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LONDON (AFP) – Northern Irish doctor Leah Totton bagged a £250,000 cash boost for her cosmetic procedures business after winning the ninth series of BBC hit show “The Apprentice.”

Lord Alan Sugar, the program’s supremo, put aside previous misgivings about the enterprise’s morality to utter the fabled words “you’re hired” to the 25-year-old, who beat off competition from friend Luisa Zissman and her baking business.

Totton called the victory “completely overwhelming” and said it gave her business a “good platform.”

“I was more prepared for losing,” she said.

Past winners have not always found immediate success, and it is often the runner-ups whose businesses have ended up thriving.

Last year’s finalist Tom Gearing said that second-place offered more scope for success.

“One of the biggest bonuses is that you have the profile but you still have complete freedom,” he said.

“The winners are tied in with Lord Sugar’s PR company which decides what you can and cannot do. They want you to knuckle down. Whereas I could make the most of the opportunity.”

Totton, 25, hopes to develop anti-ageing skin treatments at a chain of clinics but will continue with her masters degree and plans a low-key celebration.

“I’m not really a big partier,” she said. “My colleagues are coming around tonight, I’m going to cook and we’ll watch the show together. I’m going to go back to Ireland and be around my family.”

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