The Apprentice (UK series three)
|The Apprentice UK|
Series Three of The Apprentice (UK) was a television series which aired in the UK on BBC One. The series began on 28 March 2007 and finished on 13 June 2007, with Simon Ambrose as the winner. Ambrose's prize was to work on a project to develop a hotel and golfing complex near Stansted Airport, whilst training as a chartered surveyor. Kristina Grimes, the runner-up, has received many job offers from separate companies and is now working as an investment sales director.
Sir Alan Sugar reprised his role as the boss with Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford as his advisors. Moving from BBC Two, this series attracted 10,000 applicants and promised "tougher tasks and better people" than before, however Sir Alan believed that the show was morphing into "Big Brother". Sugar also criticised the US version for making the error of "trying to change things just for the sake of it", causing it to backfire.
Two 90-minute specials were aired during the series run. The first programme was titled The Apprentice: Beyond the Boardroom and featured information about the personal lives of each of the semi-finalists. The second, The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them, featured Sugar revealing why he chose to remove each candidate from the programme.
- 1 Candidates
- 2 Weekly results
- 3 Challenges
- 3.1 Week 1: Coffee To Go
- 3.2 Week 2: Doggy Designs
- 3.3 Week 3: Start-up Service
- 3.4 Week 4: Sugar Rush
- 3.5 Week 5: Fish, Lips and Horses
- 3.6 Week 6: The Sausage Saga
- 3.7 Week 7: The 97 Pence Victory
- 3.8 Week 8: Brand-a-trainer
- 3.9 Week 9: Feeling the Strain
- 3.10 Week 10: Selling on TV
- 3.11 Week 11: Interviews
- 3.12 Week 12: The Final
- 4 Criticism and controversy
- 5 Related programmes
- 6 Aftermath
- 7 Ratings
- 8 References
- 9 External links
|Candidate||Background||Original team||Age||Result||Record as project manager|
|Simon Ambrose||Internet Entrepreneur||Eclipse||27||Hired by Sugar||1-1 (win in week 7 & loss in week 10)|
|Kristina Grimes||Pharmaceutical Sales Manager||Stealth||36||Runner-up||2-0 (win in week 5 and 10)|
|Katie Hopkins||Global Brand Consultant||Stealth||31||Quit in week 11||2-0 (win in week 2 and 9)|
|Tre Azam||Marketing and Design Consultant||Eclipse||27||Fired in week 11||1-1 (win in weeks 3 & loss in week 9)|
|Lohit Kalburgi||Telecoms Manager||Eclipse||25||Fired in week 11
||1-0 (win in week 6)|
|Naomi Lay||Advertising Sales Manager||Stealth||26||Fired in week 10
||0-1 (loss in week 3)|
|Jadine Johnson||Financial adviser||Stealth||27||Fired in week 9||2-0 (win in week 1 and 8)|
|Ghazal Asif||Business Development Manager||Stealth||23||Fired in week 8||1-1 (win in week 4 & loss in week 8)|
|Adam Hosker||Car Sales Manager||Eclipse||27||Fired in week 7||0-2 (loss in week 4 and 7)|
|Paul Callaghan||Ex-British Army Lieutenant||Eclipse||27||Fired in week 6||0-1 (loss in week 6)|
|Natalie Wood||Housewife||Stealth||29||Fired in week 5||0-1 (loss in week 5)|
|Sophie Kain||Quantum Physicist||Stealth||32||Fired in week 4|
|Gerri Blackwood||Transport Development Manager||Stealth||33||Fired in week 3|
|Rory Laing||Bankrupt Entrepreneur||Eclipse||27||Fired in week 2||0-1 (loss in week 2)|
|Iftikhar "Ifti" Chaudhri||Company Director||Eclipse||36||Fired in week 2|
|Andy Jackson||Car Sales Manager||Eclipse||36||Fired in week 1||0-1 (loss in week 1)|
For this series, there were sixteen candidates instead of fourteen, as seen in the previous two series. The candidates were initially separated into two teams by gender. The women chose the name Stealth for their team, while the men named their team Eclipse. Three candidates - Ifti, Gerri and Sophie - never had the chance to be project manager.
The candidates were:
* as of the date of the programme.
- 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.
- The candidate left the competition.
