Where is The Apprentice’s Margaret now – sacrificed to Lord Sugar and ‘fired’

Margaret Mountford was a trusted sidekick for the first five series of The Apprentice then returned as an interviewer – but joked she was ‘fired’ after not being asked back

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Apprentice: Margaret Mountford interviewing Luisa Zissman in 2013

The Apprentice hasn’t been the same since the mighty Margaret Mountford left.

The impressive businesswoman was one of Lord Sugar’s trusted assistants for the BBC’s first five series, and was once dubbed ‘the nation’s unloved headmistress’.

Beginning her career as a corporate attorney, Margaret took on the role of a non-executive director at her boss’s Amstrad firm The Apprentice then joined him on screen alongside Nick Hewer.

Margaret would blind candidates while they were on duty and became known for her disapproving glares, creepy looks, and witty remarks.

Margaret Mountford is one of Lord Sugar’s trusted assistants



While giving the food back to Lord Sugar in the boardroom, she was a former candidate who stated that he was inevitably going to be the deputy project manager: “You’re way too far behind it. , you’re practically out of the room.”

But what happened to Margaret after she left The Apprentice in 2009?

Margaret hit the candidates fear


PA Archive / Press Association Ima)

Margaret was with Lord Sugar with Nick Hewer



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Margaret announced she was leaving the program so she could focus on her doctoral studies in papyrus – the study of manuscripts from the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome.

The now 70-year-old businesswoman joked that she wanted to finish her degree before because she was too weak to receive a degree when she graduated.

“This will be my last series on The Apprentice. I really enjoyed making this series and it will be a real key to saying goodbye,” she insists.

“But doing The Apprentice takes up a huge amount of time each year, and that’s the time I could, really should spend on my studies. I’m doing my PhD in papyrus at University College London, doing research. The documents were found in Egypt and written in ancient Greek.

“I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked in the last few years – and I wanted to finish my degree before I needed a Zimmer framework to stand on the platform to receive it.

“It was a wonderful experience, and certainly not one that I will forget.”

Margaret and Nick having fun at Comic Relief Apprentice Celebrity Funfair 2007



Lord Sugar thanks his trusted friend and business associate for sacrificing time that could have been spent on her studies to film The Apprentice with him.

In his own statement, Lord Sugar said: “Margaret has been a highly regarded colleague and friend for over 25 years.

“Five years ago, she agreed to pause her studies for the first series.

“None of us expected the show to be such a huge hit, but now, five years later, she really wants to finish her masters.”

But that wasn’t the end for Margaret on The Apprentice, as she returned to give the final 5 contenders toast in the interview stage for the next few series.

In a hilarious moment in 2013, Margaret pointed to a section of Luisa Zissman’s CV and said: “The woman has an ‘Einstein-like brain’ but has a C, a D, and an E on the scales. Her AS.”

The following year, Margaret revealed that she had not been questioned again and joked that the tables had turned and she had been ‘fired’.

Margaret hosts BBC documentary Pompeii: The Mystery of the Frozen in Time


BBC / Nathalie Biacheri)

“They didn’t ask me back. I assumed I was fired,” she said in an interview.

She added: “No, they obviously don’t want me to keep doing interviews forever, and I don’t want to do them forever either.”

Margaret’s position as advisor to Lord Sugar was taken by Karren Brady, who later admitted that she regretted not following her predecessor’s advice while on the show.

Confessing that it was the best thing anyone could tell her before starting, Karren explained that Margaret had warned her to “put on her workout clothes” because she would be walking 12 hours a day.

“And of course I didn’t take her advice,” Karen said. “The first episode, I wore heels, and at the end of my first day, I remember lying in the tub and my legs aching.

“And I quickly took Margaret’s advice and put on boots. So I learned that I couldn’t stand on my feet for more than 12 hours a day without shoes on.”

Nick and Margaret hosted The Trouble With Our Trains in 2015


BBC / Alex Barrett)

Margaret may have left The Apprentice but she hasn’t completely disappeared from our TV screens – and has hosted several BBC documentaries with Nick.

In 2013. We all pay benefits for you.

They are also part of a program that looks at the problem with trains, the impact and attitudes on immigration in the UK and the challenges we face with littering.

Margaret has also appeared in Countdown’s Dictionary Corner twice while Nick was the host and the pair were on the Celebrity Antiques Road Trip in 2015.

Her last television appearance was in 2019 when she presented a BBC Four show about the Classical poet Sappho titled ‘Sappho: Love & Life on Lesbos with Margaret Mountford’.

Away from the world of showbiz, Mountford currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Association for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies and is the President of the Egyptian Exploration Association.

* The Apprentice airs every Thursday on BBC One at 9pm

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