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Apprentice winner Leah Totton plans cosmetic procedure business

  • BBC

"I’m a woman and I'm interested in appearance." As feminist manifestos go, it probably needs a bit of work, but the approach helped Belfast doctor Leah Totton win the latest series of The Apprentice. She saw off the challenge of Luisa Zissman to secure £250,000 of Sir Alan Sugar's money for her business idea.

Totton wants to invest her winnings in vital medical research to help the afflicted. Just kidding. Her company, called "Dr Leah" on Sugar's rather creepy insistence, will provide cosmetic procedures for women who just aren't fortunate enough to have the dazzling good looks of lovely Leah.

Sugar must have been impressed by Leah's lack of scruples, always a useful asset in business. Spoilsports might believe that encouraging vulnerable and credulous women to have unnecessary cosmetic procedures is hardly the most edifying use of what in effect, given the BBC's investment, is public money. Leah didn't see it that way.

"I want to ensure these treatments are carried out in a medical environment by properly trained medical professionals," she said. "It worried me to see these procedures done by people who are not medically trained." That is worrying, the idea that all the proper doctors are wasting their time treating illnesses and saving lives, rather than offering scar-lasering and chin-tucks.

Leah insisted that she wouldn't be pushing her treatments on anybody, suggesting, albeit in politer terms, that there were already plenty of ugly women out there desperate to use her services. "We need to be clear I’m not going into this to encourage women to have these treatments," she said. "The market is already there."

You'd wait a long time to hear any objections from Sugar. "The business margins are very good," he purred, no doubt wishing he had offered an Amstrad home botox kit back in the 80s.

It's difficult to beat the inanity, pretension and self-delusion of most Apprentice contestants, but with its ninth winner, the show would seem to have plumbed new depths of depressing attitudes among Britain's young entrepreneurs.

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