FORMER wrestler Ricky Martin was named the shock winner of BBC’s The Apprentice last night, earning himself a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.
The 27-year-old recruitment manager from Stubbington fought off criticism for his ridiculous and arrogant personal statement and impressed Lord Sugar with his well-planned business proposal for a new niche-market recruitment company specialising in the science industry.
Martin revealed he would be hanging up his Lycra suit and stepping out of the ring for good, in order to focus on fighting all his battles in the boardroom.
‘I’ve now retired from the wrestling ring,’ he said.
‘I’m hanging up my boots and my Lycra and that’s it now for me.
‘I’ve always wanted to be my own business owner and I knew I’d be successful in business.
‘So for me to be successful in a brand new business, I don’t have time to wrestle.’
But he will keep his tag name of Ricky Martin, after the Latino pop star, and not revert to his real name of Richard.
He said: ‘From now on I’m still going to call myself Ricky, because that’s how I’ve always presented myself in business. Be it people love it or like the name, they know the name and they’ll get to know me.’
The aspiring entrepreneur admitted he was embarrassed hearing his personal statement read back to him in the boardroom, in which he described himself as demi-god Thor.
He said: ‘When they started reading it I shrunk in my seat and I was like “Oh God, I was hoping you wouldn’t bring any of this up”.
‘It was a bit embarrassing, I’m not going to hide that.
‘I was embarrassed because I turned up to the process with a lot of bravado, I think there was a lot of the showman element to me at the start, trying to differentiate myself.’
Martin confessed he regretted promising to ‘teach an old dog new tricks’, but he did still feel he was bringing something new to Lord Sugar’s business portfolio.
He added: ‘Again that’s another comment I wouldn’t have said.
‘That particular comment was terrible.
‘I do think, with Lord Sugar, yes, he is exceptional at what he does.
‘He’s an icon in business, very inspiring.
‘But he doesn’t have lots of operations within recruitment, which is what I do.
‘So although Lord Sugar will be such a valuable business partner in certain elements, there are a lot of things that I’m gonna bring to the table for Lord Sugar to understand.
‘But ultimately, he is the most valuable business partner around and I’m very privileged to be working with him.’
Martin beat fellow finalists Jade Nash, Nick Holzherr and Tom Gearing to be named The Apprentice 2012.