The Apprentice (UK series four)

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The Apprentice UK
Series Four

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. Auditions and interviews are reported to have taken place during the first two weeks of July 2007 in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol.[2] A record 20,000 applications were received.[3]

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.[4] Filming of the first episode of The Apprentice: You're Fired! took place on 25 March 2008.[5] TV presenter Jennifer Maguire also participated in this series.


Production of the fourth series took place in September and October 2007.[6] On 19 October 2007, filming took place beside One Canada Square with candidates seemingly advertising an "Aston Martin Roadster Experience".[7]

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.[8]


There were sixteen candidates taking part in this series,[9] 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
2-0 (win in weeks 7 & 10)
Claire Young Senior Retail Buyer Alpha 28 Runner-up
2-0 (win in weeks 1 & 5)
Helene Speight Global Pricing Leader Alpha 32 Fired in the middle of the Final
1-1 (win in week 4 & loss in week 8)
Alex Wotherspoon Regional Sales Manager Renaissance 24 Fired in the middle of the Final
1-1 (win in week 9 and loss in week 1)
Lucinda Ledgerwood Risk Manager Alpha 31 Fired in week 11
1-1 (win in week 8 & loss in week 5)
Michael Sophocles Telesales Executive Renaissance 22 Fired in week 10
1-1 (win in week 6 & loss in week 10)
Raef Bjayou Entrepreneur Renaissance 27 Fired in week 9
1-1 (win in week 2 & loss in week 9)
Sara Dhada International Car Trader Alpha 25 Fired in week 8
1-0 (win in week 3)
Jennifer Maguire Marketing Consultant Alpha 27 Fired in week 7
0-1 (loss in week 7)
Jenny Celerier Sales Manager Alpha 36 Fired in week 7
0-1 (loss in week 2)
Kevin Shaw Bank Manager Renaissance 24 Fired in week 6
0-1 (loss in week 6)
Lindi Mngaza Business Liaison Manager Alpha 22 Fired in week 5
Simon Smith Engineer Renaissance 35 Fired in week 4
0-1 (loss in week 4)
Ian Stringer Software Sales Manager Renaissance 26 Fired in week 3
0-1 (loss in week 3)
Shazia Wahab Mosaic Artist and Company Director Alpha 35 Fired in week 2
Nicholas de Lacy-Brown Trainee Barrister, Artist and Property Developer Renaissance 23 Fired in week 1

Weekly results[edit]

Elimination chart
Candidate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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.


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: Both teams were given a van containing £600 worth of seafood and a choice of London market locations from which to sell. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: 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. Alpha made a profit of £153.98.
    • Renaissance: The team 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 had priced the seafood incorrectly, making them much cheaper than what they should have been. The 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. Renaissance made a profit of only £32.69.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £121.29.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • Brought into the boardroom: Alex, Nicholas, and Raef
  • Fired: Nicholas, for incorrectly pricing the fish, poorly defending himself in the boardroom, and admitting that he was unable to get on with "less educated" candidates.
  • Notes:
    • While Alpha won the task, Sir Alan did not feel that their profit was especially impressive.
    • Nicholas became the first (and so far only) male candidate who wasn't project manager to be fired in the first week. Sir Alan said that under most circumstances Alex would have been fired, but gave him credit for stepping up as project manager when no-one else was willing, and was impressed by his defence of himself 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 also cost the team money, but was able to provide a much stronger argument than Nicholas and even backed Alex up when his education was questioned.
    • Nicholas ruined any chance of him getting hired by saying he doesn't like to get along with less educated people and in particular those who are into football. This irked Sir Alan, who, said that he wasn't really concerned about a person's interests or level of education so long as they could do their job (though it wasn't mentioned in this episode, it was pointed out on You're Fired that Sugar had spent 11 years as chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, who had even been prominently featured in a Series One episode, as well as the fact he was a high school dropout).
    • Right before the firing, Sugar told Nicholas that he got an "F", a reference to a statement in his resume whereby he said the worst experience of his life was getting a "B" in his GCSE French.

