The Apprentice (UK series four)

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The Apprentice UK
 
 
Series Four
Apprentice2008.jpg

Series Four of The Apprentice (UK) was a British reality television series, which was won by Lee McQueen. The series began on BBC One on 26 March 2008,[1] and ran for twelve weekly episodes; production of the series took place between September and October the previous year.[2] Auditions and interviews are reported to have taken place during the first two weeks of July 2007 in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol.[3] A record 20,000 applications were received.[4] The candidates were based in an impressive 7,000-square-foot (650 m2), £5million warehouse conversion in Candahar Road, Battersea. The luxury duplex conversion, The Glass Factory, is owned by ex-Formula One racing driver Johnny Dumfries, the seventh Marquess of Bute.[5]

Sir Alan Sugar reprised his role as the boss,[1] and Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford again served as his advisers. 'Frances', Sir Alan's boardroom 'receptionist', also returned. The show's spin-off, The Apprentice: You're Fired!, was again hosted by Adrian Chiles.[6] Filming of the first episode of The Apprentice: You're Fired! took place on 25 March 2008.[7] TV presenter Jennifer Maguire also participated in this series.

Candidates[edit]

There were sixteen candidates taking part in this series,[8] and they were initially separated into two teams by gender. The women chose the name Alpha for their team, while the men named their team Renaissance. Three candidates - Nicholas, Shazia and Lindi - never had the chance to be project manager.

Candidate Background Original team Age Result Record as project manager
Lee McQueen Recruitment Sales Manager Renaissance 30 Hired by Sugar
(11-06-2008)
2-0 (win in weeks 7 & 10)
Claire Young Senior Retail Buyer Alpha 29 Runner-up
(11-06-2008)
2-0 (win in weeks 1 & 5)
Helene Speight Global Pricing Leader Alpha 32 Fired in the middle of the Final
(11-06-2008)
1-1 (win in week 4 & loss in week 8)
Alex Wotherspoon Regional Sales Manager Renaissance 24 Fired in the middle of the Final
(11-06-2008)
1-1 (win in week 9 and loss in week 1)
Lucinda Ledgerwood Risk Manager Alpha 31 Fired in week 11
(04-06-2008)
1-1 (win in week 8 & loss in week 5)
Michael Sophocles Telesales Executive Renaissance 24 Fired in week 10
(28-05-2008)
1-1 (win in week 6 & loss in week 10)
Raef Bjayou Entrepreneur Renaissance 27 Fired in week 9
(21-05-2008)
1-1 (win in week 2 & loss in week 9)
Sara Dhada International Car Trader Alpha 25 Fired in week 8
(14-05-2008)
1-0 (win in week 3)
Jennifer Maguire Marketing Consultant Alpha 27 Fired in week 7
(07-05-2008)
0-1 (loss in week 7)
Jenny Celerier Sales Manager Alpha 36 Fired in week 7
(30-04-2008)
0-1 (loss in week 2)
Kevin Shaw Bank Manager Renaissance 24 Fired in week 6
(30-04-2008)
0-1 (loss in week 6)
Lindi Mngaza Business Liaison Manager Alpha 22 Fired in week 5
(23-04-2008)
Simon Smith Engineer Renaissance 35 Fired in week 4
(16-04-2008)
0-1 (loss in week 4)
Ian Stringer Software Sales Manager Renaissance 26 Fired in week 3
(09-04-2008)
0-1 (loss in week 3)
Shazia Wahab Mosaic Artist and Company Director Alpha 35 Fired in week 2
(02-04-2008)
Nicholas de Lacy-Brown Trainee Barrister, Artist and Property Developer Renaissance 24 Fired in week 1
(26-03-2008)

Weekly results[edit]

Elimination chart
Candidate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Lee IN IN IN IN IN IN WIN IN IN WIN IN HIRED
Claire WIN IN IN BR WIN BR BR IN BR BR IN RUNNER-UP
Helene IN IN IN WIN IN IN IN LOSE IN BR IN FIRED
Alex LOSE IN IN BR IN IN IN IN WIN IN IN FIRED
Lucinda IN BR IN IN LOSE IN IN WIN IN IN FIRED
Michael IN IN IN IN IN WIN BR BR BR FIRED
Raef BR WIN IN IN IN IN IN IN FIRED
Sara IN IN WIN IN IN BR IN FIRED
Jennifer IN IN IN IN BR IN FIRED
Jenny IN LOSE IN IN IN IN FIRED
Kevin IN IN BR IN IN FIRED
Lindi IN IN IN IN FIRED
Simon IN IN BR FIRED
Ian IN IN FIRED
Shazia IN FIRED
Nicholas FIRED
     The candidate was on the winning team (or, in Week 11, managed to avoid being fired.)
     The candidate was on the losing team.
     The candidate was hired and won The Apprentice.
     The candidate was the runner-up.
     The candidate won as project manager on his/her team.
     The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team.
     The candidate was brought to the final boardroom.
     The candidate was fired.
     The candidate lost as project manager and was fired.

Episodes[edit]

Week 1[edit]

