Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Derry Apprentice hopeful Leah survives another round with Lord Sugar

Derry's Leah Totton battled through to the next episode of the BBC series The Apprentice
Derry's Leah Totton battled through to the next episode of the BBC series The Apprentice
(left to right) Neil Clough, Myles Mordaunt and Jordan Poulton in the Boardroom before Myles became the latest candidate to be fired from the BBC programme, The Apprentice
(left to right) Leah Totton, Francesca MacDuff and Luisa Zissman as they takes part in the latest task for the BBC1 programme, The Apprentice

Derry Apprentice hopeful Leah Totton is edging closer to getting what she wants after avoiding the chop on Wednesday's hit BBC show.

Myles Mordaunt has become the latest contestant to be shut down as his high-end homewares shop was put out of business by his rival's bargain fashion store.

Show boss Lord Sugar fired Mordaunt after deciding he did not have the right nose for business in the "smell what sells" task - which involved sniffing out the best-selling products on a market stall, then stocking a shop unit with them the next day.

The Monaco-based marketing boss - who puts on swish Formula 1 events - was fired because his luxury take on the task was deemed out of step with the financial climate.

However, Mordaunt said afterwards that he was disappointed Lord Sugar did not embrace his approach because he knew the tycoon was something of a fast lane spender.

He said: "Lord Sugar is actually a fantastic luxury brands consumer himself. My business plan was not the right one for him - it's not something that fascinates him or interests him or that he's on top of. That tells you everything you need to know. For me that was a bit of a body blow that he's not into this."

The oldest remaining candidate of the series at 39, Mordaunt felt his maturity could have worked against him: "Maybe he looks at me and I'm a bit old in the sense of more set in my ways and likely to be a little bit less flexible."

Mordaunt, Neil Clough and Jordan Poulton opted to sell ceramics and expensive vases while the opposing team led by Luisa Zissman - who was joined by Leah Totton and Francesca MacDuff-Varley - went for cheap hats and leggings.

The fired candidate said they were aware their shop looked "horrendous".

"From the start we had way less energy as a team because we knew we were probably up against it from the outset," he said.

Mordaunt said he would have not have moved from his adopted home of Monaco if he had won the series.

He said: "Lots has been made of 'Are you going to come and work from his offices in Essex?' or wherever they are. I don't think that's the reality of business these days. I wouldn't have been doing that but I don't think that's really relevant."

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