There were fourteen candidates for this series, and they were initially separated into two teams by gender. The women chose the name First Forte for their team, while the men named their team Impact. Curiously, the two eventual finalists never worked together on the same team - Tim and Saira were on opposing teams every week. Two candidates - Adenike and Miranda - never got the chance to be project manager.
Impact: Tim (Project Manager), Paul, Ben, Matthew, James, Raj and Sebastian.
First Forte: Saira (Project Manager), Miriam, Miranda, Adele, Adenike, Lindsay and Rachel.
Who answers the phone: Matthew.
Meeting place: The Financial Times.
Task: Buying and selling flowers, the team that makes the most profit wins.
Result: First Forte spent the first half the day selling flowers at the market before deciding to sell from pavement to pavement. Impact, on the other hand, immediately started selling flowers door to door. Despite a slow start after Matthew suggested selling in a residential area which proved to be almost totally deserted (since the residents were at work), the team quickly regrouped and started selling much better in a nearby area, with the men managing large mark-ups on the price, and Paul in particular proving a strong salesman. First Forte on the other hand proved to be much more fragmented, with Adenike and Adele frequently arguing with Saira, and Miranda actually selling their flowers at a loss at more than one point in the task. Impact won with £865. First Forte lost with £602.
Brought into the boardroom: Saira, Adenike and Miranda.
Who gets fired: Adenike, for being openly disrespectful to Saira during the task, for "undermining" the team's sales strategy and for poorly defending herself in the boardroom.
At the end of the episode, the trailer for the following episode was shown over the closing credits. This is the only episode of any series that this happened - in all following episodes, the 'Next Week' trailer is shown directly before the credits.
In his autobiography, Sir Alan revealed that due to the production schedule he was not given the chance to consult with Nick and Margaret before the initial boardroom session, and had to rely purely on what he was told in the actual boardroom. As a result, for future episodes he insisted on being given enough time to be fully debriefed on the task outcome before speaking to the candidates. He also implied that had he been given more information on what happened during the task, he would probably have fired Miranda rather than Adenike.
Impact: Raj (Project Manager), Paul, Ben, Matthew, Tim, James and Sebastian.
First Forte: Lindsay (Project Manager), Saira, Miriam, Miranda, Adele and Rachel.
Who answers the phone: Tim.
Meeting place: A luxury car showroom in Berkeley Square.
Task: Create and design a new toy for a toy company; the team deemed to have created the best concept wins.
Result: Impact came up with an idea for an electronic trading card game named "Switchbase", while First Forte could not decide between a card semaphore system called "Secret Signals" and a robot (a third idea, a set of electrical plugs that would produce different sounds depending on which order they were plugged into a mains socket, was vetoed early on by the toy company since it would not have met safety regulations). A focus group of Brownies and Cub Scouts came out in favour of the latter, as well as the majority of team members, however project manager Lindsay opted to take a risk with "Secret Signals". The toy company and Sir Alan agreed that "Switchbase" was by far the better of the two ideas, and that "Secret Signals" was boring, outdated and not particularly innovative.
Brought into the boardroom: Lindsay, Adele and Miriam.
Who gets fired: Lindsay, for not listening to her team-mates and the focus group, and for choosing a product that was not popular.
While Impact may have won, Sir Alan confronted them with similar products from other toy companies in an effort to find out if they had copied the idea of the electronic card game or were simply unaware.
Although Lindsay's boardroom defence was focused on the fact that Adele had effectively withdrawn from the task because she hated the Secret Signals, Sir Alan didn't think Adele was to blame and actually appeared to be on the verge of firing Miriam, feeling that she wasn't suited to his organisation. However, Miriam's strong defence after Lindsay accused her of lacking any enthusiasm during the task impressed Sir Alan, and ultimately led to Lindsay's firing.
After Lindsay's firing, the footage cut straight from the candidates leaving the boardroom to Lindsay's taxi interview. This is extremely rare on the UK show, as nearly all other episodes show the fired candidate leaving Brentwood or Viglen and getting into the taxi.
