The Apprentice 2011 finalists all come under attack in tonight's last show, as some of Lord Sugar's closest and most trusted aides go over the remaining candidates' business plans, CVs and personalities with a fine toothcomb. The search of a new business partner is almost over...
Tonight at 9PM on BBC One after 12 weeks of intense tasks and challenges, Lord Sugar will decide who will walk away with a £250,000 investment in the business of their choosing, with the Lord himself as their new business partner. A special edition of The Apprentice: You’re Hired! will follow at 10PM, also on BBC One.
For the first time since series four, four candidates will battle it out in the final; 30-year-old Executive Assistant Helen Milligan, 32-year-old Sales & Marketing Manager Jim Eastwood, 21-year-old Natural Skincare Entrepreneur Susan Ma and 31-year-old inventor Tom Pellereau will go head to head in one final test designed to separate the wheat from the chaff as Lord Sugar prepares to offer one of them a life changing opportunity.
In one of the most closely contended series ever, the four finalists will face a grilling like no other as they endure the dreaded interview stage where they will be cross-examined by Lord Sugar’s most unforgiving associates; ruthless troubleshooter Claude Littner, pioneer of Britain's free magazine business Mike Soutar, chief executive Matthew Riley and his eyebrow raising confidant Margaret Mountford.
Their business proposals will be dissected with great scrutiny as they try to negotiate their way over one final hurdle in what has been Lord Sugar’s toughest race yet, and as his candidates enter the final furlong Lord Sugar says: “They are all worthy finalists but only one of them will emerge victorious. Once my trusted colleagues get them under the microscope I have no doubt that flaws will be uncovered, and we will see who truly warrants my investment.”
Leading the remaining candidates is Stockport born Helen, who describes herself as ‘calm, loyal and tenacious’ and enjoys reading in her free time. A keen swimmer, she studied Law at University and climbed the ranks from part time work as a waitress to managing a restaurant before landing her role as Executive Assistant to the CEO of Greggs bakery.
Next is 32-year-old Jim Eastwood who started work in his father’s fish & chip shop chipping potatoes from the age of nine and went on to maintain top sales performances as a Sales and Marketing Manager. Jim, who was All Ireland cycling champion as a teenager, champions Richard Branson and describes himself as ‘driven, self-motivated, resilient and an eternal optimist.’
Born in Shanghai, adrenaline junkie Susan is Lord Sugar's next potential business partner. Settling in London aged 13 and with her mum having no grasp of English, Susan succeeded in getting herself into a school despite her young age and went on to study Philosophy and Economics at University. She describes herself as ‘ambitious, optimistic and easy going’. Her first ever job was working on a market stall selling skin care products which she has now turned into a lucrative business.
Finally there's London born Tom whose first job was working on a farm sorting agricultural bulbs from mud. A keen inventor and sports enthusiast, Tom succeeded in taking a prototype made in his kitchen to the shelves of two leading pharmacy outlets in the UK. He describes himself as ‘creative, adventurous, loyal and enthusiastic’, and cites Thomas Edison as an icon.