Monday 19 February 2018

'You're hired' – Irish doctor gets nod from Sugar

Derry-born Leah Totton is unveiled as the winner of 'The Apprentice', in London
Derry-born Leah Totton is unveiled as the winner of 'The Apprentice', in London

Katie Archer

AN Irish doctor has been named the winner of the ninth series of the BBC's 'The Apprentice' – bagging Stg£250,000 (€290,000) to plump up her business finances.

Derry-born Leah Totton got a cash injection for her cosmetic procedures business when she heard the words "you're hired" from The Apprentice's Alan Sugar.

The doctor, who works in London, triumphed over cake shop boss and pal Luisa Zissman to secure Sugar as her new business partner.

Glamorous Totton was the bookies favourite to win from the start of the series, and despite Sugar's earlier worries about the ethics of her business, NIKS Medical, Totton managed to iron out the wrinkles in how her plan would work.

The finalists brought back previous candidates to help them in branding and marketing their business plans before presenting them to a room of industry experts.

But tough cookie Zissman broke down in tears after feeling she'd bungled part of her pitch and her baking supplies online wholesale business, Baker's Toolkit, failed to rise to success in the boardroom.

Now Totton (25) plans to offer anti-ageing skin treatments at a chain of clinics where she hopes to raise the standards of the beauty industry with her medical credentials. The brand name has changed to Dr Leah at Sugar's request and Totton is continuing with a masters degree as well as planning to keep her hand in clinical work as a locum.

Despite worries about her entering the tough process, the doctor said her family were "delighted" at her win: "I'm the first person in my family to have even gone to university so it's such a massive achievement for the whole family."

Totton said of her plans to celebrate: "I'm not really a big partier. My colleagues are coming round tonight, I'm going to cook and we'll watch the show together. I'm going to go back to Ireland and my family."

Irish Independent

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