Who was the first candidate fired by Lord Sugar on The Apprentice?


Michelle Niziol has "no regrets" over the decisions she made as project manager after becoming the first candidate to be told "you're fired!" from The Apprentice.

The property business owner was fired by Lord Sugar for failing to lead the girls, named Team Nebular, to victory in the first episode of the new series due to an apparent lack of pricing strategy in a selling task.

The 18 new hopefuls were challenged by Lord Sugar and his aides Karren Brady and Claude Littner to shift collectable antique items, and were advised to pick the "diamonds from pieces of old toot" to maximise sales.

The Apprentice

Team Nebular made a total of £959 from their efforts selling to the public and trade, while the boys' Team Titan soared ahead with total sales of £1,428.10.

In the boardroom, Lord Sugar told the losing team: "It appears to me that I was talking to a brick wall.

"I thought I made it perfectly clear. The important thing about this is to identify what you have there and to establish some kind of pricing policy, in order to know what you can go and sell it for.

"According to Claude, you just made it up as you went along."

Michelle Niziol

Michelle, 35, told the Press Association that she did have a pricing strategy in place, but that the market-selling sub-team got "carried away" by "fire-selling".

She said: "I was clear with the pricing strategy which I don't think comes across. But Alana (Spencer), her background is market trading and Frances (Bishop) owns a children's clothing shop, so between the two of them, we had a strong team of girls that understood pricing.

She added: "I had been clear that the pricing strategy was left to the market team to set themselves."

The Apprentice 2016

The episode saw Team Nebular flail as they failed to keep track of a van full of their antique goods, while Michelle went against the advice of the expert to head to London's Camden to sell instead of Portobello Market.

Another low moment came when Natalie Hughes sold two vintage vases valued at £300 for just £15.

Michelle confessed to being "absolutely shocked" to be the first person to leave after facing the boardroom with Alana and design and marketing agency owner Rebecca Jeffery, who only made £25 during the task.

Michelle, who owns three businesses, said: "Even in the boardroom I thought Rebecca was going home. I just felt I was a better candidate than her."

The Apprentice 2016

Lord Sugar appeared undecided over who to get rid of first, saying that Rebecca had "demonstrated nothing in this particular task" and that Alana "overlooked" the pricing.

He concluded that it was "very easy" for him to point the finger at Michelle as project manager, and that she was responsible for "a lot of stuff" before firing her.

Team Titan were led to victory by project manager and occasional Bargain Hunt fan Paul Sullivan, a marketing agency owner, although technology senior sales executive Sofiane Khelfa was responsible for some of the bigger sales.

Michelle will appear alongside Rhod Gilbert on The Apprentice companion show You're Fired! on BBC Two at 10pm on Thursday. The Apprentice continues next Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.