The Apprentice: Derry's Leah Totton makes the final after interview grilling
Published 10/07/2013 | 21:59
Derry's Leah Totton has made it to the final of The Apprentice, having survived the notoriously tough interview panel.
The climax will be a battle of cakes against collagen after Leah and Luisa Zissman were put through to make it an all-girl finale.
Zissman, a 25-year-old cake shop owner, and Totton, a 24-year-old doctor will compete to win a £250,000 investment and the chance to be Lord Sugar's business partner.
Zissman is proposing a branded baking ingredients website, while Totton - who currently works in A&E - wants to launch her own non-surgical cosmetic treatments clinic, offering lunchtime injections of Botox and facial fillers.
The blonde doctor admitted she has no business experience but confessed to Lord Sugar's team of advisors: "I really need the money."
Glamourous London-based Dr Leah, from the Waterside area, was the bookies favourite to win from the start of the series.
Paddy Power installed the Londonderry woman as their 6/1 favourite to go into business with multi-millionaire tycoon Lord Sugar.
Viewers tonight saw soccer-centre manager Neil Clough miss out on a place in the final, despite Lord Sugar admitting he was his favourite candidate.
The 32-year-old was told his estate agency website idea was not a viable business, but refused to back down.
Sugar told him: "If this was all about me giving someone a job, I'd give you a job tomorrow. But coming into business with me, I'm afraid not my friend."
Clough admitted: "I'm absolutely gutted. My biggest regret is I was given a chance to put in a Plan B and I didn't, and I absolutely do regret that.
"Whether or not that end goal of winning took over, I don't know. I'm so competitive, that's why I think I'm so gutted now. I wanted it so much and it's difficult to take.
"For Lord Sugar to say, 'You're the right man, you've just got the wrong plan', I could see he was sort of willing me to be the person that goes into business with him.
"But my business plan wasn't right for him, I did make a couple of mistakes with it. I do respect his decision."
In one of the tasks Clough gave a motivational speech to a group of businessman, in which he opened up about how his father's death from cancer had motivated him to succeed in life and make his dad proud.
He confessed: "My father passing away when I was 18 was a real driver, he was a strong character in my life. And he had that goal for me to become a professional footballer. And to this day I never know whether I let him down or not.
"I think that is one of my biggest drivers, to make him proud of me. And as I got further along on The Apprentice, it was like 'If I win it I will make him proud of me.' And I think the difficult thing for me to take is I've fallen short of the final hurdle."
Finalist Zissman posed naked for a charity calendar prior to taking part in the show, and revealing photographs have been published by newspapers.
:: The Apprentice Final will air on Wednesday July 17 at 8pm on BBC1 and BBC1 HD.