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You're hired ! Stella English wins Apprentice

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    Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 10:17

You're hired! Stella English wins The Apprentice as Lord Sugar decides she is the perfect candidate for the job

By Sarah Bull and Liz Thomas
Last updated at 9:56 AM on 20th December 2010

Stella English was last night hired by Lord Sugar as his apprentice after beating rival Chris Bates to be crowned winner of the BBC reality show.

The 31-year-old will work as a product manager for the tycoon's computer manufacturing firm Viglen after impressing Lord Sugar with her determination and dedication on the 12-week programme.

After being told she had won the job, an emotional Stella struggled to hold back her tears as she said: 'Thank you, Lord Sugar, thank you.'


Winner: Lord Sugar chose 31-year-old Stella English to be his Apprentice after she impressed him over fellow finalist Chris Bates

As she got into her black cab she said: 'To think that little Stella could be the winner of The Apprentice is unbelievable.

'I'm so excited about the future - it's all been worth it, all that blood, sweat and tears has been worth it.'

Explaining his decision, Lord Sugar said: ‘What I’ve seen over the past weeks Stella is that clearly you are a great organiser of people. You do know how to handle a team.

‘Well liked and determined to get on with whatever you’re asked to do, I’ve also taken note of where you have come from; the fact that at an early age you never had any qualifications and then went out of your way to train yourself.


The moment of truth: Chris, 24, is devastated when he finds out he has lost, but Stella is thrilled


Emotional: Stella struggled to hold back tears when Lord Sugar told her she had won the BBC show

‘That shows me a lot of determination.’

Meanwhile, a thrilled Miss English told the Daily Mail: ‘I felt I would win. I know that if I set my heart on something I will achieve it.


‘I know I came across as quiet serious and competitive but that is me in a business situation but I do have a softer side.’

What TV viewers might be unaware of, however, is her extraordinary and colourful early life.


Making the decision: Karen Brady, Lord Sugar and Nick Hewer try to decide which of the finalists to hire


Hopefuls: Lord Sugar told both Chris and Stella they should be immensely proud of their achievements on the show

As a teenager, Stella was a regular at a notorious pub where gangland violence was rife. Night after night, mobs armed with knives and clubs would descend on the Wildfowler pub in Thamesmead to start fights which usually ended in bloodshed.

However, Stella, who now lives in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and is engaged to scaffolder Ray Dewar, said allegations she mixed with gangsters were ‘laughable’.

Instead, she insisted she was simply focused on providing a good life for children and being a good mother.


Ready for the final? Lord Sugar and his aides greeted Chris and Stella at the Langham Hotel to give them their final task


Eager: Both Chris and Stella were determined to be crowned the winner of the show, but only one could

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She said: ‘As a mother you just think about your kids. They are the most important thing. I hope I have shown that you can be a woman, a mother and be in business and do well.

'You know the thing about employing a mother – is that we stay in, we look after our kids. We’re reliable – you can’t risk losing your job because you have other people to consider.’

‘I have been a working mother for a long time now and it does take a lot to keep everything going. I am very lucky because my fiance has been a great support to me. It is about being organised.’

Stella spent most of her early life moving between care homes and staying with different relatives. And she admitted she was a ‘real handful’ during her teenage years.


We're back! The finalists were joined by former candidates as they were given the task of branding and launching a new spirit-based drink


Us again: Christopher Farrell and Shibby were just two of the eight former contestants who returned for the final

Despite her troubled background, Stella completed a one-year business course and rose fast as a business manager with top firms Merrill Lynch, Nomura and Daiwa Securities.

She said: ‘I haven’t had the easiest time in the past and I hope actually that I have shown that you can still succeed.

‘It probably has made me a bit tougher but also probably a bit stronger as well. The tough exterior probably is a coping mechanism after everything that has happened.’


Thinking time: Chris and his team try to come up with an idea for the drink as they brainstorm


What shall we do? Stella and her team come up with the idea of launching a bourbon-based drink

The start of the final saw Chris and Stella being told to meet Lord Sugar at London's Langham Hotel where they the mogul told the finalists they would have to brand and launch a new spirit-based drink for the over-25s, which retails at £25, in just three days.

To help the finalists out, Lord Sugar had employed the talents of eight of the show's former candidates.

While Chris chose Jamie, Liz, Alex, Shibby, Stella opted for Joanna, Chris Farrell, Melissa, Paloma.

