The winner of The Apprentice will shock Sir Alan Sugar by telling him they “don’t want his job”, according to newspaper reports.

The Sunday Mirror claims that the show’s eventual winner – who, alongside the other finalist, will have worked with Sir Alan for three months by the time of next month’s live showdown – is set to leave him flabbergasted by turning down the sought-after £100,000 role in his company.

“Sir Alan and the whole team were completely wrong-footed,” a source apparently told the paper. “Alan had chosen the person he believed would go on to become his winner.

“That contestant had become one of the biggest personalities in the series and we were all set for a proper showdown between Alan’s last two. But this individual decided to quit instead. After weeks of hard work and graft, no one could have guessed this would happen.”

The paper says it knows the name of the contestant who quits, but doesn’t want to reveal it “to avoid spoiling viewers’ enjoyment.”

The shock decision comes when Sir Alan asks the contestant if they genuinely want a job in his company, and they decide to put their home life first.

“It is one of the most dramatic moments in the three-season history of the programme,” adds the source. “Sir Alan is forced to pick another contestant – who he obviously didn’t rate as much.”