  • Renaissance: Alex (Project Manager), Raef, Michael, Nicholas, Lee, Ian, Simon and Kevin.
  • Alpha: Claire (Project Manager), Sara, Lindi, Helene, Jenny, Lucinda, Shazia and Jennifer.
  • Task: Sell £600 worth of seafood at a choice of London market locations. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Alpha had decided early in the day to set up their seafood stand in Islington. The women had difficulty in identifying seafood and correctly pricing them, as customers bombarded their stand before they had even begun. Despite this, the team managed to sell large orders to groups of people, increasing their earnings. Meanwhile, Renaissance wasted a lot of time deciding on their team name and leader, and didn't get started until just before midday. They also decided to set up in Islington. Like Alpha, Renaissance struggled to identify seafood; Nicholas badly blundered by incorrectly pricing some items much cheaper than they should have been; lobsters were selling for less than a quarter of the recommended retail price. The team lost even more money when Michael panic-sold £100 worth of fish for barely half that amount.
  • Result: Alpha made a profit of £153.98, while Renaissance made a profit of £32.69.
  • Winner: Alpha - By £121.29.
  • Reward: Dinner cooked by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Alex, Nicholas, and Raef
  • Fired: Nicholas - For incorrectly pricing the fish, poorly defending himself in the boardroom, and for admitting he was unable to get on with "less educated" candidates.
  • Notes:
    • While Alpha won, Sir Alan did not feel that their profit was especially impressive.
    • Sir Alan said that under most circumstances Alex would have been fired, feeling that he showed a lack of sales strategy and had, unconcernedly, overseen a split in the team, but gave him credit for stepping up as project manager when no-one else was willing, and was impressed by his defence after Nicholas questioned his education and experience.
    • Raef also nearly got fired as he incorrectly identified several of the fish as being cheaper varieties, which cost the team money, along with claiming to "get on with Prince or Pauper" in the boardroom, a statement which Sir Alan and Alex considered pompous, although he was actually trying to make the point that he had no problem working with people irrespective of their background or interests. Despite this, he was able to provide a much stronger argument than Nicholas and even backed Alex up when his education was questioned.
    • On You're Fired, the panel agreed that Nicholas' poor boardroom defence was the main reason he was fired. It was noted that he did have legitimate grounds for objecting, such as Alex having only given vague instructions on the pricing. It was Nicholas himself who eventually spotted and corrected the error. However, Nicholas instead talked about a "cultural divide" in the team and said that he had problems getting on with people who like football, despite the fact that Sir Alan came from a working-class background and had spent 11 years as chairman of Tottenham Hotspur. After Nicholas's firing, Margaret admitted being shocked at how poorly he defended himself, considering his legal background.

Week 2[edit]

  • Renaissance: Raef (Project Manager), Michael, Alex, Lee, Ian, Simon and Kevin.
  • Alpha: Jenny (Project Manager), Sara, Claire, Lindi, Helene, Lucinda, Shazia and Jennifer.
  • Task: Using an industrial laundry machine, set-up a washing service. The biggest profit wins.
  • Task Review:The teams sourced business from a variety of customers businesses and homeowners. Alpha had problems setting a reasonable price, attempting to charge a hotel £4,990 for £200 worth of washing, and the fishmonger £15 for £60 worth of washing; whilst they had success in finding businesses with dirty laundry, they had little luck going door-to-door. In addition, they were late getting started, did not finish by the end of the night and lost two items, which they were fined £50 for; Shazia, who had the task of keeping track of items, left early in an unsuccessful attempt to get the steam irons at the house, which Renaissance had already removed. Renaissances performance was virtually flawless; they targeted large companies and got several orders by going door-to-door. They made big earnings from both areas, and finished their washing and pressing before the laundry had to close. No articles were lost, meaning no penalties; Raef's management of the task and Simon's co-ordination at the laundry received high praise.
  • Result: Renaissance had a profit of £328, while Alpha had a profit of £195.55
  • Winner: Renaissance - By £132.45.
  • Reward: Tea at The Ritz.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Jenny, Lucinda, and Shazia
  • Fired: Shazia - For her fundamental mistake to leave the laundry early which allowed items to get mixed up, an error Sir Alan deemed unforgivable.
  • Notes:
    • Near the end of the first day, Jenny spent almost the entire journey from the laundry to the house berating Lucinda for what she perceived as her working too slowly, reducing her to tears. When Sara tried to tell Jenny that she was out of line, Jenny berated her as well. The next morning, Lucinda did not attend a team meeting, likely because of Jenny's hostility, but still came under attack from Jenny for the rest of the task and in the boardroom. However, Sir Alan made it clear he did not see Lucinda as responsible for Alpha's loss.
    • One of the key points mentioned in Alpha's sales pitches was their "24 hour hotline," which would allow their customers to check on the progress of their order. Lindi bragged about this in the boardroom, but Sir Alan scorned the idea that anybody, especially domestic customers, would ever be concerned enough to need such a service. The team's strategy of pressuring their customers into giving tips also came in for heavy criticism, and was not particularly successful anyway due to the various mix-ups when the clothing was delivered.
    • Although Jenny was safe from elimination, Sir Alan still lambasted her for her many errors, which included her appalling behaviour towards her teammates (especially Lucinda), not being involved in the pricing strategies, and not bringing back Lindi or Jennifer who devised the strategies. He decided that Jenny had only brought back Lucinda due to their dispute, and warned Jenny that if she ever behaved that way again, she would more than likely be fired.
    • While Sir Alan had doubts about whether Lucinda was emotionally strong enough to continue in the process, he also indicated that Lindi should have been brought back instead, as she had been responsible for many of the errors in Alpha's strategy and had been openly dismissive of any criticism of her performance. Jennifer was also held accountable for the bad sales pitches, though unlike Lindi she acknowledged her errors.
    • Almost the entire audience of You're Fired disagreed with Sir Alan's decision. While the panel agreed that Shazia had performed poorly in the boardroom, giving Jenny an opportunity to save herself, her actual work on the task was felt to have been competent, especially since the mix-up only occurred after she left.