Impact: Matthew (Project Manager), Paul, Saira, James, Raj and Rachel.
First Forte: Adele (Project Manager), Ben, Miriam, Tim, Miranda and Sebastian.
Meeting place: The candidates' house.
Task: Purchase a set list of ten items for prices lower than those asked by the retailers. The team which spends the least wins.
Result: There was friction on both teams, as Matthew's leadership of Impact proved to be weak, resulting in Saira taking over most of the key decisions, while on First Forte Adele took an extremely abrasive approach to leadership, leading to conflicts with her team, especially Miranda who did not feel that her skills were being used. Impact failed to find a new bowler hat, for which they were fined £80. However, an electronics store's shopkeeper decided to give them a Freeview box for nothing, offsetting the fine. First Forte managed to acquire all of the items. Impact spent £447.38, and First Forte Spent £506.94.
Reward: Dinner with Sir Alan Sugar at an Italian restaurant.
Brought into the boardroom: Adele, Ben and Miranda.
Who gets fired: Miranda, for not showing respect to Adele and apparently trying to start a mutiny.
Even though Sir Alan thought that Ben should have contributed more to the task and that Adele had been a terrible leader, he considered Miranda's disrespect towards Adele to be unforgivable, particularly since she had been in the first boardroom of the series, where Adenike had been fired for exactly the same offence.
Impact: James (Project Manager), Paul, Saira, Matthew, Raj and Rachel.
First Forte: Tim (Project Manager), Ben, Miriam, Adele and Sebastian.
Who answers the phone: Rachel.
Meeting place: A mini-market.
Task: Select items from the Harrods catalogue and sell them from concession stands within the store. The team that makes the most money wins.
Result: Impact had a slow start, but James secured a bear costume for Paul to wear, attracting much attention particularly from the younger customers. On First Forte, Tim had trouble dealing with Adele, who was openly rude to the Harrods staff on several occasions, and then gave up halfway through the task upon learning that Impact were over £500 ahead. Despite the problems with Adele, and also Ben's weak performance, First Forte rallied and took the lead late in the day. However, Impact was able to sell a bag just before closing time that gave them almost £100 lead over First Forte and narrowly secured victory. Impact brought in £3,295.38, while First Forte brought in £3,108.50.
Reward: A helicopter trip around English stately homes.
Brought into the boardroom: No final boardroom; while Tim had indicated in the task post-mortem that he would probably bring back Adele and Ben, Adele announced her intention to resign during the preliminary boardroom discussions.
Left: Adele, for personal reasons and for not being able to get along with the other candidates.
This is the first (and so far, only) episode of The Apprentice where no one has technically been fired. In later series more candidates were recruited than the number of episodes in order to provide cover in case someone volutarily leaves, in which instance Sir Alan has fired another candidate as well (such as in the third episode of Junior Apprentice, when Adam Eliaz departed due to illness at the end of the task, the boardroom sequence went ahead anyway, complete with a firing at the end.), but also to allow Sir Alan to conduct multiple firings per episode.
After her resignation, Sir Alan Sugar informed Adele that she would have been the one who was fired due to her consistent failures and disrespectful attitude. He also implied that had Adele not resigned, there would have been no final boardroom anyway and that he would have fired her without asking Tim to bring two candidates back into the boardroom.
Due to her resignation after the task, Adele was the first candidate ever in the show not to hear the fatal words before leaving the show.
Adele leaving also meant that Tim was not in a final boardroom situation until Week 10 (as a losing Project Manager, he would automatically have been in the final three this week, had Adele not left of her own accord.)
Impact: Rachel (Project Manager), Paul, Saira, Matthew and Raj.
First Forte: Sebastian (Project Manager), Ben, Miriam, Tim and James.
Who answers the phone: James.
Meeting place: Hoxton Square.
Task: Selecting an artist and selling their work in an art gallery. The team that makes the most money wins.