The teams then split up to discuss ideas for the drinks.


Ideas: The teams then had to go to a standards agency to discuss ideas for adverts for their drinks


What are we allowed? Some of their suggestions didn't go down too well

While Chris's team decided to go for a mixture of white rum, spices and aromatic bitters, he and Liz disagreed on the colour of the liquid as Chris wanted a clear drink, while Liz chose a pink liquid which Chris called 'cheap and gimmicky'.

He eventually decided to call the drink Prism.

Meanwhile, on Stella's team decided to remarket the traditiona Bourbon spirit by coming up with a new liquid called Urbon - a mixture of Bourbon with honey and spice.

The teams were then told they would be able to ask a standards agency questions about what they can and can't include in their adverts for the drinks as they are alcoholic.


I like pink! Liz defied Chris when she and Shibby went to mix the drink and decided to make it pink instead of clear


Testing times: Liz takes a slurp of the white rum based drink infused with pomegranate

Chris and Stella both struggled to come up with different ideas for the adverts which fitted into the strict guidelines of the standards, but eventually came up with a concept.

At 8am the next day, the finished bottles arrived, much to the delight of the two teams.

Upon seeing his angular, pyramid-shaped bottle, Chris said: 'I'm absolutely delighted with the bottle. If Lord Sugar wants someone who is going to bring someone completely creative and new, then I am that person.'

And Stella was equally impressed with her slim, chic bottle, telling her team: 'I'm so pleased!'


Finished product: Stella and her team are delighted when they see the final bottle, which Lord Sugar later compared to a vinegar bottle


Sharp: Chris's three-sided pyramid bottle was also received well by the team

The next job was for the teams to shoot 30-second commercials for their drinks in a stylish basement bar in London.

While Chris enlisted the help of a bartender to make his 'Prismo' cocktail and three young people to make the drink look trendy and fresh, Stella decided to make the women the front of the advert by having them order an Urbon.

Both Chris and Stella were then asked to pitch their drinks at a launch attended by professionals from the drinks industry.

Chris was up first, launching Prism.


Preparations: Stella and Chris then had to come up with ideas for a 30-second commercial for their drinks


Action! Stella's advert centred around a group of young people going out for a drink of Urbon


Boring: While Chris's advert focused mainly on a bartender making a cocktail out of Prism

Taking to the podium he told his captive audience: 'Alcoholic drinks represent big business. Prism as a product infuses white rum with pomegranate and a mixture of spices from the Caribbean.

'We believe anyone will want to consume it because of how sophisticated and chic it looks. Prism really does reflect every side of you.'

Clearly relieved as he exited the stage, Chris was congratulated by Jamie, who had earlier coached him on his presenting technique.

Stella was up next, launching Urbon.


Pitching time: Stella had the audience eating out of her hand during her pitch, according to Nick Hewer


Articulate: Chris received training from Jamie on how to make his voice sound more interesting

She told the audience: 'We saw a clear gap in the market for a dark-based spirit with contemporary appeal. We have reinvented bourbon and made it trendy, fashionable and exciting.'

Then it was time for the drinks experts to pass their own judgements on the drinks.

Talking about Urbon, one expert said: 'It's a well considered brand name, but they've over spiced it.'

While another said of Prism: 'The three ingredients work well, and the shape and the colour of the bottle will stand out in a bar.'

Ahead of going into the boardroom, Chris said: 'I intend to survive and i intend to get the job at the end.'


The advert: Chris watches as his advert premieres to the audience


Well done: Chris is congratulated by Jamie after a very successful pitch

But Stella countered: 'I'm here to win and I will win. As far as I'm concerned, there's no competition because I'm the winner.'

Then it was time for Chris and Stella to go into the boardroom to meet Lord Sugar and find out his final decision.

Standing behind her drink, Stella said: ''We wanted to come up with a classic but reinvent it so it appeals to both men and women. It's what we were trying to achieve.'

But when Lord Sugar said the drink was maybe a bit too heavily-spiced, Stella said: 'I was quite taken aback at how strong it was, the honey especially. That was something I delegated out to someone else.'


Impressed? Lord Sugar was on hand to try each of the drinks and pass his judgement


Enjoying things:Karen Brady looked as though she was having an enjoyable evening as she sampled the drinks

Asked why she had delegated one of the most important jobs, Stella said: 'I had a lot of faith in the people that I chose. I don't drink these things but Christopher and Melissa had made it clear to me that they did.

