As The Apprentice series 12 is about to get underway, let's see what the previous 11 winners did after the show...
1. Tim Campbell, 2005
The first winner of The Apprentice, Tim started work for Alan Sugar’s company Amstrad on £100,000 a year. Then, after a couple of years, he left to set up his own company, The Bright Ideas Trust. In 2012, his success earned him an MBE for Enterprise Culture. He’s also held roles as London’s Ambassador for Training and Enterprise (appointed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson) and the UK Government Secretary of State’s Enterprise Advisor (appointed by Rt Hon Vince Cable MP). A real success story!
2. Michelle Dewberry, 2006
Hull lass Michelle, nicknamed the ‘silent assassin’ by the media for her quiet temperament, didn’t stay with Alan Sugar for long after winning the show. It’s rumoured her affair with fellow contestant Syed Ahmed, which was splashed all over the tabloids, played a part in cutting her time short at Sugar’s firm. However, she’s since set up her own consultancy, as well as an online deals website.
3. Simon Ambrose, 2007
Simon appeared on The Apprentice alongside the now notorious Katie Hopkins, and he went on to win the show. He spent three years working for Alan Sugar at Amsprop, and since then has had his finger in quite a lot of pies! After leaving the firm, he became a chairman at the London Contemporary Orchestra, invested in a London restaurant, members club and art gallery, and also set up an event production company. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also dabbled in property development.
4. Lee McQueen, 2008
Despite lying on his CV about the amount of time he spent at university, Lee McQueen won the fourth series of The Apprentice. After being hired by Alan Sugar, smooth-talking Lee apparently phoned in sick on his first day! But luckily he got his act together and worked at the business magnate’s Amscreen firm for around two years. Since then, he’s set up his own successful talent agency, Raw Talent Academy, aimed at providing sales staff to companies.
5. Yasmina Siadatan, 2009
After winning The Apprentice and bagging the £100,000 a year job, Yasmina went on maternity leave after a few months and didn’t return. Surprisingly, she was then head-hunted by ex-Dragon’s Den star James Kaan. Yasmina went to work at Kaan’s private equity firm for four months, before moving on to a start-up loan company. She now describes herself as a business consultant.
6. Stella English, 2010
One of the most famous (or infamous) winners, Stella York won the show and dream job, and almost immediately launched legal proceedings against Alan Sugar. She claimed the job she was given was just a ‘glorified PA’, so demanded to be given another role. Sugar agreed and gave her a different position, but she quickly became unsatisfied with this role, too. She then quit and tried to sue Alan for constructive dismissal. Stella lost the case, and Lord Sugar then launched a counter-case to get Stella to pay for his legal costs, which was unsuccessful. Controversial!
7. Tom Pellereau, 2011
Finally, a winner who still works for Lord Sugar! After the Stella debacle, the show’s prize changed from a £100,000-a-year job to a business investment. Contestants must now pitch their business ideas to Sugar and the team before a winner is chosen. Tom scooped a £250,000 investment for his S-shaped Stylfile nail file invention, along with other grooming products. He and Lord Sugar set up innovative business Aventom Ltd, which is still going strong.
8. Ricky Martin, 2012
No, not the Puerto Rican singer and hip-swayer – although he allegedly changed his name from Richard to Ricky in order to emulate the pop star… This Ricky Martin won The Apprentice with his idea for a specialist recruitment company for science and technology jobs. Another success story, Ricky and Lord Sugar are now joint owners of Hyper Recruitment Solutions.
9. Leah Totton, 2013
Glamorous Dr Leah Totton won Lord Sugar over with her idea of setting up a Botox and cosmetic skin clinic. Despite attracting some criticism in the media for promoting cosmetic surgery, her business has gone from strength to strength. She’s even planning to expand with a second clinic in Essex this year. Lord Sugar is still involved in the business, and Leah recently said he’s the ideal business partner.
10. Mark Wright, 2014
Straight-talking Australian Mark Wright took the lead with his calm, direct approach and won the show. He used his £250,000 investment to set up online digital marketing firm Climb Online. With the help of Lord Sugar, Mark’s business is now thriving. And The Apprentice has played another important part in Mark’s life… Romance blossomed between him and 2013’s winner Leah Totton, and the pair are now officially an item! Awww.
11. Joseph Valente, 2015
Young plumber Joseph won Alan Sugar’s heart in last year’s show, and scooped an investment in his start-up plumbing firm IMPRA-GAS. On winning The Apprentice, Joseph said, ‘Since the day I was expelled from school, I always knew I was going to do something big in my life.’ He used the cash from the show to expand his already successful business, which has gone from strength to strength with the help of Lord Sugar.