Result: Both teams initially selected Rob and Nick Carter, an artist couple whose works were inspired by light and spectra. After meeting both teams, the Carters elected to work with First Forte. Impact then opted for Lucie Bennett, an artist specialising in paintings of the female silhouette, as their second choice. Despite the higher selling price of the Rob and Nick's works, First Forte sold several and managed to make £19,563. Impact sold more paintings, but Bennett's works generally sold for only £250 to £2,000, and as a result they netted just £6,147.
Brought into the boardroom: Rachel, Matthew and Paul.
Who gets fired: Matthew, for falsely accusing First Forte of stealing Impact's advertising materials, not selling anything and otherwise contributing little to the task, and for being too awkward and overbearing.
This is the first time that First Forte wins a task as well the first time that Impact loses. Furthermore, this is the first time that Miriam won a task as well as the first time that Paul, Matthew and Raj lost one. At this point, James is the only remaining candidate to have never lost a task.
Matthew is the first male candidate to be fired.
Rachel was criticised for bringing back Paul instead of Saira, whose condescending behaviour toward Rob and Nick Carter was noted to have been the reason why the artists chose First Forte instead of Impact.
When Saira and Raj left to go back to the house, Rachel went to see them off, leaving Matthew and Paul alone together in the boardroom reception. Matthew tried to discuss tactics with Paul to ensure their survival, but Paul did not pay attention.
This task marked the start of Paul and Saira's ongoing feud, which continued until the end of the series.
Result: Paul spent much of his time directing the TV advert instead of managing his team, leaving Saira to give a very vague brief to a graphics designer on what was required from their print ad. This resulted in a TV advert that hardly showed the product, and a poor quality print advert. Rachel's sales pitch for Impact involved throwing her shoes across the room and dancing during the product demonstration. First Forte's campaign went much better, and Sir Alan decided to make Raj admit this fact in the boardroom, instead of announcing their victory himself.
Winner: First Forte.
Reward: A shopping spree.
Brought into the boardroom: Paul, Rachel and Saira.
Who gets fired: Rachel, for delivering a poor sales pitch despite being an advertising expert, and for wasting her time doing a mood board.
Miriam's victory in this task made her the only woman to claim victory as a project manager this series.
After Rachel was fired, Paul and Saira were warned about their conduct and repeated arguments, and Sir Alan decided to separate them for the next task.
Impact: Ben (Project Manager), Paul, Miriam and Tim.
First Forte: James (Project Manager), Saira, Raj and Sebastian.
Who answers the phone: Tim.
Meeting place: The Hackney Empire.
Task: Negotiate with five celebrities for their services or property to sell in a charity auction, with the money going to the refurbishment of the Hackney Empire theatre.
Result: Raj was awestruck by his assigned celebrity, Paul McKenna, forcing James to step in and negotiate a personal hypnotherapy session. Saira also managed to negotiate some books and DVDs from McKenna, but this backfired at the auction when the audience thought these were the only things on offer, resulting in the session going for far less than it should have done. Sebastian did not push for more from his celebrity, Mel Smith, and only got four theatre tickets (compared to the fifty Chicago tickets Impact got) which very nearly failed to sell at all, until auctioneer Griff Rhys Jones stepped in and bought them himself. A guided tour of the GMTV studio donated by Eamonn Holmes also sold at a low price. Impact managed to get Diarmuid Gavin to donate a motorcycle, which ended up being the highest-earning item of the night, and their Chicago tickets also sold well, as did a dinner at The Ivy, donated by Michael Winner. Tim nearly lost the negotiation with former footballer, Ian Wright, but was saved by Miriam, who got him to donate a '98 England golf bag. Impact made £18,000 whereas First Forte made £10,000.
Reward: No specific reward as it was a charity task, but Impact did get to have celebratory drinks with Sir Alan and Griff Rhys Jones, the auctioneer.
Brought into the boardroom: James, Raj and Sebastian.
Who gets fired: Sebastian, with regret, for mishandling the negotiations with Mel Smith, staying on the sidelines too much in prior tasks, and for having a personality and background which Sir Alan felt would be a poor fit for his organization.
This was the first time James lost a task, with the only other occasion being in Week 9.