Week 3[edit]

  • Renaissance: Ian (Project Manager), Raef, Michael, Alex, Lee, Simon and Kevin.
  • Alpha: Sara (Project Manager), Claire, Lindi, Helene, Jenny, Lucinda and Jennifer.
  • Task: Devise and run a themed food day in a pub with no previous history of serving food, using listed wholesalers for supplies. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Alpha chose a Bollywood theme. The team managed to arrange all their printing for free, but had to cancel their lunch service due to the food not being prepared properly. However, their strategy of selling admission tickets for £5 that were redeemable against dinner, as well as their better purchasing decisions, meant that they were in profit before they had even served a meal. Renaissance decided upon an Italian theme, but spent so much time trying to brand and price their themed day that they left it too late to buy supplies from the wholesalers and had to resort to purchasing their supplies from Tesco, resulting in substantially increased food costs; they also produced 200 flyers at £1 each. Whilst their services were smoothed out following a shaky start, they still suffered from a lack of supplies and even had to resort to cutting pizzas in half to get it out to people. The team took more money, but had higher cost overruns.
  • Result: Renaissance had a profit of £301.97, while Alpha had a profit of £604.27.
  • Winner: Alpha - By £302.30.
  • Reward: Cooking lessons at the Eckington Manor Cookery School in Eckington, Worcestershire.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ian, Kevin, and Simon
  • Fired: Ian - For providing a "disastrous performance" as Project Manager, having no strategy with pricing and profit margin, denying the occurrence of Kevin's pep-talk, and for refusing to admit any fault for the loss.
  • Notes:
    • For this task, Sir Alan chose the project managers. Ian was chosen because he had worked in his family's pubs when he was younger, and Sara was chosen in order to prove to Sir Alan that she could successfully lead a team.
    • While Renaissance made more revenue than Alpha, Sir Alan deemed their performance one of the worst he had ever seen on the show, feeling that not one person had shown any knowledge of how to run a profitable business; in particular they were criticised for spending almost three times as much as Alpha. In actual fact, Lee and Michael had repeatedly voiced concerns that Ian and Kevin were giving no thought to profit margins early on, but were brushed aside. Michael nonetheless received heavy criticism in the boardroom for deciding on the prices without any sort of backing logic, but he defended himself by pointing out that Ian had consistently refused to give him any information, and that the team would otherwise have missed the deadline for printing their menus.
    • Although Alpha's performance was far better, there were some issues with Claire. First, she proved difficult to work with after her initial idea for an English theme was shot down; second she attempted to blame Sara when the lunch service had to be cancelled. Nevertheless Sir Alan praised the girls for their focus on lower costs and marketing which proved decisive.
    • Late in the day, Kevin brought all of Renaissance outside the pub for a motivational talk. In the final boardroom, Ian bizarrely attempted to deny that this had happened, despite Kevin and Simon pointing out that not only did the meeting take place, it was recorded on camera. While Sir Alan had serious concerns with all three candidates, he indicated in the Why I Fired Them episode that this sealed Ian's fate, citing it as complete arrogance. Despite Kevin making several basic errors in calculating ingredient quantities and orders, particularly considering his bank manager background, he was given credit for being the only person who tried to organise and motivate the team for much of the task.
    • While Ian was quickly established as being the most at fault for the loss, Sir Alan nonetheless gave serious consideration to firing Simon, who he felt had only shown proficiency at physical tasks. While he was unconvinced that Simon had the potential to win the competition, Sir Alan reluctantly decided to spare him, due to his loyalty and dedication. In response to Sir Alan's criticisms, Simon volunteered to step up as Project Manager on the following task.

Week 4[edit]

  • Renaissance: Simon (Project Manager), Sara, Michael, Claire, Jenny and Alex.
  • Alpha: Helene (Project Manager), Raef, Lindi, Lee, Lucinda, Kevin and Jennifer.
  • Task: Run a photography business in the Bluewater shopping centre. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Alpha hired a David Beckham lookalike, but communication issues between the shop floor and the production room caused lost orders. Alpha had problems operating their software, caused mostly by Helene assigning Lucinda to work the computer, despite her lack of technical knowledge, and then refusing to allow anyone else to swap when it became clear she was unable to meet the orders. Despite this Alpha still managed to get the majority of their orders sent. Renaissance, meanwhile, opted for a "glamour and beauty" theme; like Alpha, communication issues caused lost orders, only they were hurt more seriously. Simon clashed with his teammates about ideas, particularly him insisting to have people take pictures in public. As a result the team got very few orders sent and failed to earn back their costs.
  • Result: Alpha had a profit of £145.10, while Renaissance had a loss of £73.81.
  • Winner: Alpha - By £218.91.
  • Reward: Dinner aboard a luxury yacht, on trip to the Isle of Wight.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Simon, Alex, and Claire
  • Fired: Simon, with regret - For coming up with a poor theme, not being able to control the strong personalities of his team, poor communication with the production team, and for being completely out of his depth.
  • Notes:
    • During the task, Claire was particularly insubordinate, showing little respect for Simon, ignoring his orders, and constantly butting heads about his ideas. In the boardroom she continued to berate Simon and did not take any responsibility, even going so far as to interrupt Sir Alan while he was trying to give his final deliberations. An infuriated Sir Alan ordered her back to the house for her rudeness, and told her that she would lead the next task, strongly implying that she would be fired if she lost.
    • Despite Alpha's victory, Sir Alan was not happy with either team's performance, and in particular had heavy criticism for Helene's leadership, even questioning whether she had deliberately tried to make her team lose to get rid of Lucinda, something that Helene insisted was untrue; it should be noted that during the task Lucinda repeatedly told Helene she was not prepared and asked if someone could switch, but Helene refused and accused Lucinda of being lazy, resulting in Lucinda snapping at her. The panel on You're Fired pointed out that the members of Alpha admitted they had little confidence in Lucinda's abilities, effectively undermining her contribution; it was agreed that had they lost, Helene should have been fired.
    • The majority of the You're Fired studio audience disagreed with the decision, feeling that Claire should have been fired for her complete lack of respect, although Simon himself said that he deserved to be fired. Sir Alan would later go on to say that he kept Claire as she still had more potential, even if her attitude was lacking.

