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Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 12:30 UK
Yasmina 'shocked' to win Apprentice

Interview by Frances Cronin
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

Sir Alan Sugar and Yasmina Siadatan

Sir Alan Sugar has chosen his Apprentice for another year. The final saw Yasmina and Kate battle it out making chocolate. Sir Alan said they were the best ever finalists but Sir Alan ended up choosing restaurant owner Yasmina over favourite Kate. She admits she didn't expect to win and tries to explain why she was chosen over her rival.


What was it like in the boardroom when you found out you'd won The Apprentice?

When you're in the boardroom and you have done everything in your power to get to where you are and you're sat next to a contender like Kate, you literally just turn your head to the sky and start praying.

That's the only thing to do in a situation like that and then luckily those crisp words came pointing my way, 'You're hired' and it was like, 'Yes! Thank you God'. It was brilliant.

Are you saying you were shocked?

I was shocked and I had a few moments in the shower where I let my imagination run wild, that perhaps I was actually going to win this. But then you're like, 'No. Stay focused. Stay calm. It's only week six'. Then week eight comes and you're like, 'Oh God. I've got the conditioner in. Oh my God. I might win. No. Keep it straight. It's not going to happen'.

Yasmina Siadatan discusses her victory

And then you keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going and then you're against Kate and she's amazing, and you've got to do this amazing pitch against the pitcher and then you still can't think, 'I'm going to win'. Even when you're in the boardroom you're like, 'I haven't got it, I haven't got it'. And then he tells you. It was a real shock to me. I was really surprised.

What edge to you think you had over Kate?

I just think that Sir Alan summed it up possibly better than anybody else could, and better than I could, and he said that he couldn't put into words the reason why he chose me over Kate. He said that it's just a gut instinct that he had. It was a feeling that he had and it was just the way that I conducted myself and the kind of questions that I ask and the way I react to things he says. And he said that that's what he liked about me.

He had no faults against Kate. He said that she performed really well and that she was really strong and she's a great saleswoman. If you guys could see her pitch, your chin is on the floor and she's brilliant. The way she answers questions, she's so articulate, she's obviously beautiful to go with it. She didn't have any faults. He just preferred somebody like me for the job he's got lined up.

Some people were suggesting that Kate was too perfect, almost like a robot, whereas you're the raw talent?

I think what people have meant, and maybe perhaps what Sir Alan has meant by saying that perfection can sometimes be a downfall, is that when you push yourself to succeed as much as I like to think that I do, then you're open to criticism and then you're open to failure as well. The example of that is that I did really well on the catering task and he said that he'd never seen somebody make such a massive profit on any Apprentice task.

Yasmina Siadatan, Chris Moyles and Kate Walsh
Yasmina is handing over control of her restaurant to her brother

The following week I'm there pouring sandalwood straight into the big pot with my goggles on laughing that it smelt of dog breath or whatever it was. There's highs and lows to me and he could see that. With any real entrepreneur, they'll tell you that they'd never have got to where they are without closing a few businesses down at the same time. I think perfection can sometimes not illustrate that willingness to push yourself that bit further to succeed.

Do you know the job that Sir Alan has lined up for you?

Yes. I do indeed. I'm going to be working within Amscreen, which is a digital signage company and specifically within Amscreen healthcare, which is providing digital screens into the NHS that we then sell advertising on top of.

You're giving up a successful business to do it. How do you feel about that?

Yeah. I've come to terms with that and it was a decision that I really undertook before I went on to The Apprentice. I've got a brilliant brother/business partner who's carrying on the restaurant and the restaurant is just adorable. We've got a great team, a lovely head chef and it's going from strength to strength.



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