St Albans girl Luisa Zissman makes Apprentice final

Luisa Zissman faced questioning from Claude Littner

Luisa Zissman faced questioning from Claude Littner - Credit: Archant

RESILIENT Luisa Zissman managed to hold her nerve tonight when she came under scrutiny from four of Lord Sugar’s trusted advisors in the penultimate episode of The Apprentice.

One of two coveted places in next week’s final was handed to the mum-of-one, from St Albans, after she was put through her paces by Lord Sugar’s formidable associates.

The five remaining candidates had 24 hours to brush up on their business plans before being sent to have their ideas, credentials and personalities dissected.

At the beginning of the day Luisa told her fellow nervous competitors: “This is our chance to showcase our business, smile and walk out with your head held high. If we all have that attitude we’ll have a lovely day.”

Things got off to a shaky start for the 26-year-old with tough-talking Claude Littner when she described herself as being similar to her potential future business partner. He warned her: “Don’t compare yourself to Lord Sugar... don’t compare yourself ever to him.”

She was also pushed to her limits when discussing her idea to create a new baking brand with Mike Soutar who labelled her business plan “half-baked”.

But Luisa was quick to admit: “I think that writing a business plan is definitely not one of my strong points, and face-to-face I am a lot stronger.”

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After being briefed by his hit-squad, it was crunch time for the self-made multi-millionaire who had to choose which three candidates to send packing.

Jordan was the first to feel his force, closely followed by Neil which left the three girls to battle for the remaining spots.

Lord Sugar raised some concerns about working with Luisa but confessed he was a risk-taker and was attracted to her proposal due to his experience in the consumer industry.

True to his word Francesca’s dreams came crashing down and the cupcake businesswoman was told she would join Leah in next week’s final.

Aide Karren Brady said she was delighted his new business partner was going to be a woman and also commented: “A good entrepreneur spots a gap in the market which is what Luisa has done.”

The pair will now go head-to-head in one last challenge, which will be aired on BBC1 next Wednesday, before the business tycoon must decide who to hire.