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Apprentice reject Michael Copp blamed gastric flu for his sacking by Lord Sugar on the hit BBC show, last night (Wednesday).

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The 32-year-old from Barking in east London got into trouble during the task when a batch of overcooked Mediterranean table sauce plunged Team Phoenix into chaos - forcing a sharp rise in the sale price.

“I had gastric flu, and it really affected me. When you’re in a stressful situation like that it just made it twice as hard.” said Copp.

“I didn’t harp on, but the contestants knew about it, so maybe that was a tactical thing.”

He insisted it was wrong for him to even be in the final three who faced the sack by Amstrad tycoon, Lord Sugar – formerly Sir Alan.

On project leader, Katie Wright, who hauled him into the boardroom to face the music, Copp said: “Katie didn’t do a good job. She should have briefed us and said ‘We need to sell this product as cheap as we can.’”

“If everyone had known this from the start I think everyone would have been a little more conscious of it. She was running the task, and she should have directed it a lot more,” said the ex-apprentice.

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