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Friday, May 11, 2012

'It was the worst moment of my life': The Apprentice's Laura Hogg reveals father of her child was murdered while she was filming the show

-Laura Hogg, 28, was filming a task when she was taken aside by programme producers and told Chris Lindsay had been beaten to death
-The 34-year-old sales worker was killed in a street attack on the Costa del Sol
-Apprentice star kept news secret from fellow contestants

By Kirsty Mccormack and Jim Mcbeth

Apprentice star Laura Hogg has revealed she learned that the father of her son had been brutally murdered while she was in the middle of filming.

The shaken 28-year-old Scottish businesswoman - who became the latest contestant to be fired from the hit BBC 1 programme on Wednesday - said being told Chris Linsday had been killed in a street attack was 'the worst moment' of her life.

Mystery still surrounds the death of the 34-year-old sales worker who was savagely beaten while on work break with colleagues in the Costa del Sol.

Secret heartbreak: Laura Hogg, right, found out that the father of her child Chris Lindsay, left, had been murdered while she was filming The Apprentice

He had become separated from colleagues and was later discovered on the roadside. He died five days later in hospital having never regained consciousness.

Speaking to The Sun, the bridal boutique owner went on to explain how she was pulled aside in October 2011 while the group's were filming one of their first tasks in London.

After waiting an hour to find a quiet hotel room, TV aides finally broke the devastating news.

'I was in an absolute state of shock. I just wanted someone to pinch me. I couldn't speak. It was like something from a film. Laura told the newspaper.'

Mr Lindsay, from Edinburgh, separated from Miss Hogg when their son Reece, now four, was eight weeks old.

Despite no longer being with Chris, and admitting that he didn't have relationship with their son, Laura still said it 'hurts like mad.'

Single parent: the Scottish TV star admitted that she was no longer with Chris Lindsay who was the father of her son Reece, pictured here in a recent Twitter photo

After being told the sad news, Miss Hogg kept it a secret from fellow contestants.

She also faced the turmoil of having to decide whether to quit the programme and return to Scotland to attend the funeral even though she wasn't speaking to Chris' family.

'If Chris had been involved in Reece’s life I’d have been home in a flash. But I thought me going back wasn’t going to influence the situation,' Laura explained.

'I wanted my little boy to have a dad but it became apparent after Reece was born that we were never going to have a happy family.'

The couple were only together for two years but Laura revealed that their relationship began to break down while she was still pregnant.

Laura - who has been with her current boyfriend Ali for four years now - added that it was the 'hardest decision' of her life to walk away from her relationship with Chris but said she 'had no choice.'

In the end, the reality TV star opted to stay in London and didn't attend the funeral because winning the show could have transformed her life.

At first, the blonde didn't want to reveal her anguish to her fellow contestants but the following week she could no longer hold it in and broke down in tears.

On Wednesday night, viewers watched as Lord Sugar pointed the finger at Laura following an art dealing task and the Scottish star couldn't hide her emotions as she left the boardroom.

Coping with the pain: Laura said she will never know if the devastating news 'affected her performance' on the BBC show

'I will never know if what had happened affected my performance. I was never going to play that card. But I was devastated when I was fired. I was in the show to go all the way.'

She said: 'To be honest, my track record of being on losing teams was dire - I think Lord Sugar was sick of the sight of me in that boardroom.'

But being on an Apprentice losing side three times - the latest on Wednesday, when her Team Phoenix was trounced in an art sale task - has been the least of her problems.

Miss Hogg, who lives in Broomhill, Glasgow, said: 'I'm feeling a bit gutted at the moment, if I'm honest about it. It's been a sad time, but I'm coping.

'I think I had lost my "oomph". You could see it all over my face in that final boardroom. I knew I was vulnerable.

Ready to sell? Team Phoenix criticised Laura's selling skills
I mean, ultimately, I didn't do the sales, did I? And you kind of get the feeling you are being "looked at".

'I was very focused and I was there to win. That's the advice I would give anyone on the show - stay focused.' She is, however, still annoyed by Lord Sugar's remarks before he fired her. He told her that selling was her 'day job' and perhaps she 'was not a good business person'.

This week, the opposing teams were asked to represent a well-known urban artist and sell their work from a London gallery to customers, collectors and corporate clients. Miss Hogg's team represented James Jessop, who specialises in 1950s-style 'schlock' comic book covers. She described his art as 'monstrous'.

Miss Hogg said: 'I disagree with Lord Sugar. I am confident in my sales ability.

It was not similar to my day job. I definitely don't sell monstrosities like that. I thought, "I can't make somebody take this".

The results: Karren Brady, Lord Alan Sugar and Nick Hewer announced the news that Team Phoenix had lost

'Team Phoenix was well beaten on sales revenue and project manager Tom Gearing chose Miss Hogg to join him in the boardroom for failing to make enough money for the side.

But she said: 'I have absolutely no regrets. I definitely benefited from the experience of The Apprentice and I learned a great deal from it. It taught me to stay 100 per cent focused. You cannot let things get on top of you, even when there is limited contact with home. It's all about hard work.

Miss Hogg vowed she would go on to be a big success in business.

She said: 'I am involved in many other projects and I'm particularly pleased to be part of a fantastic new initiative in Scotland called Entrepreneurial Spark. 'I've always had the ambition to be successful and to build an empire. Everything I do is for my wee boy.

'So it's onwards and upwards. Who knows what the future holds?'
'Everything I do is for my wee boy.'



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