Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

TV Apprentice 'considered leaving'

Stella English is suing Lord Sugar for constructive dismissal
Stella English is suing Lord Sugar for constructive dismissal

A winner of TV show The Apprentice has said she had thought of leaving the show starring Lord Sugar but felt she had invested too much time in it to drop out.

Stella English, 34, also gave up a high flying career in the City when she was named as a semi-finalist on series six of the hit BBC One show.

Stella, who is suing Lord Sugar for constructive dismissal, had to carry out a four-month probationary period before she was eventually named the winner in December 2010.

She has told an employment tribunal that despite being paid £100,000 she had no clear role and only had basic administrative tasks to do when she worked in Lord Sugar's Viglen division.

During cross-examination today she was asked by Seamus Sweeney, representing Lord Sugar, why she did not complain to the millionaire business mogul about how she was treated. She said: "I was in a trial period to win The Apprentice.

"What value is there in me going into a company I don't know - whether I knew (she was going to win) or not - and then go and complain about people who have been working there a long time? I didn't know at the time, within one month, how things were going to pan out."

Asked by Mr Sweeney why she did not drop out of the process if she was so unhappy, she said: "That's a very good question. It did cross my mind."

But she added: "I had still hoped that by not making complaints and not being difficult with these people that in time I could maybe win them over."

Questioned further about why she did not go to Lord Sugar with her concerns, an email was read out that she had sent him on December 24, after she had been named the winner. The tribunal heard that in it she told him: "I'm happy and people have been really kind to me."

Asked why she said this, Stella told the hearing that she had been in a "whirlwind" after winning the competition and taking part in numerous TV appearances and photoshoots. She went on: "Of course I was happy to win The Apprentice. Who wouldn't be?"

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