Inventor Tom Pellereau has been crowned the winner of this year’s Apprentice after Lord Sugar followed his “gut feeling” to invest in him.
The geeky 32-year-old entrepreneur was handed the prize of a partnership with the business guru despite being on the losing side a record eight times during the series.
He secured victory with his business plan to sell office furniture which prevents back pain, attracting Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment.
Pellereau has previously invented a curved nail file which he sold to major UK and US retailers and now he is to launch a range of his other inventions with the tycoon’s help.
He said: “I’ve got a huge number of ideas of which the chair was one. Lord Sugar and I will take a break and look through all the products and we’ll really spend some time to devise the business plan.
“I’m very much going to listen to him and I’ve also got a lot of other ideas that I’ve also presented which may well be coming through. So it’s a question of watch this space - but there will definitely be some very exciting products coming shortly.”
Lord Sugar said of his decision to go with Pellereau: “I am a product man in my heart. I’ve made products and sold them to retailers, that’s in my blood and that’s what Tom is all about. It’s just a gut feeling and I’ve done a lot of things in my life on gut feeling.”
Pellereau fought off competition from rival finalists Jim Eastwood, Susan Ma and Helen Milligan.
Eastwood presented his plan for investment in an “e-learning service” for schools, while Ma was aiming to further her organic skincare company and Milligan pitched her idea of a national concierge service.
He holds the record for being the worst performing winner of The Apprentice after being on the losing team for eight of the weekly tasks throughout the series, but he earned a reputation among his rivals as “a nice guy”. He said: “I’m pretty happy about that really. I think this result really shows that nice guys come first.”