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'Apprentice' winner Stella English fired by Alan Sugar

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Apprentice winner Stella English has been fired by Lord Alan Sugar.

English, who won the £100,000-a-year position in 2010, was told ten days ago that her contract would not be renewed

"I'm gutted. This was my dream and I had worked so hard for it, suddenly it's all over," she told The Sunday Mirror. "I have to stand up for myself. I don't want to be seen as ­another failed Apprentice. I respect Lord Sugar, I was trying to make him proud."

Problems began in September 2010 when English began a three-month trial at Sugar's IT firm Viglen, to help decide the winner of The Apprentice.

She felt her responsibilities didn't match her job description, and when she confronted Sugar he allegedly told her: "I'll tell you the feedback, shall I? Nice girl, don't do a lot."

Lord Alan Sugar in The Apprentice boardroom

© BBC

The Apprentice Contestants 2010: Stella English

© BBC



When English gave him a presentation of the work she'd done for the company, Sugar reportedly replied: "I can tell you, you ain't got any support here. You get put into a company. People have been there a long time and they know what you're earning. It's a lot of jealousy."

She was officially chosen as the winner in December and started permanently at Viglen, but was apparently told: "The cameras have stopped rolling, welcome to the real world, there is no job."

English admitted that her "jaw hit the floor" when she was given a junior position replacing someone who had recently left the business, reporting to a manager paid a fraction of her salary.

She resigned in May, claiming to have "never been more miserable in my adult life", but was found a new role at set-top box firm YouView, where Lord Sugar is part-time non-executive chairman.

However, on September 28 at YouView's HQ, English claimed that Sugar told her: "Your ­contract's up at the end of December and I don't know what to do with you after that because that's it, so you might think about what you want to do. I've met my obligations to you as far as I'm concerned, you were happy to walk out on me, weren't you?"

English told the paper: "What I took offence at was feeling my new job was just PR for the show. That was the nail in the coffin, every last bit of loyalty just went."

She has since handed her notice in and will leave before her contract ends in December.

A source close to Sugar said she "constantly complained" about being in debt despite her £100,000 salary, adding that she was "not as good as she thinks".

The source added that Sugar's team had worked hard to protect English from claims her boyfriend had criminal links to London's underworld.

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