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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

The Apprentice: who are the past winners of the reality TV business show?

The Apprentice has been running since 2005 (PA)

The Apprentice series 16 has concluded following a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Harpreet Kaur, 30, won the BBC One business reality show after defeating Kathryn Burn in the much-anticipated final on Thursday evening.

West Yorkshire-based Kaur will receive £250,000 worth of investment in her dessert parlour business and enter a partnership with Lord Alan Sugar.

Tim Campbell (Ray Burmiston/PA)

In the series, Tim Campbell, who won the first series of The Apprentice, stepped in for businessman Claude Littner in the boardroom as he was recovering from a serious electric bike accident.

Lord Sugar has been fronting the series since its launch in 2005 and in that time has partnered with over a dozen businesses.

In 2019, the series was won by artisan bakery boss Carina Lepore, who opened a second branch of her Dough Bakehouse business in Beckenham, south London.

Carina Lepore (BBC/PA)

The year before, Leeds-based swimwear brand owner Sian Gabbidon secured the coveted investment, while series 13 saw Lord Sugar crown both finalists winners for the first time in the show’s history.

The winner of the 2018 series of BBC programme The Apprentice, Sian Gabbidon, celebrates with Lord Sugar in London (Victoria Jones/PA)

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James White, who ran an IT recruitment firm, and Sarah Lynn, who owned a confectionery company, were both given £250,000 by the business tycoon.

Meanwhile in 2016, Welsh-based cake company owner Alana Spencer secured the investment for her brand Ridiculously Rich.

Katie Hopkins was a contestant in Series Three of The Apprentice (Talk Back/BBC/PA)

Far-right commentator Katie Hopkins also famously appeared in the show, losing out in the 2007 final to Simon Ambrose, who landed a job with Lord Sugar.

Michelle Dewberry won the second series of the show, narrowly beating no-nonsense bookies’ favourite Ruth Badger, who later bagged her own TV series.

Dewberry was applauded by Lord Sugar for holding down three jobs while she was still at school. Nowadays, she is a consultant and regularly appears as a pundit on TV, and is also a presenter on GB News.

In 2017, she announced she was standing for Parliament as an independent candidate in the Hull West and Hessle constituency.

Lord Sugar congratulates Ricky Martin, the winner of the BBC television programme in 2012 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Biochemist Ricky Martin, who won the series in 2012, drew on his wrestling background for his well of self-aggrandising catchphrases, including introducing himself as “the reflection of perfection” and “Thor”.

Martin founded Hyper Recruitment Solutions, a consultancy for the science and technology industry.

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