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: Both teams were given use of an industrial laundry for the night. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:The teams sourced business from a variety of customers including a hotel, a fishmonger and homeowners.
    • Alpha: The team had problems setting a reasonable price, attempting to charge the hotel £4,990 for £200 worth of washing, and the fishmonger £15 for £60 worth of washing. In addition, they were late getting started and hadn't finished by the end of the night. They suffered problems due to mix-ups with customers' clothing, including two lost items for which they were fined £50 in the boardroom. This was blamed on Shazia, who had the task of keeping track of items, but left early in an unsuccessful attempt to get hold of the steam irons at the house, which Renaissance had already removed. Alpha made a profit of only £195.55.
    • Renaissance: The team targeted large companies to service for. They made big earnings from the companies and finished their washing and pressing before the laundry had to close. No articles of clothing were lost, meaning no penalties, and the team made £328 exactly. The team unanimously approved of Raef's management of the task, and Simon's co-ordination at the laundry received particular praise.
  • Winner: Renaissance, by £132.45.
  • Loser: Alpha
    • Brought into the boardroom: Jenny, Lucinda, and Shazia
  • Fired: Shazia, for leaving the laundry early and allowing items to get mixed up. Although Jenny made many major errors, Sir Alan that Shazia's messing up an easy task such as handling clothing was unforgivable.
  • Notes:
    • Near the end of the first day of the task, Jenny spent nearly the entirety of the journey from the laundry back to the house berating Lucinda for what she perceived as Lucinda working too slowly, reducing her to tears. When Sara tried to tell Jenny that she was out of line, Jenny responded by berating her as well.
    • 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 laundry. Lindi bragged about this in the boardroom, but Sir Alan scorned the idea that anybody, especially domestic customers, would be so concerned as to the progress of their laundry that they'd need such a hotline.
    • Although Jenny was safe from elimination, Sir Alan still lambasted her for her many errors, which included her appalling behavior towards her teammates, especially to Lucinda, not being involved in the pricing strategies, and not bringing back Lindi or Jennifer who devised said strategies. He then warned Jenny that if she ever behaved like that 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 of her, as she had been responsible for many of the errors in Alpha's strategy and had been openly dismissive of the criticisms that Sir Alan made 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, and 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: Both teams had to devise and run a themed food day in a pub with no previous history of serving food. The teams were given a list of wholesalers to use. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: Alpha chose a Bollywood theme. The team managed to arrange all their printing for free. They had to cancel their lunch service due to the food not being prepared properly, but 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. Alpha made a profit of £604.27.
    • Renaissance: Renaissance chose an Italian theme, but ran out of time and had to resort to purchasing their supplies from Tesco, resulting in substantially increased food costs. They produced 200 flyers at £1 each. The team took more money, but because of cost overruns made only £301.97.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £302.30.
    • Reward: Cooking lessons at the Eckington Manor Cookery School in Eckington, Worcestershire.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • Brought into the boardroom: Ian, Kevin, and Simon
  • Fired: Ian, for his "disastrous performance" as project manager, failing to figure out the pricing and profit margins,trying to deny that Kevin had given a pep-talk to the team in his stead, and refusal to admit fault in the task.
  • Notes:
    • For the first time this season, Sir Alan chose the project managers.
    • While the team made more revenue than Alpha, Sir Alan was extremely displeased at Renaissance, deeming their performance to be one of the worst he had ever seen on the show, and feeling that not one member of the team had shown any knowledge whatsoever of how to run a profitable business. In actual fact, Lee had repeatedly voiced his concerns that Ian and Kevin were giving no thought to profit margins early on, but his concerns were brushed aside by Ian.
    • 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 such a meeting ever took place, despite it being recorded on camera and Kevin and Simon insisting that the meeting did in fact happen. While Sir Alan had serious concerns with all three candidates in the final boardroom, he indicated in the Why I Fired them episode that Ian's attempt to deny the pep-talk was what sealed his fate, citing it as complete arrogance.
    • Despite Ian quickly being 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 and was unconvinced had the potential to win the competition. Simon therefore volunteered to step up as project manager on the following task. Kevin was also heavily criticised for making several basic errors in calculating ingredient quantities and orders, particularly considering his bank manager background, but was given credit for being the only person who tried to organize and motivate the team for much of the 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: Running a photography business in Bluewater shopping centre. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: Alpha hired a David Beckham lookalike. Communication issues between the shop floor and the production room caused lost orders for the team. Alpha had problems operating their computer, 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 in when it became clear she was unable to meet the orders. Alpha made a profit of £145.10.
    • Renaissance: Renaissance opted for a "glamour and beauty" theme. Like Alpha, communication issues caused lost orders, only they were hurt seriously. Simon clashed with his teammates about ideas, particularly him insisting to have people take pictures in public. Renaissance made a loss of £73.81.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £218.91.
    • Reward: Dinner aboard a luxury yacht, on trip to the Isle of Wight.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • 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 members, and because Sir Alan felt he was completely out of his depth.
  • Notes:
    • During the task Claire was particularly insubordinate, showing little respect for Simon and constantly butting heads about his ideas. In the boardroom she continued to berate Simon and didn't take any responsibility for her actions, even going so far as to interrupt Sir Alan while he was trying to give his final deliberations. This infuriated Sir Alan, who 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 in order to get rid of Lucinda.
    • The majority of the You're Fired studio audience disagreed with the decision, although Simon himself said that he deserved to be fired.