Week 5[edit]

  • Renaissance: Claire (Project Manager), Sara, Michael, Jenny, Alex and Kevin.
  • Alpha: Lucinda (Project Manager), Raef, Lindi, Helene, Lee and Jennifer.
  • Task: Develop three new flavours of ice cream at specialised farms, then choose two to sell directly the trade market in London. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Alpha decided on "Avocado and Chili" and "Toffee Apple" flavoured ice creams after a focus group meeting. Their orders included those from a group of pubs and those from a cinema chain that Renaissance had contacted first, but the manager decided to take Alpha's ice cream instead. However, the manager asked the group if they could be given exclusivity for the ice cream for three months, to which Lindi and Jennifer agreed, violating the task rules. Time was also wasted because Jennifer and Lindi arranged appointments with ice cream shops that made their own products, resulting in many dead-ends. Renaissance, on the other hand, arrived 30 minutes late to their focus group and found nobody there, thus their market research came from two drinkers at a local pub, and opted for "Very Berry" and "Cider and Elderflower" (nicknamed "Scrumplelicious") flavours. They struggled at first, even having a major deal broken because the cinema chain preferred Alpha's, but secured a large order from a designer restaurant at the last minute.
  • Result: Alpha made a profit of £1,273.64, while Renaissance made a profit £1,455.45.
  • Winner: Renaissance - By £181.81.
  • Reward: A helicopter trip to Bowood House in Wiltshire.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Lucinda, Jennifer and Lindi
  • Fired: Lindi - For her poor sales tactics, dismissing all of Sir Alan's criticisms, violating the task rules with the exclusivity deals, and failing to live up to repeated claims about herself.
  • Notes:
    • Sir Alan said in the boardroom that even if Alpha had won the task, he would have handed victory to Renaissance due to Alpha's sales to the cinema and pub chains being done on an exclusive basis; the deals were supposed to open up new markets for the farmers. He also criticised Alpha for choosing shops that made their own ice cream, feeling it showed a lack of strategy. Both of these mistakes were blamed on Jennifer and Lindi. The panel on You're Fired also mocked the ice cream store strategy, saying that if they wanted new ice cream flavours they would have made them themselves.
    • One of the suggestions for Renaissance's ice cream ideas at first was based on cocktails, such as "Vodka and Coke" and "Sex on the Beach"; this was vetoed after Michael expressed concern about how these would be received by families, making cinema deals all but impossible.
    • Sir Alan chose the project managers this week, since he wished to find out if the criticisms made of both women were justified. In response, Claire reined in her aggressive side, which earned praise from her team and Nick Hewer. Surprisingly Alpha were very positive about Lucinda's leadership, and even Margaret was impressed, so Sir Alan decided she would not face dismissal. He noted the only direct mistake Lucinda made was backing down from her suggestion that manufacturers be on both sales teams, in the hope they could convey enthusiasm. Lucinda changed her mind after Jennifer, Lindi and Raef all voiced disapproval of the idea. While Sir Alan felt that Lucinda might have lacked the force of character to put her foot down, he also noted that Jennifer and Lindi had again shown poor judgement in sales tactics.
    • After Alpha were sent to the losers cafe, Lindi and Jennifer attempted to railroad the team into blaming Lucinda; this was stopped quickly by Lee, who pointed out they had all been positive about Lucinda, and no-one had raised any serious concerns on that score during the task.
    • Jennifer came close to being fired, as Sir Alan considered her to have made many of the mistakes Lindi did, and did not like the fact that she constantly tried to shift the blame to Lucinda. Her survival was largely down to Sir Alan feeling that she had been a bigger contributor to the previous four tasks than Lindi, but she was warned that she was on her last chance. On You're fired!, the audience was nearly split, but ultimately went against Lindi's firing, while the Panel felt Jennifer should have been fired over Lindi, reflecting that Lindi merely got unlucky since she was second-in-command.

Week 6[edit]

  • Renaissance: Kevin (Project Manager), Sara, Claire, Jenny and Alex.
  • Alpha: Michael (Project Manager), Raef, Helene, Lee, Lucinda and Jennifer.
  • Task: Create a new "occasion" for a range of greetings cards, then pitch them to three prospective retailers. Most orders received, wins.
  • Task Review: Alpha came up with the idea of a "National Singles' Day" to be held on 13 February, and produced a range of cards intended as an alternative to Valentine's Day cards for single people. Alpha's first two pitches were relatively unsuccessful due to objections over the date, and so Michael removed it from their pitch to the Celebrations Group. This proved a smart move as Celebrations ordered a considerable number compared to the other retailers. Renaissance, meanwhile, went with Jenny's suggestion of an environmental card, and effectively forced it on the team by not doing any research for their other ideas. The retailers questioned whether environmentally conscious consumers would want to express their views by sending a card, and Kevin's aggressive pitching alienated Celebrations and in particular Clinton Cards, who accused him of "preaching" to them after he likened their unenthusiastic reception of the cards, to the U.S. not doing enough to combat global warming. Kevin's pitch to Tesco was less aggressive and secured an order but neither of the other two ordered any at all.
  • Result: Alpha received 22,500 orders (19,500 from Celebrations, and 1,500 apiece from Clinton Cards and Tesco), while Renaissance received 6,000 orders (from Tesco only).
  • Winner: Alpha - By 16,500 orders.
  • Reward: A private piano recital from Myleene Klass.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Kevin, Claire, and Sara
  • Fired: Kevin - For his poor performance in the sales pitching, refusing to allow Claire to pitch (despite her experience), allowing Jenny full control on creating the card, trying to scapegoat Sara after failing to bring Jenny back, refusing to admit fault with the card, and for his overly arrogant attitude through the process.
  • Notes:
    • Back at the house, Sara was the subject of a heated debate between several candidates - primarily Lee, Jenny and Alex - over her perceived laziness. Lee was heavily critical of her, while Raef was the only one shown on screen to jump to her defence. Claire, while not specifically defending Sara, pointed out that Kevin was to blame for the loss; it has been said that Lucinda also defended her off-camera. In the You're Hired special at the end of the series, Lee expressed regret over his handling of the situation, which he put down to nerves regarding being Project Manager in the next task. He added that he had since apologised to Sara, who likewise bore no ill-will towards him after their victory in the next task.
    • Michael spent 3 hours debating the correct way of spelling "National Singles' Day," and more specifically where the apostrophe in "Singles'" should go; at one point he even attempted to contact the editor of The Daily Telegraph to get advice on the matter, which was later mocked by Nick on You're Fired.
    • Jenny was heavily criticised by Sir Alan and Margaret for not only coming up with a poor idea for their cards, refusing to take any responsibility for the loss and blatantly trying to scapegoat Sara, but also for an incident in the Clinton Cards pitch where she suddenly declared that she no longer bought greetings cards because of their environmental impact. Sir Alan was appalled that she could not see the inherent contradiction in her own product. It was strongly hinted that Jenny would have been fired had Kevin brought her back, but the decision not to effectively made him responsible for what Sir Alan saw as a "fiasco".
    • Sir Alan questioned Claire on why she did not step up to do the pitches, considering that while Kevin was initially dead set on doing so, he later asked her to take over. Claire said that while she would have been happy to, had she been asked early on, Kevin left it so late that she felt she was being set up as a scapegoat. While Sir Alan noted that the team's theme had doomed them from the start, he doubted that any pitch given by Claire could possibly have been worse than Kevin's efforts, and told her that she should step up if a similar situation ever arose again.
    • On Why I Fired Them, Sir Alan strongly implied he would have fired Jenny if she was brought back, but Kevin's failure to do so, along with his extreme arrogance in the final boardroom convinced him that Kevin deserved to go.

