Michelle Dewberry triumphs on BBC’s version of ‘the Apprentice’

MUMBAI: After 12 gruelling weeks battling it out against Britain's brightest business hopefuls, Michelle Dewberry, a 26-year-old telecoms consultant from Hull, has been named as Sir Alan Sugar's Apprentice and walks away with the prize of a six-figure salaried job with the self-made multi-millionaire. In the UK, the show airs on BBC Two.

In the final episode, Michelle beat off stiff competition from 28-year-old sales manager Ruth Badger by project managing a team of fired apprentices and staging a lavish party on London's Tower Bridge. The series finale is the first all-female final in the show's history, which had more than 10,000 applicants this year.

These applications were whittled down to the final 14 who all bravely quit their jobs to face the biggest challenge of their lives, a 12-week job interview with the self-confessed "most belligerent person you'll ever come across" – Amstrad boss Sir Alan Sugar.

Each week ambition, business flair and wit were tested to the full as the wannabe tycoons competed in tasks set by Sir Alan. These weekly challenges included working on the sales floor at Top Shop, selling new innovations to the trade, letting flats and designing a charity calendar for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

This series saw some of the most explosive boardroom scenes, when each week an apprentice was singled out for the sack with Sir Alan's terminal catchphrase - "You're Fired".

Michelle's cool, calm and collected approach to each task earned her the nickname 'The Silent Assassin'. She proved to be one of the best project managers and found herself on the winning team seven times during the series. She narrowly escaped getting the chop in week seven after making a critical mistake during the selling task in Top Shop.

"For someone like Sir Alan to recognise my ability is unbelievable. It wasn't until right at the very end when he said I'd won that I believed it. It shows you don't need to be cocky and bolshie, just work as hard as you can and hopefully you will get on in life."

Michelle will head up Sir Alan's Xenon Green company – a new business that will environmentally dispose of companies' unwanted computer equipment. Michelle will mastermind the whole business from launch through to its marketing.

Sir Alan said, "All she has done in her life is work hard and she has become a great achiever. I found her very focussed, very determined, very organised, and this particular job I have in mind requires all of those skills. She's young and willing to learn. I think I've got the right girl."

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