As series 12 draws to a close, this programme profiles the remaining candidates, delves into their backgrounds and looks back over their highs and lows during the process so far.
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Ten weeks ago, 18 ambitious entrepreneurs arrived in London,
aiming to win a £250,000 investment
and a 50/50 partnership with Lord Sugar.
I'm not here to make any friends. I'm here to find a business partner.
That's all I'm interested in.
Business acumen has been assessed...
-£5, every single item!
I'm trying to explain to you. We're in a situation.
-It's not how you do business.
-That's not cool. That's not cool.
I'm the best salesman in the universe.
You're about as useful as a trapdoor in a canoe!
Not one of you geniuses ran this thing properly.
One hopeful has resigned.
-I'm going to leave the process.
-I'm really sorry.
On the positive front, I've saved myself a cab fare.
-And 12 candidates have been sent on their way.
You are a loose canon. You're fired.
Now, five remain, with everything to play for.
-We're not arguing. We just need to get this done.
-Good team leader?
-No. He was not listening to anything.
We may as well have been talking to the wall.
-You've eight losses.
-There's two ways of looking at it.
Well, I look at it one way - eight out of ten you've lost.
If someone came to me doing that,
-I'd think, "You cheeky little bastard."
-Were they happy with this VIP thing?
-I think so, yeah.
People were confused. You lacked charisma.
-Wow! That is so cool.
-I think I have grown in confidence as this process has gone on.
And Jessica Cunningham.
Unorganised, scatty and forgetful.
Yeah, I believe... Sorry, I'm getting all flappy again.
Just calm down a minute, will you?
Just two tasks stand between them and the chance of a lifetime.
Tonight, in a break from the boardroom, we meet the final five.
First up, Grainne McCoy.
I think hard work is the key to success.
You're not going to get it sitting at home.
-We ain't bloody sleeping in THIS car!
-Good team leader?
-I'm a grafter.
It's been built into me from a young age.
I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty and achieve.
Give her something to do, she'll do it.
Oliver, there's tables there. You're not going to get through there.
You can really trust and rely on Grainne.
-The thing you notice about Grainne
as soon as you meet her is that she's a grown-up.
When they're under pressure,
some of the candidates act like headless chickens,
but Grainne doesn't. She just remains calm.
Grainne's cool character...
So, you've chosen rock. Quite a tricky one.
..was tested in week three.
-I can see that.
-On the corporate candy task, Oliver was the project manager
but it soon became clear that wasn't going to be his forte.
It's all a bit of a learning curve.
But we don't have time for a learning curve.
Alan is always saying, "If you see something going wrong, step in.
"Don't just let the ship sink." And that's exactly what Grainne did.
So, guys, I think we'll swap.
Ollie, if you want to go over to make fudge.
-You take over from Frances, Frances, you come over to me.
I think I took a lot of control of that task, even though we lost.
But I tried my best on that one.
-Group hug, group hug.
Back home, in Northern Ireland, one of five children,
Grainne grew up with a strong work ethic.
She was a very good girl. She could cook and clean at a very young age.
We probably made her do more than she should have done.
When we grew up, nothing was going to be handed to you on a plate.
My mum's been working for herself
for her whole life, growing up, since she was a child.
She'll tell you stories about being out picking spuds in the field.
But, while still at school, Grainne's life changed for good.
-Good morning, boys and girls.
-CLASS: Good morning, sir.
'I was teaching my A level class one day
'and a knock came to the door and it was Grainne.'
She looked at me straight in the eyes and said, "Sir, I'm pregnant."
Falling pregnant at 15 was a shock
and I didn't tell anyone till I was nearly six and a half months.
I felt that somebody who had such a bright spark in her eyes,
that her wonderful future was going to be taken from her.
Being from a Catholic area, I didn't want to be known as the girl
that had the first kid in the school and didn't do nothing with her life.
Shortly after she had the baby, she said to me,
"Sir, I'm coming back to school. Is that OK?"
And I looked at her and said, "Yes, when are you coming back?"
And she said, "I'm coming back in four weeks."
And I was thinking, "Yeah, right."
Four weeks later, Grainne McCoy was back in school.
It was time for me to step up as a mother,
even though I was only 16,
and get back to school and try and do something with my life.
That drive and determination...
I would love to be project manager for this.
..showed in week four.
I've worked in department stores, including this one.
-After being the de facto
project manager on the candy task, she stepped up
to be the real project manager on the Liberty task.
And it's fair to say that she was a little bit weak,
in terms of her decision making.
I think we should go for scarves.
-It'll sell more than, probably, handbags.
My personal choice would be bags.
We'd have to sell 20 scarves to make one bag sale.
OK, well, first handbags, second scarves.
-Grainne was easily influenced.
She didn't listen to her team when they said scarves would sell better.
-And when bag sales stalled...
-You're not going to use the window at all?
-We're not going to bother with that?
-Stop saying we should have used the window.
-It's a fact.
-You don't need to get angry.
-I'm not, I'm just saying...
-Come on, we've done really well.
-Shh, not appropriate in the shop.
-It's fair to say that she found out
that leading a team is not as easy as it looks.
You did also say that you're a master in handbags
and this is why we went for handbags.
Please don't shift the decision of handbags just on me.
The big mistake was that you were influenced by other people.
It was a close call for Grainne in the boardroom
but when Alan looks around the table
and thinks about the candidates he could work with,
I think he saw qualities in Grainne he quite liked.
I think you've got potential, Grainne,
-and that's why you're going to remain in this process.
