Alan Sugar branded 'a small man with a big presence' as BBC The Apprentice star spills on boardroom secrets

Alan Sugar branded 'a small man with a big presence' as BBC The Apprentice star spills on boardroom secrets

WATCH HERE: Lord Alan Sugar stars in The Apprentice series 18 trailer

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 23/02/2024

- 05:01

Updated: 23/02/2024

- 07:10

Last year’s finalist Rochelle Anthony has spoken exclusively to GB News

The Apprentice is currently in its 18th series and with Lord Alan Sugar confirming another instalment next year, there are no signs it will be coming to an end soon.

Lord Sugar, 76, has fronted each series and remains a staple part of the show. He has a scary exterior in the dreaded boardroom debates, and now last year’s runner-up Rochelle Anthony has exclusively revealed to GB News what the business magnate is like behind the scenes.

The 36-year-old salon owner fell at the final hurdle last year after making it all the way to the final against boxing enthusiast Marnie Swindells.

However, she has managed to keep her business growing over the last year and has high hopes for the future.

When asked about her thoughts on Sugar, Anthony replied: “For a small man he has a huge presence.

"He’s a very firm, but fair man, who notices everything and actually pushes you to do the best. I find him hilarious too! He’s actually a quick-witted man.”

Rochelle Anthony

Rochelle came runner-up in last year's edition of The Apprentice


Sugar's no-nonsense approach can often scare off candidates from applying to the series, but Anthony urged budding entrepreneurs to go for it.

“I think if they can not take themselves too seriously then definitely [they should do it,” she enthused. “The show opens up a lot of doors, but it’s not all you think it will be."

However, she warned that the process is very tough, adding: "It's 100 percent harder than you think! Egos need to be left at the door.”

Reflecting on her own experience, Anthony explained she made some close friends on the show, explaining: “I still speak most days to Reece Donnelly, and Shannon Martin, Vic Goulbourne, Dani Donovan and Brad Donovan.

Rochelle Anthony

Rochelle Anthony starred in The Apprentice last year


“I found friends for life in that process. We’ll be bonded for life.”

Anthony also went on to give her views on Sugar’s aides, Karren Brady and Claude Littner, who are also feared by some contestants.

"I actually have such a soft spot for Claude, he’s so charming, but those stern glances keep you on your toes,” Anthony admitted.

“Karen is an absolute powerhouse! She’s no-nonsense and an absolute force! I want to be more like Karren when I grow up.”

Brady has been Sugar's advisor in the series for years, while first series winner Tim Campbell replaced Littner last year.

Alan Sugar

Alan Sugar has become synonymous with his 'You're fired' catchphrase


Anthony also spoke about the public response to her stint on the show, reflecting: "I’ve received so many lovely responses, people in the street, via DMs on socials and even to this day, [they] still let me know how proud they are and that wanted me to win!

"I still feel really guilty as actual strangers truly backed me! I feel I let them down.

"But even the clients who travel miles to the salon make me happy they’ve finally found a stylist to do their hair."

The current series of The Apprentice is in full swing but hasn't been short of controversy.

The BBC decided to edit out one contestant from sister show You're Fired following backlash to a series of "anti-Semitic" tweets.

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