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Mike Soutar cameos as The Apprentice hits record 10.7 million audience

'The Apprentice' final reached a record peak TV audience of 10.7 million last night, as Tom Pellereau won the £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar, while Shortlist Media's Mike Soutar helped vet the candidates.

The Apprentice: the final attracted a peak audience of 10.7 million

The Apprentice: the final attracted a peak audience of 10.7 million

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In a break from tradition, Lord Sugar chose not to bring back the fired contestants for a final task, but instead put the remaining four candidates through a rigorous series of interviews with four business people.

Alongside Soutar, the other guest interviewers were Lord Sugar’s former regular sidekick, Margaret Mountford, business troubleshooter Claude Littner, and telecoms entrepreneur Matthew Riley.

Soutar said: "These were not normal interviews. All the contestants were very smart and quick to come up with incredibly nimble answers. It was interesting to do the interviews without the benefit of seeing the tasks. Now I understand why the winner won, but it was so close.

"It was great fun to be involved. It was brilliant for ShortList Media, having been on the programme twice. 'The Apprentice' is so influential, it always gets people talking, and it has been a brilliant experience."

Over the two-hour show between 9pm and 11pm on BBC One, ‘The Apprentice: The Final’ received an average audience of 9.06 million, a 36.7% share of the audience and easily the most-watched TV show of the day.

The final of last year’s series, which was broadcast later in the year in an attempt not to give Alan Sugar’s role as a Labour peer unfair prominence around the General Election, attracted a peak audience of 10.3 million on 19 December.

The first hour of the show (which showed the interviews and then Pellereau emerging as the winner) got a record average audience of 9.9 million between 9pm and 10pm on BBC One and BBC One HD.

In a special extended edition of follow-up show ‘You’re Hired’ host Dara O Briain was joined by Innocent drinks co-founder Richard Reed, columnist Jane Moore and comedian Michael McIntyre.

'You're Hired', in the second hour on BBC One and BBC One HD, also had a record audience, reaching 8.3 million people.

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