Scarlett Allen-Horton misses winning BBC Apprentice by ‘the finest hair’

The dream of winning Lord Sugar’s £250k has come to an end for Our Scarlett.

After missing out by what Karen Brady described as “the finest hair”, Scarlett Allen-Horton, the latest in a long line of recruiters to star in The Apprentice, has told Recruiter that she is determined to press on with building her “Harper:Fox Partners empire”.

Described by Lord Sugar as “a spectacular candidate”, Allen-Horton just missed out on becoming the business tycoon’s latest business partner in last night’s hotly-contested final. 

The Brummie, who runs search firm Harper:Fox Partners, lost out to Carina Lepore, who runs a bakehouse in Herne Hill, in the tightest of contests, just failing to become the fifth person from the recruitment industry to win the opportunity to become Lord Sugar’s business partner. The four are Tim Campbell, Lee McQueen, Ricky Martin and James White.

Speaking to Recruiter, Allen-Horton said that taking part in the BBC reality TV show The Apprentice had been “an absolutely incredible experience”. 

“There were so many highlights,” she continued, “but probably the biggest highlight was just walking away after that final pitch [to launch a new brand] knowing that that I had given it my all, and I had some very positive feedback from the audience, and other candidates and from the panellists. So that was a very proud moment.”

She admitted it had been nerve-wracking, but said that the she managed to remain calm at least on the surface, so much so that others on the show had nicknamed her as ‘unflappable’. “But you know what, I thought that this is my opportunity to showcase what I've got within my own business and I'm actually talking about something that I know about. And I'm really passionate about, so although it was nerve racking I tried to just breathe and really use it as my opportunity to show them what I've got.”

Were she to go through the whole thing again, Allen-Horton said she wouldn’t do anything differently. “I stayed true to who I am and I gave it everything I had, from the first day, all the way through. And I don't think I could have done any more. So no, I'm happy with the performance I gave and I did.”

Turning to her existing Harper:Fox executive search business that already employs five staff, Allen-Horton said she has “big plans” to expand the business, initially by opening a second branch and then “to continue to build the Harper:Fox Partner empire”.

Although in last night’s final there was a lot of discussion about focusing on and empowering female talent, Allen-Horton said the focus “will be placing the right person into the right position. That's most important thing, ultimately, no matter who that is. But of course we would like to support businesses with female and diverse talent, and help to propel that talent through the ranks as well. And, you know, sort of a second part of the business.” 

“We are thinking profitable, and we are thinking quality,” she added.

Asked about concerns raised by Lord Sugar in last night’s final that she might be “grossly underestimating” the employee costs incurred in scaling up a recruitment business, Allen-Horton said she was confident that this need not be a problem as long as “we bring the right people on board”.

We wish you the best of luck, Our Scarlett, and look forward to following and writing about your success in the pages of Recruiter and online at!

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