In the boardroom, Sir Alan revealed that Griff Rhys Jones had conspired with Mel Smith's wife, Pam (who bid against him), to artificially inflate the price for his theatre tickets and prevent what would otherwise have been an embarrassingly low final bid for that item.
After Sebastian was fired, Raj was told that he was on his last warning. Raj himself admitted that he had been extremely lucky to survive, considering that he was the only candidate on either team who failed to successfully complete a single negotiation.
At this point, Tim was the only contestant who had not appeared in the final boardroom yet (although he would have done in Task 4, had Adele not left of her own accord.)
Impact: Ben (Project Manager), Paul, Miriam and Tim.
First Forte: Raj (Project Manager), Saira and James.
Who answers the phone: Tim.
Meeting place: Viglen's computer assembly line.
Task: Purchase produce and create food to sell at a country market.
Result: First Forte focused on jellies, jams and chutneys. James was concerned about how much they could make with the cook charging them £50 per hour. The team managed to convince the cook to work for nothing in exchange for promoting her store. Impact focused on soups but spent a lot of money buying the ingredients. Both teams were chastised by the market manager for arriving late. First Forte managed to sell all their stock, while Impact had a lot of soup left over. First Forte made £364.35, Impact made £149.69.
Winner: First Forte.
Reward: A trip to Monaco, using the task profits as gambling money in the casino.
Brought into the boardroom: Ben, Miriam and Paul.
Who gets fired: Ben, for not taking stronger control of his team and not keeping costs under control, and because Sir Alan did not feel that he was responsible in any major way for Impact's victory the previous week.
Paul was cautioned by Sir Alan for losing his temper after Ben and Miriam both claimed he was ineffective on the task and should be fired despite his large contributions to the sales and negotiations for ingredients.
Miriam also tried to place blame on him for the excessive amount of money spent on certain ingredients that she had authorised.
Raj's victory in this task meant that he had won two tasks as Project Manager, making him the most successful project manager in this series.
This task made Ben the first ever candidate on the UK show to be project manager on two consecutive tasks. This did not happen again until Series 8, when Tom Gearing was project manager in tasks 8 and 9.
Result: The task was set to take place during a Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United football match at White Hart Lane. Originally, Impact planned to place an advert on the Jumbotron, and First Forte planned to place a slogan on banners and online. However, Saira's rudeness and aggressive behaviour towards Tottenham's marketing manager resulted in the club refusing to give any sort of assistance to either team. In the end, First Forte placed posters around the stadium, and hired professional promotional staff to market their service. Impact also hired promotional staff for their campaign, with the incentive of a percentage (commission) for number of text messages sold. Impact captured 704 subscriptions whilst First Forte got 468.
Reward: A meal cooked at the candidates' house by chef Gary Rhodes.
Brought into the boardroom: Saira, James and Raj.
Who is fired: Raj, for failing to step up and make a better effort in the task, despite being warned two tasks prior, and for admitting that he was a poor salesman when Sir Alan had repeatedly made it clear that he demanded excellent sales skills from whoever he hired.
The task was filmed on 25 September 2004, with the result of the game being a 1-0 win to Manchester United.
Sir Alan admitted that he came very close to firing Saira for her being rude to the Tottenham marketing manager and then refusing to acknowledge or apologize for her mistake in the boardroom, but chose to fire Raj instead because he had not heeded Sir Alan's warnings, and was a less impressive candidate overall than Saira.
Saira's defeat in this task meant that she had lost two tasks as Project Manager, making her the least successful project manager in this series.
This was the second consecutive week where the candidate fired was the winning project manager in the previous task.
Task: Choose and sell items live on Ideal World shopping TV.
Result: Miriam and James were chosen as presenters. Tim and Paul of Impact pretended to have picked the same items as Saira of First Forte, so that she got fewer of the products she wanted. Saira ended up with a unisex jacket and a mattress among the items. On the day of the live presentation, Miriam received advice and direction from both Tim and Paul who kept interrupting Tim. Ideal World told Sir Alan after the task that they thought Miriam was a natural and that there was a job for her there. James managed to sell out of mattresses, and also sold a considerable number of unisex jackets. Impact made £2,017 sales revenue and First Forte made £5,407.
