TAUNTON'S The Apprentice candidate Lottie Lion survived a grilling from Lord Sugar after being called back into the boardroom in last night's episode of the hit BBC1 series.

Lottie was on the losing Unison team in the task to design a toy and was chosen to front up to Lord Sugar along with Riyonn and Souleyman, who was fired.

She told the County Gazette: "To find we'd had no orders (for Tommy the Talking Turtle) was horrible news. We felt like we'd failed.

"I knew then that I'd be called back into the boardroom because I'm potentially the least popular candidate on the programme because I'm opinionated and outspoken.

"It was quite unjust because Thomas admitted making mistakes, but I was quite prepared to fight for my position. Thomas is like a bull in a china shop - once he's excited about something, every single decision has to be input and he's difficult to block.

"I thought I did well in the boardroom fighting for my position.

"Although I'd made a series of decisions that were perhaps mistakes, I felt I'd contributed.

"Although I'd had a lot of criticism in the boardroom for the previous two tasks, I braced myself.

"It was very emotional, a very difficult experience. You feel awful because you know one person has to be fired.

"You have to point the finger and I felt Souleyman was negative and aggressive."

Lottie was relieved when Lord Sugar pointed his 'you're fired' finger at Souleyman.

"It was a shame," said Lottie. "I told him, 'We wish you luck' because only two of you get to say goodbye."

She explained how candidates return to the boardroom with little suitcases containing clothes and toiletries for one night, with the loser whisked away to a hotel in a secret location.

They only return to the house to clear their belongings the following day when the other contestants are out completing the next task.

Filming of the boardroom scenes takes a total of nine hours.

Lottie described how a floor of Hamleys toy shop was cordoned off as the teams pitched their designs.

She said: "It was incredible.

"On last night's show I planned to be a bit quieter, to contribute when I could, but not saying anything that could put me in a difficult situation."

Lottie was voted down when she suggested the name 'Polaris' for her team as it conveys "direction, a large impact and is very, very powerful". The idea came from her grandmother, but her colleagues instead plumped for 'Unison', which suggests people working together.

She said Lord Sugar is just as "stony cold and distant" off screen as he appears on the show. And his assistants Karen Brady and Claude Littner are "exactly the same".

"When they criticise you, it's as harsh as it gets," said Lottie.

She has suffered some negative comments on Twitter, but takes heart from the fact that she is the second most talked about person on social media after Lord Sugar.

And she has received some positive comments - one person said they no longer find her irritating, while another said they are starting to warm to her.

Lottie added: "I've had so much support. It's lovely to have such a close knit support group. But my little sister Anna (aged 15) has had some stick at school."

Next week Lottie and the other candidates are set the task of designing electric bikes and pitching them to retailers across the UK, as well as choosing a product to sell with their bike.

The Apprentice is on BBC1 next Wednesday at 9pm.