Belfast Telegraph

Leech fired after colleague's coup

The Apprentice's first abdicating project manager Jason Leech has said if he had stayed in his role the rest of the team would have eaten him alive.

Jason was fired by Lord Sugar at the end of a task to design a dating site, which saw him step down as team leader after a coup by Luisa Zissman on the first day.

He said: "If we'd carried on with me as PM the following day I think Luisa would have bitten off half of me by breakfast and Neil [Clough] would've finished me off for lunch. I wouldn't have been there by the afternoon."

Jason found himself in the boardroom with Luisa and Francesca MacDuff-Varley after their site 'Friendship & Flowers', aimed at the over 50s, failed to impress against the rival team's site for young professionals, Cufflinks, run by Jordan Poulton.

Despite Lord Sugar pointing out Jason was the first Apprentice project manager ever to abdicate, the fired candidate said he wouldn't mind if that was what he was remembered for.

He said: "I don't see why it should bother me. I took that decision carefully and I took it for the right reasons. If your team loses then you're quite clearly for the chop. After the day that Luisa and I had had it was quite clear that we couldn't have another repeat of that the following day. Neil had become somewhat aggressive and he was certainly not about to follow my lead. He was mutiny."

Oxford graduate Jason said the experience had sobered him compared to previous tasks: "You see me really with a cloud over me. I think I only made one joke in the whole programme. This was serious Jason... I knew at the back of my mind that this would not go down well and was almost certainly my last week. But I think you have to be noble about these things."

But he insisted he had no hard feelings towards Luisa, who forced her way into the project manager role after an argument about how long Jason took to choose the colours for their company logo.

He said: "She's incredible to be around, she's great to have a laugh with, but to work with her again? Ho, ho, ho, I don't know about that after this week. If Luisa ever said to me, 'Jason I need your help, will you please help me' then I'd be there in a flash. That's not something I would do for many people. I wouldn't be her business partner but I'd be there for her work."

Although Jason said he hoped pal Jordan would win, he also saw Myles Mordaunt as a serious contender for Lord Sugar's business investment.

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