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YOU'RE GAVIN A LAUGH! Cocky Apprentice star says he's a Henson lookalike - but quit after just one job.


WANNABE Apprentice Ben Clarke FAILED in his first career as a Gavin Henson lookalike, Wales on Sunday can reveal today.

Cocky Ben, 22, only managed to secure ONE job as a double for Wales' biggest rugby celebrity.

Boasts about his work as a Henson lookalike have been made throughout the primetime series but its makers had refused to give any details of his past employers.

But we tracked down the agency Ben joined to try to launch his career as a stand-in for Charlotte Church's other half and discovered the picture he used to attract clients.

Helena Chard, a senior consultant with the Susan Scoot lookalike agency, said Ben had approached them in June 2006 looking for work as 27-year-old Wales international and Ospreys star Henson.

She revealed: "Ben came to us while he was at university with a view to getting work as a lookalike for Gavin Henson. I assume he had been told by people that he looked just like him.

"He was on our books for a few years but we never really got to know him.

"We did manage to get him one job, it was a photographic shoot for a magazine with a few other lookalikes.

"There is not much call for a Gavin Henson lookalike because he is willing to do quite a lot of photo-shoots himself." Helena said there has been a big demand for celebrity doubles in the past and people who look like someone famous can earn thousands.

She said jobs can include photo-shoots, publicity stunts, public relations campaigns and guest appearances at corporate functions.

"I don't know how much Ben got paid for his one job but it would've been at least a couple of hundred pounds," added Helena.

The Susan Shaw agency has more than 8,000 people on its celebrity double database for people like sports stars, film stars, politicians, pop stars, television personalities and famous comedians.

"Susan was the last person to speak to Ben and that was when he called up and said he didn't want to be a lookalike anymore.

I guess he knew he was going into The Apprentice and thought he would become too famous for us now," joked Helena.

Belfast boy Ben is one of 10 contestants left in the running to be crowned Sir Alan Sugar's apprentice at the end of series five.

But the trainee stockbroker has become one of the most disliked contestants on this year's series after a number of run-ins with the other hopefuls. Loser Paula Jones, who was booted off the show two weeks ago, described Ben as a "fickle thug" after he turned on her in the boardroom following their side's crushing defeat.

Rugby player Ben admits he is cocky and shocked viewers at the start of series, which is winning audiences of up to 8.3 million, by declaring: "To me, making money is better than sex." Challenges on the show have so far seen him dress up as an ancient Greek in a toga and flex his muscles for the launch of a fitness product. In the latest show he dressed up as a giant cartoon parrot as his team won the week's task and secured his place in this Wednesday's episode..


DOUBLE ACT: Ben in The Apprentice and, inset, the picture he used to try to get work as a lookalike for Gavin Henson, below
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 26, 2009
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