Apprentice rival is 'mini-Sugar'

Fired Apprentice hopeful Liz Locke has claimed Lord Sugar axed her to keep rival Stuart Baggs in the competition - because he sees him as a "mini-me".

The investment banker had been the bookmakers' favourite to win a job with Lord Sugar but has become the latest contestant to be booted off.

She was on the losing team, led by Baggs, in a task to sell bus tours of London.

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Speaking about her experience on the show, Locke said: "In that boardroom I felt a sinking feeling as I felt Lord Sugar looking at Stuart with a kind of admiration - a bit like he saw him as a mini Sugar. It was really bizarre."

She added: "But fair play to Stuart, he had fantastic boardroom strategy which has got him through to the interviews, so I can't knock him for that.

"I think his main attribute has been schmoozing Sugar in the boardroom. He seems to have pushed the right buttons and knows what the right things are to say to tug on his heart strings."

Locke was pictured out on the celebrity party circuit earlier this week at Michael McIntyre's Charity Christmas Show.

But she denied she had been actively seeking the limelight.

She said: "I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights. I didn't expect cameras to be outside. They obviously weren't there waiting for me, but I just happened to be at the same event as some huge names.

"So I wouldn't say it's like looking forward to five minutes of fame, I'm looking forward to pursuing a successful career."

Locke insisted she applied to be Lord Sugar's apprentice to get ahead in business, not to achieve celebrity status.

But she added the experience had made her realise she had creative skills and was now considering new career opportunities.