In the penultimate episode of the Apprentice the five remaining candidates faced their toughest challenge yet. They had their grandiose claims about themselves challenged and examined by a tough team of Lord Sugar's henchpersons.

One of those henchpersons was Lord Sugar's former aide Margaret Mountford, who is perhaps best remembered for her line in a previous series "Edinburgh is not what is was", after a Jewish (allegedly) graduate from that university said he was not altogether clear about the difference between Kosher and Halal.

The interviewers looked at each of the remaining contestants and did not hold back in their questioning, providing for some rather humbling moments for some of the brasher contestants.

Stuart Baggs was informed that he was neither a brand nor a fish, which surely helped him with any identity issues he may have had. Meanwhile Joanna Riley was reduced to silence when she realised that she did not know anything about the organisation she is trying to get a six-figure salary job at!

Stuart was also found wanting when it turned out that he does not, as he claims, run a fully licensed telecoms company on the Isle of Man, but actually has a license only for an ISP service.

The discovery that Stuart was not the budding entrepreneur he claimed to be hit Lord Sugar particularly hard, especially as he had fired Liz Locke, a perfectly capable candidate, the previous week after Stuart's description of his business achievements at the tender age of 21.

Enraged by the sense of betrayal Lord Sugar hit out at Stuart with intense ferocity, before saying "I don't believe a word you say. You are fired!" It was done so quickly and with such fire that it was just like Ernst Blofeld torching one of his underlings with an electric chair in the boardroom.

The other candidates were certainly shaken, even the normally narrow eyed and cool Stella English, widened her eyes in terror as though the still smoking body of Stuart were lying face-down next to her as a warning.

With Stuart gone things calmed down as Lord Sugar got to the task of choosing which two of the remaining four would remain for the final.

Lord Sugar then moved on to Joanna, he praised her achievements and entrepreneurial spirit in setting up her own cleaning company while raising her children. Despite this he said that there was regrettably no place for her in his organisation but that she could leave with her "head held high". Reduced to tears by his warm words, she left without the job, but perhaps with greater self-esteem than when she went in.

Jamie Lester (who thinks the Thames is the second longest river in London) was found to be neither too good nor too bad and Lord Sugar let him go without too much of a fuss, leaving just Stella and Chris Bates to contest each other in the grand final, due to be aired next week.