Winner: First Forte.
Reward: Rest and recreation at a castle in Scotland.
Brought into the boardroom: Miriam, Paul and Tim.
Who gets fired: Miriam, for not managing her staff properly, and because Sir Alan felt her personality wasn't suited to his organization.
Sir Alan Sugar later admitted in the post-series You're Hired special that Miriam didn't deserve to be fired at this point, and heavily implied that he felt he should have fired Paul in retrospect. However, Sir Alan added that unless Miriam put in an exceptionally good performance in the interviews, Tim and Saira would still have been the final two.
This was James's eighth victory overall. This record would later be matched by Lucinda Ledgerwood and Lee McQueen in Series 4, but would not be broken until Helen Milligan won ten tasks in Series 7.
Result: Despite her having the weakest track record of the final four, the interviewers unanimously considered Saira to be the most impressive of the candidates, giving her much praise for her prior accomplishments and salesmanship, and even feeling that her abrasiveness could be a strength in the right circumstances. The only concern they had was her unwillingness to admit ever being wrong about anything. The interviewers noted that while James was on paper the strongest of the four candidates, they found him unconvincing in the interviews and questioned whether his heart was in the process. Tim was commended for his passion, determination and business knowledge, but the interviewers considered him to be naive and were concerned that stepping up to run one of Sir Alan's businesses would be a step too far. Paul was deemed the weakest of the candidates, mostly due to his short temper and background in businesses that had very little relation to anything Sir Alan did.
Who gets fired:
James, because Sir Alan and the interviewers were not convinced of his dedication to work for Sir Alan (although he had the best CV of the four);
Paul for having unclear reasons to work for Sir Alan considering he had thriving businesses of his own, as well as for being too aggressive and temperamental.
In reality, Paul Torrisi was fired before James Max. However, the editing of the programme showed Paul getting fired after James. The continuity error of this editing was evident. When James was fired and exited the boardroom, Paul's luggage was not visible anywhere in reception. When Paul was fired and exited the boardroom, James' luggage was still in reception. It is also possible to see James still in the boardroom when Paul says goodbye to Tim and an empty seat where Paul sat when James said goodbye.
Saira's team: Saira (Project Manager), Paul, James and Raj.
Tim's team: Tim (Project Manager), Ben, Miriam and Sebastian.
Task: Each team is given a riverboat and £5,000 budget to hold an event. Attendees must buy tickets to the events.
Result: Tim's team chose to put on a fashion show while Saira's team held a wine tasting event that showcased a new brand of Californian wine. Saira's team more than recouped their budget, collecting £5,800, with a final profit of about £1,600. Despite making only about £2,800 and therefore only managing to break even (despite making less than half the money that Saira's team did, Tim's team kept their costs much lower), Tim explained his long-term strategic vision.
Runner-up: Saira; despite raising more money than Tim's team (albeit with correspondingly higher costs), Sir Alan was still concerned about her overly abrasive nature, along with her struggle to control and get on with her staff during this task, something which had also happened during both of her previous spells as project manager.
Hired: Tim, for his consistency across the whole series, and for being the candidate who Sir Alan considered to be the most like his own younger self.
Saira and Paul got into another heated argument during the task, with James trying to stop the argument. But in the end, James and Raj decided to leave the room until the argument finished. During the argument Saira threatened to fire Paul, who refused to accept that she was allowed to do so. Since Saira never carried through on her threat, it is unknown whether she actually would have been able to fire Paul.
Although Saira and Tim were asked to choose only three candidates, nearly all of the previous candidates (minus only Adele) returned to help - the ones who weren't chosen simply left after appearing in the boardroom. This is the only time this has happened, as in future series, the candidates have been asked to choose from a smaller pool of candidates, all of which were chosen to be on a team.
In the You're Hired special which followed the episode, Sir Alan told Saira that despite her losing out to Tim, if she ever needed a job he would be willing to offer her one.