APPRENTICE candidate Mark Wright found he was Lord Sugar’s Mr Right when he was told “You’re hired” in the final of the hit show.
Wright, 25, landed the all-important £250,000 investment in his digital marketing agency after beating 19 other would be entrepreneurs in the BBC1 programme.
He went up against fellow finalist Bianca Miller - who was proposing to launch a range of tights to match to various different skin tones - in the series climax, after weeks of challenges and boardroom showdowns.
Winner Wright, originally from Australia, explained that the UK was a perfect location to start a new business.
His work involves digital marketing and “search engine optimisation” to help push businesses up online searches.
He said: “London particularly is a land of opportunity for young people to start businesses.
“You can start a business here from your kitchen bench and turn over a million quid - what other place in the world can you do that?
“In Australia the population’s not big enough and the dollar’s not strong enough.”
Asked what his family and friends back home thought, he admitted: “I think they’re confused. They’re like, ‘First of all, what’s The Apprentice? Second of all, what are you doing, we thought you went backpacking and now you’re on a TV programme with a tycoon starting a business?’.
“It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but I’m in it for the long haul.”
The final saw previous candidates from the series invited back to help Wright and Miller in their pitches to the relevant industries to try to sell their business plans.
Fans of the series were not surprised to see Wright’s nemesis Daniel Lassman - who went out in the semi-final after the gruelling interview stage - join Miller’s team.
Wright said there was some truth in pub quiz company owner Lassman’s claim that their rivalry had spurred him on to success.
Wright said of his clashes with Lassman: “That’s why you see a lot of businesses excel when they get a competitor with a good product who pushes them in competition.
“Daniel comes from a footballing sales background and so do I.
“You put two of those people in a competition and it becomes a nightmare for anyone else around it.
“In the tasks we hated each other, but in the house we got on fine.”
Meanwhile, Miller, who came under fire for pricing her tights at £20 a pair, revealed she had since dropped the price to £7.99 to give the brand broader appeal.She said of her business: “Mark could help me with my SEO - although I think he might be a bit too expensive for me.”
Talking about losing out to him, she conceded: “If you lose to someone who isn’t very good, it’s upsetting, but Mark is very credible.
“I was happy to go up against him and if I was going to lose, to lose to him was the best I could hope for, really.”
Earlier in the series Sanjay Sood-Smith, who had been working in Leeds, was given his marching orders by Lord Sugar.
The 27-year-old worked in Leeds as assistant manager at the city’s Meat Liquor restaurant during his time on the Apprentice. However he has since moved to London.
During his dismissal Lord Sugar said he had “no confidence” in Sood-Smith’s business plan - which was to create a social media site for gym fans.