Belfast Telegraph

James McCullagh pipped to Apprentice ... but could be First Minister

By Patrice Dougan

It's game over for budding young entrepreneur James McCullagh, after the A-level student narrowly lost out on becoming the next Young Apprentice.

However, he has a bright future ahead of him, with Lord Sugar’s right hand man, Nick Hewer, saying the Co Londonderry lad could be First Minister one day.

After eight weeks of challenges set by the millionaire businessman, it was fellow finalist Zara Brownless, (16), who walked away with the £25,000 prize to fund her film company.

However, it was a tightly run race between Zara and James (17), as Lord Sugar admitted he had “a very tough decision to make”.

“It’s not often I’m faced with two people so closely together but so different in personality,” he said.

Last night the pair battled it out to design and market an online video game and an accompanying viral advert.

Former Young Apprentice hopefuls made a return as their team-mates to help them complete the challenge.

Zara’s team developed Piggy Panic, in which character Porky Pete had to escape a butcher. James’ team came up with Crazy Cabinet, a game which allowed the player to assume the role of Prime Minister in a time management challenge.

Both ideas impressed the industry insiders, and then Lord Sugar quizzed the contestants on their performances, their weaknesses and what they would do if they won.

James criticised Zara for “dressing things up”, saying: “I say it how it is.”

He described himself as “an enterprising person” with business acumen.

The Coleraine teenager won high praise from Nick Hewer, who said: “This boy could be First Minister in Belfast.”

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