Week 7[edit]

  • Renaissance: Jennifer (Project Manager), Michael, Claire, Jenny and Alex.
  • Alpha: Lee (Project Manager), Raef, Sara, Helene and Lucinda.
  • Task: Buy a set list of items in the marketplaces of Marrakesh, Morocco, negotiating for lower prices. Least amount spent (fines included), wins.
  • Task Review: Alpha, despite spending time attempting to locate items before setting off, initially had difficulty in finding them when they arrived at the market (particularly Lee, Lucinda, and Sara). Helene and Raef got the cow hide for an amazingly small amount; Raef was visibly shocked when he first heard the offer. The Santos orange juicer was given to them second-hand in the last minutes of the task, but they bought it for a fair price. Alpha collected all ten items without penalties; while Nick was complementary of Lee's leadership, he also praised Sara and Lucinda. At Renaissance, Jennifer decided to go straight to the market, paying little attention to the dossier, which quickly resulted in disorganisation and mistakes. She, Alex and Claire bought a white mosque alarm clock instead of a green one, and did not realise until later, which meant they had to waste time changing it. Jenny and Michael attempted to sabotage Alpha by offering a sports store a bribe if they would incorrectly string a tennis racket that Alpha were in the middle of purchasing; however, the store's employees refused to accept the bribe. Renaissance were fined for purchasing unbranded tajines and a halal chicken instead of a kosher chicken.
  • Result: Renaissance's total spend was £603.59 (fines included), while Alpha's total spend was £413.61.
  • Winner: Alpha - by £189.98.
  • Reward: Hot air balloon flight around Leeds Castle
  • Fired (during internal review): Jenny - For repeatedly lying about the Kosher fiasco to get Michael fired, attempting to sabotage Alpha's efforts, her terrible attitude towards the other candidates, and her average at best track record, despite her promising CV.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Jennifer, Claire, and Michael
  • Fired (during final boardroom): Jennifer - for being primarily responsible for the loss, by failing to control the team, not paying attention to the dossier, and rushing to the marketplace.
  • Notes:
    • While Alex was negotiating for a rug, Claire interrupted and complained about being tired and wanting to go back to the hotel, topressure on the seller to drop the price faster. This gambit backfired however, as the seller instead froze the price and forced Alex to agree straight away so that he could tend to his "girlfriend." Sir Alan indicated that had Renaissance lost the task by a narrow margin he would have fired Claire, but decided that the other major mistakes outweighed hers.
    • Jenny and Michael did not specifically inform the others of their bribery attempt, only describing it as "espionage". When Margaret revealed exactly what they had attempted in the boardroom, their team-mates were outraged and had a fierce discussion outside the boardroom when they were sent out for the first time.
    • Due to Jenny's exceptionally dishonest behaviour, her mediocre overall track record, her refusal to take any responsibility for her actions, and her roles in her team's losses in Weeks 2 and 6, Sir Alan decided not to even wait for the final boardroom before firing her; when Renaissance was sent out, he had a brief discussion with Nick and Margaret, who agreed that while she had appeared a contender at the start of the process, her dishonesty and poor attitude had changed their opinions entirely. Upon the team's return, Jenny immediately tried to change her story on the Kosher chicken incident again, hoping to shift the entire blame on Michael and get him fired, but Sir Alan interrupted and fired her straight-away.
    • This episode marked the first and only occasion in the UK show where more than three people remained on the team, and the project manager was not allowed to choose two candidates who would also face Sir Alan in the final boardroom. At the end of the internal review, Sir Alan sent Alex back to the house, feeling his single mistake (purchasing the unbranded tajines) was the least serious error made by the remaining candidates; this left Jennifer, Michael and Claire to face the final boardroom.
    • Michael was grilled at length in the boardroom, not only for his role in attempting to bribe the sports shop, but also over the fact that he had claimed to be "a good Jewish boy" on his application form, yet displayed no knowledge of what Kosher was and also did not recognise the Hebrew greeting L'Chaim (Sir Alan even joked that Michael more than likely never had a circumcision). Ultimately, Sir Alan accepted that Jenny had been the main instigator in the bribe attempt and that he could recognise an element of "youthful exuberance" in Michael's actions and outlandish claims. After Sir Alan indicated that Michael would get another chance, Jennifer became angry and effectively gave Sir Alan an ultimatum to fire her if he would not fire Michael. Sir Alan was enraged by this, but based his firing decision solely on her poor leadership.
    • In the You're Fired this week, while the audience unanimously agreed that Jenny deserved to be fired, they were more divided on the decision to fire Jennifer. While the panel decided that Jennifer deserved to be because she failed to read the dossier, they also agreed that dismissing Michael would have been justified. While Jennifer was not shown to be fired with regret on the main episode, it was revealed on You're Fired that she was.
    • This was the first time a UK Apprentice episode has been filmed outside of Europe. After this series, the world economy experienced a severe downturn and Sir Alan admitted that it would be inappropriate for the series to continue to be filmed in exotic locations. Consequently, most subsequent series have taken place exclusively in the UK, and the rare occasions where the candidates have visited another country have generally remained within the European Union. It wasn't until the fifth episode of Series 9 that the show would leave the EU again, for a task set in Dubai.

