RICH Media has been appointed to represent Apprentice semi-finalist Neil Clough.

The Sale-based agency, set up in 2011 by former Manchester city council press officer Sally Wheatman and award-winning sports journalist Tim Rich, will be working to promote Neil’s new business interests, including his growing motivational speaking enterprise.

Neil, from Warrington, was Lord Sugar’s favourite contestant in last year’s Apprentice and was widely tipped to win.

He was knocked out in the final stages, though, when his proposal for an online estate agency was scrutinised and he earned the title ‘right man, wrong plan.’ “I was gutted by that title,” said Neil, who is now based in Hale, “but I’m determined to learn from it. I’ve spent the last six months working with other companies and developing my own business ideas.

“Rich Media share my business ethos and I’m delighted to be working with them during this exciting time.”

Sally said: “Neil is grounded, talented and energetic. He’s destined for a great business career and I’m flattered that he has chosen to work with us.”

Neil is standing down as a regional manager of Goals Soccer Centres at the end of January. He’s due to launch his new company early in February and will also continue to develop his successful speaking career.