Mortgage broker fired by Lord Sugar

Niziol was held responsible in the board room for a shambolic approach to the sales challenge.

He’s known for his sharp put-downs and business acumen but it seems Lord Alan Sugar failed to take a shine to Bicester-based Independent Mortgage Solutions founder Michelle Niziol last night, as she became the first candidate to be booted off The Apprentice.

Volunteering to lead the all-girls team in a challenge to sell collectables, Niziol (pictured) oversaw the group as they pitted their sales skills against the boys in an attempt to make as much profit as possible.

As leader of Team Nebular, Niziol was held responsible in the board room for a shambolic approach to the sales challenge.

The task required them to spot profitable items from a pile of collectables and rack up as many sales as possible. However, the all-female team made just £959 sales, compared to their competitors’ sum of £1,428.

A busy day saw them rush between antique shops and markets in London in a bid to make as many sales as possible.

Unfortunately for Team Nebular, their pricing was far from accurate, which became clear as they sold a pair of jugs worth £300 for just £15.

Addressing the girls’ team in the boardroom, Lord Sugar blamed Alana Spencer for the incorrect pricing of the antiques: 'Alana, you were in charge of the market team and the pricing was completely wrong; overlooked,' he said.

Ultimately, however, the businessman held Niziol responsible as project manager. He said: “Michelle, you claim to be a business woman and I do see you as responsible for not laying down the rules to your team.”

“It's very easy for the finger to be pointed at you as the project manager. But having said that, I do think that there's a lot of stuff that you are responsible for… Michelle. You're Fired.”

Niziol founded IMS in 2005, which includes a mortgage advice service, an estate agency arm and property management company. The business is based in Bicester and covers Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire