Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 11:55 UK

Profiles: Apprentice finalists

Four finalists were in the running to become Sir Alan Sugar's Apprentice this week.

Here is how they measured up ahead of Wednesday's final.

Alex Wotherspoon
Alex Wotherspoon
Age: 25
From: Bolton
Job: Regional sales manager
Form: 5 wins, 5 losses

Alex was project manager of Team Renaissance in the first week and narrowly avoided being fired for his handling of the fish task. His second stint as project manager was more successful, his team recording a convincing win in the advertising challenge.

His best performance came in the car rental task when he made the lion's share of his team's winning total. But his reticent style drew criticism from Sir Alan's aide Margaret Mountford, who said he "backed so far off" in Week Four "he was practically out of the door".

Alex began his working life as a landscape gardener before going to Texas to work as a loan officer. He consistently attributed his lack of experience to his relatively young age.

Claire Young
Claire Young
Age: 29
From: Wakefield
Job: Senior retail buyer
Form: 3 wins, 7 losses

Claire was project manager twice, winning on both occasions. But she was also brought back into the boardroom five times, more than any other finalist.

Initially her abrasive style and talkativeness provoked Sir Alan's ire, though he would later be impressed by her apparent willingness to take his criticisms onboard. Though her team lost the advertising task, she received praise from Nick Hewer for her presentation skills.

Convent educated, single girl Claire spent a year at medical school before taking a degree in Equine Science. She also spent three seasons as a Club 18-30 holiday rep in Magaluf on the Spanish island of Majorca.

Helene Speight
Helene Speight
Age: 32
From: Leeds
Job: Global pricing leader
Form: 5 wins, 5 losses

Helene, the oldest of the remaining candidates, was project manager twice. Her team won the photography task under her leadership but lost the wedding challenge.

A "ballsy Northerner" who has worked for General Electric since 2000, Helene has succeeded in a very masculine environment. Over the course of the series she revealed details about her difficult childhood.

This cut little ice with Sir Alan, though, who expressed concerns whether her corporate background made her suitable for a role in his organisation. She came close to being fired in Week 10 when he likened her posture to that of the Mona Lisa.

Lee McQueen
Lee McQueen
Age: 30
From: Princes Risborough
Job: Recruitment sales manager
Form: 7 wins, 3 losses

Apprentice winner Lee was project manager twice, winning on both occasions. Unlike the other candidates, he was never among the final three brought back into the boardroom.

That did not stop him getting a rough ride in the interview episode, when he was hauled over the coals for his poor spelling and for lying on his CV.

Lee grew up in Middlesex but now lives in Buckinghamshire. Before winning The Apprentice, he worked as a Sales Manager for the Capita group.

He is best known for his oft-repeated catchphrase "That's what I'm talking about!" and his exuberant impression of a "reverse pterodactyl".

Four battle to win The Apprentice
10 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Apprentice reject was 'too zany'
05 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Simon named The Apprentice winner
14 Jun 07 |  Entertainment


Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific