The Apprentice‘s latest fired candidate has a rather bizarre theory about why she couldn’t sell anything during tonight’s pet exhibition task and was subsequently fired.

Ruth Whiteley, the 47-year-old consultant, was let go tonight after not being able to shift a single cat tower at the London Pet Show, but she told Digital Spy that she thinks a new hairdo might be to blame.

“Do you know what I put it down to?” she joked. “Every task that I survived, I had my hair tied back. And in that task, I thought, ‘No, all the girls in the house get to let their hair down – they’re all curling it, tonging it, flicking it, drying it’. And I thought, ‘Right, today I’m going to go with my hair down’. That’s it – I jinxed myself. Isn’t it amazing how a professional businesswoman boils down to her hair bobble?”

Ruth – who admitted that she feels “shocked”, “gutted” and “flummoxed” about getting fired – explained that she couldn’t sell anything because she “just couldn’t find the magic”.

“Whatever people who like cat towers, whatever their magic is, I just couldn’t bloody find it in my magic bag,” she said. “I tried everything – compliments, interest in cats, interest in fake cats on the stand. I was finding even some of the dullest stories interesting, and still I couldn’t sell a damn thing. For me, the magic just disappeared that day. Maybe it was karma – who knows?

“Maybe it just wasn’t going to be my day. At lunchtime, I took myself off to the loo and I chatted to myself in the mirror and I said, ‘You are a superstar, you are fantastic, don’t panic, it’s all going to come good, keep working. You know you’ve got to dig in when times are tough. That’s not the time to run away, it’s the time to face the music and dance’.

The Apprentice“So I went back out with my tutu on and my tap shoes, and I tried to be as entertaining as I possibly could and I still couldn’t make any moggies have a new home. Think of all the disappointed cats! Never mind my disappointment. What you need to be thinking about is all those central London cats that are sitting on an old moth-eaten bed. That’s who I feel sorry for.”

And she promised to take Lord Sugar’s advice about getting rid of people who weren’t interested in buying from her.

“He said I should tell them to sod off,” she said. “I’m going to use it! I’m planning on saying ‘sod off’ to about five or six people every day. At the next exhibition, I’m going to be really cut throat. I can’t wait to do it. I think it’s like a sketch. I’m going to let people come to the stand and I’m going to say, ‘Sod off. Sod off! You can come on, but you can sod off’. It’s great, I’m going to put it in my repertoire. But I’m going to say it really nicely. I’m going to wear a catsuit as well.”


Ruth also revealed that she expected to be brought into the boardroom, saying: “Scott wasn’t going to bring his best mate – his best mates were Brett and Gary. He wasn’t going to bring Natalie, because she had a great sales day – she outsold all of them.”

But she explained that she wasn’t annoyed about that, saying: “If I’d have outsold him, he’d have had to bring one of them in. So the process I think is fair, but equally when you work in a process you’ve got to succeed, and I didn’t on that day. So it comes up and it bites you hard on the backside. I’ve got the teeth marks!”

And Ruth explained that she isn’t upset about Karren Brady suggesting that she might be tough to work with.

“I’ve been self-employed since I was 19, so Ruth has to rely on Ruth,” she said. “I now do have a business partner. Would they say I’m tough to work with? I suppose some days they would. But listen, I like a laugh. I’ve just been on national TV in my bra and knickers! I don’t take myself too seriously. I take business seriously and I take earning money seriously.

And Karren paid me the greatest compliment – I couldn’t have paid for it. She said my sales techniques are kind of spooky but somehow they’re really effective, and she actually said, ‘I’m learning a thing or two from her’. I mean, come on! Fantastic. Baroness Brady! Boom.”

Ruth – who suggested that Vana, Joseph or Scott could win The Apprentice – warned that everyone is in danger.

“I think I epitomise that because I didn’t think that I was, and I’d like to think that I’ve got a lot of skillsets that don’t exist now in the house,” she said. “So I think nobody is safe.”