Published16 minutes ago
Boxing gym owner Marnie Swindells has become Lord Alan Sugar’s business partner after winning this year’s series of The Apprentice.
The 28-year-old court advocate and gold medal-winning boxer beat fellow finalist Rochelle Anthony. It is the second year in a row the BBC One show has had an all-female final.
Ms Swindells won Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment along with the partnership.
The business mogul said he chose her as he wanted to “try a new horizon”.
When coming to a decision towards the end of the final episode of the 17th series of the reality show, he told Ms Swindells it had been a difficult decision to invest in her community-focused boxing gym.
He said it was “something which is completely alien to me to be honest and you’ve never run a business before”.
But following her win, Ms Swindells said she was “so happy” she would be going into business with Lord Sugar on her gym, called BRONX.
She said: “What an incredible opportunity and moment for a girl like me to get to a place like this and have become Lord Sugar’s business partner.
“It feels strange to even say that, but I’m not going to stop saying it because I am so happy.”
Ms Swindells went head-to-head with 35-year-old Bedfordshire hair salon owner Rochelle Anthony as they attempted to convince Lord Sugar and industry experts that they were worth the investment.
The pair were supported by candidates who had been fired earlier in the series who returned to help them bring their business plans to life.
The series had started with 18 hopeful candidates, with the first task seeing them fly to Antigua where they were tasked with creating and selling excursions to tourists.
Over the course of 12 weeks, the candidates were whittled down to the two women.
Lord Sugar’s aides, Baroness Karren Brady and Tim Campbell, shared their thoughts on the two finalists before the winner was announced.
Of Ms Swindells, Baroness Brady said: “Marnie, she has never run a business before, and she’s chosen a business that’s very competitive – can she stand out in this very competitive market?”
Meanwhile, Mr Campbell advocated for the boxing gym owner, as he said: “That being said, for an ambassador for a boxing facility, there is no-one better I would think than Marnie and what she stands for.”
All episodes of The Apprentice series 17 are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.