Alan Sugar makes major gaffe by revealing The Apprentice winner on Twitter three weeks before the final

we could win the apprentice

But Lord Sugar, the supposed master of business strategy, has just made a major gaffe of his own – by unwittingly revealing the winner of the current series on Twitter almost three weeks before the pre-recorded final airs.

Everyone who appears on the BBC One reality show has to sign a strict gagging contract preventing them from disclosing what happens, which makes his slip all the more embarrassing.

The spoiler was spotted by fans of the show who noticed that the tycoon had started to follow the Twitter feed of just one of the contestants on this series.

And of all the business hopefuls who pass through his TV boardroom, Lord Sugar only ever follows the winner.

This evening he promised to ‘unfollow’ the candidate after The Mail on Sunday drew his attention to the error. We are not revealing who it is to avoid spoiling the show for its 5 million viewers.

The winner of the £250,000 prize is such a closely guarded secret that two endings are filmed so that only a handful of people know the real result.

But Lord Sugar, 69, has more than 5.2 million followers on the social media site, meaning many fans could have figured out who wins before the final airs on December 18.

As well as the non-disclosure agreement signed by contestants, members of The Apprentice’s film crew are also banned from divulging information.

One contestant confirmed: ‘Each year Lord Sugar makes a point of only following the winner – this is what he has done since he joined Twitter in 2011. He started to follow this year’s winner a few weeks ago.

‘It’s blatantly obvious who has won as Lord Sugar is only following the one contestant, which is hilarious as he makes everyone else toe the line when it comes to secrecy.’

Just six of the initial 18 candidates remain in the show.

They are: cake company owner Alana Spencer; novelty gift entrepreneur Courtney Wood; children’s clothing boss Frances Bishop; make-up studio owner Grainne McCoy; online fashion maven Jessica Cunningham and recruitment agent Trishna Thakrar.

The next episode airs at 9pm on Thursday.