For him to say that to me is massive, you know.
From that, the next task, I tried my best to learn from it.
-The very next week...
-Coming in, coming in now.
-..at her team's PR stunt...
-Remember we're brand ambassadors.
..a new more self-assured Grainne emerged.
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on.
-Has anyone done any crowdfunding before?
We just need to get started now. It's all clear.
Did you tell any of them how to actually fund? No, you didn't.
Get your points right. I'm not having this conversation.
I'm not having this conversation with you. I'm not having it.
-On the department store task, Grainne was easily swayed.
But there she is, the following week,
refusing to roll over and really standing up for herself.
Even as a child, Grainne was focussed.
From a young age, I remember walking round the make-up counters
with my mother and always wanting to be a make-up artist.
And when I was 19, I decided to go and do a training course
up in Dublin and got my degree in make-up.
To make it in the world of make-up,
Grainne took the difficult decision to move to London.
My mother looked after my child and I flew back and forth every week.
She had to go to London because the opportunity wasn't here.
I tortured people for work.
I was like, "Please give me work", until they did.
In the last ten years, Grainne has forged a career at events,
music video shoots,
even creating special effects make-up for feature films.
My mum's very good at what she does.
One time, she asked me what I wanted for dinner
but I didn't see what she looked like. When I came down for dinner,
she looked like a zombie, sort of.
And it sort of put me off the food that she'd made.
Ryan has always been his mother's motivation.
There's so much more out there.
I don't want him just to stick and play it safe.
Every night I come home, I literally stare at Ryan's photo
for about an hour, you know, just... God, I'm going again.
I wouldn't change her a bit cos she is the perfect mum
that I would like and she's done very well.
After two years of commuting, Grainne decided to move back home.
I was living in London, travelling back, and I was missing my son.
I moved home. I just had to be back with Ryan full-time.
But far from slowing down,
she spotted a chance to expand her business.
So, this is Grainne's studio.
It was a derelict shed at the bottom of our garden.
It was an absolute mess and Grainne has turned it into what it is today.
I, literally, hands-on for about a year,
renovated the whole thing myself.
DIY queen, they were calling me, you know.
From her studio, she now runs courses in make-up.
People travel from all over Northern Ireland because they want the best.
She really is going to be the next big thing.
This ambition pushed Grainne...
I would love to put myself up as project manager for this.
..to go for the top job again in the last task.
I can honestly put my hands up and say I've tried a lot of gin.
The team needed a brand and a gin product.
With the label, I'm seeing really vivid, bold colours.
Orange would work well cos that's quite a spice colour.
If she's going with orange,
-we should look at maybe doing orange as the colour of the gin.
-With the taste of the spices, it will all fit really well.
-I love it.
Just as she'd allowed Mukai to influence her on task four
-to go for the handbags...
-So, we'll try quite a darkish orange.
..she'd allowed Trishna to do exactly the same thing again.
But the task went to Grainne's head...
I keep forgetting I don't want...
I don't want it... I have to stop drinking this.
PHONE RINGS ..and all communication broke down.
There's five minutes to go until the deadline.
-God knows what they are doing.
-19 missed calls?
At the end of the day, I'm going to have to go with my inkling here.
So, in the boardroom, a big loss.
-So, no orders from the supermarket, no orders from the bar chain.
-This was Grainne's seventh loss.
That's certainly not a good record and I think she came pretty close
to making an exit.
-I think you were quite frustrated, Frances...
Because you wanted to put the ingredients list on your label.
And it was quite embarrassing.
Unfortunately, we left the phone in a separate room
and there were 19 missed calls...
-Was that because you had too much gin?
-I think, on this particular task, Grainne lost focus,
was having too much of a good time
and, actually, almost came a cropper.
Grainne's sensible approach in previous tasks,
I believe, saw her through.
Grainne came into this process with, perhaps, the least amount
of business experience of all the candidates.
She's an established make-up artist and obviously very good at it,
but she needs to be able to prove
she can build and run a business that Alan wants to invest in.
That could be a new rage. That's amazing.
For her to win, it would mean the world to me and her,
as I would be a lot more popular.
It's really hotting up now.
# All night long... #
If I don't win, the one person in this process
that I'd love to win is Grainne. She deserves it.
She's amazing and I would be happy to be runner-up to Grainne.
-OK, calm down.
-Colony Spice, please.
-Make that two.
Grainne, keep going.
We know you can do it. We're all behind you.
Grainne, we're all rooting here for you in Dromintee.
ALL: Do it for Ireland! Go on, Grainne!
'I have full belief in myself that I could win this.
'What I'm going to do now is show Lord Sugar'
that I'm not just a make-up artist, I am a strong businesswoman as well,
and if I won, my dream has then come true.
Yeah, it would just... It would be amazing.
Next, 25-year-old children's clothing retailer Frances Bishop.
'A lot of people think that cos I'm small,'
a little like a mouse, that I'm quite weak.
I'm not. I genuinely believe I will win this competition.
I'm not prepared to lose this task on the basis of his ignorance.
-I've got such a good telephone voice!
The problem with the last pitch was an absolute lack of structure,
-so you've got to be able to direct the room a bit more.
Frances is a little bolt of lightning.
She's a timid looking little thing,
but she takes no prisoners whatsoever.
Every penny counts.
Right from the off, her confident approach was clear to see.
She was like, "£15?"
and I was like, "No way. You're going to pay more for this."
Frances is clearly a bright young woman but, boy, can she be bossy.
