Lee McQueen might have been named The Apprentice – but finalist Alex Wotherspoon has also been working for Sir Alan Sugar, according to the papers.

The Sun reports that the 24-year-old – the youngest ever Apprentice finalist – took on a three-month contract with Sir Alan’s firm Viglen late last year after impressing Bordan Tkachuk, who runs the company.

“Alex decided to take up his offer and completed a short-term contract with a subsidiary company of Viglen,” a spokeswoman for the show told the paper. “But he no longer works for them.”

Winner Lee McQueen and runner-up Claire Young have also worked for Viglen in recent weeks – but the spokeswoman denied that any of these hirings had been kept under wraps.

“The filming process is not a secret. If viewers want to know more, all the details are shown on the website. But we’re confident most viewers prefer to enjoy the programme in its current format.”

A source also explained the filming process, and Sir Alan’s policy on hiring candidates while the programme is being shown.

“It’s necessary for The Apprentice to be recorded in advance to allow time for editing,” the insider said. “Sir Alan makes his decision in the final boardroom as to the winner but does not reveal it to anyone until the day of filming You’re Hired.”

“He employs finalists until the programme is shown as they would be unable to find employment for this short period and cannot be out of pocket.”