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The naked truth about Apprentice Luisa? She's not a patch on Leah Totton

By Claire Harrison

Phew! That's surely what Lord Sugar must have been thinking as he watched the tawdry antics of Luisa Zissman in the Celebrity Big Brother house. The Apprentice supremo must be thanking his lucky stars that he plumped for our own Dr Leah Totton when he had to decide between the two in last year's so-called battle of the business babes.

Although the final between the two was seen as a close-run thing at the time, in hindsight Lord Sugar would have been completely mad to waste his cash on the crass cupcake queen who was clearly set more on the life of a Z-list celeb than a serious entrepreneur.

I don't know if the billionaire had time to put his finalists' names into a Google Image trawl before making a decision but I suspect Luisa's well-documented penchant for taking off her clothes may have played a part if he did.

Of course, business people are entitled to a colourful private life if they wish, but it's hard to set yourself up as a credible figure when such vivid headlines and images follow you around. How could you expect to be taken seriously in a business meeting if your colleagues or prospective partners have seen your real assets?

It's no surprise that Luisa has been one of the most talked about contestants of this year's Celebrity Big Brother series which climaxed last night. While her behaviour may have been entertaining, it only served as a reminder to Lord Sugar as why he made the right decision.

While our Londonderry girl Leah was making the final touches to the opening of her new cosmetic clinic last week – with the hard-won backing of Lord Sugar's investment – her old business foe was stripping off in the CBB house and frolicking naked in the shower with the odious hip hop 'star' Dappy.

While Leah was talking to the media about her plans for the new London clinic and passion for politics, Luisa was making her own headlines by falling out with her housemates and, well, shedding her clothes again.

The two businesswomen are friends (Leah has loyally refused to criticise Luisa's CBB behaviour), but their paths could not have been more marked. Far from working on the profile of her baking business since last year's high profile finale, Luisa has been snapped drunkenly rolling about in a taxi in a skirt short enough to ensure the paps got a lucrative pay day. When she wasn't doing that, the mother-of-one was showing off her cleavage yet again in a dazzling array of bikinis.

Leah, meanwhile, is ice cool and therefore fully in charge of her public image. That's no bad thing. She understands the importance of a positive image on many levels. There have been no salacious bikini shots, no drunken party antics. She talks, not about her rampant sex drive, but her pride in Northern Ireland and love of getting home to visit her family.

The pictures she posts on social media are of attending awards ceremonies, her granny, supporting a local cancer charity and beautiful landscapes.

Leah took a bit of flak when she appeared on The Apprentice, I suspect because her being a glamorous blonde got in the way of being taken seriously as both an A&E doctor and a businesswoman.

Setting all moral argument about the nature of her business and decision to leave the NHS aside, she's clearly a shrewd operator with her eye on the bigger picture.

I suspect Luisa is making more money at the minute as she hoovers up her five minutes of fame with increasingly bawdy behaviour. When that comes to an end, she'll find it hard to set herself up as a serious entrepreneur.

And that's actually quite sad because she's clearly a shrewd operator too, if only she could keep her clothes on.

 

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