Week 5[edit]

  • Renaissance: Claire (Project Manager), Sara, Michael, Jenny, Alex and Kevin.
  • Alpha: Lucinda (Project Manager), Raef, Lindi, Helene, Lee and Jennifer.
  • Task: Both teams had to develop three new flavours of ice cream at farms that specialised in making ice creams, and then choose two to sell direct to the trade market in London. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: 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. Alpha made a profit of £1,273.64.
    • Renaissance: After arriving 30 minutes late to their focus group and finding nobody there, Renaissance's 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 eventually secured a large order from a designer restaurant at the last minute. Renaissance made a profit £1,455.45.
  • Winner: Renaissance, by £181.81.
  • Loser: Alpha
    • Brought into the boardroom: Lucinda, Jennifer and Lindi
  • Fired: Lindi; for failing to live up to her repeated boasts about her abilities and for her many errors in this task, which included her poor strategy of selling to ice cream stores, talking Lucinda out of suggesting to have the manufacturers on both teams, and most importantly violating the task rules by giving exclusivity to the buyers.
  • Notes:
    • Sir Alan said in the boardroom that if Alpha had won the task, he would have disqualified them and handed victory to Renaissance due to Alpha's sales to the cinema and pub chains being done on an exclusive basis, as the whole point of the task was to open up new sales for the farmers, which would be limited by the exclusivity deals. He also criticised them 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.
    • As well making Claire Project Manager, Sir Alan made Lucinda Project Manager, as he picked up on her team's criticisms and opinions about her, and decided to find out if they were really true. Surprisingly the team was very positive about her leadership, and despite her loss Sir Alan decided she wouldn't face dismissal. Sir Alan noted the only direct mistake Lucinda made was backing down from her suggestion that manufacturers should be on both sales teams, in the hope they could convey enthusiasm. Lucinda changed her mind after Jennifer, Lindi and Raef all voiced their 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.
    • Claire's victory in this task meant that she had won two tasks as project manager, making her the joint most successful project manager this series, along with Lee. Having narrowly escaped firing last week, Claire reined in her aggressive side, and received praise from her teammates.
    • Jennifer came close to being fired, as Sir Alan considered her to have made many of the same mistakes that 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.
    • This is the last time that Renaissance won a task. Conversely, it was also the final time that Lucinda and Lee were on the losing team.

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 to pitch to prospective retailers, namely Clinton Cards, Tesco and the Celebrations Group. The team that makes the most sales wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: The team 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 chose to remove it from their final pitch, which was to the Celebrations Group. This proved to be a smart move as Celebrations ordered 19,500 cards, while Clinton Cards and Tesco ordered 1,500 each, for a total of 22,500 cards.
    • Renaissance: Jenny suggested an environmental card, and effectively forced it on the team by not doing any research for their other ideas. The retail buyers 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 for 6,000 cards, but neither of the other two retailers ordered any at all.
  • Winner: Alpha, by 16,500 cards.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • Brought into the boardroom: Kevin, Claire, and Sara
  • Fired: Kevin, for his poor sales pitching, refusal to let Claire do the pitching herself despite her sales experience, allowing Jenny to take over the creative aspect of the task and then failing to bring her back into the boardroom, and for his 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 shown to heavily criticise Sara. Raef was the only one shown on screen to jump to her defence on this matter; Claire, while not specifically defending Sara, pointed out that Kevin was the one 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 Hewer on that week's 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.
    • Sir Alan questioned why Claire 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 do the pitch had she been asked early on (she did in fact volunteer, as did Jenny and Alex, only for Kevin to overrule them), 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 probably doomed them from the start of the task, he doubted that any pitch given by Claire could possibly have been worse than Kevin's, and told her that she should step up if a similar situation ever arose again.
    • It was strongly hinted that Jenny would've been fired had Kevin brought her back to the boardroom, but the decision not to effectively made him responsible for what Sir Alan saw as a "fiasco". After the firing, Sir Alan commented that Kevin had "talked himself into his departure," in part due to not bringing back Jenny, and also for offering what Sir Alan saw as a completely unconvincing case for his survival. Sir Alan also suspected Kevin of using Sara as a scapegoat, which he deemed a poor idea.

