Alan Sugar gives clue to TV's 'Apprentice' winner

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If you don't want to know who is going to win the reality TV show The Apprentice, look away now. Because the programme's presenter, the Amstrad boss Sir Alan Sugar, has revealed his favoured contestant to The Independent on Sunday.

If you don't want to know who is going to win the reality TV show The Apprentice, look away now. Because the programme's presenter, the Amstrad boss Sir Alan Sugar, has revealed his favoured contestant to The Independent on Sunday.

First screened on BBC2 last week, the show features 14 business "apprentices" who are assessed and dismissed, one by one, Anne Robinson-style, by Sir Alan, using the catchphrase "You're fired". The winner will be chosen from the two remaining contestants in the final programme in May. He or she will work for Sir Alan for a year on a salary of £100,000.

Explaining the qualities he is looking for, Sir Alan said: "I don't want to blow my own trumpet but I'm looking for someone similar to me."

Asked if any of the contestants were like him as a young entrepreneur, Sir Alan said: "I am down to the last two in my mind. One of them, I said to the guy: 'You remind me of me a little bit when I was your age'."

And who is the lucky Alan Sugar clone? Paul Torrisi, 34, the charming former car dealer turned property developer.

Explaining the secret of his success, Mr Torrisi said: "I know I'm not the cleverest bloke in business, so I always make sure I check everything, and then I check and check again. That's why I am a success."

His claim to fame, apparently, is "putting together a £3m deal on a phone while riding a bike". Like Sir Alan, he left school after his O-levels. Sir Alan started his own business career selling car aerials out of the back of a van.

The spread-betting firm Cantor has provided some theoretical odds which confirm Mr Torrisi as the 5-2 favourite, but it is not taking bets because the episodes are filmed in advance.

But in case Mr Torrisi is reading, he should not get too complacent. Sir Alan joked: "He reminded me only a little bit of me. That's the problem."

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