Founder of Amstrad and Star of BBC's The Apprentice
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If it were possible to have a male version of the Cinderella story, Lord Alan Sugar’s is as close as you are likely to get. He was brought up in an East London council house, the youngest of four children. Today he lives in a mansion in Chigwell, Essex, with his wife, Ann, and enjoys the trappings that success and wealth bring: he has properties in Marbella and Florida, a yacht and an 8-seater Citation jet.
But Sugar has worked hard to get this far. At 16 he took the advice of his teacher ‘to work much harder’ and landed a job as a statistician at the Education Ministry. But he soon got bored and started selling car aerials from the back of a dilapidated van. He registered Alan Michael Sugar Trading as Amstrad when he was 21 and went on to make a fortune selling basic, low-cost, computer technology to the masses. During the 1980s his star soared because he had caught the personal computer market at exactly the right time. At the start of the 1990s Amstrad’s share price plunged, but Sugar bounced back and de-merged Viglen in 1997.
Sugar is now one of the wealthiest people in Britain with a personal fortune that is estimated to be over £700 million and in 2004 he was ranked 25th in The Times Rich List. By 2002, Tottenham Hotspurs, the premier league club he bought in 1990 for £7 million, was worth £63 million.
2005 saw Lord Alan enter the world of reality television, fronting the popular BBC series, The Apprentice based on Donald Trump’s successful US show.
Lord Alan Sugar is available as a guest speaker and offers a one hour’s Q&A with his personal fee donated to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Carity.