Leeds business star Sian Gabbidon through to The Apprentice 2018 final - as talk of success in her home city moves her to tears

Leeds entrepreneur Sian Gabbidon is through to the grand final of The Apprentice 2018, after an emotional interviews stage of the TV contest last night.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 13th December 2018, 9:11 am
Updated Thursday, 13th December 2018, 9:15 am
Sian Gabbidon has been one of 2018's standout candidates (Photo: BBC)
Sian Gabbidon has been one of 2018's standout candidates (Photo: BBC)

The Yorkshire businesswoman was moved to tears by reference to her home city, as she was grilled by fellow fashion entrepreneur Linda Plant, who is also from Leeds.

During the interview stage, which sees the remaining candidates aggressively questioned by some of Lord Alan Sugar's most trusted colleagues and confidantes, it was revealed that someone once told Gabbidon: "You can't build a brand if you live in Leeds."

"Well I built one of the biggest knitwear brands in the country, living in Leeds," Plant said. "So you can [do it]."

Gabbidon became emotional when Leeds was brought up in the interviews episode (Photo: BBC)

This moved Gabbidon to tears. She then remarked to the other candidates she was crying because of "something really nice at the end".

Who is Sian Gabbidon?

The 26-year-old is seeking £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar for her trendy swimwear brand, which reportedly has showbiz clients and is aimed at 18-34 year olds.

She came under fire from Plant and others over the price-point of her clothing range - but was praised for her calm professionalism throughout the competition, and held her own to secure a spot in Sunday's final.

Gabbidon promised she'd bring “both the passion and fire” to the boardroom, and she certainly has done that.

Paying tribute to her "humble" background, Gabbidon says she identifies with Coco Chanel as a role model in business, as she "came from nothing and worked her way to the top".

Yorkshire vs Lancashire

It's Yorkshire taking on Lancashire in the final too, as Gabbidon will be competing with Blackburn's Camilla Ainsworth for the quarter-of-a-million pound prize.

Ainsworth has come in for criticism during the contest for her reliance on sex-related marketing in the airline and chocolate tasks - as well as for her own nut milk brand. She and Gabbidon briefly clashed in the boardroom during last night's episode, with the Lancashire finalist insisting her own background was just as "humble".

The Apprentice 2018 final is on Sunday 16 December at 9pm on BBC One.