If this goes badly wrong, I'm holding you personally responsible.
It's not an approach that would work for everyone,
but you have to give it to her - she is tenacious
and that's a personality trait
that you need to be successful in business.
The elder of two sisters, Frances grew up in Nottingham.
I always had this desire to prove myself to people.
At school, I was that annoying girl in the front of the class,
hand up every question. I was there, like, "Me, pick me."
It sounds corny, but she was a perfect child.
She'd be really upset if she didn't get an A,
because she would work so hard and I think in the classroom,
that's where her competitiveness comes out.
Her competitive nature extended beyond the classroom.
When I was 16, I won the Karate World Championships, a gold medal.
That's how I've got wonky teeth now.
I got punched in the face in the final and it really annoyed me
cos I'd had a brace for, like, a year,
so I punched her in the face, she went down and I won.
Two years before her sporting success,
her young life was turned upside down.
I found out when I was 14 that my dad wasn't my dad
and my biological dad, he didn't really want anything to do with me.
When we told Frances, all she said to Tim, "Will you adopt me?"
You can tell from deep down, she loves him so much
and he's so, so very proud of her.
Her close bond with step-dad Tim helped spur on the young Frances.
My step-dad, my dad, he's been the one there
that's been at all the karate competitions,
the Irish dancing competitions. He's a brilliant man.
He got up every day at five o'clock to do a job
that he doesn't necessarily like, so I could have whatever I wanted.
All I've ever been is a lorry driver and, um...
I always tried to encourage her at school to do really well,
so I feel quite proud about that.
So, yeah, very pleased for her.
And the chance for the clothes shop owner to show what she could do.
I'm sending you to one of the UK's most famous department stores.
Frances knows fashion, she knows retail.
I think she was keen to make a real impact.
You guys really need to use me here, so put me in the right place
and make sure I bring out the best in you guys.
-She contributed her expertise really well.
Spain is so good for manufacturing, in terms of quality.
-She excelled speaking to the shopper
where she extracted every single piece of relevant information.
-Have you got a particular style?
-I quite like to look a bit weird.
She understood right from the off that this was all about research.
I like that you're just honest with me.
-The more you knew about the client,
the more you could get them to spend.
I really look forward to meeting you tomorrow. Have a lovely evening.
-Good information gathering.
-That went well.
-Frances's team lost that task
but she'd certainly done her best.
She was just unlucky to be on a losing team.
I called both of the clients, gleaned a lot of information.
I brought in various different accessories,
really connected with her by the end
and she spent over double her budget.
So it was quite a good salesmanship.
-These are all lehenga, yeah?
Frances was focussed on trying to secure a victory.
Lowest price lehenga, what is it?
Frances had been on the losing side every single time,
but it wasn't for the lack of trying.
I've got something for about 40.
She did really well and ended up paying
half what the other team paid.
-25 and you've got a deal. Come on.
-All right, go on.
-25 quid, lehenga in the bag.
-Thank you so much.
I think we can smash this, maybe even have an early night!
-In the boardroom...
-You lost by well over £100.
Unfortunately, despite personally doing well on that task,
her team lost again.
When they read out the results, I just sank and it dawned on me
I was the only one left that had lost every single task.
When you've lost every task to date,
eventually, there's a big question mark over your abilities.
Frances, you need to be on a winning team one day.
I'm going to try on the next task, Lord Sugar.
On the very next task...
..Frances got a chance to shine at the Poole Harbour Boat Show.
Frances, you're going to be the project manager,
-so let's see if you can win.
-'And I was like, "Oh, my God!"'
There was a lot of pressure there to win.
Searching for the winning formula...
Don't undermine people because this is where we are going wrong.
..she decided to shake things up.
Paul, I want you to be my sub team leader.
I decided to take Sofiane with me
because if I left him in the sub team with Paul,
it could have created friction, something I won't stand for.
-Let's win. Team Nebula!
'There was a lot of pressure on Frances that week.'
The products that she was selling were £19,000 each
and she really had to win.
-When we're pitching, no overtalking each other, right?
-Not at all.
But Frances really rose to the occasion
and probably the most impressive thing she did
was keep Sofiane in line because, trust me, that's not easy.
I might be able to throw in a couple of extras.
We can do four life jackets for you. Are you happy to go ahead?
-Yeah, go on then.
-Frances, you've lost every task to date.
Karren, did they close any deals on the boat?
I'm pleased to say that two of the sales passed the credit control.
That's a massive, massive win.
-Do you want a tissue, Frances?
-Are you crying?
-I've spent six weeks losing.
'I was really pleased for Frances'
because she got that win just at the right moment.
I feel that if she'd lost that task, it really would have been all over.
Aged 18, Frances achieved her ambition
of being accepted into a top university.
Frances was the first of her family
to go to university and to get into such a prestigious university,
like Durham, that is a real, real massive achievement for her.
But her dreams of academic success quickly turned sour.
I got to uni and I was around people
that had had really privileged backgrounds
and that was really hard to deal with at first
and I tried to be someone I wasn't.
From the get-go, it was difficult for her to fit in
and to try and find her gap in the friendship groups.
I was really unhappy.
It sounds ridiculous for a straight A student to say that,
but I really did, and I dropped out.
We were all surprised. That was possibly
the most surprising thing Frances has ever done.
Leaving university was to change her life in more ways than one.
I got a job as a barmaid,
did some work experience at Notts County Football Club.
There, she met a young player called Neal Bishop.
