Apprentice candidate Charles Burns has said he was “absolutely astounded” that Lord Sugar picked two winners of this year series.
The peer could not decide between Sarah Lynn, 35, and James White, 26, and hired them both as his business partners in last Sunday’s final.
Mr Burns, who was sacked in week eight of the series, returned to help Mr White with the task of marketing his IT recruitment business. The two had become friends on The Apprentice, and Mr White made the 24-year-old Mancanian he first pick when assembling his team.
Mr Burns said he had been thrilled to be asked back on the show. “It was great,” he said. “From the time that I left the competition and James was the opposition project manager in that episode, we said that whoever wins the task will almost certainly win the process.
“I had a very good feeling he would be there. He has the right kind of character, the right approach and the right business so I thought he would be a very good fit for Lord Sugar.”
Mr Burns expressed astonishment both finalists were announced as winners — the first time it has happened in 13 series of the show.
He said: “I was absolutely astounded. It was as big a shock to me as it was to the rest of the audience.”
He revealed that despite appearing in the final, which was filmed in advance, he had not found out about the outcome until the follow-up show You’re Hired was filmed last week that.
Mr Burns, a management consultant currently working with his family jewellery firm, was convinced both winners would go on to make their mark in business.
“I’m sure that success is almost guaranteed, with being Lord Sugar’s partner and the coverage that they will get now. It’s almost like they can’t fail.”