Lord Alan Sugar has fired former Apprentice winner Stella English after just a year in the job. The mum-of-two won the 2010 series of the show last autumn, but found out this month that her contract with Lord Sugar's Viglen firm would not be renewed.
The former banker found out 10 days ago she'd be out of her job by Christmas in a boardroom meeting with the straight-talking businessman, nearly a year to the date that she won the £100,000-a-year job.
Stella told the Sunday Mirror: “I’m gutted. This was my dream and I had worked so hard for it... suddenly it’s all over.”
Stella complained the responsibilities of the job she was given did not match up to the description offered on the show, so after a few weeks asked to meet Lord Sugar.
Asking him for feedback, she claims he told her: "I’ll tell you the feedback, shall I? Nice girl... don’t do a lot."
Stella admitted: “I remember thinking, ‘Do I really want this job?’ I’d got what I worked for, but there were real doubts. Then when I went in on my first day I was told, ‘The cameras have stopped rolling, welcome to the real world...there is no job’.”
Eventually however Stella was hired to replace another of Lord Sugar's colleagues who had left, but the role was only a low level position in the company.
Stella said: “My jaw hit the floor because he was so junior. There were four or five people between me and Lord Sugar. It was disappointing because I knew previous Apprentices had been given the chance to work more closely with him.”
Lord Sugar declined to comment on the claims, but a source denied the claims. The source added that Stella “constantly complained” about being in debt despite her salary, adding she was “not as good as she thinks”.
The Apprentice returns for a new series next year.