The Apprentice hopeful Scott Saunders has sensationally stormed out of the BBC series after claiming Lord Sugar pushed him too far in the boardroom, leaving the show in crisis.
Sugar called the star "useless" and said his performance was the worst in the show’s history. But the furious candidate hit back, telling Sugar and his aides that he was throwing in the towel before storming out of the boardroom.
A stunned Sugar countered with: “Good. You’re doing me a massive favour. I didn't want you anyway.”
The senior sales account manager, who lives in Hertfordshire, had already survived one boardroom encounter as project manager when he led Team Connexus to defeat at the London Pet Show. In recent tasks he had seemed increasingly uncomfortable with the bruising nature of some of the encounters, both in the boardroom and with the other candidates.
Sources close to Scott, 27, told The Sun on Sunday how he was pushed too far by The Apprentice boss, who had savaged him in the boardroom. One source said: "Scott took a battering from Lord Sugar and his aides. He said they went for him like a pack of vultures.
"Lord Sugar was absolutely ruthless. He tore apart everything that Scott had done from start to finish, and called him a waste of space.
"He did everything he could to make him look totally inept, idiotic and useless as a businessman. Eventually Scott just snapped. He was prepared to take criticism, but the attack felt personal and vicious, and he thought, 'I do not need this'."
"But Scott did not wait around to be abused further, he stormed out before anyone could stop him and left the rest of the room in stunned silence.
"The producers had no idea what he was going to do, so by the time they realised what was happening it was too late to intervene."
A spokesperson for the show is reported to have said: "We never comment on upcoming episodes because it spoils viewer enjoyment."
Watch Saunders’ audition for the BBC series here.
The Apprentice continues on BBC1 on Wednesday at 9pm