Week 1: Coffee To Go
- Team shuffle: Andy to Stealth. Jadine to Eclipse (After being selected as project managers)
- Project managers: Jadine (Eclipse) and Andy (Stealth)
- Task: Sell coffee in Islington. The team that makes the most profit wins.
- Result: Both teams decided to split up into two, with one half maintaining a fixed coffee stand and the other half staffing a mobile coffee van. Eclipse made a good start despite some initial purchasing blunders whilst Stealth struggled to sell by placing their van in an area already served by many low price coffee outlets. Whilst both teams sold well, Stealth failed to make a large profit as a result of buying too much stock, milk in particular. As a result, Eclipse made the larger overall profit, making £360.97 compared to Stealth's £111.92.
- Winner: Eclipse.
- Reward: A trip to the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden.
- Brought into the boardroom: Andy, Gerri and Sophie.
- Who gets fired: Andy, for failing as a leader and not keeping control of the group.
- On the day of the task Sir Alan had the project managers change teams. There would ultimately not be any point this series where both teams were made up exclusively of men or women, making this the only UK Apprentice series never to have a "battle of the sexes."
- Sir Alan also told the boys to change the team name after their original name (Certus) was found to be the name of a company that Tre had previously worked for, so they became Eclipse.
- Despite Eclipse's victory, Sir Alan was critical of Jadine's leadership, in particular her near-obsessive insistence on promoting the Eclipse brand (which it was pointed out would have little if any benefit to the task outcome), pulling Simon and Tre away from a highly lucrative sales area seemingly for no reason, and then making a groundless accusation in the boardroom that the men on her team had all displayed sexist behaviour toward her in the task.
- After his firing, Andy pleaded with Sir Alan to change his decision, without success. Sir Alan had to tell him he was fired a second time.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Sahar Ashemi, Ruth Badger and Mark Frith.
Week 2: Doggy Designs
- Project managers: Rory (Eclipse) and Katie (Stealth)
- Task: Design an innovative product for dogs and pitch it to three stores: Pets at Home, Harrods and Pets and the City. The team that makes the most profit wins.
- Result: Stealth decided to focus their efforts on pitching their dog wardrobe to the largest store, Pets at Home. In Eclipse, Rory went against his team members' advice and chose to design a dog-owner utility belt. His autocratic leadership style also irritated his team, especially Tre. Ultimately, Eclipse took the lead getting orders adding up to £565 from Pets and the City and Harrods, whilst Stealth didn't get any orders. However, the tide turned with Pets at Home as Stealth got £5000 worth of orders, while Eclipse got none.
- Winner: Stealth.
- Reward: A luxury meal at The Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair.
- Brought into the boardroom: Rory, Tre and Ifti.
- Who gets fired (first time): Ifti, with regret, for failing to make any contribution to the task and admitting he was unable to focus himself properly, both of which he put down to missing his family. Sir Alan fired him as soon as the final boardroom session began, but in a shock move, then told Rory and Tre that the boardroom would continue as normal, and a second firing would take place.
- Who gets fired (second time): Rory, for designing a poor product, ignoring the advice of the research team, and attempting to evade responsibility for the task's failure, instead blaming Tre for questioning his decisions.
- Stealth's revenue outgrossed Eclipse's by a factor of 8.8:1, making this the biggest victory in the history of the UK version of The Apprentice at that time.
- This was the first time that a double firing took place before the interviews, following an alteration to the show's format that enabled multiple firings, which were previously not an option for Sir Alan. This alteration was in part motivated by an episode of Series 2, when Sir Alan fired Alexa Tilley, but expressed a desire to also fire Syed Ahmed and Tuan Le. Sir Alan also commented in his column in that week's Daily Mirror that under the previous format of the show he would have been forced to either keep Ifti despite his clear lack of motivation to carry on, or keep Rory despite his terrible performance as team leader.
Week 3: Start-up Service
- Team Shuffle: Jadine to Stealth. Katie to Eclipse
- Project managers: Tre (Eclipse) and Naomi (Stealth)
- Task: Starting with £200, generate the maximum possible profit through whatever means. The team that makes the most profit wins.
- Result: Eclipse started a gardening business in the day and a pub-singing service in the evening whilst Stealth set up a face painting service for children in the day and a kiss-o-gram service in the evening, with a kiss and a hug for £1. Both teams got off to a slow start, though Stealth lost a lot of custom by not managing their location properly Back in the boardroom, Stealth were effectively accused of prostitution by Sir Alan after selling kisses on the streets of London, which he described as being like "another old profession I've heard about". Eclipse made £189 profit whilst Stealth made £65.
