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Apprentice resignation was 'gut instinct', says Scott Saunders

Published 02/12/2015

Despite winning the task, Scott Saunders chose to leave The Apprentice
Despite winning the task, Scott Saunders chose to leave The Apprentice

Scott Saunders said he "went with his gut instinct" when he made his shock resignation from the Apprentice boardroom.

Viewers watched as he became the first ever Apprentice candidate on the winning team to voluntarily leave the programme, just moments after Team Connexus was revealed to have made the most commission o n their task to sell property in London.

However the sales manager, 27, suggested that he might have stayed in the process if the candidates had more contact time with Lord Sugar.

He said: "It would have been nice to see him a little bit more, maybe a more personal side to him. A business is 50-50. We only saw him when he gives you the tasks and in the boardroom."

Asked whether that would have affected his decision to quit, Saunders replied: "Good question, possibly."

Saunders denied quitting in anger after a showdown with Lord Sugar, but acknowledged his comments had solidified his decision.

He said: "I kind of went with my gut instinct. There was no anger there. I was slightly upset with my performance and some of the comments made at the time, but it didn't feel right to go ahead because I didn't want the investment from Lord Sugar. I don't think we wanted to work together and it was clear on both sides."

He added: "I hadn't decided I was leaving at any point up until I made the decision.

"It wasn't out of haste, it was calculated. Lord Sugar had to speak to the other team so I had time to decide what I wanted, but it's a decision which I don't regret and I'm still happy with what I've done."

He is not the first person to quit the process. Katie Hopkins, now a controversial commentator, walked off the show in 2006, while Raleigh Addington left in 2010 after his brother was wounded in an explosion in Afghanistan.

Saunders resignation came just before Selina Waterman-Smith was fired from the boardroom for not closing any deals as the two teams attempted to sell high-end and mid-range property across London.

Team Versatile - consisting of Waterman-Smith, project manager Joseph Valente, Charleine Wain and Gary Poulton made only £29,560.25 in commission - against Team Connexus' commission of £76,626.78.

Project manager Richard Woods, Vana Koutsomitis, Brett Butler-Smythe and Saunders sold more than £4 million worth of property in just one day.

Waterman-Smith was brought back into the boardroom with Valente and Poulton after making no sales, but Lord Sugar ultimately decided he could not enter a business partner with someone of such a "volatile nature".

He said: "Selina, you've certainly have managed to alienate a couple of people here in this process, more than a couple from what I can understand and I'm just wondering whether a person with such a volatile nature is the type of person I would want as a business partner."

Waterman-Smith has been vocal about her disdain for the programme since it aired and tweeted that she had broken her contract with the show and would not be taking part in the spin-off programme You're Fired, hosted by Jack Dee.

Speaking in the taxi as she drove away from the boardroom, the 31-year-old events agency owner said: "The wrong person has been fired. I would be a great business partner for Lord Sugar.

"But obviously if it means working with people as unpleasant as Charleine and Joseph, I'm actually quite happy to find another business partner to work with."

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