We met for a coffee. Conversation was difficult
because she couldn't understand my accent
and Frances talks very properly.
I said she was posh, but she said she's not.
Kick it back to me.
Ooh, that's a good kick.
After three years together,
the couple married and now have a son, Oscar.
I left uni, I had a baby and married a footballer.
Apparently, I'm a Wag.
Parenthood was a turning point in Frances's career.
My career has only a short lifespan, really,
so we wanted something long-term that could support our family
and Frances being Frances took it on her own bat
to go out there and do something.
I set up Pud in 2014.
I noticed that there was a gap in the market
for a reasonably priced childrenswear retailer
but still combine that kind of community spirit
with good prices and good service
and that's led me to now have two shops.
-You all right?
Frances is not your stereotypical Wag.
She's really hardworking and wants to provide
for her family just as much as her husband does.
Frances is a very good boss.
She'll tell us what she wants and when she wants it.
Customers will come into the store
basically to see Frances and to buy.
Frances, you call yourself a pocket rocket.
Blast your way to the final!
-You've got this.
-ALL: Good luck, Frances!
-In the final tasks...
-Frances, old habits die hard, right?
Frances found herself on the losing teams yet again.
I think you know the drill now. Off you go.
There's no doubt that Frances is both ambitious and determined,
but she's got a really bad record in the process.
Even Lord Sugar feels sorry for me now.
'I may have lost eight tasks in this process...'
That was brutal.
'..but anyone that knows me will say'
I'm just waiting to win the big one.
-Come on, guys!
-There she is!
-During the interview process, Frances has to demonstrate
that actually she's learnt from all those losses
and she's come through stronger and she's got what it takes.
Calm it down now. Let's make sure
it's not looking cheap and we'll try and add that classy element now.
She's a very clever girl. She's smart.
She's going to be the biggest competition to me
in winning the final prize.
That's brilliant. Thank you so much.
-Do it for us Wags.
-ALL: Go, Frances! Come on, Frances.
-You're a true champion to us.
-TOGETHER: Go, Mummy!
I think I genuinely deserve to win this
because I sure as hell didn't leave my little boy for ten weeks
to come here and be a loser. I'm here to win.
And I will be Lord Sugar's next business partner.
..29-year-old Courtney Wood.
-Does my bum look big in this?
-Hello, ladies and gentlemen,
this is your project manager speaking.
-We should be done by 3am at this rate.
I kind of feel like I'm a bit of a rare breed
when it comes to creativity and business.
I think some people either have that creative mind
or a commercial mind and I kind of feel like I've got both.
-Courtney, you've got a business already.
-Yeah, novelty gifts, toys.
I also design the products too.
I'm at the stage where I'm looking for an investor
and I want that person to be you.
Courtney, I think, is one of the ones
I've always thought would get this far.
He kind of stood out from the rest.
He truly believes that he's Lord Sugar's business partner.
You model yourself on Leonardo DiCaprio.
It didn't end well for him in Titanic, did it?
Yeah, hopefully, this process will go better for me.
When Courtney started out in this process,
I think we all thought he was quite a self-assured guy.
-Here we have the AG1586.
-One of our superior models in the range.
But we were worried about, was it more style over substance?
Born and raised in Linford, Essex,
Courtney wasn't always as confident as he is today.
When he was younger, I think Courtney was probably a lot quieter,
a lot more shy.
-Possibly that's related to the fact that he was a bit...tubby?
My teenage years, I think I found fast food and yeah,
I think I was a little overweight through senior school.
Courtney got to the age of 16 and we suited and booted him,
ready for his prom, and he looked really smart
but we realised just how chunky he was.
When he left school, he decided then he was going to lose weight
and he became the lithe and lissom character that he is now.
I think his confidence - there's a parallel line
between his weight and his confidence.
-I don't think then he was anywhere near as confident.
-Of course not.
A successful student,
young Courtney was already displaying a flair for design.
I think I really started enjoying learning
when I got to sixth-form college
cos I could then focus on what I wanted to do
and I chose product design, graphic design, business.
I got the grades I needed to get to Brunel University
and studied industrial design technology
and I ended up getting a first-class degree.
That's one of my biggest achievements in life.
University was a turning point, not just in Courtney's education.
Courtney really came into himself at university.
I think that's when he found something
that he was very, very good at
and I think that's where his entrepreneurial streak
-really took off and...
It wasn't long before he began to show a talent for turning a profit.
He started to get the feeling that he wanted to make his own money.
When he finished his course,
he was getting little business deals on the side,
buying kit bikes, building them up and then selling them.
I think I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit.
From the age of 15, 16, I'd go to the market
and I saw magazines where you get the free collectible car models
and I'd buy them for £1
and then sell these models on eBay for 20 quid
and I always spotted opportunities to make money.
In week six...
SE2 - that's London Bridge, so that's this area here.
..Courtney took on the role of project manager.
We need to get a poster printed. What's the price of that?
We could do that for £11.
Right from the start, he led from the front...
-Can you do it for £5?
-..guiding his team to victory.
-Right, well done.
-Four in a row.
Courtney may have been riding high on his success...
..but the following week...
The boat show was the lowest point for me, so far.
..was a washout.
3.5 metres long.
'All Grainne and Courtney are doing is checking out'
the technical details.
-It's cruising as well as sports riding.
This is a selling task.
People are passing by and they are completely oblivious to it.
-They're missing that opportunity.
-And in the boardroom...
-Claude, what about the Jet Ski vendors?
-Well, Jet Skis, no sales.