Week 8[edit]

  • Renaissance: Helene (Project Manager), Sara, Michael and Alex.
  • Alpha: Lucinda (Project Manager), Raef, Claire and Lee.
  • Task: Select and sell wedding dresses and accessories at a wedding exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Most sales made, wins.
  • Task Review: Alpha decided to look at the dresses and accessories in separate sub-teams; Lucinda chose to go for dresses by high-end designer Ian Stewart on Raef's recommendation, and this secured Alpha their accessory choice of bridal lingerie. Although the team had difficulty selling dresses at the start of the day, towards the end of the show, customers returned to make their purchases. Praise was given to Claire's sales on the dresses, as well as Lee's work in selling the lingerie. Alpha sold three dresses, and good amount of lingerie as a result. Meanwhile, Renaissance were different; in contrast to Alpha, Helene had both sub-teams look at dresses and accessories. Despite Michael and Sara recommending the Ian Stewart dresses, Helene refused to consider them owing to their high price and instead went with a mid-range supplier that sold much cheaper dresses. They also wanted to sell the bridal lingerie, but lost out to Alpha and so instead went with wedding cakes, which had been Michael and Sara's first choice. Renaissance sold five dresses almost solely through Alex, but failed to sell any cakes, mainly due to Michael and Sara's highly aggressive sales technique.
  • Result: Alpha had total sales of £5,752.99, while Renaissance had total sales of £1,925.
  • Winner: Alpha - By £3,827.99
  • Reward: Luxury spa visit.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Helene, Michael, and Sara
  • Fired: Sara - For her aggressive manner towards customers, her inability to listen to others, not selling any cakes, and her general lack of contribution throughout the previous tasks.
  • Notes:
    • While Sir Alan told Helene that she lost the task right at the start by deciding to go for cheap dresses, and Margaret was also extremely critical of her leadership, she was given a second chance, as Sir Alan felt she had been impressive on most of the prior tasks.
    • After Sara's firing, Sir Alan appeared to be on the verge of firing Michael also. However, Michael was allowed to make the case for his survival, and Sugar agreed to let him continue, before sending Michael and Helene back to the house. Lee was, at this point, the only candidate who had not appeared in the final boardroom.
    • In spite of the choice of high-end dresses turning out to be a correct decision, Sir Alan and Nick expressed the view that Raef had been fortunate that it had turned out that way, since his choice had not taken into account any business justification outside of the high price.
    • A majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision, though like Simon, Sara said that she did deserve to be fired.

Week 9[edit]

  • Renaissance: Raef (Project Manager), Michael, Claire and Helene.
  • Alpha: Alex (Project Manager), Lee and Lucinda.
  • Task: Create a new brand of tissues along with television and print advertisements, then present them to a panel of advertising executives. Best brand and campaign made, wins.
  • Task Review: Renaissance created a smart aesthetic design for their tissue box, branded "I ♥ my tissues". Michael and Raef were meticulous in directing their television advert, and hired weather forecaster Siân Lloyd to appear. Crucially however, in the editing suite their advert proved to be too long, and most of the material showing the product itself was removed in order to bring it down to the required length. In contrast, Alpha's efforts with both their tissue box design and advert were deemed relatively poor, and Lee was ill-prepared for their presentation, in contrast in Claire's professional one. In the boardroom, though Sir Alan deemed Renaissance's campaign to be "much, much better", he declared them the losers as no-one knew what their advert was about. Whilst telling Alpha that they had a "horrible campaign" and a "horrible box", their brand name, "Atishu!", was praised, and their advert and campaign were deemed attention-grabbing and, in stark contrast to Renaissance, gave a clear message about the product.
  • Winner: Alpha - For a better brand name and advertising campaign.
  • Reward: An after-hours shopping spree at Harvey Nichols (London).
  • Brought into the boardroom: Raef, Claire, and Michael
  • Fired: Raef - For losing focus on the requirements of the task due to his creative flair, and for editing out the close-up of the product in the commercial.
  • Notes:
    • During the reward, even the three members of Alpha admitted that they had expected to lose the task. Furthermore, on You're Hired, their advert - involving parents discussing the use of the tissues for their ill child - was pointed out as being humorously flawed on a number of points - the child being sent to school when she was ill, one parent pinching her nose (which would likely spread the illness), the mother appearing dazed, and the product appearing to have been chucked out of the back of the car into a flower bed.
    • Siân Lloyd's involvement in Renaissance's advert was criticised for having little relevance to the product or the events in the advert, and also for the very brief duration of her appearance in the edited version. Lloyd herself admitted on camera being unsure why she had been cast as a mother, considering she is single and has no children. Renaissance's brand name was also criticised by Sir Alan, who said he could not imagine anyone "loving their tissues". Nick Hewer commented that it would probably have worked as a tagline, but not as a brand name.
    • Sir Alan, before firing Raef, concluded that he (with all due respect) was nothing but 'hot air'. 'Michael and Claire were both given a final warning after his dismissal; Claire for not attempting to help with the editing, and Michael for his third consecutive appearance in the boardroom.
    • The majority of the You're Fired studio audience combined with the panel disagreed not only with the decision to fire Raef, but also to name Alpha the victors. The panel felt that Michael most deserved to be fired out of the three in the final boardroom, and that all three members of Alpha would have been equally deserving of being fired; Alex for being unconvincing as project manager; Lee for his terrible presentation; Lucinda for contributing little and being uncooperative with the two men on her team.

