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The Apprentice: Lord Sugar crowns TWO winners

By Andrew Bullock For Mailonline

Published: 17:08 EST, 17 December 2017 | Updated: 17:08 EST, 17 December 2017

CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT THE APPRENTICE 2017 SEASON FINALE

Lord Sugar has crowned two winners of The Apprentice, for the first time in the BBC reality series' 13-season history.

In the shock twist, the business mogul found it impossible to choose between candidates James White, 26, and Sarah Lynn, 35 and so hired them both – doubling his £250,000 investment and giving each of them the money to inject into their prospective businesses.

'Lord Sugar couldn’t make a decision,' James revealed, speaking to MailOnline. 'It was definitely different for this to be the result, but he felt it was unfair to give it to one and not the other.'

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'He couldn't make a decision!' Lord Sugar has hired BOTH Sarah Lynn and James White... after struggling to choose between finalists for the first time ever

'He couldn't make a decision!' Lord Sugar has hired BOTH Sarah Lynn and James White… after struggling to choose between finalists for the first time ever

Hired... and hired! In the shock twist, the business mogul ended up doubling his £250,000 investment and giving each of the finalists the money to inject into their prospective businessesHired... and hired! In the shock twist, the business mogul ended up doubling his £250,000 investment and giving each of the finalists the money to inject into their prospective businessesHired... and hired! In the shock twist, the business mogul ended up doubling his £250,000 investment and giving each of the finalists the money to inject into their prospective businessesHired... and hired! In the shock twist, the business mogul ended up doubling his £250,000 investment and giving each of the finalists the money to inject into their prospective businesses

Hired… and hired! In the shock twist, the business mogul ended up doubling his £250,000 investment and giving each of the finalists the money to inject into their prospective businesses

'I feel amazing about it; I'm so glad we could both win!'

Sarah added: 'It's a win/win for us. I never expected this as an outcome but it was such a joy when Lord Sugar said he was going to make this double investment.'

Whether he planned to do this all along is anyone's guess, but the new champions have their own opinions on the matter.

'I think it was spontaneous,' Sarah said. 'Both services that our companies offer are different, and he's spoken highly of us both through the process. But no-one expected it.'

James added: 'I’ve got my own agenda and if he wants to invest in both of us then that's fantastic.'

James will be using his investment to build on his Birmingham-based IT recruitment company, while Sarah will develop of confectionery company.

In the final, the pair recruited fired candidates to help them launch their businesses, battling against each other for what they thought was one single place as Lord Sugar's partner.

'We're close, but we were very much aware that we were each other's competition. We each wanted to do that little bit better than the other one,' Sarah explained.

'We knew we were going to give each other a tough time – it's not personal,' added James. 'I of course went into the final boardroom saying why my business was better than hers. But we just pointed out each other's flaws. We still had respect for each other.'

Sarah explained that Lord Sugar found it unfair to rule one of the two out of the opportunity.

'All I feel is happiness,' she said. 'I'm so excited to be part of this Apprentice first.'

It may be a first, but will it be a last?

James put the result down to the fact that the latest season was the 13th year of the show and that 'it's been one of the strongest years' – suggesting that it's a one off.

'I hope the public enjoy the result,' he said. 'There's bound to be haters who don't like this twist, but from my point of view, I'm over the moon.'

In the final at London’s City Hall, both Sarah and James had to pitch their business plans to Lord Sugar and his panel of industry experts, aiming to prove they have the potential to turn their businesses into big profit brands.

In the final boardroom, Lord Sugar appeared undecided as he grilled both candidates before asking for final guidance from his advisors Karren Brady and Claude Littner, saying: 'It is quite obvious that there are two fantastically skilled people there. Sarah is very eloquent, she knows her business inside out, although why she hasn’t done the commercial website properly, I don’t get.

'With James, a very, very crowded market, but he has proved that he can do it when he worked for someone.'

Claude said: 'I think you have got a problem because, as it’s turned out, I think they’re both investable. With Sarah, I think you’ve got slow and steady, but with James I think you’ve got someone who’s going to go out and really go for it.'

Karren added: 'But James is more risky. Sarah is an expert in her field; she spotted a gap in the market. She has all the skills an entrepreneur needs, but I mean, I don’t envy you.'

After hearing impassioned closing arguments from each candidate, Lord Sugar made his final decision: 'This particular year, I’m going to double my investment… I’m going to start a business with both of you!'

Lord Sugar told the BBC: 'This is a historic moment I suppose, in the thirteen years we’ve been doing this. And it’s really because of what I said in the episode. I couldn’t make a decision, it had to be both of them! They were two genuinely great experts in their field and I’m looking forward to going into business with them.

'I was torn; I just couldn’t choose between one of the other. The only fair thing to do was to choose them both. Thing is, it’s now going to cost me half a million pounds.'

Both Sarah, James and Lord Sugar will be taking a break for Christmas before they discuss their new ventures further in 2018.

Original Article

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