Kate Walsh and Yasmina Siadatan will contest The Apprentice final after a triple firing which saw James McQuillan, Lorraine Tighe and Debra Barr getting the boot.

In one of the most emotional boardroom scenes on BBC One’s The Apprentice, the remaining candidates broke down in tears after James, 32, was fired.

Having survived 10 weeks of business tasks, the candidates faced their toughest test yet on Wednesday night’s programme – the interviews which saw Yasmina, 27, stumble over her restaurant’s accounts and Lorraine, 36, accused of lying on her CV after overstating her length of current employment by a year.

Having taken on board what his colleagues had to say about the interviewees, Sir Alan fired the three candidates, saying to James: “I’ve taken on board everything you have said and there is nothing wrong with someone being friendly and light-hearted. You’ve made me laugh a lot in this boardroom, but that environment doesn’t exist in my place.”

He then sacked Lorraine, telling her: “Lorraine I realise you’ve had a hard upbringing and all that stuff, but you can’t keep bleating about that all the time. You have had altercations with people and I have to balance what I think is going to be suitable for my organisation”.

Finally, he gave Debra the heave-ho, but he had kinder words for her – saying she had impressed him and that deciding between her and Yasmina was a tough choice.