- Winner: Eclipse.
- Reward: A night out in a Cuban bar and restaurant in London.
- Brought into the boardroom: Naomi, Jadine and Gerri.
- Who gets fired: Gerri, for failing to find suitable locations on two out of three tasks, for not contributing anything of value to any of the tasks, and for admitting that she was "biding her time" before putting in a full effort.
- The only Stealth members who were actually willing to give out kisses were Kristina and Natalie, causing Sir Alan to point out how ridiculous it was for the team to choose to run a business that five of the seven team members weren't willing to take part in.
- Jadine was severely warned in the boardroom, after openly admitting to behaving in a disruptive manner during the task because she didn't believe Naomi was a good leader. Sir Alan actually agreed that Naomi had been an extremely poor project manager, but told Jadine this was no excuse for her behaviour and warned her that she would be fired if she did it again.
- Likewise, Naomi was told that she had been lucky to survive, as Sir Alan considered her almost totally at fault for the loss. However, it was noted that Naomi was at least a hard worker, whereas Gerri seemed content to stay in the background.
Week 4: Sugar Rush
- Team shuffle: Tre and Paul to Stealth. Natalie and Sophie to Eclipse.
- Project managers: Adam (Eclipse) and Ghazal (Stealth)
- Task: Manufacture sweets and sell them at London Zoo. The team that makes the most profit wins.
- Result: Both teams went for similar ideas in terms of their product; Stealth opted for chocolate lollies (with an animal design) and bags of fudge, while Eclipse went for chocolate lollies (with a paw design) and orange flavoured lollies. Stealth struggled to manufacture enough of their product and so ran out of stock by 4pm, an hour before the task finished. In comparison, Eclipse had plenty to sell but struggled to offload their orange lollies which were mistakenly labelled as 'natural'. With limited time left they had to resort to reducing their prices and eventually gave their remaining sweets away for free. Stealth created a profit of £994, beating Eclipse's £983 by just £11.
- Winner: Stealth.
- Reward: A night out Bowling.
- Brought into the boardroom: Adam, Sophie and Natalie.
- Who gets fired: Sophie, for her unenthusiastic selling and naivety about the business world.
- Sir Alan did not feel that Stealth were deserving winners, and was further annoyed by Ghazal's cocky attitude and failure to acknowledge the team's mistakes (Tre ended up being the person who did this for the team) in the boardroom.
- While Natalie escaped being fired, she was given a severe warning after she repeatedly lied to Sir Alan about who was responsible for the labelling error; in fact she had made this mistake herself, but tried to blame it on Adam.
Week 5: Fish, Lips and Horses
- Project managers: Natalie (Eclipse) and Kristina (Stealth)
- Task: Choose photographs from two different artists and then sell them in a fashionable east London gallery, making as much money as possible.
- Result: Stealth showcased artists with the themes of horses and fish, whilst Eclipse chose artists whose work related to lips and Morocco and Colombia. In Stealth, Tre was uncomfortable around the pictures, some of which depicted nipples, and claimed they "belong in a fetish gallery”. The teams took very different approaches to selling, with Eclipse going for a softer approach and Stealth opting for the hard-sell. At the end of the task, Eclipse had made £1,599.78 from the sale of four photographs, but Stealth sold 14 pieces to make a profit of £4,702.
- Winner: Stealth.
- Reward: A pampering session at a Champneys, a spa.
- Brought into the boardroom: Natalie, Adam and Lohit.
- Who gets fired: Natalie with regret, for being "out of her depth," and for not better explaining her decision to bring back Adam and Lohit.
- This task also featured in the first series of The Apprentice.
- This was the first ever UK episode (barring the Series 2 final task) in which both the project managers were women.
Week 6: The Sausage Saga
- Team shuffle: Adam and Katie to Stealth. Tre, Naomi and Jadine to Eclipse.
- Project managers: Lohit (Eclipse) and Paul (Stealth)
- Task: Buy and sell British produce at a French farmers' market in Arras. The team which makes the most profit wins.
