Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

The Apprentice: 'Our doctor Leah Totton is clearly the standout candidate' says Young Apprentice runner-up

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Young Apprentice runner-up James McCullagh has said our Leah is now the standout candidate
Young Apprentice runner-up James McCullagh has said our Leah is now the standout candidate
BBC undated videograb image of (left to right) Francesca MacDuff-Varley,  Tim Stillwell and Rebecca Slater in the Boardroom before Stillwell becomes the latest contestant to be fired from this year's BBC programme
BBC undated videograb image of (left to right) Francesca MacDuff-Varley, Tim Stillwell and Rebecca Slater in the Boardroom before Stillwell becomes the latest contestant to be fired from this year's BBC programme

Derry girl Leah Totton is 'clearly the standout candidate' as she continues to impress Lord Sugar on the BBC's The Apprentice, according to one former runner-up.

The 24-year-old cosmetic doctor is going strong as fired Tim Stillwell revealed the one thing he has learned from being on the show is to know when to keep his mouth shut.

But our own Young Apprentice runner-up, James McCullagh has high hopes for the Harley Street professional.

The Portstewart man - who now works and lives in London - said he hoped she would go far.

"Leah was great again tonight, she was very impressive in sales to the trade and remained calm throughout," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"She is clearly the standout candidate at this stage and hopefully she'll go really far. Is it fifth time luck for NI?"

Leah impressed on the second show of the hit BBC series as the teams were tasked with creating a new beer.

But 23-year-old Mexican food entrepreneur Tim Stillwell drew attention to himself at the end of the first task by launching into a speech about how Lord Sugar had not seen the best of him, despite his team having already been declared the winners and dismissed from the boardroom.

In the second task, Lord Sugar delegated Stillwell the position of project manager of the girls' team Evolve to give him a chance to live up to his promise.

Tasked with creating and a selling a flavoured beer, Evolve lost by making the least profit after choosing to sell their product at a local beer festival that turned out to be based in a small pub.

Stillwell admitted he regretted speaking up at the end of the first task "big time".

He said: "The best thing that I've learned is that there's a time when you don't need to talk.

"There's a time to speak up, and there's a time when you should just let it go."

But the Birmingham businessman confessed he could not resist trying to have the last word in the boardroom.

He said: "It's sort of like when you're having an argument with somebody and they cut you off, and even though the argument's over you still have so much to say about it.

"But usually you don't have eight cameras on you and loads of eyes, so you can calm down and think I'll just drop it.

"But I was unprepared to drop my argument with Lord Sugar.

"You only get to see him in the boardroom, and he spoke to me for like 20 seconds and he said 'Are you just one of the guys who keep quiet?'.

"And that is so not me, I'm anything but that.

"But at that point he didn't give me a chance to answer.

"In reality I should have kept calm and just left it and thought I'll prove myself in the next task.

"But he put me in my place quite quickly."

Stillwell hopes the expansion of his Mexican food business will prove him right.

"I think my business will be my last word," he said.

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