Lord Alan Sugar crowns winner of The Apprentice 2024

Lord Alan Sugar in the earlier series of BBC's The Apprentice
Lord Alan Sugar finally said 'you're hired' -Credit:BBC

The winner of The Apprentice has been revealed after Lord Alan Sugar admitted it was a 'tough decision' to make. Fitness studio owner Rachel Woolford will become the business tycoon's latest business partner after winning this year’s series.

The final episode aired on BBC tonight (Thursday) and saw Rachel, who launched her boutique gym business North Studio during Covid, going head-to-head with fellow finalist Phil Turner to secure Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment and form a partnership with the business mogul. After she was declared the winner during Thursday’s finale, she said landing the investment was “something beyond my wildest dreams”.

And Campbell felt the fitness studio owner was a “great advocate” for her product and service, but questioned if she could scale her business beyond the gyms she had already done. After the two finalists presented their final pitches to Lord Sugar, the business magnate came to his decision.

He said: “This is a very tough decision, I’ve got to say because I’ve got two very, very credible people in front of me. I’ve got Rachel who claims she’s making money and that she’s going to make even more when she gets the second gym up and running – but gyms are, with all due respect, two-a-penny.

“Specialist pies are not and it’s a market that I’m very interested in, but how can I be interested in it if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a loss-making business at the moment which you tell me is going to turn around and be okay, and that’s my dilemma.”

Lord Sugar continued: “It’s very, very hard for me. I’m having trouble here. But my gut feeling is telling me that, Rachel, you’re going to be my business partner.” The series started with 18 hopeful candidates and a first task which saw them sent to the Scottish Highlands, to host a corporate retreat.

Over the course of 12 weeks, the candidates were whittled down to the final two through competing in tense challenges, including one which saw them tasked with launching a new team for Formula-E, a motorsport championship for electric cars. Team Nexus secured a record-breaking £38.7 million in sponsorship from the event, smashing the show’s previously held largest winning sales record of £1.2 million after Woolford spearheaded negotiations.

All episodes of The Apprentice series 18 are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.