THE Apprentice contestant Lottie Lion has defended herself following vile verbal attacks, false stories in the tabloids and two death threats.

Lottie, 19, who tonight appears in the second programme of this year's BBC1 show, called in the police after two women texted death threats.

She has also received foul insults on social media following last week's The Apprentice, when Lord Sugar credited her with the girls' win.

Lottie told the County Gazette: "I'm getting called all the names under the sun, but going forward I've got to focus on the process.

"My nickname on social media is Marmite - people either love me or hate me.

"The death threats threatened my family, saying I was going to need a skin graft.

"People think I'm this character on the TV so it doesn't actually affect me. It does, but I'm a strong person and I've dealt with hate before."

She believes she was portrayed unfairly in the first programme due to the editing.

"I was shocked," she said. "It looked like I was continually interrupting and was rude with the other contestants."

Lottie, who looks set to remain in the house for the foreseeable future, has had more than 700 message of support on social media and even received gifts and invitations to meet up, although she has politely rejected them all.

She gets stopped in the street and asked for a photo with her and has 10,000 followers on Instagram since- a record for contestants.

Lord Sugar's advisor Michael Soutar said: "Lottie is already a legend, posh and pushy."

In The Apprentice house between filming, Lottie spends much of her time on her own.

"I keep myself to myself," she said. "The contestants have a habit of clumping together, eating together. It's a really close environment.

"But I get my dinner and go into the garden for some down time, to relax. Living in the countryside makes it stressful enough going to London."

She says The Apprentice has given her a platform to make a difference. She wants to promote "agricultural Britain", to convince people that countryside lifestyles and sports are acceptable.

Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed they are investigating claims of harassment in relation to the death threats sent to Lottie.