Michelle “Cold Fish” Dewberry has been chosen as Alan Sugar’s apprentice.

She beat fellow finalist Ruth Badger, 27,in a final task this evening which saw the return of previous contestants including cheeky chappy, Syed Ahmed, and the ever emotional, Jo Cameron, to help out on the assignments.

Former checkout girl, Dewberry, a telecoms consultant, was hired by Sir Alan after the girls had to arrange an event at London’s Tower Bridge.

Dewberry arranged a James Bond themed evening which despite earning less money than Badger’s murder mystery event, led Sir Alan to choose her.

He said: “You both have certain qualities, two very different characters…. This is a tough one for me, you’re both very employable.

“Ruth you are a very tough character, you really get on with things, Michelle, you’re very focused, you’ve become a great achiever.

“But Michelle you’re hired.”

Dewberry beat off competition from 13 other contestants, as well as thousands of other applicants who applied to feature on the hit BBC2 reality show.

She said: “I’m overwhelmed, I was quiet but I’m very stong, you dont need to be loud, just be yourself and you will get on in life.”

A source told the Sun last month that Badger had divorced her husband, Ian, and is now a lesbian, “Ian told people their marriage was over for a while when they officially split, he told close family Ruth was gay and that he’d known for a while.

“I don’t know if Ruth is dating anyone now, but she’s moved to Manchester to start a new life, while Ian has moved in with his new girlfriend.”

Dewberry will now start a £100k contract with Alan Sugar’s company, including her own office in Brentwood.

The Apprentice recently won the Best Feature award at the 2006 TV Baftas.