Apprentice Duane ‘fired for being too nice’

Apprentice contestant Duane Bryan has said he was fired for being too “honourable”, allowing himself to be stabbed in the back by teammate Laura Hogg.

The 29-year-old entrepreneur was fired by Lord Sugar after his team’s new fitness regime, Beat Battle, failed to impress health club chains.

Led by amateur wrestler Ricky Martin, team Sterling devised a keep fit class combining martial arts with street dance, and its flop with gym bosses was blamed on the promotional video, directed by Duane and starring bridal shop owner and self-professed dancer Laura.

Duane said: “I realise now that being in the boardroom is not about being honourable and talking about what’s right. It’s about defending yourself and trying to survive another week.”

The director of his own drinks distribution company defended Laura’s involvement in the task to Lord Sugar, insisting project manager Ricky should be fired.

“Maybe I’m too much of a nice guy,” he said. “Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. But I shouldn’t have defended Laura looking back, and especially when I saw her reaction when I’d got in the taxi.”

Duane said of working with 28-year-old Laura: “It was a nightmare because she didn’t want to be told. She had her own way, she had her own idea and she wanted to do it the way she wanted.”

He insists he bears no grudges, but revealed he has decided to declare war on the winner of The Apprentice.

He said: “I’ve got a lot to achieve over the next year and I’d like to set up and compete against Lord Sugar and his new apprentice and do better than them next year, just to prove to myself that I did go too early.”

Duane is planning to launch a new enterprise offering personalised alcoholic drink gifts for special occasions.