FORMER Apprentice candidates are bound to feel rattled after discovering LORD SUGAR offered up TWO spots for business partners for the first time in the show’s history.
And no one is angrier about the tycoon’s decision than 2016 series runner-up COURTNEY WOOD.
He branded the BBC1 show “flawed” for not having an ultimate winner after JAMES WHITE and SARAH LYNN, were both crowned champions tonight.
A year after he lost out in the boardroom to cake baker ALANA SPENCER, Courtney said in an exclusive chat: “It seems farcical that a television show could have more than one winner.
“Strictly Come Dancing had one winner. The Great British Bake Off had one winner.
“I would have loved to be known as the winner of The Apprentice but sharing that crown with someone else takes the glory away.”
Courtney, owner of novelty gift company Bubblegum Stuff, even reckons the shock result could lead to the series being axed, with ratings at an all-time low.
He said: “The general public will lose faith in the show after this.
“Now we have two winners at the end of the process, does the show work any more?
“The format is completely flawed. Lord Sugar is a great businessman and has had a fantastic career so I’m surprised he has been this indecisive.”
But co-winner James, who works in recruitment, defended his new partner, insisting Lord Sugar is still just as ruthless as when the show was launched 13 years ago.
He said: “Lord Sugar isn’t going soft. The candidates were strong this year.
“To double the investment and showcase that he can have two successful businesses is a good thing.”
And Sarah, who runs a confectionary company, added: “It was a huge shock but for us it was a fantastic result because no one was sad, there’s no runner-up and we both got what we came for.
“I hope what viewers see is that Lord Sugar has done something really different and unique in terms of business.
“But I do understand some may be upset there wasn’t an ultimate winner.”
It’s a ridiculous end to what was a promising series . . . Lord Sugar has finally
James gets trim before tackling show
The recruiter overhauled his lifestyle to get trim before tackling the BBC1 show.
He said: “I got a personal trainer, I got in good shape and changed all my diet. It was an entire lifestyle choice.”
When he ran down the stairs in his boxers to answer a morning call from Lord Sugar’s PA, it sent social media into a meltdown.
But James insists he forgot the cameras were there.
James, in snaps before and after his fitness regime, added: “I go to the gym, I keep myself in good shape and I genuinely just woke up – I wasn’t bothered about running downstairs in just my boxers.
“I became a gif on Twitter after that. The Apprentice actually made one of me with the caption, ‘Sliding into your DMs’. I couldn’t possibly say if people have been sliding into my DMs.”
He won’t be short of offers.
IT’S not clever to drink and drive . . . but JENNIFER SAUNDERS claims it helped her get her licence.
Asked if she passed her test first time, she said: “I did. I probably owe it to my mother because she gave me a very small glass of sherry before I took my test. I wouldn’t recommend that.”
Jennifer and Ab Fab co-star JOANNA LUMLEY hit the road together for BBC2 special Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely Champers, which airs on Thursday at 9pm.
It celebrates 25 years since the start of Ab Fab and sees the duo take a road trip to the Bollinger brand HQ.
And The passage of time got Joanna thinking.
She said: “Ours is the first generation that doesn’t know what to do with its hair as it gets older.
In the olden days you would go grey . . . and look like an old person. I don’t know how to look old.
“I mean I look old, obviously I am old, but I don’t know how to accomplish oldness.”
Sounds like something Patsy would say to Edina.
Elsewhere, Robert learns his tumour was cancerous but has been entirely removed and didn’t spread. Yet Michelle is unnerved by his laid-back reaction.
In EASTENDERS, Tina tells Shirley she thinks she is pregnant with Billy’s baby.
Billy is horrified when he sees Tina buying a pregnancy test, immediately putting two and two together.
Meanwhile, Vincent is feeling the pressure from all angles, having second thoughts about Aidan’s job while Kim is desperate to try for another child.
WHAT? The Sun Military Awards, Forces TV, 6pm and 10pm.
WHY? Lovely LORRAINE KELLY hosts The Sun’s Military Awards, as the best of our Armed Forces are honoured for their heroism and sacrifice.
DOCTOR Foster star SURANNE JONES is puzzled by a stench of marijuana in a cupboard at her home.
She said: “We wondered if people in the house before us had left a little present.”
Must have been for medicinal purposes.
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