..Courtney got that sinking feeling.
-So, all they took is £188 on the day?
Being a salesman is not the be all and end all
of being a good business person
but it is important that you have some ability to sell
and Courtney's sales skills really seemed to be lacking at this point.
-Why didn't you sell any Jet Skis?
-I spoke to many people.
No, you didn't, that's the point.
You did your impression of Otis Redding, you know,
sitting on the dock of the bay,
watching all the people walk by, actually.
I'm not impressed, so you two better up your game.
Unlike his sales ability...
..Courtney's credentials as a designer have never been in doubt.
After graduating, he secured a job at a successful UK gift company.
I was working as a product designer for another company
and I knew I was coming up with these great ideas
and I knew I could do it myself, so I decided to quit.
After taking time out to travel round Australia,
Courtney decided to take the plunge and start his own business.
I create novelty gifts, just fun little pick-up products
you see at the till around Christmas time, like for secret Santa.
We call his products big boys' toys.
Personally, I can't understand why anyone would buy those sort of...
But it seems to be popular, there is a market for it.
He's identified that market and made a killing in it.
I come up with the ideas for the products and then design them,
work with the factories, manufacture them.
I'm involved in every part of the process
of getting the product, from idea stage to market.
And for his customers,
Courtney's quirky designs set him apart from the rest.
When we saw Courtney's products, they instantly stood out to us
because they were completely different
to anything else we'd seen. They were innovative, fun.
Everybody loves them.
In the last three years,
Courtney's seen his business go from strength to strength.
I started a worldwide company on £20,000 of my own saved-up money.
Within the first year, I was already selling to two countries worldwide -
Germany and Australia - and in the space of three years,
I've built that now up to 17 countries.
Courtney's business is really strong now. He's got deals globally.
He's turning a profit at last - not that WE'RE seeing any of it!
And for Courtney, his office couldn't be closer to home.
Courtney's global headquarters is in his bedroom
at his mum and dad's house.
-The office, he calls it, yes.
So, this is the global headquarters of Bubblegum Stuff.
This very desk, where Courtney's best ideas come to fruition.
Essential piece of furniture, of course - the wash basket,
where mum can take the washing
straight from the door down to the kitchen.
..create a virtual reality video game.
-I quite like that!
-Gordon's lost his badger.
-Good, yeah. I like it.
I think Courtney showed incredible insight and skill as a designer.
We need to have the badger's face in a circle
-and then with the flag - "Leave no badger behind."
The concept was a bit mad but the experts really liked it.
They thought it was eye-catching, very different
and something, actually, that was very brandable.
It's a landslide victory
and, Nebula, you got 222 votes out of 300.
I think Courtney's most impressive performance
was seen in the virtual reality gaming task.
That's where his ability to design and come up with concepts
really did prove to be successful.
-We're on the last task.
In the process, Courtney had achieved the most wins.
I've got the flavour of winning as well. Seven out of the nine now.
And in the gin manufacturing task...
We need to pronounce it as "ghin" or "zhin".
..his design skills came to the fore once more.
High five me now, honey!
Courtney's strength certainly lies in design.
Every single time he's had that to do, he's done it really well.
-But Courtney's pitching...
-Hiya, good afternoon.
-..let him down.
Er, the correct way of pronouncing it...
As I said, the correct way of pronouncing it is "zhin". Um...
-He couldn't pitch. He was incredibly boring.
He was stumbling over every single word
and, frankly it was a sheer embarrassment.
Despite this, he led his team to another win.
Nebula, therefore, secured orders worth £71,400.
Final five, final five!
3,000 bottles. That's very good.
Winning eight out of ten tasks - I think that's a great record to have
and I think that Lord Sugar will look at it
and think, "This guy's obviously doing something right."
China and glassware. Everything must go today!
-I am a human iron.
I'm going to iron you out in the boardroom, mate.
I think Courtney has shown that he is calm, he's level-headed,
he's a great designer.
His pitching's always been bad
and pitching is a way to sell yourself and your personality
and it will be interesting to see how he copes in the interviews.
OK, so I think this might be the first ever meeting
I've done in my dressing gown.
I've worked my bollocks off for the last three years
and put everything into it
and I want to take my business to the next level.
I don't just want any old investor. I want Lord Sugar.
Back at home, his friends and family are in no doubt...
..their boy has got what it takes.
He's such an amazing designer. We know he can win.
ALL: Go, Courtney! CHEERING
I've never been fired and I've no intention of being fired.
I'm going to be the next winner of The Apprentice.
We believe in you, Courtney! You can do it!
THEY CHANT: Courtney! Courtney! Courtney! Courtney!
Next, the youngest candidate in the process -
24-year-old Alana Spencer.
-How much would you like to pay?
-10. It's done, it's done, it's done!
-You're bringing the canapes into the entrance.
You're going to be dealing with hot food. Do you have a stand?
-Instead of bubbles,
it could be jellyfish and if they're alight, you can't touch them...
-Aren't you making it a bit more complicated?
At the outset, Alana had a softly-softly style.
-I manufacture cakes for food festivals, country shows.
-You react badly to being shouted at.
Well, you'll need some earplugs here, I can tell you.
In terms of our pricing, are we going to go dropping?
In the first task, she took on the sub team leader role.
-Knock 25% off.
-Knock 25% off.
-Go to 50% if you absolutely have to.
-Go to 50 is we can, right.
-No, not if you can, if you HAVE to!
But, as prices dropped, so did profits.
The pricing was completely overlooked.
