Interviews

Winners of "The Apprentice" and what they're doing now

6 min read

04 October 2018

Reporter, Real Business

Which past-winners have gone on to bigger and better things?

If you can stand up to Lord Alan Sugar, you can handle anything right?  These past winners of the hit TV show “The Apprentice” had to put their business cards on the table, and bravely present their ideas to this most unforgiving of entrepreneurs.

So where are some of Alan’s best and brightest today?

Which winning contestants have scaled to great heights, and what others have been fired from the business rooms of life?

Surely the latter is a tougher and far more brutal experience than any determined finger pointing that Lord Sugar can give?

Below are some of the best, brightest and downright weirdest Apprentice winners throughout the years:

2005: Tim Campbell, an impact business success story

Tim was the UK show’s first ever winner, and boy did he set the standard for future budding entrepreneurs on the show.

After coming out on top in 2005, and gaining that crucial employment contract from Alan Sugar, Campbell was kept on for an additional year at Sugar’s electrics company, Amstrad.

But the corporate life was not enough for the future mogul, who parted ways with Sugar to found ‘The Big Ideas Trust‘, a charitable initiative that helps young people forge careers in business.

Following this, another high-point came in 2012, where he was awarded an MBE for services to enterprise culture in the UK.

But an MBE wasn’t enough, It’s all about ‘the up’ for Campbell, who then co-founded digital marketing agency, Marketing Runners.

So despite winning the show back in 2005, no-one could accuse Campbell of being an old-fashioned entrepreneur.

2006: Michelle Dewberry, a Brexit Brigader

These days, Michelle Dewberry is often seen on television voicing her opinions on various political issues.

Although for us, it may seem strange that an Apprentice winner has become an impassioned social commentator, however, we can assure you that Lord Sugar sure isn’t.

Apparently, Dewberry’s courting of the press displeased Sugar following her winning of the show. Further to this, she didn’t perform as well in her job placement (this time at Xenon Green, Sugar’s energy company) as well as her predecessor did at Amstrad.

Most strange of all, Dewberry has announced her intention to run as a pro-Brexit MP candidate for her local constituency, Hull and West Hessle.

So with all the Brexit madness going on, perhaps Dewberry will make a name for herself as a politician.

2007: Simon Ambrose, a steady property guy

This winner gives the term ‘steady Simon’ a whole new meaning, but his slow-and-steady approach ensured his long-term success as an independent entrepreneur.

Ambrose worked for Sugar’s property company, Amsprop, for three years before deciding to go it alone.

Clearly, he built up a wealth of slow-burning knowledge and industry experience, as he set up his own firm, Ambrose Property Service, after leaving.

But steady Simon was soon to showcase his wilder side by expanding into the hospitality sectors and has since opened up restaurants in central London.

He has even chaired the London Contemporary Orchestra.

2010: Stella English, from winner to disgraced ex-favourite

After emerging victorious on the 2010 show, Stella went on to what should have been a promising career via a position at Sugar’s IT company Viglen, however, it wasn’t to be.

The experience was not only a failure, but it was also a well-covered drama ridden one.

She only stayed at the company for a few months, and left because she felt dissatisfied with the job position, in her own words, she claimed she was treated as a “glorified PA”.

But the drama didn’t end there, in 2013, she even took the business mogul to court on the grounds of constructive dismissal, albeit unsuccessfully.

Sugar even tried to sue her back to regain some lost fees, but he was similarly unsuccessful.

However, English has since had a career resurrection of sorts via a TV presenter gig on Sky TV show Crowdbox TV.

2017: Sarah Lynn and James White, the latest winners

In recent years, Sugar and his production team realised they had to freshen things up a bit to ensure continued audience engagement.

The show started offering cash injections for winning contestants with already existing, albeit embryonic businesses, in the hope that the funds could take their businesses to the next level.

Sweet entrepreneur Sarah Lynn and recruitment agency owner James White were such a winning pair. This was the first time at Sugar invested in two different businesses in one show.

Both walked away with £250,000 each and were offered a 50% partnership in the business with Sugar.

The money helped expand Lynn’s ‘Sweets in the City‘ brand, that is now stocked in high-end retailers such as Harrods, whilst White was given a much-needed cash injection to expand his Right Time recruitment business.