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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Apprentice banks record ratings
Sir Alan Sugar with Michelle Dewberry
Sir Alan Sugar told contestant Michelle Dewberry: "You're hired"

The final of the second series of The Apprentice attracted the programme's biggest-ever audience, with 5.7m viewers seeing Michelle Dewberry win.

The former supermarket worker beat "gutted" rival Ruth Badger to earn a 100,000-a-year job working for tycoon Sir Alan Sugar.

Unofficial overnight figures also showed 5.3m viewers watched coverage of football's Uefa Cup Final on ITV1.

The match saw Premiership side Middlesbrough lose 4-0 to Sevilla.

The film Pearl Harbour, shown on BBC One, attracted 3.1m. Grand Designs on Channel 4 got 2.4m viewers, while Angels and Demons: The True Story on Five got 1.2m.

Big success

The Apprentice finalists Michelle Dewberry (left) and Ruth Badger
The finalists spent some months working for Sir Alan before the final
The Apprentice, which recently won a Bafta award, has been a big success for BBC Two. Since its second series began in February, audiences have increased by 50% to around 4.6m per episode.

Winner Ms Dewberry, from Hull, went into business after the death of her sister, and ran a telecoms company aged 24.

Sir Alan told her "you're hired", before praising a lifetime of hard work and branding her "a great achiever".

She said it was "unbelievable" to have been chosen.

"It shows you don't need to be loud and cocky and 'bolshie' - just work as hard as you can, and hopefully you will get on in life," she added.

Ambitious

She told BBC Breakfast her work ethic came from her father.

"I've always been like that. I just wanted money and my own house - I realised no-one was going to pay me for doing nothing," she said.

She added it was not always easy to shine with a quieter personality.

"I'm not overly-confident or really loud - it's not my style, especially when faced with so many overly-confident people, you tend to fade a bit," she said.

Sir Alan Sugar with Tim Campbell, last year's winner of The Apprentice
The 2005 winner, Tim Campbell, has been working for Sir Alan for the past year

Ms Dewberry described a previous job working as a cashier in a supermarket as "dreadful".

"There were always big queues, I was good at it and quite fast so I didn't get many complaints at my till."

'Terrible dilemma'

Fellow finalist Ms Badger, a 28-year-old sales manager from Wolverhampton, found it hard to hide her disappointment at losing.

"I'm genuinely happy for Michelle but I'm absolutely gutted that I'm not working for Sir Alan," she admitted.

Sir Alan said he was in "a terrible dilemma" about which of the two to employ.

Ms Dewberry and Ms Badger were "both very employable people" with "tremendous skills".

Although she failed to win, Ms Badger may still have a future with Amstrad as Sir Alan said they would be meeting soon to discuss job opportunities.


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SEE ALSO:
Ex-cashier wins TV's Apprentice
10 May 06 |  Entertainment
The Apprentice's growing success
10 May 06 |  Entertainment
Apprentice duo do battle in final
10 May 06 |  Entertainment
The highs and lows of the TV year
05 May 06 |  Entertainment
Apprentice Khan to host CBBC show
26 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
From boot room to boardroom
03 May 06 |  Football


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