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. The team that spends the least wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: Despite spending time attempting to locate items before setting off, Alpha 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 off the tourists for a fair price. Alpha collected all ten items without penalties, spending only £413.61. Nick was complementary of Lee's leadership, but also praised the efforts of Sara and Lucinda.
    • Renaissance: Jennifer decided to have the team go straight to the market, paying little attention to the dossier, which quickly resulted in disorganisation and mistakes. Jennifer, Alex and Claire bought a white mosque alarm clock instead of a green one, and didn't realise until later, which meant they had to waste time changing the clock. 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 spent £449.60, but penalties were given for purchasing unbranded tagines and a halal chicken instead of a kosher chicken. The £153.99 penalty brought their total amount to £603.59.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £35.99 without the penalties, and by £189.98 with the penalties.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • Brought into the boardroom (first time): Jennifer, Alex, Claire, Jenny, and Michael
      • Fired: Jenny, for repeatedly lying about the Kosher chicken fiasco in an effort to get Michael fired, attempting to sabotage Alpha's efforts to buy a tennis racket, appalling attitude towards the other candidates, and her average at best track record in the process, despite her promising CV.
    • Brought into the boardroom (second time): Jennifer, Claire, and Michael
      • Fired: Jennifer, for failing to control the team in the task, for rushing to get to the marketplace, and for not paying attention to the dossier. While all three candidates had made mistakes, Sir Alan deemed Jennifer primarily responsible for her failure to read the dossier, which he felt doomed Renaissance from the start. She was not shown to be fired with regret on the main episode, but it was revealed on You're Fired that she was.
  • Notes:
    • Jenny and Michael did not specifically inform Alex, Claire and Jennifer of their bribery attempt, only describing it as "espionage". When Margaret revealed exactly what they had attempted in the boardroom, the three team-mates were outraged and had a fierce discussion outside.
    • Due to Jenny's exceptionally dishonest behaviour, along with her mediocre overall track record, refusal to take any responsibility for her actions, and 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; he sent the five Renaissance members out while he had a brief discussion with Nick and Margaret, who agreed that while she looked like a contender early on, her dishonest statements, poor attitude towards other candidates, attempted sabotage this task, and her habit of scapegoating people had changed their opinions entirely. Upon the return to the boardroom, 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, only for Sir Alan interrupted and fire her straightaway.
    • This episode marked the first and only occasion in the UK show where more than three people remained on the team, but the project manager was not allowed to choose the two candidates who would also face Sir Alan in the final boardroom. After Jenny's firing, Alex was sent back to the house, as Sir Alan considered his single mistake (purchasing the unbranded tagines) to be the least serious of the errors made by the remaining candidates, before a second and final boardroom session took place.
    • While Alex was negotiating for a rug, Claire interrupted and complained about being tired and wanting to go back to the hotel, to try to put pressure 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.
    • 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 food was and also didn't recognise the Hebrew greeting L'Chaim. 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 task.
    • 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 fired because she failed to read the dossier, they also agreed that dismissing Michael would have been justified. He was also lampooned on the show for crossing himself as he returned to the boardroom for the first firing.
    • 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. The team that makes the most money wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: After deciding 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 for a total of £5,105 and £647.24 worth of lingerie, making overall sales of £5,752.99.
    • Renaissance: 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 for a total of £1,925 (almost solely through Alex), but failed to sell any cakes, mainly due to Michael and Sara's highly aggressive sales technique.
  • 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, failing to sell a single cake, and her general lack of contribution to the tasks in previous weeks.
  • 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, Sugar decided to give her second chance, feeling that she had been very impressive on most of the prior tasks.
    • A key factor in Sara's firing were the sales tactics is used during the task. On Why I Fired Them Sir Alan pointed out that the task required a more softer touch towards the customer to make a sale, rather than using a hard-sell move. He felt that Sara's failure to understand this gave him enough evidence to dismiss her.
    • 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. The team deemed to have created the best ad campaign wins.
  • Result: 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. However, their brand name, "Atishu!", was praised, and their overall campaign was deemed to be attention-grabbing and gave a very clear message about the product. This secured their victory in the task.
  • Winner: Alpha
  • Reward: An after-hours shopping spree at Harvey Nichols (London).
  • Brought into the boardroom: Raef, Claire, and Michael
  • Fired: Raef, for losing focus of the requirements of the task due to his artistic flair, and for editing out the close-in of the product in the commercial (Sir Alan said that he had concluded Raef, with all due respect, was nothing but 'hot air').
  • Notes:
    • During the reward, even the three members of Alpha admitted that they had expected to lose the task.
    • 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 to the 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.
    • Michael and Claire were both given a final warning; 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 as the winning team. The panel felt that Michael most deserved to be fired out of the three in the final boardroom, and that had Alpha lost, all three members would have been equally deserving of being fired (Alex for being unconvincing as project manager, Lee for his terrible presentation, and 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: To select and rent out a set of luxury sports cars. The team that make the most money, by rental, wins.
  • Result: 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. 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. Renaissance made sales of £2,114, almost all of which was earned by Claire (Michael sold about £200 worth, while Helene did not make a single sale). Alpha made sales of £11,815, with Alex contributing £8,000, Lee £3,400, and Lucinda £65.
  • 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 to sell cars, not delivering on his promises to Sir Alan, his consistent attempts to take advantage of the other candidates, his poor track record, and appearing in the final boardroom four times in a row. Despite Helene not selling anything and Claire appearing in the boardroom for the fifth time, Sir Alan decided that Michael had been given one too many chances and could no longer continue.
  • 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.
    • Lucinda's victory on this task was her eighth overall, tying her with James Max from Series One as the most successful candidate. In spite of this she was criticised for her minimal contribution to the task. This record was broken in Series 7 by Helen Milligan, who won ten tasks out of eleven.
    • 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.
    • Lee's victory in this tasks meant that he had won two tasks as project manager, making him the joint most successful project manager this series, along with Claire.
    • This was Claire's fifth appearance in the final boardroom, tying her with Syed Ahmed of Series 2 as the candidate to have made the most appearances in the final boardroom. On this occasion 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 - Semi-Finals[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. The interviewers then report their impressions of the candidates back to Sir Alan to help him choose the finalists. The four interviewers were 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.
  • Result: 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. 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. 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 because there were doubts over how much she desired the job.
  • Notes:
    • 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. Also, 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 all of the four finalists were worthy of the job and wanted to put them through 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.
    • Lucinda's firing made her the first female to be fired at the interview stage. In the first two series (when only two candidates were fired at interview stage), both the fired candidates were male. In Series 3, two male candidates were fired before Katie Hopkins left voluntarily.