Week 10[edit]

  • Renaissance: Michael (Project Manager), Claire and Helene.
  • Alpha: Lee (Project Manager), Alex and Lucinda.
  • Task: Rent out a set of luxury sports cars. Most sales made (by rental), wins.
  • Task Review: The teams had a chance to review the available cars, before the project managers had to choose two for rental sale. Renaissance decided to choose the Ferrari and Spyker. Alpha chose the Aston Martin, and the risky and rare Pagani Zonda, with a price tag of £2,750 for just one day of rental. Claire and Helene had almost no difficulty attracting customers for the Spyker, but it was Claire who made the sales. Michael fruitlessly searched around for customers to rent the Ferrari, with one customer almost taking the offer. Alex and Lee struggled to find customers, but Lee eventually made deals to a few. Lucinda fared even worse as sales were not her natural area. After asking Alex and Lee to help her, who chose to stick with the Zonda, Lucinda mistook the Aston for the Zonda, and sold nothing as a result. At the square, Claire and Michael got a few more buyers, but for hours not days. Meanwhile, Lucinda finally made a sale after shadowing Lee, and Alex struck a couple of large deals on the Zonda, including one just before the 6:00pm deadline.
  • Result: Renaissance made sales of £2,114, while Alpha made sales of £11,815.
  • Winner: Alpha - By £9,701
  • Reward: Wine tasting at a Mayfair hotel.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Michael, Helene and Claire
  • Fired: Michael - For picking a poor market location, failing to deliver on his promises, his consistent attempts to take advantage of the others, appearing in the final boardroom four times in a row, and for his generally poor track record throughout the process.
  • Notes:
    • Six luxury sports cars were featured; namely the Koenigsegg CCX, Pagani Zonda S, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, Spyker C8, Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Ferrari 360 Spider.
    • While Lucinda won, she was criticised for her minimal contribution; her one deal only made £65.
    • Helene came perilously close to being fired due to her failure to make any sales, along with suspicions by Sir Alan and his advisers (particularly Margaret) that she had consciously decided to take a backseat in the task due to her having the least sales experience of the three members of Renaissance, but was saved by the fact that Sir Alan felt she had been one of the strongest candidates prior to her three-week losing run, and decided to give her a chance in the interviews. The You're Fired panel, while agreeing with Michael's dismissal, felt that firing Helene instead of (or even alongside) Michael would also have been justifiable.
    • This was Claire's fifth appearance in the final boardroom, however, Sir Alan told Claire almost immediately she was not in any danger of being fired, since she had been responsible for the vast majority of the team's revenue.
    • On Why I Fired Them, Sir Alan reflected that he probably should not have given so many chances to Michael and that he was drawn in by his youth, even acknowledging that he did not always get it right.

Week 11: Interviews[edit]

  • Semi-Finalists: Alex, Claire, Helene, Lee, and Lucinda
  • Task: The five remaining candidates undergo a sequence of intense interviews by four of Sir Alan Sugar's business colleagues; Paul Kemsley, a property developer; Claude Littner, Sir Alan’s former "global trouble-shooter"; Karren Brady, the managing director of Birmingham City Football Club; and Bordan Tkachuk, the chief executive of the computer and IT firm Viglen, one of Sir Alan’s companies. The interviewers then report their impressions of the candidates back to Sir Alan to help him choose the finalists.
  • Candidate Reviews: Claire was accused of being too talkative but otherwise got the best reports from the interviewers, with Karren Brady even offering to employ her if Sir Alan did not. Lee was considered to be a good all-round candidate, but got caught off-guard when asked to do a humorous impression by Paul, which backfired when he was told this demonstrated he did not seem to take the interview seriously. He was also reprimanded for exaggerating on his CV, lying about his length of time at university. Helene was also considered to have a good set of skills, but faced criticism for not having demonstrated any progression in work outside of her current company, and was accused of having a poor attitude after she repeatedly made insulting remarks about the other candidates (calling them "gobshites" and "amateurs"). Alex continuously came under fire, with his CV being highlighted as boring. While he argued that this was because he was only 24 years old, both Karen and Paul insisted that this was not an excuse, stating that they had achieved more than him by his age. However, he did earn some praise for his accomplishments as a salesman, particularly the fact that he had managed to earn a living purely from sales commission. Lucinda got the worst reports, as she was praised for being intelligent and an excellent team leader, but heavily criticised for being a "handful". The interviewers questioned her motives for wanting the job, and felt that her teamwork skills were weak.
  • Final Decision: In the end, the interviewers agreed that Claire was the front-runner, but there was no clear consensus on who should be in the final with her. As a result, Sir Alan fired Lucinda, the only candidate who everyone agreed was totally unsuitable for his organisation, and put all of the other four candidates through to the final.
  • Fired: Lucinda, with regret - For being "too zany", having a degree unrelated to business (in aromatherapy), and for giving doubts over how much she desired the job.
  • Notes:
    • Only one candidate was fired, despite the fact that Sir Alan had previously said that three people were going to get fired. This was because he felt that he could not separate the four finalists based on what he had seen so far, so he chose to have them face one last test to help him with his final decision. In the episode, Lucinda was not shown to be fired with regret, however, in the Why I Fired Them episode, she was.
    • During the boardroom, Alex brought up the subject of Lucinda's lack of desire towards wanting the job, which may have led to Sir Alan's decision to fire her. He was accused by the You're Fired panel of being a snake, and was mocked for his extremely defensive responses to the interviewers' questions.

