Entertainment & Arts

The Apprentice: Alana Spencer beats Courtney Wood

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Media captionLuxury cake boss wins The Apprentice

Luxury cake company owner Alana Spencer has beaten novelty gift business boss Courtney Wood to win The Apprentice.

Spencer, from Ceredigion, Wales, won a £250,000 investment and 50/50 business partnership with Lord Sugar.

The billionaire tycoon said he went with his "gut feeling" to choose the winner of the 12th series of the BBC reality business show.

Spencer, 24, said starting her business when she was just 17 helped her in the battle to win Sunday night's final.

"Most of us had our own businesses but I think the fact I started so young was definitely a factor in it," she said.

"It's mad. I started it when I was in school. It started as a chocolate company and then developed into cakes.

"It's gone strength to strength and it's a good small business but I really want to make it a big business and what better way to do that than get Lord Sugar on board."

Image caption Alana Spencer and Courtney Wood beat 16 other candidates to make it to the final

In the final, Spencer and Wood were joined by their former Apprentice colleagues to launch their businesses and make a TV advert.

They had to pitch their plans to 200 industry experts including Lord Sugar at London's City Hall.

Lord Sugar then grilled both candidates in the boardroom and admitted that he had "a very difficult task" as both were "very credible candidates".

After final pleas from the pair, he said: "It's a tough one, but I've got to make a decision, and go with my gut feeling. So, Alana, you're going to be my business partner."

Wood said he was "disappointed", but added: "I am really pleased for Alana. She really deserves it, she's come really far in the process."

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