Proud city and family get chance to hail Apprentice winner Leah Totton
A euphoric welcome awaits Dr Leah Totton today when she arrives back in her home city as Lord Sugar's Apprentice.
Friends, family and just about everyone who knows her will get the chance to congratulate her tonight at a welcome home party.
Since the announcement, Leah's life has been transformed into a media whirlwind but staying true to her down-to-earth nature, this weekend will be dedicated to her family.
Beaming with pride, Leah's father Trevor said he is afraid to go to sleep in case it has all been a dream.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, he said: "We are still trying to come to terms with all this! I am totally astounded, by the win and by the reaction – particularly in this city. She has captured the whole place, everyone is talking about her and it is very important to her and us that people get the chance to congratulate her.
"We have been inundated with requests from people who just want to say how proud they are of her and what a credit to the city she is, particularly during this year of City of Culture.
"The support she has had has been overwhelming and I want to particularly thank the Belfast Telegraph who backed her from the very start, calling her 'our Leah'.
Watching his daughter transform over the past 12 weeks took Trevor and Leah's mum Lorraine a bit of getting used to.
He explained: "The Leah that comes in through our front door is very different to the Leah on the television, and at times I barely recognised her.
"When she is here with us, her mother is the boss and calls the shots but I was so proud to see through the whole process she kept her down-to-earth outlook.
"She is full of enthusiasm and very excited and when she was talking to Lord Sugar after he announced that she was his choice, she was talking so fast, he just looked at me and rolled his eyes as if to say 'I'll keep her calm'.