We take a trip down memory lane and find out what happened to Lord Sugar's ex-advisor on The Apprentice
No messing with Margaret
The Apprentice boardroom was nothing without snowy-haired, don’t-mess-with-me Margaret Mountford back in the day. Backing up Lord Sugar and dutifully spying on the hapless contestants of the long-running reality show, Margaret was a stalwart on the panel from 2005 to 2009. And when she departed the programme, we were all gutted. But how did Margaret make it big on telly… and where did she go to next?
Well, there’s no way you’re going to get a place on the boardroom panel without having a brain on you, is there? Born in Northern Ireland, Margaret was educated at Girton College, Cambridge, before going on to become a lawyer at the prestigious Herbert Smith law company in London. She then went to work at Amstrad – Lord Sugar’s firm – which is where she first worked with the man who would become her telly boss.
A champion for women’s rights in the workplace, Margaret has said: ‘The important thing here is to try to ensure that where there is a woman with talent, that she is given due consideration, rather than just giving the job to a man because they like him and they all go to the same golf club or whatever.’ Quite.
Before Karren Brady did her very best eye-rolls on the show, Margaret was the queen of the boardroom. Chairing up the panel next to Lord Sugar and the equally terrifying Nick Hewer, Margaret was known for put downs as brusque as ‘Edinburgh isn’t what it used to be’ when faced with a candidate boasting about where he went to university.
Back to school
Margaret left the show in 2009 – so she could return to her studies, and in 2012 she finished her PhD in Papyrology at the esteemed University College London (that’s the study of ancient literature written on papyrus to you and me). Margaret specialised in documents from the Roman and Byzantine ages, because she’s a very clever lady indeed. She also returned to The Apprentice in 2010 for the interview round – and has done Celebrity Antiques Road Trip with Nick Hewer. Very nice.