The biggest shock of The Apprentice 2017 wasn’t just the fact that two winners were chosen, as James White and colleague Jade English had an illicit romance
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The Apprentice ended 2017 in big shock when Lord Sugar couldn’t pick a winner – so he picked two of them.
The business mogul struggled to decide between James White and his IT recruitment firm and Sarah Lynn with her candy company.
Therefore, in an unprecedented move, Lord Sugar shocked the finalists by announcing that he would invest £250,000 in their two companies.
Admitting he had always been a gambler in business, Lord Sugar said: “This year I’m going to double my investment… I’m going to start a business with you two.”
Most surprisingly, one of the winners actually broke show rules during the series and still managed to come out on top.
Self-proclaimed “Del Boy” James reportedly went against the wishes of the Apprentice bosses and found a romance with a fellow contestant.
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The budding entrepreneur reportedly fell in love with Jade English while filming the series — even in the home they shared with the 16 other contestants.
A source close to the show claimed the couple pulled on some “cheeky antics” and broke the rule allegedly put in place by the producers to put an end to any flirtatious behavior outside of the boardroom.
“I’m extremely emotionally intelligent and able to bring out the best in people,” Sarah said before the start of the series, ironically adding that she finds it easy to make friends and form relationships.
“I’m a brilliant negotiator and I don’t just talk – I turn any crazy idea into action and get results.”
A show insider said: Sun that the chemistry between James and the PR and Marketing Manager existed from the beginning of the competition.
“They’re both young and attractive people and they really hit it off during the process,” the source said.
“They couldn’t resist getting to know each other a little better during their time at the house.”
It was also reported that the pair shared an “intimate clinch” at the villa they shared with their fellow contestants.
Before the series even began, however, it was claimed the couple had already said to each other, “You’re fired.”
The source revealed the relationship was over, adding, “Relationships between them have cooled since filming ended.”
Despite breaking show rules with the illicit romance, James made it to the finals to face off against Sarah.
Following the affair, Jade reportedly split from her male model beau after three years, while James split from his heartbroken fiancé.
Lord Sugar considered choosing James because he already had experience in the recruitment sector but also felt the urge to choose Sarah because he enjoys playing in business.
In the end, he just couldn’t make up his mind and decided to choose both of them as his winners in a surprise move.
After winning the competition together, James said: “The last year has taught me many life lessons that I am very grateful to have learned and experienced.
“It’s been a complete roller coaster ride and believe me, it’s only going to get a lot bumpier.
“My advice for me is to dream big and don’t let anyone disappoint you. 12 months ago I was in a completely different place and now I have so many things to smile about.”
Sarah’s personalized sweets company, Sweets in the City, grew from strength to strength after Lord Sugar joined as a partner and is now represented by Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
It’s been a far rockier road for James, however, as his IT recruitment firm Right Time Recruitment is said to have suffered a series of “unfortunate setbacks” and lost £30,000 in its first six months.
They were also caught in the middle of a scandal when it was revealed that James’ staff hired an 18 stone stripper to sit on his colleague as a “special treat” for his birthday.
James’ colleagues hired the “roly poly” stripper, an exotic niche dance specialist usually hired for a man’s humiliation rather than his pleasure, for the newly hired sales manager’s 25th birthday.
The woman stripped down to a police hat and leather boots and spread his head in loud scenes that were caught on video.
A spokesman for James’ company said the raucous party was held in an empty serviced office while James was away with fellow apprentices.
“James wasn’t there and it was outside of office hours. They weren’t in James’ Right Time Recruitment office,” the Sun official said.
In December 2020, it was revealed that James and Lord Sugar had split, with the Apprentice boss reportedly letting him keep the money he invited.
“I wish James all the best for the future and will follow his progress with interest,” Lord Sugar said in a statement.
James added: “I am very grateful for everything Lord Sugar has done for me. The knowledge and advice of Lord Sugar and his team was invaluable.”
*The Apprentice airs tonight at 9pm on BBC One
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/apprentice-couple-broke-rules-affair-26379913 The apprentice couple broke rules with an affair that ended their engagement and relationship