- Result: Eclipse chose to sell smoked fish, marmalade and tea whilst Stealth opted for sausages, chutney, and cheap processed cheese bought at the last minute from Makro, a cash and carry. After a communication error with the printers, Stealth ended up having to pay £85 for an incorrectly translated banner, far more than the £20 bunting which Eclipse purchased. Paul planned to make up their advertising costs by trying to cook their sausages with a tin filled with lighter fuel instead of a camping stove; unfortunately it failed disastrously and left them unable to cook any sausages for customers to sample, losing them precious sales though Kristina later found a restaurant that allowed her to use their gas cooker, enabling her to cook the sausage samples and from then on, the sausages sold very well. However, they sold very little to no cheese, due to the popularity of high quality cheese in France. Eclipse had trouble selling the tea in a predominantly coffee-drinking nation (Nick Hewer had questioned the choice of tea earlier in the episode), but their fish and marmalade sold really well, mainly down to Simon who was very fluent in French. Whilst neither team managed to sell all their produce, Stealth made a loss of £225, whilst Eclipse made a profit of £410.
- Winner: Eclipse.
- Reward: Indoor skydiving in a vertical wind tunnel.
- Brought into the boardroom: Paul, Kristina and Adam.
- Who gets fired: Paul, for poor decision-making, losing Sir Alan's money, and not bringing Katie back into the boardroom, instead bringing Adam and Kristina. Both had been sidelined in the task for correctly identifying the task was doomed to failure.
- Nick, who sometimes lives in France, sharply criticized Stealth for their choice of selling cheese saying that in a French supermarket, no-one would ever "find an English cheese, never in a month of Sundays" and describing taking the cheese as a "waste of time".
- Kristina had pointed out that the reason Paul did not bring Katie back into the boardroom was because they were in an "inappropriate relationship". Adam agreed with her whilst Paul vigorously denied that was the case. Sir Alan explained he didn't mind relationships between co-workers as long as it didn't interfere with their work, but warned Paul that if it did, he would "be out that door so quick, you wouldn't know what's hit you."
- Before making his final decision, Sir Alan indicated that he actually considered Paul to be a better overall candidate than Adam, but ultimately deemed Paul's bad decisions and refusal to take any responsibility for the loss to be unforgivable.
- When Kristina and Adam returned to the house after Paul's firing, they did not receive cheers from the other candidates.
Week 7: The 97 Pence Victory
- Project Managers: Simon (Eclipse) and Adam (Stealth)
- Task: Purchase a set list of ten items for prices lower than those asked by the vendors. The team which spends the least wins.
- Result: Simon's erratic style of leadership caused tension amongst Eclipse, with deals being rushed without enough time for negotiation. Over in Stealth, Katie and Kristina put aside personal differences and managed to negotiate a number of items successfully. Both teams were initially confused as to what nigella seeds were, with Adam even suggesting they may be a form of AstroTurf. Eclipse wrongly assumed that buying second-rate tiles was classed as a discount, and were fined £50 as a result; however Stealth were also fined £80 for failing to purchase the nigella seeds. The teams' final balances were separated by only 97p, with Eclipse bringing back £459.68 and Stealth £458.71.
- Winner: Eclipse.
- Reward: A racing car driving day at the Bedford Autodrome.
- Brought into the boardroom: Adam, Ghazal and Katie.
- Who gets fired: Adam, for poor management and leadership skills, for choosing not to buy all items on the list despite the fact it would earn a larger fine than being late (without which Stealth would have won by £29.03), and his generally bad track record throughout the competition.
- The items that teams were required to buy were: a car battery, 3 kg of nigella seeds, a square metre of marble tiling, hair-removal wax, a house plant, leather trousers, a bin, a wetsuit, a white rabbit and a unicycle.
- This task had previously featured on the first and second series of The Apprentice.
- This episode was the fourth time in succession that Adam appeared in the final boardroom, at the time a new record on the UK show. In Series 4 Michael Sophocles was also in the final three four times in succession, but the record has not yet been exceeded.
- Adam's defeat in this task meant that he had lost two tasks as Project Manager, making him the least successful project manager in Series 3.
- At this point, Simon was the only candidate who had not appeared in the final boardroom.
Week 8: Brand-a-trainer
- Team shuffle: Naomi to Stealth.
- Project managers: Jadine (Eclipse) and Ghazal (Stealth)
- Task: Create a brand logo, poster and video advertisement for a new style of trainers.
