Lord Sugar shares The Apprentice flops as winners cut ties after taking cash

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Lord Sugar shares The Apprentice flops as winners cut ties after taking cash
Lord Sugar shares The Apprentice flops as winners cut ties after taking cash

Lord Alan Sugar has detailed how The Apprentice has minted millionaires of a handful of its canny winners, but has also commented on those who have not been so successful off the back of the BBC One show.

The Apprentice is back for another series tonight and the first episode will see the candidates jet off to Antigua in the hopes of impressing Lord Sugar’s aides Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner.

The 17th series of the BBC reality show features 18 new candidates all competing to win a life-changing investment of £250,000 from Lord Sugar.

Yet not all those who have clinched that coveted sum following weeks of the world’s toughest job interview have gone on to dominate the business world.

A particularly awkward situation arose in 2010 with one winner’s unsuccessful attempt to sue Lord Sugar for wrongful dismissal.

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Lord Sugar shares The Apprentice flops as winners cut ties after taking cashKarren Brady, Lord Sugar and Claude Littner (BBC/PA Wire)

The following year the prize money was upped from an £100,000 investment in their business for a 50 percent stake in the company, as well as Lord Sugar’s guidance and help from his team of experts.

A handful have gone on to build business empires that are bringing in the money, including Tom Pellereau, Ricky Martin, Leah Totton, Mark Wright, Sara Lynn, Sian Gabbidon and Carina Lepore, while others decided they no longer needed support and parted ways with the business mogul.

During the launch of the upcoming series of The Apprentice, Lord Sugar reflected on the winners of the series and how their ‘lives are changed’.

Lord Sugar shares The Apprentice flops as winners cut ties after taking cashLord Sugar with this year's hopefuls (BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Speaking with The Mirror and other press, he said: “In the past 17 years, let's be open about this because not everyone succeeds.

“They're told at the beginning, here's £250,000. That's it. You get no more. All you're going to get is my mentoring, my help, my assistance from my staff. You run out money, you're done.

“But out of these candidates, I can name at least five of them that are now millionaires in their own right.”

One of the winners Lord Sugar has since parted ways with was James White, who was one of two to triumph in 2017 when the boss made the unprecedented move of picking two winners and doubled his investment to £500,000 that year.

Lord Sugar shares The Apprentice flops as winners cut ties after taking cashJames White and Sarah Lynn both won in 2017 (PA)

Yet James was said to have suffered a series of 'unfortunate setbacks' and lost £30,000 in the first six months in his IT recruitment company, Right Time Recruitment.

In December 2020, it was revealed that James and Lord Sugar had parted ways but The Apprentice boss was reportedly letting him keep the money he invested.

“I wish James all the very best for the future and will follow his progress with interest,” said Lord Sugar in a statement.

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James added: “I am very grateful for everything Lord Sugar has done for me. The knowledge and advice gained from Lord Sugar and his team has been invaluable.”

The Apprentic e returns from Thursday January 5 on BBC One and iPlayer

Rebecca Cook

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