Belfast Telegraph

Pair axed in double elimination

Apprentice candidates Katie Bulmer-Cooke and Sanjay Sood-Smith were axed in a double elimination tonight - and admitted they were relieved to have dodged facing the gruelling interview round.

The pair fell at the last hurdle in the BBC One show as for the final challenge they were asked to design and make a new dessert to pitch to supermarkets.

But project manager Katie, whose business plan was to open a healthy-eating restaurant, failed to lead her team to victory and both she and her team-mate Sanjay were fired.

The departures mean they both miss out on next week's unnerving interview round, where Lord Sugar's advisors - including fearsom Claude Littner, the chairman of Viglen - grill each apprentice on their business plan.

Personal trainer Katie, speaking about her exit from the show, said: "It is worth mentioning that I've never had an interview before.

"I've worked for myself since I was 16 so every cloud has a silver lining, I'm not sure that was the best time in my life to start having an interview.

"When you're together in a team, the pressure's spread out a little bit.

"It would be a very pressurised situation to sit there one on one with one of the interview panel, especially Claude."

She added: "I think it's easier to take if you get fired after the interviews because you know it's all on your own failings rather than picking up on not only your own, but other people's as well.

"I just really wanted to get the opportunity to take it into my own hands."

Banker Sanjay said of his own business plan: "Ultimately Lord Sugar didn't think it would work, so to get fired now rather than go to interviews, I think I probably dodged a bullet.

"It meant I didn't have to get torn apart in the interviews, every single part of my CV ripped to shreds, all those cocky things you say in your application, you don't have them examined with a magnifying glass.

"So I lucked out a little bit."

Both candidates admitted their original business plans had been shelved and seemed to have swapped ideas - Katie has designed a fitness app, while Sanjay, who had been planning a fitness professionals app, is now looking into starting his own restaurant.

He is learning the ropes under the boss of popular London restaurant chain Meat Liquor and said: "I suppose I'm an apprentice again."

Asked if his new boss was tamer than Lord Sugar, he added: "I don't know about that.

"I think what a lot of successful businessmen have in common is that tenacious, strong streak."

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