However, Lord Sugar was very impressed with the name of the drink, saying: 'The name is good and you can hear someone asking for that.'

On Chris's side, Lord Sugar said the decision to make the liquid a pink colour had made it more popular for women than men.

But Chris contested: 'I did send Liz and Shibby with a brief of creating a clear product but they made the decision that having natural colouring would make it stand out.'

Before their helpers left the boardroom, Lord Sugar asked the former candidates to describe the two finalists.


Did we do ok? Chris is joined by his teammates as he sits in the boardroom


Giggles all round: Stella's team were very complimentary about her leading style to Lord Sugar

While Liz said about Chris, 'He wasn't scared to go for something risky and new', Christopher said: 'Stella is a cool cookie. It was stressful yesterday but she just rose above it. She was very level-headed.'

After the former candidates left the boardroom, Lord Sugar said what he thought about the bottle designs.

Referring to the Prism bottle, Lord Sugar said: 'I think the bottle is good. I think it's a clever concept.'

Discussing Stella's bottle, Lord Sugar said: 'The bottle looks like a vinegar at first glance. But the overall concept that it's based on bourbon and the brand name is very very clever - so you can see my dilemma.'

It was then time for Lord Sugar to talk to his aides Karen Brady and Nick Hewer about which of the finalists he should hire, telling them: 'We've definitely got the right two people here.'

Both Karen and Nick found it difficult to choose between the finalists.


Tough decision: Lord Sugar struggled to decide which of the drinks he liked the best

Karen said: 'I've been so impressed by Chris. He had a lot of setbacks but he rose above it.'

And Nick said: 'Chris is extraordinarily articulate. With Stella, you've let the genie out of the bottle. People like her, and she had the crowd eating out of her hand.'

Lord Sugar added: 'They've both demonstrated that they can work under immense pressure.'

Chris and Stella were then called back into the boardroom for Lord Sugar's final decision.

Before making the final call, Lord Sugar said: 'You have done extremely well through a torturous 12 weeks. Whatever happens, you have to be very proud of yourselves and you have both impressed me at the very highest level.'


Final showdown: Both Stella and Chris were given the chance to sell themselves for a final time


Congratulations: Gallant loser Chris congratulates winner Stella with a kiss on the cheek

He then gave the finalists the opportunity to sell themselves for a final time.

Stella said: 'I think I've been very consistent in everything that I've done. But I think my mistake is that I haven't spoke up for myself.

'I'm somebody that has to come up with new ideas and I'm constantly driving things. I'm not somebody who needs to be given instruction. I've got the best record in the process for a reason.

'I've taken a big risk here. I've got a family to support and I've walked away from a job that I do like. I think you'd be mad not to employ me. Chris is an intelligent guy but I don't think he's got the passion that I've got.

'Anything I want I will get, I won't let go. That's a passion that enables you to do things that you never thought were possible.'

Chris then said: 'Throughout this process, I've outperformed other people. I've been a top seller, I've pitched to retailers. To do out that against people who have a lot more experience than me, I think shows a lot of potential.


Victorious: Stella leaves Lord Sugar's office after winning The Apprentice


I did it! Stella said she always knew she would make it in the industry

'I will bring that to your organisation. I would like to think if I came into your organisation I would bring in real value.'

Lord Sugar said: 'You're both very passionate about wanting this job. Stella, you're clearly a great organiser of people, you know how to handle your teams.

'You're well liked and determined to get in with whatever you're asked to do. I've also taken note of from where you have come - you went out of your way to get yourself back into education and get yourself the job you want.

'Chris, you're young but that could be a good thing. You've shown some great entrepreneurial ideas - some of them a bit wacky and some of them quite good.

'One of you is going to be very disappointed. I don't worry about the other person because I think we have two great people here who can hold their head up high, whatever,

'It's a tough decision but the decision I've come to is that Stella, you're hired!'

This is the last time Lord Sugar will hire an apprentice to work for him - the winner of the 2011 series will get to build up a business of their choice with the tycoon.

He will offer the winning candidate a start-up cash injection of £250,000 and take a 50 per cent stake in the company.

He said the changes were a reflection of economic conditions and the move to invest in a business came at a time when private sector businesses were more important than ever.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1340061/The-Apprentice-winner-2010-Stella-English-hired-Lord-Sugar.html#ixzz18e63hrtc
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