Despite holding the record for the worst-performing member of the final four and only winning three tasks in the series, nice guy Tom Pellereau has won this year’s Apprentice.

Pellereau, 32, will receive £250,000 from Lord Alan Sugar to start up his new business after beating the three other finalists – skincare entrepreneur Susan Ma, marketing manager Jim Eastwood and executive assistant Helen Milligan, who was looking like the most likely to win.

Despite confusing Italian Christopher Columbus with a British explorer and winding up Lord Sugar with his habit of nodding his head, the geeky inventor won with idea of an office seat that helps to prevent back pain and impressed Lord Sugar by getting his curved nail file into Walmart before appearing on the show.

Pellereau said: “I was shocked and almost thought Lord Sugar would change his mind. One of the reasons I’ve done well is because I have lost a lot, and people like losers. In previous years I wouldn’t have won. Helen only lost once and that is a record.”

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Milligan, who won 11 of the 12 challenges, came up with a business plan for a concierge service, but her idea didn’t appeal to Lord Sugar. While she would have won in previous years when Lord Sugar was looking for an employee, this year he was looking for someone who could create something he could sell.

Speaking on You’re Hired, after the final episode, Lord Sugar said he hired Pellereau because: “I’m a product man at heart."

Pellereau hopes to get more investment from Lord Sugar. He said: “I’ve got a lot of other ideas that I’ve also presented which may well be coming through. So it’s a question of watch this space – but there will definitely be some very exciting products coming shortly.”