Irish doctor wins £250,000 Apprentice competition

Winner plans to offer anti-ageing skin treatments at chain of ‘Dr Leah’ clinics

Thu, Jul 18, 2013, 12:27

Irish doctor Leah Totton got a cash injection for her cosmetic procedures business when she heard the words “you’re hired” from The Apprentice’s Lord Sugar.

Ms Totton, who works in London, was named winner of the ninth series of the BBC1 show and won £250,000 (€290,000) to invest in her business.

Ms Totton triumphed over cake shop boss and pal Luisa Zissman to secure Lord Sugar as her new business partner.

Despite Mr Sugar’s earlier worries about the ethics of her business NIKS Medical, Ms Totton managed to reduce his frown lines by ironing out the wrinkles in how her plan would work.

The finalists brought back previous candidates to help them in branding and marketing their business plans before presenting them to a room of industry experts.

But series tough cookie Ms Zissman broke down in tears after feeling she’d bungled part of her pitch and her baking supplies online wholesale business, Baker’s Toolkit, failed to rise to success in the boardroom.

Mr Sugar’s new business partner was seen bossing her team around much more than usual in the final task.

She said: “I’m hoping I keep that assertiveness. (Luisa) took some of the softer side of me and I took some of her bossiness.”

Ms Totton (25) plans to offer anti-ageing skin treatments including chemical peels and dermal fillers at a chain of clinics where she hopes to raise the standards of the beauty industry with her medical credentials.

The brand name has changed to Dr Leah at Lord Sugar’s request and Ms Totton is continuing with a masters degree as well as planning to keep her hand in clinical work as a locum.

She said she did not expect her new business partner to become a client any time soon: “I think Lord Sugar’s face is fine as it is.”

The winner also remained tight lipped about whether her fellow contestants had booked in for treatments, saying: “That’s confidential, I can’t tell you what enquiries I’ve had.”

Despite worries about her entering the tough process, the doctor said her family were “delighted” at her win: “I’m the first person in my family to have even gone to university so it’s such a massive achievement for the whole family.”

After the final was broadcast, Ms Totton tweeted that she was “totally overwhelmed”, adding: “I am delighted to have won The Apprentice & to be Lord Sugar ‘s new business partner! Very excited for Dr Leah clinics and skincare range.”

Ms Zissman added her congratulations, tweeting: “Thanks for all your love and support well done to my amazing friend Dr LeahTotton an incredible woman who will create an incredible business.”


Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.