Apprentice winner Stella English says show was one of the 'worst decisions of her life'

Lord Sugar

Former Apprentice winner Stella English has said that deciding to apply for the show was one of the worst decisions of her life.

The businesswoman won the series in 2010, having quit her £85,000 a year banking job to work with Lord Sugar, but is now currently battling an unfair dismissal lawsuit.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Stella complained that she rarely saw Lord Sugar, and the jobs she was given was well below her capabilities.

Stella insisted: "In a funny way this isn’t about Lord Sugar. Odd as it sounds, I do quite like him as an individual — he can be quite funny and quite charming, and in a way I wish I’d spent more time with him — that he’d taken me under his wing more.

"If he had, I don’t think I would be in this situation. What I experienced had very little to do with him — and that was the problem."

After winning the show, the mum of two found herself working at computer firm Viglen, overseeing the laying of cables to provide networking for schools.

But Stella says: "It was way beneath my abilities and I was totally over-qualified for it. It was like turning the clock back ten years."

She added: "The reality was that there were five layers of management between me and the person I’d gone to work for. I’d worked for senior people — chairmen of banks, heads of trading floors, so my expectation was that I would be doing the same here. Perhaps I was naive."

Stella also found herself under attack from colleagues, who were getting paid far less than her £100,000-a-year salary for doing the same job.

Now out of work, and planning to launch her own fashion business, Stella says that the show has ruined any chance of her returning to banking.

"Even if I’d wanted to I couldn’t go back to banking because I’d been out of the market too long and lost my qualifications," she told the newspaper. "And I’d effectively taken several steps back down the ladder. Ten years’ worth really. It was very frustrating."

Get the latest news

Subscribe on YouTube