Tom Skinner on 'grafting' his way from sleeping on his mum's floor to book deals and The Apprentice

Virgin Radio

10 Oct 2023, 11:49

Credit: Getty/BBC

The Apprentice’s Tom Skinner has opened up about his journey to business success and the spotlight while promoting his new autobiography, Graft: How to Smash Life.

Speaking exclusively to about his book, which will hit stores on Thursday 12th October, the bedding trader, TV star and Dino’s Cafe regular was open about how his road to stardom was not an easy one.

“I’ve never always had it easy,” Tom said of his lot in life. “I’ve always worked hard. You know, it weren’t too long ago, I used to sleep on a pull out futon on the floor downstairs at my mum’s house… [it’s] through hard work I’ve got to where I’ve got to.”

On the topic of putting his story into writing, the 32-year-old continued: “I’ve had some funny stories, and a few ups and downs.” His hope is that Graft, through documenting these stories, will help inspire others to achieve success.

“I’m all about being positive, grafting, [being] hard working and pushing yourself,” he said. “You can do anything in life as long as you put your mind to it,” the star, known for his positive catchphrase “bosh” added.

However, the social media star and writer remained modest on the topic of getting his book deal “I can’t believe I’ve actually got a book,” he said, adding: “It’s a bit mental.”

The former market trader revealed to that he received the news that HarperCollins were interested in giving him a book deal just before Christmas 2022. 

Setting the scene, he explained how he was in Selfridges with his son Henry and wife Sinéad Chambers (who was then pregnant with their twins, born in June 2023) when he received an email proposing the idea.

“I thought ‘This can’t be right’,” he recalled, before explaining he then realised perhaps there would be interest in his story. “And then here we are,” he reflected.

Another aspect Tom opened up about during his interview was his dyslexia, and how it has affected his life and career.

“Dyslexia has always been hard for me, because obviously, I’ve always struggled with my reading and my writing and spelling,” he said, before revealing he was once laughed at when he was younger for asking for help to fill out a form.

But The Apprentice star had great advice for how to deal with dyslexia and not let it hold you back. “It can be a struggle, but you find out what you’re good at,” he explained.

“I’ve got great friends, great family around me that have always helped me with my downsides,” he continued. “Listen - paperwork. I can’t do it, you know, but I’ve got people that can help me and I think asking for help is the best thing you can do.

“Don’t be shy,” he stressed. “Don’t feel like you’re embarrassed. 'So what?' You know what I mean? There are loads of things that other people can’t do, that you’ll be brilliant at. So just be honest,” he advised inspiringly.

For more information, contact the British Dyslexia Association National Helpline on 0333 405 4567 or visit

Graft: How to Smash Life by Tom Skinner will be available in hardback from 12 October (HarperNonFiction, £22).