Michelle Dewberry was last night announced as the winner of The Apprentice with a £100,000 annual salary working for Sir Alan, who has sealed his position as one of the business world's most recognisable faces with the success of the latest series of the hit BBC2 show.
Born in Hull and a former pupil of Paisley Primary School, Michelle's working class roots mirror those of Sir Alan's tough East End upbringing to a successful entrepreneur.
Sir Alan himself left school in Hackney at 16 and started trading from a council flat. By the 1980s his Amstrad computer firm was a household name across Europe.
During the second series of The Apprentice, Michelle has eluded to her own tough childhood and told how she had worked in up to three part-time jobs a day, including a stint as a checkout girl. By the age of 24 she was running her own telecommunications business, but last night she was stunned to learn Sir Alan had chosen her to be his apprentice.
In the early stages of this series, Michelle had remained in the shadows of some of the more outspoken candidates, such as Syed Ahmed and her fellow finalist Ruth Badger. But she made a late surge for victory in the final few programmes and Michelle's new job will see her masterminding the launch of Xenon Green, a new venture which will dispose of companies' unwanted computer equipment.
Sir Alan admitted he had agonised over deciding the winner, and said: "I was in a terrible dilemma this year. It was very, very tough".
Copyright Speakers Corner 2017