First for BBC show

Sugar doubles his money by hiring two apprentices

James White and Sarah Lynn embrace after Lord Sugar said he could not divide them

James White and Sarah Lynn were tonight named the first joint winners of The Apprentice as Lord Sugar said he could not divide them.

The tycoon made his decision after Mr White, 26, and Ms Lynn, 35, pitched to an audience of more than 200 specialists in the two industries at London’s City Hall.

Each will receive £250,000 in a 50/50 joint venture with Lord Sugar.

At the conclusion of the 12-week competition he said: “This year’s final has really given me a dilemma.

“I’m a gambler and I’ve always been a gambler in business. This particular year I’m going to double my investment and I’m going to start a business with both of you.”

Mr White (pictured with Ms Lynn) plans to launch an IT recruitment business, while Ms Lynn has created an online sweets retailer.

Lord Sugar said: “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.”

Afterwards, Mr White said: “I have always, since I was a young boy, looked up to Lord Sugar as a businessman.

“To now be his business partner is literally a dream that I’ve always had and for that dream to come true. It’s just very, very humbling.”

Ms Lynn said: “I’m just shocked and amazed and so proud that Lord Sugar found enough in both of us to make a double investment. The future is definitely sweet, and it’s going to be a great adventure.”

However, the final prompted some controversy as viewers felt Lord Sugar had chosen the wrong finalists.

Fans of the show had earlier taken to twitter to urge Lord Sugar to reinstate viewers’ favourite, Michaela Wain who was fired in what some labelled the tycoon’s “worst decision ever”.

One said: “These have got to be the worst final two in the history of #TheApprentice- Michaela should have been there, she’d have wiped the floor with either of these two.”

Another said: “Gonna be disappointed no matter who wins so why am I still watching? Bring back Michaela.”

Money saving expert Martin Lewis tweeted: “I’m stunned at decision. From what we’ve seen its either a business in a recruitment salesperson, or a derivative sweets business. My money would’ve clearly gone to Michaela.”

Lord Sugar reflected his own uncertainty by telling Ms Lynn during the final interview: “You come across as a steady person, not as a risk taker.”

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