Southwell florist Elizabeth McKenna admitted her wildest dreams came true – but it was not enough to earn her a place in The Apprentice final.
The 39-year-old, who runs Flowers by Susan, which has a branch on King Street, reached the final five in the reality business show, from an original 18 entrepreneurs, but was fired by Lord Alan Sugar following a round of challenging interviews, and missed out on a place in the final two.
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However, Elizabeth – who said: “My wildest dreams had me in the final five” – said she had already applied some of the interviewers’ advice to her florist business and found the whole experience “challenging, but ultimately positive”.
During one interview, with Linda Plant, owner of international interior design company Homerun Services, she was told off for being “aggressive”, with Ms Plant telling Elizabeth: “I don’t think you are being very respectful.”
In another interview, Mike Soutar, chairman of a small magazine company, read out negative reviews of Elizabeth and her business, which she said “cut her to the core”.
And Claude Littner, one of Lord Sugar’s advisers throughout the series, told her she had a “great can-do attitude”, but was impossible to work with, as she was so “unbearably bossy”,
She said: “People make assessments of you and all you can do is take it on the chin.”
Elizabeth was pitching her idea of expanding her florist business into the “corporate gifting sector”, to earn a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar, but was told it was just an “online florist” and she was “flogging a dead horse”.
Firing her from the process, Lord Sugar said he liked her enthusiasm, and had “great admiration for you having three shops, but I’m only interested in big business”.
The Apprentice final is on BBC One on Sunday, December 17, at 9pm.