There was a lack of organisation and a lack of leadership.
I absolutely don't think I'm responsible
for the failure of this task. Absolutely not.
I don't think I was one of the weakest ones in week one
but I just almost took all the blame
and I think, in doing that, you're putting so much on your shoulders
and that's why I was so emotional.
After a bruising first boardroom, in task two,
Alana clashed with her project manager.
-It's all so disjointed.
-It's not disjointed.
You're coming up with problems to our solutions.
We lost last week and we're going to lose again and it's embarrassing.
And she was back in the firing line.
Can you explain to me why you brought these two ladies back in?
Alana was nothing but disruptive. She didn't listen.
It just wasn't a great atmosphere.
Can I explain what happened because you probably think
I'm a real quiet character but I'm actually not?
You're not doing very well at the moment at convincing me
as to why you should stay in the process really.
The boardroom is the most scary thing you'll ever do in your life.
I was just like, "I'm going to go home now",
and, you know, just thought that was it and lost my words.
Literally, nothing was coming out.
And he was looking at me, going like, "Come on, say something.
"Fight and you can stay."
-Are you ready to talk to me?
Um, so, I...
I think I can, um...
This is so embarrassing.
I've never in all my years in the boardroom seen anyone dry up
as much as Alana did.
It sort of appeared to me that she was completely paralysed by fear.
It was just a nightmare, so week one and two were not my finest moments.
As a youngster, Alana was rarely lost for words.
I was very confident as a kid.
Not so much as an adult.
The elder of two girls, she had an unconventional upbringing.
My parents were hippy travellers. They were free-spirited.
They didn't want to work, um...
They DID work, but they didn't want to.
Alana was brought up without very much.
She was often told that she couldn't have things that she wanted
and I think that's where her drive to have
a comfortable life and to run a successful business came from.
The fact that Alana didn't have much money as a child
has really made her want to make money.
She's very sort of mindful of making maximum money.
And Alana soon showed a talent for turning a profit.
I set up my first business in school.
I was making cards.
I actually sacked my best friend when we were 14 years old
cos she didn't make the cards quick enough
and we needed to make good money on these cards
and her sticking ability wasn't on point.
When we were at school,
Alana would always think of schemes to get pocket money.
She'd make us go and stand on the street,
she made us go and hoover her mum's car once.
-We did just do what she wanted to do cos it was easier.
-Mm, it was.
As a teenager, Alana got a taste for selling food.
She had an interest in making cakes
and then she sold them to my brother and he sold them as corporate gifts.
Alana's chocolates were very popular through our business,
so from an early age,
she was always showing signs
of how she was actually going to make a few pounds from her cooking.
So, in week three, a task making and selling sweets...
Alana, you're in the bakery business.
You need to be the project manager.
..seemed to play to Alana's skills.
I was set an ultimatum, was how I saw it.
"Show me what you've got or you're going to go."
Everything was riding on it.
-It was very important for Alana
to make a success of this particular task.
After all, this is basically her industry
and after two fairly dismal performances,
it was pretty important that she showed
that she was worthy of remaining in the process.
-In the kitchen...
-Don't just stand over that.
Do a bag, mix it, do a bag, mix it.
..she kept a close eye on her cooks.
Guys, if we lose because we've not got a lot of product...
We're not going to lose. We're going to win!
Alana created direction.
She knew exactly what she was doing with the product.
If yours is going to take five hours, it needs to take less.
She was fantastic and from there,
I believe her confidence started to grow.
But on the second day...
I just want to have a quick chat.
..her pricing strategy...
-Two for £6.
-Two for £6, OK.
..wasn't followed by the whole team.
Would you like some sweets? One for £3.50. Two for £7.
Samuel, don't change the price.
I'm getting more, if anything. It's a good thing. Two for £7.
-We can't all be selling at different prices.
-Hello, how are you doing?
The one thing Alana's had to contend with in this process
is people underestimating her
and she's had to push a lot harder than everybody else
to get people to see things her way.
-In the end though...
-Well, Titans, you've done it.
..Alana led her team to a sweet victory.
My most proud moment was finding out we'd won that task.
If had have lost,
I don't think I'd have sold another cake in my life.
Alana did exactly what she had to do on that task.
She showed Alan that she really means business.
While still at school, Alana made a decision which would transform her
from teenage baker to business owner.
Alana has always been very business minded
but I think when her A levels didn't go so well,
that was when the business really kick-started.
I got a grant when I was 18 and had the kit-out of a commercial kitchen.
It's like a small factory on the side of my parents' house.
So, I go there, bake and then on Friday,
get up really early and sell and then it repeats every week.
The gamble to leave school proved a recipe for success.
I knew potentially how challenging it would be
but, over the years, it's really gone from strength to strength.
Alana's got that dogged determination and drive
to be an incredibly successful businessperson.
Alana's business is now so successful...
Gooey chocolate brownie. Sound good?
..she also employs her boyfriend, Bart.
They're only five for a tenner
if you'd like anything else at all, mix and match.
'Alana's brain is always on business.
'We've been doing it for three years and we haven't been on holiday yet.'
There we go. Thank you.
'We're both so happy to be working'
and don't really feel the need for a holiday. Apparently, they're great.
-ALL: Alana, we love your cakes! We know you're going to win!
In week seven, it was the boat show.
Do you have a Jet Ski or a boat?
You're a lucky person because we've got a deal for you!
-As the teams struggled to sell...
..another candidate closed Alana's deal.
-Dillon, that was not cool.
-That was my sale.
