'Apprentice' Leon Doyle axed after French debacle

Thursday June 23, 2011

Fired Apprentice candidate Leon Doyle has admitted his attempts to sell a teapot lamp to the French were doomed from the start.

Viewers saw him axed from the BBC1 show after his team performed disastrously in their latest task - with sales only a twentieth of their rivals.

Lord Sugar sent the candidates to Paris this week to sell British products to French customers.

And fast food marketing entrepreneur Leon confessed he did not fully believe in the novelty lamp he was selling - even though he was one of the driving forces in choosing the product.

He and French-speaking Melody Hossaini persuaded project manager Tom Pellereau they should opt for the teapot-shaped lamp.

Leon said: "I definitely wouldn't want one. Doing our market research people seemed to be nodding so we thought 'yeah, we really must get this teapot'. And then we sold a few but we just didn't get the big orders."

Leon said he felt team-mate Natasha Scribbins should have been sacked in his place after failing to sell anything.

Although he managed to make some sales, Leon was fired for taking too much of a supporting role in the task, using the excuse that he did not speak French.

He said he agreed with Lord Sugar's reasons for firing him, admitting he had not pulled his weight in the task after being paired with Melody.

He added: "The regret is that I took a back seat and didn't grab the phone out of her hand and make some more appointments myself."

Photo: © BBC

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