- Result: Eclipse created "Street" trainers with a "reclaim the street" slogan suggested by Tre, and a promise to donate 10% of the sale price to youth charities. Stealth built the campaign for their "Jam" trainers around an urban music theme. Despite Naomi having the most advertising experience out of the Stealth members, Ghazal largely ignored her advice and let Katie direct much of the campaign. Stealth's TV ad, though well made, was heavily criticised for lacking a message and failing to make it clear what was being advertised. A group of advertising executives decided which team won the task.
- Winner: Eclipse.
- Reward: A lesson at "Cocktail school" in The Savoy Hotel in London.
- Brought into the boardroom: Ghazal, Katie and Naomi.
- Who gets fired: Ghazal, for not leading the task properly, bringing Katie (who, by Ghazal's own admission, was actually the best performing team member) back into the boardroom in an effort to force Sir Alan to fire Naomi, and her generally poor track record throughout the competition.
- Ghazal bringing back Katie in order to assist her in getting Naomi fired was the second and last occasion to date in the UK show where a candidate has brought back another candidate into the boardroom as an "advocate" (a tactic more commonly used in the US version of the show, though doing so is frowned upon in both versions). However, this move backfired since Sir Alan saw through her strategy, and Katie did not advocate for Ghazal in any event, instead focusing on defending herself. The previous occasion that this tactic was used was in Series 1, when Lindsay Bogaard brought Miriam Staley into the boardroom, despite the fact she had made an excellent pitch, in an attempt to force Sir Alan to fire Adele Lock.
- Sir Alan stated that Ghazal was being fired not because of her age but for being "all talk and no do." He added that the previous week he thought that she didn't yet have enough experience, but decided on the basis of this task that she was simply a poor overall candidate.
- This was Tre's sixth consecutive winning task, equalling the record set by James Max in Series 1 and Lee McQueen in Series 4. They continued to hold this record until Series 7, when Helen Milligan won nine consecutive tasks. By contrast, this was Katie's fifth consecutive losing task, at the time a new record, which was equalled in Series 7 by Vincent Disneur and Tom Pellereau and then exceeded in Young Apprentice Series 2 by Harry Maxwell, who lost seven consecutive tasks.
- This is the fourth consecutive week in a row in which the project manager was fired in the series.
- Jadine's victory in this task meant that she had won two tasks as Project Manager, making her the joint most successful project manager in this series, along with Katie and Kristina.
- On their way back, Eclipse found their poster of their Street trainers as a poster on a bus stop.
Week 9: Feeling the Strain
- Project managers: Tre (Eclipse) and Katie (Stealth)
- Task: Interview representatives from five nations and choose three items from that nation and sell them to the trade.
- Result: Stealth chose to market Canadian goods, including a "Rug in a Box" set, a portable light therapy device and a set of sport shoe insoles. Eclipse chose a set of Swedish products, a lamp with a built in air purifier, vacuum cleaner heads and a set of microwavable soft toys. At the end of the first day Jadine suffered a minor emotional breakdown, leaving Lohit able to set up only one appointment with a potential buyer. Similarly, Stealth failed to make any appointments due to spending too long being briefed by the Canadian Trade Commissioner, Michelle Gartland, and so both teams were left to make their appointments the following morning. The teams performed similarly, but Stealth's products proved to have a higher market value, resulting in them making £2,226.59, while Eclipse had trouble getting sales appointments and managed only £1,494.42 (which was reduced by 10% to £1,344.29 after the team was delayed in traffic on the way back to the boardroom).
- Winner: Stealth.
- Reward: A £500 voucher to spend, with the aid of a personal shopper, at Selfridges.
- Brought into the boardroom: Tre, Jadine and Lohit.
- Who gets fired: Jadine (with regret), for giving up at an early stage of the task because she was missing her daughter. Sir Alan didn't think Jadine was the "finished product" yet, but told her that she could be a truly great businesswoman one day.
- This programme featured the Cutty Sark. The ship was badly damaged in a fire just two days before the episode aired.
- Sir Alan indirectly asked Jadine if she wanted to resign after her stress issues were raised by Lohit, but Jadine refused to do so and even asked to be made project manager for a third time the next week; Sir Alan did not take her up on that offer however, and fired her himself.
