Jamie Lester: I had no Apprentice game plan

By Jessica Elgot, December 16, 2010
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Jamie Lester as a Barmitzvah boy

Jamie Lester as a Barmitzvah boy

Property developer Jamie Lester was the last Jewish candidate to be fired from The Apprentice, after a gruelling round of interviews this week.

He left in the semi-final of the BBC show, along with Stuart Baggs and Joanna Riley.

Mr Lester made it clear that the job with Lord Sugar, and its six-figure salary, had been his priority from the beginning and that he was not interested in TV stardom.

He applied after the credit crunch hit his company. “Of course, what I wanted was the job and the chance to work with Lord Sugar. Everything I would have learnt on the job would be fantastic and obviously the money was very good.”

Former Ilford Jewish Primary pupil Mr Lester, 28, said he was initially worried about not having a game plan. “The truth was that I didn’t have any idea. People kept asking me what my tactics were and I thought ‘I’m in trouble here.’ I hadn’t thought about it.

“I decided to sell like it was my own company, and treat people like I treat my colleagues in real life, and that’s what I did.”

He developed a reputation as a born salesman. “These tasks gave me carte blanche to be a haggler. That was made for me.”

The tasks took Mr Lester into strange scenarios, He was a skiing penguin and took tourists on a gory ghost tour around London.

It was his final four tough interviews that he found hardest. One of the interviewers was Lord Sugar’s former aide Margaret Mountford who later said: “I found it hard to struggle through 15 minutes with him.”

Mr Lester said: “It was terrifying. Their main aim is to give you enough rope to hang yourself. It’s not a normal interview. ”

He describes his family as “typically Jewish” and says they are “pretty loud. My wife isn’t Jewish but when she comes into the family environment she says ‘How do you think in this noise?’ and I say ‘It’s normal for me.’”

Mr Lester was one of four Jewish candidates on the show, which also featured Melissa Cohen, Alex Epstein and Joy Stefanicki.

Last updated: 4:36pm, December 16 2010