Entertainment & Arts

The Apprentice: Where are the previous contestants now?

Spoiler alert: The winner of the latest series of The Apprentice is referenced in this article.

Susan Ma and Alan Sugar Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Susie Ma and Lord Sugar pictured in 2012

Series 15 of The Apprentice culminated on Wednesday evening with Lord Sugar hiring Carina Lepore.

The 30-year-old artisan bakery owner was crowned this year's winner, after beating recruitment consultant Scarlett Allen-Horton in the final.

Lepore's ambition is to use Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment to build an empire of high street bakeries.

Let's take a look at where some of the other contestants from the show, which started in 2005, have ended up since.

Those who didn't win

Susie Ma finished third in the 2011 series, and despite not having a "you're hired" moment, still secured investment from Lord Sugar.

Her Tropic Skincare company is now one of the fastest-growing skincare brands in the UK.

Last year, Ma was named on the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list, in the retail and E-commerce category.

Kate Walsh appeared on the show in 2009, finishing as runner-up to Yasmina Siadatan. Afterwards she went straight on to have a brief television career, co-hosting the Channel 5 evening entertainment show Live from Studio Five and OK! TV, where she replaced original host Denise van Outen.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kate Walsh presented Live From Studio Five

Original runner-up Saira Khan also moved into TV after losing out to Tim Campbell in the first-ever series of The Apprentice.

She has co-presented The Martin Lewis Money Show and the ITV series Guess This House, and can now be found on the daytime talk show Loose Women.

The serial reality show competitor appeared in 2016's Celebrity Big Brother and this year's Dancing on Ice.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Saira Khan is regularly seen on Loose Women

Katie Hopkins has built up a reputation as one of the nation's most outspoken newspaper columnists - for the likes of The Sun and the Daily Mail - since taking part in the 2007 edition of the show.

She made her name though by giving Lord Sugar the chop herself, walking away from the competition at the end of the penultimate task, citing childcare issues.

Hopkins appeared on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! soon after and finished runner-up in 2015's Celebrity Big Brother.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The outspoken Katie Hopkins became a newspaper columnist and TV personality

She landed her own TV show, If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World, before serving as a presenter on the talk radio station, LBC. However, her contract was terminated in May 2017 due to her comments on Twitter about the Manchester Arena bombing.

The same year she was required to pay £24,000 damages to Jack Monroe after falsely alleging she supported vandalism of a war memorial.


Still with Sugar

Of the 16 winners of the UK series of The Apprentice (joint winners were crowned in series 13) eight are still working with Lord Sugar.

Notably, they all won the show after a format change which saw Lord Sugar invest £250,000 in a business idea, rather than offering the winner a job in his own company.

After his time on the show, former engineering student Tom Pellereau used the investment to invent and bring to market a curved nail file, which is now stocked by major supermarkets.

Image caption Tom Pelleraeu invented a curved nail file

The inventor now runs a beauty accessories company, AVENTom, with Lord Sugar.

He has since come up with several other inventions, including a collapsible baby bottle and a make-up brush cleaner.

Elsewhere Ricky Martin runs a science and technology recruitment company, while Leah Totton now has a string of cosmetic clinics offering services including thread facelifts, botox and wrinkle reduction.

Mark Wright is still working with Lord Sugar on his company which uses digital marketing to help small businesses grow.

Image caption (Left to right) Alana Spencer, Ricky Martin and Leah Totton

In a surprise end to the 2017 series, Lord Sugar crowned two winners for the first time in the show's history, in the form of Sarah Lynn and James White.

The pair each received a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.

James has used the money to expand his business Right Time Recruitment, while Sarah has developed Sweets in the City, a confectionery brand now stocked by the likes of Harrods and Selfridges.

Sian Marie swimwear brand owner Sian Gabbidon was last year's chosen one. She took to Twitter to congratulate this year's winner on having "smashed it" and joining her on Team Sugar.

Without Sugar

Eight of the winners have also since parted company with Lord Sugar - many on perfectly good terms... others less so.

The very first winner in 2005, Tim Campbell, worked for Lord Sugar for a year before leaving (with his boss's blessing) to set up a male grooming business, and more recently a digital marketing agency.

He landed a £100,000-a-year job with Lord Sugar's firm Amstrad and left after two years to found Bright Ideas Trust, a charity which helps young people to set up their own businesses.

Image caption Michelle Dewbury, Lee McQueen, Stella English

Tim received an MBE in 2012 and now runs his own digital marketing agency, Marketing Runner.

The show's first female winner, Michelle Dewberry, worked for Lord Sugar for 11 months but left to set up her own company and a media career, appearing regularly on news programmes such as Sky's weekly discussion show The Pledge.

She was hired to launch Xenon Green, Lord Sugar's computer equipment disposal venture, but left after less than a year and now runs her own business consultancy.

In the 2017 general election she ran as an independent, pro-Brexit candidate for Hull West and Hessle but came fourth out of seven candidates with just 5.5% of the vote. She stood again in the constituency in last week's general election, this time for the Brexit Party, but later announced her decision to step down in defeat.

Simon Ambrose worked for Lord Sugar for three years but left to pursue his own ventures, while Lee McQueen also left after two-and-a-half years to start his own sales recruitment and training agency.

Yasmina Siadatan stayed in her job with Lord Sugar for a year but became pregnant while she was there and didn't return after maternity leave. She later set up her own restaurant.

Siadatan has also spoken publicly about her half-brother who left Britain in 2014 to join Islamic State in Syria.

Image caption Lord Sugar and Joseph Valente split on friendly terms

Stella English's departure from her job with Lord Sugar was far less friendly - she unsuccessfully sued him for constructive dismissal.

She left her £80,000-a-year job and won The Apprentice's sixth series in 2010. She worked for Viglen and YouView but left after 13 months and tried to sue Lord Sugar, saying she felt like an "overpaid lackey."

English went on to work as a TV presenter for Crowdbox TV, as well as being management consultant.

Alana Spencer set up her own bakery firm, with the help of her name-alike. However, in September they parted ways as the 2016 winner gratefully bought up Sugar's shares in Ridiculously Rich by Alana.

"Working with Lord Sugar has been an incredible experience and I have learned such a lot in such a short space of time," she said.

Last but not least, Joseph Valente split from Lord Sugar on friendlier terms, two years after winning the show in 2015.

Lord Sugar invested £250,000 into Valente's plumbing business and in 2017 announced he was to take full control of ImpraGas.

Valente said: "I am so grateful for everything Lord Sugar has done for me and I could not have asked for a better partner in the early stages of my business career.

"I owe him a great deal. I am confident that with the winning business model we created together, I can continue to grow the business successfully."


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