Fired Apprentice candidate explains why he boldly refused Lord Sugar’s business offer

The Apprentice delivered a surprise in its penultimate episode when one candidate turned down a chance of making the final.

On Thursday (11 April), the final five were grilled by Lord Sugar’s crack team of interviewers, including his former aide Claude Littner, who placed the microscope on their respective business plans.

*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*

The BBC episode ended with a triple firing – but not before Sugar made a business offer that would have seen candidate Dr Paul Midha, who runs a successful dental surgery, make it through to the final two.

However, in a surprise moment, the cosmetic dentist rejected Sugar’s offer and was immediately fired “with great respect” by the business tycoon, making Phil Turner and Rachel Woolford this year’s finalists.

Midha emerged as a strong favourite when, having been told his proposed scrubs business was a failure waiting to happen, he decided to amend his business plan – news which he told Sugar in the boardroom.

Sugar was clearly interested in this business plan and, after firing Tre Lowe and Florence Edwards, he put Midha on the spot, asking him: “Can I just make it clear we are talking about a 50 per cent partnership with you for a quarter of a million pounds?”

However, Midha told Sugar that, rather than splitting the success of his current dentistry business, he would use Sugar’s £250,000 investment to open a second practice. But Sugar was not convinced and fired Midha instead.

“Paul, I wish you well but, unfortunately, because you’re not prepared to share the whole business with me, I’m afraid to say, with great respect, you’re fired,” Sugar said.

Explaining his decision to reject Sugar’s proposed offer, Midha told it stemmed from not wanting to “disappoint” his family.

‘The Apprentice’ candidate Paul Midha rejected Lord Sugar’s business proposal (BBC)
‘The Apprentice’ candidate Paul Midha rejected Lord Sugar’s business proposal (BBC)

“At the end of the day, it is a process, but this is my life as well and I had to do what was right from a business sense, from a commercial sense [and] from a personal sense as well,” he said.

“If I were to take in that deal and I went home and my family have seen the journey and the struggles that I’ve been on to get to where I am, I know they would have been disappointed and heartbroken if I would have taken that deal because I would have been devaluing myself.”

Midha also revealed a third option was proposed in the boardroom that didn’t make it to air – Sugar suggested a brand new three-surgery dental practice be opened, but “wanted it all”.

“I couldn’t do it no matter how much I wanted to,” Midha said, adding: “So I hope I haven’t disappointed the UK public. I hope they can understand my decision. And thank you so much for the love they [have] shown me so far.”

The Apprentice final airs on Thursday (18 April) on BBC One