Former Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins has been fired in real life after the Met Office announced she had failed to pass her probationary period.

The 31-year-old business woman became the focus of the hit BBC1 show through her straight-talking attitude, but she caused a stir when she removed herself from the running at the last moment.

Sir Alan Sugar offered Katie a chance to compete in the final, but she declined and said she couldn't move to London without considering the effect it would have on her children.

She has since sold her story to a tabloid newspaper and given details of her private life in a revealing interview.

A spokesman for the Met Office confirmed that Katie had been sacked as of yesterday and was released because "she failed to meet the required standards of her probation".

The two remaining finalists in The Apprentice show, Simon Ambrose and Kristina Grimes, will battle it out for the job in the final episode of the programme on Wednesday.

Sir Alan will reward the winner with a £100,000 job working for the Amstrad group and will test their skills in the property market in the final instalment of the show.

Simon told the BBC that he believed the focus on Katie had "lowered the tone of the programme" when the other contestants had tried to "keep it as serious as possible".

12/06/2007 15:44:22