Bradford entrepreneur Ellie Reed’s dream of winning TV show The Apprentice was shattered tonight when Lord Alan Sugar told her: “You’re fired”.

Ellie, who runs A&E Construction Recruitment and A&E Facilities in Shipley, beat thousands of hopefuls to land a place on the BBC1 show, competing to be Lord Sugar’s business partner with a £250,000 start-up grant.

But last night she was brought back into the boardroom by project manager Vincent Disneur when their team failed a task involving creating a pet food, filming an advert and pitching it to industry experts.

In a shock twist, Ellie wasn’t the only contestant in the doghouse – Vincent was also fired.

On the programme, Lord Sugar told Ellie: “You’re forceful when you’re in the firing line. What I haven’t seen from you is being forceful on the task.”

Afterwards, Ellie told the T&A: “We felt we should have won as we had a better campaign, but our idea was flawed. It was Jim’s idea, but Vincent didn’t bring him back because he’s his mate.

“Lord Sugar said I didn’t do enough, but I didn’t have chance to show what I could do. I was gutted to be fired – it should have been just Vincent.” Ellie, 34, of Baildon, added: “I wasn’t competitive enough. There were some big characters all trying to shout the loudest, but I couldn’t be bothered with that.

“I feel like I left with my head held high. I wish I had been project manager, then I could have shown more of myself.”

Ellie, who set up A&E Construction Recruitment aged 27, added: “I watch The Apprentice every year, so to get onto the show was surreal. It was fantastic, but it’s tougher than it looks.

“Living in a house together was like being back at university and, although we weren’t there to make friends, I’ll probably keep in touch with Helen, Natasha, Jim and Gavin.” Ellie, who went to Bingley Grammar School, was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was 29. She is now recovered and campaigns for women to undergo regular smear tests. She will be taking part in a Race for Life in Bradford later this month.

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  • Read the full story in Thursday's T&A