Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

The Apprentice: Derry's Leah proving a strong contender for title

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
Rebecca Slater, Francesca MacDuff-Varley, Luisa Zissman in the Boardroom before Rebecca became the latest candidate to be fired from the BBC programme, The Apprentice
Rebecca Slater, Francesca MacDuff-Varley, Luisa Zissman in the Boardroom before Rebecca became the latest candidate to be fired from the BBC programme, The Apprentice

Derry Apprentice hopeful Leah Totton is proving a strong contender for the title after a task winning performance on Wednesday's hit BBC show.

And although Leah Totton had her first brush with Lord Sugar in the boardroom last week - surviving the encounter by rounding on her project manager - she avoided the chop once again.

On Wednesday it was business hopeful Rebecca Slater who became the latest Apprentice candidate to be fired.

She could blow boardroom rival Luisa Zissman "out of the water" in real life.

Slater became the sixth candidate to be given the boot by Lord Sugar as her team Evolve lost a task to create a corporate away day for struggling to stick to their "back to school" theme.

Clients felt the theme fell by the wayside, with challenges including cupcake decorating and wine tasting, with team leader Francesca MacDuff-Varley opting to bring Slater and Zissman back into the boardroom.

Reflecting on her exit, Slater said her good manners had contributed to her own departure.

She said: "I'm an incredibly polite person which doesn't do you any favours in the boardroom. I'm the sort of person who will wait to be spoken to or wait for a natural pause in the conversation and often there wasn't one with all the arguments going on. "

Slater also blasted Zissman for her "big ego" and said: "In the real world I'd blow her out of the water - but in the process you're having to keep people on side who you wouldn't necessarily work with in every day life.

"In the boardroom she was argumentative and challenging. She's got a big ego."

"Luisa is in her own little bubble and that's fine. Good luck to her. But I'm not sure how successful she'd be in your normal working environment. I've certainly never come across those types of people in my working life and they wouldn't be able to behave in that way. It's not just Luisa anyway, a few of the other female candidates were challenging. Particularly Leah and Uzma."

In week two Slater was seen crying after a boardroom argument with Uzma Yakoob and explained it was down to the cliques which had formed in the home where they were all living.

"What you did see was the straw that broke the camel's back when I had a bit of a cry. I'd had enough, I'd had an awful lot of hassle with them over the last few days and I just reached my limit.

The winning team in the task, Endeavour, had succeeded partly by using one of their number as a motivational speaker, while Slater was blamed for spending a large amount on a professional for Evolve.

And she said she admired candidate Myles Mordaunt as an eventual winner.

"I think he holds himself very well, I think he behaves in a professional manner and he's all the things you'd look for in an entrepreneur or a businessperson. I think he'd be really good for Lord Sugar to work with," she said.

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