Week 12: The Final[edit]

  • Finalists: Alex, Claire, Helene, and Lee
  • Task: Develop an original fragrance for men, and then market it at an industry event.[10]
  • 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.
  • Results:
    • Helene and Alex: The 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. While the design of the DUAL 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. 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. 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.
    • Claire and Lee: Claire and Lee 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. 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.
  • Winner: Claire and Lee proceed to the final two.
  • Loser: Helene and Alex.
    • Reason: Although Claire and Lee's name and theme of R0ULETTE were unpopular with some women, Helene and Alex's budgetary problems caused by the DUAL bottle design were felt to be a more serious flaw, resulting in Claire and Lee being once again named the winner of the task.
  • Fired: Alex and Helene, for making the bottle unreasonably cheap and therefore losing the task, plus the following additional reasons:
    • Alex, for his overly defensive nature, for failing to show skills aside from selling, and for having the least impressive employment record of the final four candidates.
    • Helene, for her highly negative attitude throughout the process, for taking a backseat during the first day of the final task, and for trying to shift responsibility for the bottle's price onto Alex.
  • Runner-Up: Claire; Sir Alan complimented her on the improvement she had shown over the course of the series, but expressed doubts about whether he'd want to work with her in the long-term.
  • Hired: Lee, who was viewed by Sir Alan as "very resilient" and "very convincing". Sugar also was impressed that Lee improved his presenting skills by "100%".
  • Notes:
    • Throughout the entire season, Renaissance only won two tasks, while Alpha won eight. Alpha holds the record for the most wins, and Renaissance holds the record for the most losses, this record would be later equalled in series seven, when team Logic lost eight tasks to team Venture.
    • This is the first time two candidates were fired simultaneously. Usually Sir Alan would fire one candidate and then proceed to fire a second candidate.
    • 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's joint victory with Claire in the task meant that he also equalled the then record of eight wins overall, tying Lucinda from this series and James Max from Series 1. It was also his sixth task victory in succession (not counting the interviews), tying the record which James Max from Series 1 and Tre Azam from Series 3 also held. In Series 7, Helen Milligan broke this record by winning nine tasks in a row (and ten tasks overall.)
    • 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]

To date, four additional hour-long specials have 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.[3]

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)

Jo defeated Kristina in the final and donated £11,550 to her chosen charity.


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.[11]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers
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


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

External links[edit]