I was speaking to them before you were speaking to them, initially.
To come over when someone is talking, that's not cool.
-That's fine, Alana.
-We all want to make sales.
Let's be positive for the last moment, guys.
On the boat show task, we saw, yet again,
people pushing Alana around, yet again not listening to her opinion.
But what was different this time was Alana's reaction.
Alana, £42 worth of sales.
I think certain individuals throughout the process
haven't shown the ability to engage and sell very well.
Samuel, you sold more than anyone else - £78.
But it was only two more fish.
That's what's infuriating about this.
Alana, I'm going to speak now because through the whole process...
-No! Wait, wait.
-It's getting frustrating...
-Samuel, let me speak.
You are a salesman and you did not sell a single board.
The change in Alana was incredible.
She'd gone from this very softly spoken young woman
into this feisty, determined businessperson.
-Alana, I'm going to allow you to remain in this process.
She fought her way through the boardroom
and I think she showed us that she's made of steely stuff.
The change in Alana through this process is crazy.
She is transformed from this young little girl,
this quiet little thing, to this confident, confident woman.
-We can smash it.
-Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if she wins.
-Do you want to do a shop where it's actually a sweet? Happy?
-Alana started off pretty weakly.
She's lucky to have not gone within the first few weeks.
I think we've got this, that's what I'm saying.
-But as the process has moved forward, so has she.
I really want to be project manager on this.
Do not bring up the negatives in a big pitch.
And I hope that in the interview stage
she demonstrates further strength of character.
ALL: Good luck, Alana! We know you can do it!
We're all behind you at home. We love you, we miss you.
We can't wait to see you bring it home.
'I know that I've got a strong business plan'
and I would be absolutely honoured if I won this
and it would be the best thing in the world.
I'd probably cry.
Finally, online fashion entrepreneur Jessica Cunningham.
'My friends say I'm the female version of Jim Carrey.' Hello!
I'm quite animated with my face and I go crazy with my hands.
..emotional and a tireless salesperson.
I can see you eyeing them up. They're absolutely delicious.
I've got a four-year-old with one of these. She absolutely loves them.
Come on, Michael, shake on it.
-Right from the start...
..Jessica stood out.
-Who else was digital marketing here?
She can talk, talk, talk, and she's no full stop,
she's no breathing, she's no filter.
-You're very excited, aren't you?
-I am, can you tell?
-I'm really nervous.
-Take a breath.
-Jessica is this bundle of energy.
-Come here, let me talk to you both.
-She's like a Duracell bunny.
What does your store look like?
Have you got umbrellas or have you got a wooden stall?
-Jessica is like no-one I've ever met.
-This is not an antique, is it?
She's pretty nuts in the house and she's pretty nuts on task.
Jessica's big personality shone through even from a young age.
Jessica as a child is pretty much a smaller version of what she is now,
so she's always been full of character
and as she's got older, she's just got more of it.
Academically, I wasn't interested in schooling.
I could never get my head stuck into subjects. I just wasn't...
I'm more of a creative person more than an academic person.
Now 29, Jessica's a single mum
with three daughters...
-How do you make it go?
-..Poppy, Olive and Hattie.
I've always had drive to do well but, since having children,
the drive is definitely maximised.
It's always hard being the breadwinner
because you have got three people who rely on you
but, knowing my character and knowing my strengths,
I knew I could do it and I HAVE done it and I AM supporting them.
Today, Jessica has her own business,
designing and selling women's clothes.
I set up an online fashion brand with my sister
because I love fashion, I love PR, I love marketing
and I wanted to do something that combined everything
and it's really coming off.
The company uses celebrities to endorse her products.
Jessica is a very creative person
and she's also strong business minded.
She's got this lust,
this passion for success and a passion for business.
She loves building new projects
and she's always had that ever since being young.
So, week two's task seemed a perfect fit for Jessica's skills.
-Can we please think of brand names?
-Design and market a new jeans brand.
On task two, I felt like I would be the perfect project manager
for the role. It was a fashion advertising campaign.
It was a no-brainer for me.
But things quickly came apart at the seams.
Team A are going to be in charge of the brand and TV advert.
You don't want me doing branding
even though that's what I do every day?
THE CANDIDATES TALK OVER EACH OTHER
Let me finish, please. Everyone's talking over... OK.
Um... Oh, gosh.
In the advertising jeans task,
Jessica was quick to put herself forward as project manager
but I think it was the wrong decision.
I underestimated how difficult
trying to control a group of girls was.
I'm a bit concerned about Rebecca as sub team manager.
If you call her and put her down,
it's going to cause friction in the group.
You will completely destabilize the team.
It was just horrific. It was horrific.
The one issue is, we can't find the jeans.
So, you're doing photographs for your jean campaign
without your jeans?
Jessica has experience in marketing and in fashion,
so this should have been a task that she was really good at.
But instead, she just let her emotions get the better of her
and she fell apart.
-I'm so sorry.
-Jessica, Jessica, go outside,
go and take a breath, calm yourself down.
Jessica, you cracked up on the first day, part of the first day.
Honestly, that's not me but I did, unfortunately.
I had a couple of the stronger characters undermining me
and flapping me and I'm flapping now, but...
Sorry, I lost my train of thought.
'I think Jessica knew she hadn't done a good job of leading'
and all her hopes and aspirations
and the reason she was in this process, I think she felt
was just slipping away from her and it all overwhelmed her.
-Jessica, why shouldn't I fire you?
-Because the only reason why I'm here
is because I want you as a business partner.
