The Queen congratulated fired Apprentice star whose ideas failed to impress Lord Sugar

The Queen awarded Harry Mahmood, the first contestant eliminated from The Apprentice 2022, for his service to sick people during the pandemic

The Queen congratulated Apprentice star fired by Lord Sugar
(Image credit: Getty/BBC)

The Queen honored the first contestant to be eliminated from the latest series of The Apprentice to congratulate on his community work during the pandemic. 

Forget Lord Alan Sugar—it's the Queen's approval that really matters. 

The first contestant to be eliminated from The Apprentice 2022, Harry Mahmood, has admitted that he's disappointed that the business magnate 'fired' him in last night's premiere episode of the BBC reality show—after already earning his stripes with a much more influential figure. 

The 35-year-old pharmacist was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) by Her Majesty in the 2021 New Years Honors, in recognition of his services as a community pharmacist during the pandemic. Harry, who works in Darlaston, was nominated for the prestigious accolade after ensuring all his customers who were unable to leave their homes received their medications in the lockdown. 

The Apprentice 2022

Akeem, Ashkay and Harry in the boardroom on the first episode of The Apprentice 2022 

(Image credit: BBC)

"He makes these deliveries in his off hours, before and after work and during his lunch break, alongside his 40 hour working week at the pharmacy," his nominee statement said. 

"I was very shocked to get the phone call from the PM's office to say 'Harry, Her Majesty the Queen would like to honour you in the New Year Honours'—I was like 'is this a joke'?" he told the PA news agency. 

“I thought I was doing it all privately—but it was nice that people decided to nominate me to have that award." 

Unfortunately, Harry's incredible achievement didn't give him any advantage over his 15 fellow contestants on last night's episode of The Apprentice. 

The aspiring bath bomb entrepreneur, who described himself the 'Asian version' of Lord Sugar, failed to make a positive impression on his idol during the first assignment—and was subsequently sent packing. 

The two teams, which were divided by gender, were instructed to design a marketing campaign for a cruise liner—an industry which has suffered greatly during the pandemic. 

The boys' team, which was led by Akshay, made multiple errors in their pitch, with their ship name, Seaquinity, and brand name, Never-Ending Nautical, as well as their oddly-shaped logo, leaving Lord Sugar completely baffled. 

Despite being one of the only boys to object to the ideas during the process, Harry was the one to get the boot. 

"If Her Majesty the Queen can see the potential in me and me representing the community I am in, and inspiring others, then it is a shame Lord Sugar couldn’t see that in me as well," he lamented. 

“Because I have got a lot more credentials about me that he didn’t get to see.”

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.