The Apprentice ended with a shocking twist in 2017 when Lord Sugar couldn’t decide a winner – so crowned two.
The business mogul was unable to choose between candidates James White and his IT recruitment firm and Sarah Lynn with her confectionary company.
Therefore in a bombshell move, the British magnate stunned the finalists by announcing that both would receive the £250,000 investment as his new business partners.
Saying that he has always been a gambler in the industry, Lord Sugar said: “This particular year, I’m going to double my investment… I’m going to start a business with both of you.”
However one of the winners actually broke show rules and went against BBC producers during the series – but still came out top dog, the Mirror reports.
Self-proclaimed ‘Del Boy’ James was said to have gone against Apprentice bosses’ wishes and found romance with a fellow candidate.
The budding entrepreneur allegedly fell for Jade English during filming for the series – even getting close in the house they shared with the 16 other contestants.
A source close to the show claimed the pair got up to some ‘saucy antics’, flouting the rule allegedly set up by producers to put a stop to any flirty behavior outside the boardroom.
“I’m extremely emotionally intelligent and able to get the best out of people,” said Jade before the series started, ironically adding that she finds it easy to make friends and build rapport.
“I am a brilliant negotiator and I’m not all talk – I put every weird idea into action and get results.”
A show insider told the Sun that there was chemistry between James and the PR and marketing manager from the very start of the competition.
“They’re both young and attractive people and they really got along during the process,” said the source.
“They couldn’t resist getting to know each other that bit better during their time in the house.”
It was also reported that the couple shared an ‘intimate clinch’ at the mansion they shared with their fellow competitors.
However, before the series had even begun it was claimed the pair had already told each other ‘you’re fired’.
Revealing the relationship was over, the source added: “Relations have cooled off between them since filming ended.”
Despite breaking the show rules with the illicit romance, James managed to make it all the way to the final to face off against Sarah.
Following the fling, Jade reportedly split from her male model boyfriend after three years, while James separated from his heartbroken fiancee.
Lord Sugar considered going for James because he already had experience in the recruitment sector, but also had the urge to choose Sarah because he likes to gamble in business.
In the end he simply couldn’t make his mind up so decided to pick both of them as his winners in a surprise move.
After jointly winning the contest, James said: “This last year you have taught me many life lessons which I’m extremely grateful to have learned and experienced.
“It’s been a complete rollercoaster of a journey and believe me it’s just about to get a hell of a lot bumpier.
“Piece of advice from me is dream big and never let anyone put you down, 12 months ago I was in a completely different place and now I’ve got so many things to smile about.”
Sarah’s personalized sweet company, Sweets in the City, went from strength to strength after Lord Sugar joined as a partner and is now stocked in Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
However, it was a far rockier road for James though, with his IT recruitment company, Right Time Recruitment, said to have suffered a series of ‘unfortunate setbacks’ and lost £30,000 in the first six months.
They were also caught in the middle of a scandal when it was revealed James’ staff hired an 18 stone stripper to sit on his colleague as a “special treat” for his birthday.
James’ colleagues hired the ‘roly poly’ stripper, a niche exotic dance specialist usually hired for a man’s humiliation rather than his enjoyment, for the newly hired sales executive’s 25th.
Stripping down to a police hat and leather boots, the woman straddled his head in raucous scenes that were caught on video.
A spokesman for James’s firm said the raucous party was held in an empty serviced office while James was out with Apprentice pals.
“James wasn’t present and it was out of office hours. They were not at James’s Right Time Recruitment office,” the rep told the Sun.
In December 2020, it was revealed that James and Lord Sugar had parted ways but The Apprentice boss was reportedly letting him keep the money he invested.
“I wish James all the very best for the future and will follow his progress with interest,” said Lord Sugar in a statement.
James added: “I am very grateful for everything Lord Sugar has done for me. The knowledge and advice gained from Lord Sugar and his team has been invaluable.”
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