It has been a long and difficult process on The Apprentice 2024, with finalist Phil Turner understanding that more than anyone.


Having lost in nine consecutive tasks, Lord Sugar gave Phil one last opportunity before firing him – and it paid off! Even more so, given the pie company owner made it all the way to the final along with Rachel Woolford.

During the final boardroom moment of season 18, Rachel and Phil were given the chance to pitch their businesses one last time before Lord Sugar made his decision.

As Lord Sugar addressed Phil about making a profitable business, Phil told the business mogul "there is more to running a business than making profits", and that didn't go down too well.

Lord Sugar retorted: "Not really, sorry Phil. That is a dangerous statement, let's cut the crap. You're in business to make money. Well, I am anyway, and if you're not in business to make money then you're gonna be no good to me, that's for sure."

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In an exclusive interview with, Phil opened up about that moment, clarifying further what he meant by his comment.

Understanding that viewers only get a "snapshot" of the entire conversation, Phil said: "I think what I was saying was, for me, the way I like to do business is I like to make sure the fundamentals are there.

"So the way that we treat our customers, the effort that we make in keeping our products really great, bearing in mind these are recipes that we've inherited through the family generations – these are like heirlooms to us.

"So I always think if you get the fundamentals right, you treat your staff well, you have good company ethos, you stand for the right things, the profit will come."

The pie company boss explained that during the cost of living crisis, it was important that "too much cost" wasn't put on the customer and admitted that could have been a reason why profits were down. However, he was confident their customer base would remain loyal and would stay loyal during the "good times and the bad times".

Phil Turner on The Apprentice. He is prepping a pie in a kitchen and is wearing a white t-shirt and blue and white apron.
Phil Turner on The Apprentice. FreemantleMedia Ltd

"So I think really what I was trying to get the point across was, for me, the success of my business isn't necessarily the bottom line each year," he told

"Obviously, we want to be profitable. But there are times you need to kind of ride the wave and make sure that you look after your customers and staff and the people that have actually got you to where you are."

In the end, it was Rachel Woolford who won the season, with her boutique fitness studio impressing Lord Sugar and the industry experts at the black-tie event.

In the final moments of the episode, Lord Sugar weighed up both Rachel and Phil's businesses, admitting he was interested in the market of specialist pies.

"There's a loss-making business at the moment, which you tell me is going to turn around and be OK, and that's my dilemma," he said.

Coming to his decision, Lord Sugar concluded: "It's very, very hard for me. I'm having trouble here. But my gut feeling is telling me that, Rachel, you're going to be my business partner."

The Apprentice season 18 is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.


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