Apprentice winner 'on cloud nine'
A mother-of-two who left school with no qualifications has been revealed as Lord Sugar's new Apprentice.
Stella English, 31, beat rival Chris Bates to win the title after 12 weeks of tasks on the television show. The banker said she was "on cloud nine" after coming top in a final project, creating and marketing a new alcoholic drink.
After learning the news, shown on BBC1's The Apprentice last night, English said: "It's still a lot to take in. I'm on cloud nine and my feet haven't really touched the ground yet."
She insisted, however, that the prospect of returning home to her two sons without the job was always out of the question.
"There were times that I felt very tired and it was much harder than I ever thought it would be. But in terms of quitting, there was absolutely no way.
"When I walked out that door and looked at my boys' faces as I left, I fully intended to come back with a new job. I could never think of coming out of it without winning."
She added: "My children are two and four so they're far more interested in CBeebies than The Apprentice but hopefully what they will see they will have a much more settled life. They will be living in Hertfordshire and will have a better quality of life, which is why I've done this."
London-based English emerged triumphant after the final, in which previous contestants returned to help the remaining two in their task. Bates, from Surrey, came up with a pomegranate-infused pink concoction called Prism, while English created Urbon, marketed as a new take on classic drink Bourbon.
English, who was an early favourite to clinch the contest, will move to the country and work for Lord Sugar's company Viglen, which provides IT services, largely for the education sector.
Lord Sugar said choosing between the finalists had been a "tough decision" and insisted he would gladly offer Bates a role in one of his companies.