.

The white vehicles were used by the two teams, split into boys and girls, to sell ice cream.

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The teenagers were also tasked with branding the bikes.

Mr Horne, of Bath Avenue, bought the business, Andy's Ice Cream, on eBay, which at the time only had one bike.

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He kept the business, which is separate from Black Sheep Events, and is still used to supply ice cream made at Lakenham Creamery at weddings and parties.

Black Sheep Events currently has nine vintage bikes and one Victorian-style cart, which are hired out by London-based companies and used at hundreds of racing events and festivals across Britain each year.

Mr Horne said: 'I was over the moon because it is good to be involved with that type of show.

'I was a late starter in my own business career.

'I didn't want to tell anybody – only my mum, wife and stepdad knew.'

Mr Horne said he never saw the team members but was excited about getting involved in the show.

The programme is a spin-off from The Apprentice, in which businessmen and women complete tasks each week to win investment from Lord Alan Sugar, who made his millions through his electronics company Amstrad.

Renamed Young Apprentice from last year's Junior Apprentice, a group of 16 and 17-year-olds will battle it out in a range of different business tasks.

The winner will receive �25,000 from Lord Sugar to help kickstart their business idea.

This year's teams will be scrutinised by Nick Hewer and Karren Brady, chief executive of Birmingham City Football Club.

The boys, who called themselves Team Atomic, sold vanilla and chocolate ice cream, as well as frozen yoghurt in Southend.

They branded their bicycle as Shiverrr me Timbers and dressed up as pirates to sell their produce.

The girls, who called themselves Team Kinetic, sold three flavours of ice cream – strawberry and marshmallow, mango and vanilla and chocolate and banana – at Chessington World of Adventures.

They came up with the brand Treat 'n' Trim.

In the boardroom, Lord Sugar announced the boys' profit as �559 and the girls' team profit as �708.

Next week's task for the teams will be coming up with a new product for babies and toddlers.

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