-Well, so does everyone else.
-I know, but I want it more!
'I felt like a massive failure after that task,'
a massive failure.
Despite that disastrous task,
Jessica's very first clothing venture had been a success.
Aged just 25, she founded Famous Frocks.
I decided to set up my business because I loved working for myself.
I had an interest in fashion
and I just wanted to make money to support my children.
Two years later, Jessica was pregnant with her third child.
Her children's father was also Jessica's business partner.
We turned over a lot of money
and I thought the business should be run one way,
he thought it should be run another way.
Unfortunately, it just got run into the ground.
Having three children and having a business, something gave
and, unfortunately, that was our relationship.
Obviously, I was devastated but, you know, you just get on with it.
I think for Jessica, that time was very hard for her.
When any relationship ends, it's horrible anyway,
but the business was her life and soul
and everything went into that company,
so it was such a shame when it ended.
Jessica was determined to get back on her feet.
When me and my partner separated,
my friend Charlotte offered me a job to come in and do sales
for a marketing company and it just gave me something which I needed
which I felt like I'd lost, if that makes sense.
I think when we started working together,
Jessica got a new lease for life because she was back being creative,
she was back doing sales, she was back doing something
that she loved and it was nice for her to have something to focus on
and she just threw herself into it.
Now, she splits her time between business
-and raising her daughters.
-Over the last 18 months for Jessica,
it's been a massive change.
I think she's done outstanding to go through the heartbreak and pain
and pick herself back up
every single time. She's a real fighter.
Being my own boss and having three children
is quite possibly the most stressful thing,
but I just get on with it and I like the sense of achievement,
knowing that I am supporting my three girls
and knowing that I am their role model
and I am the most important person in their life.
Jessica wasn't to be defeated in the process either.
Hello, are you OK?
-It was her sales skills...
-£145. Can I tempt you?
..that turned her fortunes around.
So, that's just £165. There you go.
-Thank you very much.
After a pretty shaky start,
we finally saw Jessica start to shine in the department store task.
-She was everywhere.
She was in the window, encouraging people to come in,
she was on the shop floor selling product. It was impressive.
So, that's £595 altogether. Thank you.
'I know I'm good at sales.'
It's beautiful. You've made the right choice.
So, I was determined every time out of that window I would make a sale.
-The window display looks great. Go in for a couple of minutes.
'But every time I'd make a sale,
'Sofiane would put me back in the window.'
It was so humiliating.
-She's selling the most here.
-There's no-one to sell to,
so if she goes and charms them, bring them in, then we sell.
-You go then.
-You go then.
-No, I'm selling.
-I'm selling as well.
-Sofiane and Samuel really boast about their sales ability
but, frankly, Jessica wiped the floor with them.
-This is your window display, right?
-When it was quiet,
I was quite happy to go into the window to try and drag people in.
-Like a Punch and Judy show.
-Pretty much, yes.
Well, it didn't stand in your way
-cos you were the highest salesperson on your team.
How is everybody enjoying the expo today? Yeah!
And, as the weeks continued...
We've got a special price today. £399.
..Jessica was the top seller in numerous tasks.
-Are we having one?
I think Jessica came into the process as a sort of ball of energy,
almost couldn't believe she was IN the process.
Choose your concept, then we'll think of the ideas around.
But as the process went on, she toned down
and I think SHE started to take herself more seriously
and, of course, so did we.
Stand by! How much will you give us for the rest of it?
100 quid, please.
Jessica is a strong businesswoman. She's a mother of three,
she came up under pressure and she has an amazing personality.
-I think a lot of people underestimate her.
-I've caught a big one!
-And working with her,
-she's very good and she's got her head screwed on.
-I think Jessica has got enormous energy
and enormous enthusiasm
and can she actually bring that into the interview process
and demonstrate she's got the passion
to make her business successful?
The pillows are going to give us a bigger profit margin.
We're all so proud of you, Jess. There's just one thing left to do.
Go and win!
Drumroll, please. Whoo!
Jessica, good luck from everyone in Sheffield!
ALL: Go, Jessica!
'If I were to get Lord Sugar as a business partner,
'it would mean absolutely everything.'
It's absolutely life-changing for me, life-changing.
This is going to be the winning bedroom of the winning team. Argh!
Next, for the final five...
..their toughest task to date.
Have you got a good business plan, Alana?
I'd say I've got a pretty good business plan, Grainne.
The competition is on heat now.
I've a one in five chance now of winning this
and I'm going to put my heart and soul into them interviews.
In five years' time,
I see myself relaxing on Lord Sugar's boat in the South of France.
He's going to love my business plan. It is a great opportunity for HIM.
I am scatty, I am crazy, but I am a very credible businesswoman
and I do have what it takes to win this.
I've definitely grown in confidence, 100%. I want to win.
I do believe I've got a good chance.
I am someone with a very annoying drive and motivation. God, I...
There is nothing I want more than to win this process.
My God, I want it so bad!
-ALL: Good morning, Lord Sugar.
Ten weeks ago, 18 candidates arrived in the boardroom in the hope of becoming Lord Sugar's next business partner. As series 12 draws to a close, this programme profiles the remaining candidates.
Revealing the stories behind each budding tycoon, it gets up close and personal to discover what really drives their ambition and makes them tick. It features interviews from parents, partners and friends, along with Lord Sugar's trusted aides Karren Brady and Claude Littner.
The Final Five delves into the candidates' backgrounds and looks back over their highs and lows during the process so far.