You're hired! Simon Ambrose is Sir Alan's apprentice
After 12 gruelling weeks battling it out against Britain's brightest business hopefuls, Simon Ambrose, a 27-year-old internet entrepreneur from London, has been named as Sir Alan Sugar's third Apprentice.
Simon walks away with the prize of a six-figure salaried job with the self-made multi-millionaire and boss of Amstrad, Sir Alan Sugar.
In the concluding episode, screened last night on BBC One, Simon beat off stiff competition from 36-year-old pharmaceutical sales manager Kristina Grimes, by managing a team of fired apprentices in the toughest task yet – they had to come up with ideas for a replacement building to Sir Alan's recently acquired £120million IBM building on the South Bank.
Although some said Simon's design looked like a flaccid-looking phallic symbol, he won over a room full of architects and property gurus during his presentation. Sir Alan later credited Simon with delivering a presentation about his building design which had "hard-nosed business people ... eating out of his hands."
Meanwhile, Kristina failed to impress with an Angel Of The North-style property that architects said was redolent of Thirties fascist architecture.
Sir Alan dropped the bombshell news by telling the pair: "It's a very difficult decision. There's only one job. I've got someone who's very experienced. I've also got someone who's enthusiastic, a great talker and willing to learn."
He told Simon: "Bloody old fool that I am, I'm going to take that risk, you're hired."
The series finale was the conclusion of another hugely successful series of the multi-award-wining show, which attracted up to seven million viewers on BBC One.
The show had more than 10,000 applicants this year, whittled down to the final 16 who all quit their jobs to face the biggest challenge of their lives, a 12-week job interview with the self-confessed "most belligerent person you'll ever come across" – Amstrad boss and multi-millionaire Sir Alan Sugar.
Simon said after the show: "To get to the final was a dream come true. Winning is the cherry on the cake ... I started out playing with an Amstrad computer as a child – now I'm working for Sir Alan Sugar."
He added: "I feel so sad for Kristina. She's such a great opponent. She worked her heart out for this job and so it's a bitter-sweet victory."
Kristina Grimes said later she was devastated by the decision: "I came on this intent on getting the job with Sir Alan. My heart and soul was in this, so it's very tough."
Asked what he would do with the salary, Simon said: "There's nothing on my radar that I want to buy with the £100,000, except perhaps an Aston Martin, but I want to pay off my mortgage."
Simon, from Clapham, south London, will train as a chartered surveyor while working on a project to develop a hotel and golf complex near Stansted Airport.
The Apprentice is a talkbackTHAMES production for BBC One.