Week 12: The Final[edit]

  • Finalists: Alex, Claire, Helene, and Lee
  • Teams:
    • Claire and Lee's team: Claire and Lee (joint Project Managers), Michael, Jenny and Simon.
    • Helene and Alex's team: Helene and Alex (joint Project Managers), Raef, Kevin and Jennifer.
  • Task: Develop an original fragrance for men, and then market it at an industry event. The best concept wins, and from the winners, one will be hired.[9]
  • Task Review: Helene and Alex's team struggled for name ideas, and it was eventually left to a product designer to suggest a bottle design, which eventually evolved into their brand, DUAL. The first day of the task saw the team struggle to work together, as Helene constantly argued with Alex and their team-mates and did not contribute many ideas, causing Alex to have to rely on Kevin for help with most of the key decisions. The team dynamic greatly improved on the second day, and they pulled everything together in time for the presentation. Meanwhile, Claire and Lee's team named their fragrance R0ULETTE, playing on associations with gambling and James Bond. They replaced the 'O' on the name with a '0', representing the 0 on a roulette wheel. At DUAL's presentation, while the design of the bottle was innovative, including a detachable smaller bottle, it was more expensive to produce and therefore not fitting the given retail price of £29.95, but despite the major error, the experts loved the smell of the fragrance, which smelled of caramel and chocolate; although it was also pointed out that it was a (seemingly accidental) copy of a fragrance that Helene normally wears, Angel. Meanwhile, at its presentation, R0ULETTE was criticised by both an industry representative and Sir Alan, as likely to be unpopular with women buyers due to the gambling connotation. The experts also stated the fragrance was "retro 50", as in "boring". Sugar expressed that although Claire's question and answer skills were excellent, it does not help sell fragrances. Despite the fact that several of the team-members (most notably Claire and Simon) hadn't gotten along in the past, the team worked together well. In the end, Sir Alan felt that despite the theme of Claire and Lee's fragrance being a turn-off for female buyers, the design of DUAL's bottle proved fatally flawed, costing Helene and Alex greatly.
  • Task Winners: Claire and Lee - For a concept that was not heavily flawed, despite the theme's issues.
  • Fired: Alex and Helene - For a costly bottle design, plus the following additional reasons:
    • Alex - For his overly defensive nature, failure to show other skills than selling, and for having the least impressive employment record of the final four candidates.
    • Helene - For her highly negative attitude throughout the process, taking a backseat during the first day, and for trying to shift responsibility for the bottle's price onto Alex.
  • Final Boardroom: Left with Claire and Lee, Sir Alan contemplated on who had done better, and eventually made his decision based on his views of the final two:
    • Runner-Up: Claire - For giving doubts about employing her in the long-term, despite Sir Alan complimenting her on the improvement she had shown over the course of the series.
    • Winner: Lee - For being "very resilient" and "very convincing" and for improved his presenting skills by "100%".
  • Notes:
    • Throughout the entire season, Renaissance only won two tasks, while Alpha won eight. Alpha therefore holds the record for the most wins, and Renaissance holds the record for the most losses.
    • This is the first time two candidates were fired simultaneously, as usually Sir Alan would fire one candidate and then proceed to fire a second candidate; only the nature of this final created the situation for doing so.
    • Helene spent her exit interview badmouthing Alex, accusing him of being solely responsible for the loss because he was the one who accepted the bottle design (though she subsequently retracted her remarks on the You're Hired special that followed the episode). By contrast, Alex (who had his own taxi) was tearful and didn't say much beyond lamenting that he had been "so close, but so far."
    • Lee became the first (and to date, only) UK Apprentice winner never to appear in the final boardroom at any point during the series, and alongside Paul Tulip from Series 2, one of only two people overall never to be brought back (not counting Raleigh Addington from Series 6, who escaped being brought back in the first task, then resigned from the show).

Related programmes[edit]

Four additional hour-long specials accompanied Series Four; The Apprentice: Worst Decisions Ever, The Apprentice: Motor Mouths, each revisiting candidates from the previous three series and two candidate profile programmes entitled The Apprentice: The Final Five and The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them.[4]

An Apprentice version of the Weakest Link also accompanied the series, with major characters from all four series competing for their chosen charities. The contestants were (in order of elimination):

  • Kevin Shaw (Series 4)
  • Paul Torrisi (Series 1)
  • Katie Hopkins (Series 3)
  • James Max (Series 1)
  • Ian Stringer (Series 4)
  • Tre Azam (Series 3)
  • Jenny Celerier (Series 4)
  • Kristina Grimes (Series 3)
  • Jo Cameron (Series 2)

Despite being the strongest link in the penultimate round, Jenny was eliminated. Jo defeated Kristina in the final and donated £11,550 to her chosen charity.

Ratings[edit]

The show had gradually been increasing in popularity since it began, but this series proved to be a major ratings success. Every episode finished in the top ten of the BBC One Weekly Ranking, and the series finale became the first-ever Apprentice episode to be the BBC's top-rated programme of the week. Moreover, it was the BBC's third most successful series of the year, beaten in audience numbers only by EastEnders and Doctor Who.

Episode Viewing figures from BARB.[10]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers
(millions)
BBC One Weekly Ranking
1 26 March 2008 6.73 8
2 2 April 2008 6.73 9
3 9 April 2008 7.32 6
4 16 April 2008 7.43 5
5 23 April 2008 7.85 5
6 30 April 2008 7.28 5
7 7 May 2008 7.17 5
8 14 May 2008 7.11 6
9 21 May 2008 5.73 9
10 28 May 2008 6.84 6
11 4 June 2008 7.94 4
12 11 June 2008 9.29 1
Series average 7.29 N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "So you think you can be Sir Alan's next Apprentice?". Fremantle Media. Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  2. ^ "Simon Cox : lighting cameraman". Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  3. ^ "The Apprentice Series 4 online application form". Fremantle Media. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  4. ^ a b "The Apprentice – Let the boardroom battle commence!", BBC Press Office, 18 March 2008
  5. ^ "Inside the £5m converted warehouse that will be the Apprentices' new home". The Daily Mail. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "Digital Spy: Adrian Chiles to return for 'Apprentice'". Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  7. ^ "Lost in TV: The Apprentice: You're Fired!". Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  8. ^ "Meet this year's boardroom...". Metro (Associated Metro Limited). Retrieved 18 March 2008. 
  9. ^ The Apprentice Magazine, June 2008
  10. ^ "BARB". BARB. 

External links[edit]