Apprentice UK 2011 Final Winner: Nerds 1 The Rest 0

Last night the Apprentice final saw a battle of eclectic styles and personalities come to its conclusion, with Lord Sugar finally choosing his future business partner.  The four finalists were:

  • Jim Eastwood – The Jedi Salesman
  • Helen Louise Milligan – The “Almost” Unbeaten Master Organiser
  • Tom Pellereau – Inventor, Genius, Nerd
  • Susan Ma – The Spirited but Inexperienced Entrepreneur


After a serious grilling of each contestant and their business plan by Lord Sugar’s close associates, it was finally announced that Tom would be the winner of the Apprentice UK 2011.  The finalists had seriously different styles this year, but I’m happy to say that nerd ingenuity clearly prevailed over spiel, efficiency and spirit.

Jim was a clear favourite for me from the early stages when he rolled out Jedi mind trick after mind trick. Bagging a £1.6million deal for some kids biscuits you’d spent a day designing and branding was phenomenal, but the extended sales waffle appeared to have done him no favours in the final hour.  Susan was starting to look strong through-out the interviews, but failed to provide any realistic figures or objectives for her plan. Her lack of experience shone through, but she has perhaps gained the most from going through the process, even without winning. Helen was pipped as a front runner due to the long unbeaten track record she achieved through-out the series. What failed her at the last hurdle was her lack of ability for imaginative business ideas. In her current role she acts as the executive assistant to a CEO (their organiser). Her business plan hoped to draw on those organisational skills and develop a service for the general public to help organise themselves. In the final minute, she cleverly attempted to redress the weakness of her plan by picking up on a suggestion Karen had made earlier in the process, bakeries. This was however, too little, too late and the victory went to Tom.

I do have to say that Tom’s business plan did actually seem, well, pretty rubbish. He wanted to go into companies to do tests on employee back-pain, to see if he could save the businesses money by reducing sick days. While the sentiment was admirable, to quote Tom himself from the biscuit episode, as a business plan it was a “Lead Balloon”.  Despite this seemingly off-the-mark shot, Tom allegedly had another 22 business ideas in his back pocket should he misfire with this one.  I think Lord Sugar just realised that if he gives this guy some scope to create, one day he’s going to do something really special, we just don’t know what yet.

The cherry on the top of last night’s episode was Tom telling Lord Sugar about his first computer, bought especially by his Grandad.. An AMSTRAD512. Way to butter up your new partner Tom. You nerd credentials are complete.  Well done Tom, keep flying that flag for us all in the top flight of Sugar’s business empire.

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