Collins and Soutar help whittle down Apprentice Final Five

Collins and Soutar to whittle down Apprentice Final Five
Collins and Soutar to whittle down Apprentice Final Five

MediaCom's managing director, Claudine Collins, and Shortlist Media's chief executive, Mike Soutar, are set to help sort the wheat from the chaff for Lord Sugar in the BBC's The Apprentice interview episode tonight.

Two of media’s best-known faces will take their places alongside Apprentice stalwarts Claude Littner and Margaret Mountford in the penultimate Final Five episode of the series nine business talent show.

From 9pm, the two will rake through the CVs and business plans of the five remaining contestants who are vying to become Lord Sugar’s business partner.

Collins says she tried to be probing to get the best out of the remaining candidates, but admits she left the more confrontational attacks to the show’s hard nose regulars, Claude Littner and Mountford.

Littner is the chairman of Lord Sugar’s operation and is well known for his scathing dissection of CVs and business proposals on The Apprentice ever since its inception.

Collins has worked in the media business for more than 20 years, having started her career at Chris Ingram Associates in the early nineties. She joined WPP’s MediaCom in 1995 and made a name for herself as a press specialist before taking day to day control of the agency as managing director in January 2012.

Soutar is one the industry's most successful entrepreneurs, having left school at 17 to work as the beauty editor for women's magazine Secrets. By the time he was 23 he was editor of iconic pop magaziner Smash Hits and went on to become editor of men's monthly magazine FHM during its glory days and circulation highs of 800,000.

In a distinguished career, he has also been editorial director of IPC Media before launching his own publishing venture ShortList Media in September 2007.

The BBC One show is gaining viewers throughout the series, and peaked at 6.3 million last week, a 27% share of total viewing. The BBC will be hoping the series will outperform last year’s series, which peaked at 6.89 million viewers in the final, won by Ricky Martin.

Both Soutar and Collins are among the judges for this year's MediaWeek Awards.

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