Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 10:13 UK

McQueen named as The Apprentice


Sir Alan Sugar announces his decision

Recruitment sales manager Lee McQueen has become Sir Alan Sugar's fourth Apprentice - despite having been caught lying on his CV earlier in the series.

McQueen, from Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, said he had to take "a deep breath" when the tycoon told him "you're hired" in the hit BBC show.

The 30-year-old beat three other hopefuls to land a 100,000 job alongside Sir Alan.

He said he would buy his girlfriend new shoes with his first pay cheque.

McQueen will begin work as Sir Alan's new apprentice on 1 July.

As well as planning to lease a new Porsche, he also said he wanted to help his mother get central heating in her flat.

Apprentice winner Lee McQueen (r) with Sir Alan Sugar
Sir Alan called McQueen "a team player" who "always gave his all"

"It's a terrible moment when you've got two great people and I have to make my mind up," said Sir Alan, who chose McQueen over runner-up and favourite Claire Young.

He called McQueen "a team player", adding that "he always seemed to give his all".

"He delivered every single time I asked him to do something," the Amstrad founder said.

Of Young, a retail buyer, who frequently clashed with Sir Alan in the boardroom, he said: "She's always got my help and assistance whenever she needs it."

Final showdown

The series pitches aspiring entrepreneurs to prove themselves in the world of business in the hope of winning a contract to work alongside Sir Alan.

McQueen was pitched against fellow hopefuls Young, Alex Wotherspoon and Helene Speight in a task to create a men's fragrance.

But Wotherspoon and Speight's efforts were not good enough for Sir Alan, who called McQueen and Young - a retail buyer nicknamed The Rottweiler - back for one final showdown.

Sir Alan told the pair: "Claire, you have some great attributes and Lee, you're very convincing. You are very, very, very convincing. I've concluded... Lee, you're hired."

"When I heard those words 'you're hired' it took a couple of seconds to sink in," McQueen said.

The Apprentice finalists
McQueen beat Helene Speight, Claire Young and Alex Wotherspoon

"What swung it for me was when I rolled off my record to Sir Alan. I've been a project manager three times, won three times and never been in the boardroom.

"Claire doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for her but I am gutted for her. I believed at some point that Sir Alan would choose her. She probably went through the biggest journey."

'Very emotional'

He added: "I'm a big softie and when we learnt we were the final two it was very emotional."

McQueen - who earned 78,000 last year - has been asked by Sir Alan to launch a digital advertising product which will come under one of the tycoon's "portfolio of companies".

He said he was "very ashamed" to have been caught lying on his CV in an episode when he was also hauled over the coals for his poor spelling.

"It lost me some of my integrity," he said.

"I got a good grilling and I deserved it, and I learned from my mistake. It won't happen again."

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