The Apprentice: Adam Corbally named favourite candidate of all time

The enthusiastic series eight star beat fellow contenders Ricky Martin and Tom Pellereau to top a poll of over 3,000 RadioTimes.com users

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He may have failed to reach the final of last year’s Apprentice after finding himself on the wrong on end of Lord Sugar’s firing finger, but Adam Corbally can at last put that behind him after RadioTimes.com users handed him the ultimate accolade, naming him their favourite ever candidate on the business reality show.

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The former market trader, known for his endearingly excitable nature and his pile ’em high and sell ’em cheap approach to business, topped a shortlist of 20 of the best candidates after more than 3,200 votes were cast in our poll.

Corbally, 33, snatched the win from under the noses of series eight winner Ricky “Witness the Fitness” Martin – the professional wrestler-turned recruitment manager – and series seven champion Tom Pellereau, the chic geek and inventor of the curved nail file.

Martin and Pellereau had been neck and neck for much of the vote, with Corbally in third place, but a late surge left his competitors lagging slightly behind his 27 per cent of the vote as the poll closed.

In fourth place, Stuart Baggs: The Brand, one of the stand-out characters of series six, drew 7 per cent of the vote, followed in fifth place by series seven’s “Jedi” Jim Eatswood with 3 per cent.

“I’m really, really pleased,” Corbally RadioTimes.com of his win. “It’s funny how me and Ricky were so close in the vote – because we’re really close in real life, we’ve just booked [speaking engagements in] Vegas together, and we had a really close rivalry on the show but we’re also close on a personal basis.

“In the end, there was nothing in it – I won by just a whisker.”

So how does Corbally explain his popularity with Apprentice viewers? “It helps being the down-to-earth one,” he says. “Although a lot of the candidates are funny to watch, not many people can relate to them, so I hope I came across as the relatable one.

“The things I said on the show, I backed up – I didn’t go on You’re Fired! and say ‘No, I didn’t mean it, everyone’s great.’ I stuck to my guns. That doesn’t mean I don’t like those people on a personal basis but I’m quite happy to be honest about what I thought of them on the show.”

So does being named the most popular Apprentice candidate take the edge off not having won the show itself? “I’ve got no hard feelings about not having won The Apprentice,” says Corbally. “I’ve got this award, last year I got nominated for best reality TV personality as well, so it’s been one big opportunity for me since I left the process.

“You don’t always have to win, it’s led to some great things – I’m doing a lot of motivational speaking, which has led to a lot of consultancy work going into firms and looking at things with a fresh pair of eyes.”

And as a new series of The Apprentice begins on BBC1, will Corbally be making time in his busy schedule to check out the new batch of candidates?

“I am a big Apprentice fan. I always have been and I still am and I’ll be watching it tonight…”

See the full results of the poll below.

1. Adam Corbally (27%)

2. Ricky Martin (26%)

3. Tom Pellereau (22%)

4. Stuart Baggs (7%)

5. Jim Eastwood (3%)

6. Raef Bjayou (3%)

7. Ruth Badger (2%)

8. James McQuillan (2%)

9. Liz Locke (2%)

10. Lee McQueen (1%)

11. Stella English (1%)

12. Lucinda Ledgerwood (1%)

13. Katie Hopkins (1%)

14. Tim Campbell (1%)

15. Saira Khan (1%)

16. Kate Walsh (1%)

17. Philip Taylor (1%)

18. Debra Barr (<1%)

19. Natasha Scribbins (<1%)

20. Melissa Cohen (<1%)

The Apprentice returns to BBC1 tonight at 9pm, with 15 new candidates aiming to convince Lord Sugar to go into business with them – and perhaps secretly hoping they will one day see their names at the top of a RadioTimes.com poll…

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Visit Adam Corbally’s website adamcorbally.co.uk