- After Jadine left, Sir Alan informed Lohit that were it not for Jadine's emotional problems, he would have been the one who was fired. While Lohit had in fact sold the most on the team and strongly defended himself in the boardroom, Sir Alan felt that based on what he had seen so far, he was now certain that Lohit was not suited to his organisation.
- Katie's victory in this task meant that she had won two tasks as Project Manager, making her the joint most successful project manager in this series, along with Jadine and Kristina.
- The previous series had also featured a task of selling products to the trade, where similarly the losing team were fined for arriving back late.
Week 10: Selling on TV
- Team shuffle: Lohit to Stealth. Naomi to Eclipse.
- Project managers: Simon (Eclipse) and Kristina (Stealth)
- Task: Select and sell a variety of items on the Ideal World teleshopping channel.
- Result: Stealth chose good items but Kristina kept repeating "Okay" throughout her entire chocolate fountain ad and her vacuum cleaner demonstration went badly wrong, and it succeeded only in spreading the dirt around. Lohit was given the awkward task of trying to help sell ladies' slimming pants along with Katie, though the two ended up selling in reasonably good quantities. Eclipse manager Simon gave very few instructions to team-mates Tre and Naomi while in the producers' gallery and thus they struggled. Simon's choice of a foldable wheelchair was questioned, but ended up accounting for more than half of Eclipse's income. Simon also made a spectacle of himself by bouncing on a trampoline and then unwittingly appearing to be masturbating when screwing in its legs. By the end of the task, Eclipse had made £921.79, but Stealth managed to sell £1,339.10 of goods.
- Winner: Stealth.
- Reward: Trip to a Turkish Bath.
- Brought into the boardroom: Simon, Tre and Naomi (i.e. every member of Eclipse).
- Who gets fired: Naomi (with regret), for selecting poor products, being disrespectful towards Simon, and her generally average-at-best track record, despite her great presenting skills. A majority of the You're Fired studio audience disagreed with the decision and felt Simon should have been fired.
- Despite much boardroom hilarity at the on-screen antics, Sir Alan was not pleased with either team and was reluctant to tell Stealth their reward. Complaints from Ideal World viewers described the candidates as 'rubbish' and 'a waste of time'. Eclipse chose to sell foldable wheelchairs, decoupage pads, trampolines and leg shavers.
- Stealth chose chocolate fountains, foot spas, slimming pants and steam mops.
- Despite Simon's many major errors in the task, he was saved from being fired by the fact that the products he chose contributed around £880 of the money raised by Eclipse. Naomi, who had chosen the trampoline and decoupage pads, attempted to blame Simon for his poor job of presenting and selling them (in particular the trampoline, which he failed to sell a single unit of), but Sir Alan called this a poor excuse and pointed out that Naomi was just as much to blame since she had been directing Simon.
- Tre was also criticised for his lack of input and enthusiasm on the task, but avoided firing because Sir Alan felt that Naomi was more directly at fault for the loss, and had a far inferior overall track record in the competition.
- This task originally featured in the first series of The Apprentice.
- Kristina's victory in this task meant that she had won two tasks as Project Manager, making her the joint most successful project manager in this series, along with Jadine and Katie.
Week 11: Interviews
- Task: The five remaining candidates are individually interviewed by three 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 two finalists.
- Interviewers: Paul Kemsley, Claude Littner and Bordan Tkachuk.
- Result: After the round of 25-minute interviews, three candidates – Katie, Simon and Kristina – stood out. The only candidate with positive reports from all three interviewers was Kristina. Conversely, very few positive comments were made about Lohit, who was quickly fired after being deemed "nice," but too "boring." Tre was next to go, after Sir Alan told him that, while he was a strong candidate, he lacked the required maturity. He was also described as argumentative and difficult. Simon was praised for being academically gifted and for knowing more than the other candidates about Sir Alan's companies. His track record, however, came under fire for appearing too wooly, making it hard to understand where Simon is going with his career. While doubts were expressed over Katie's motives for entering the show, Sir Alan nonetheless made her the first finalist. While he was deliberating over whether to make Simon or Kristina the other finalist, Katie was clearly beset by doubts. After Sir Alan advised her that she would have to make an absolute commitment to the job should she get it, she suggested she "stand down". This allowed Simon and Kristina to proceed to the final.
- Who gets fired:
- Lohit, for being too nice and having the worst CV of the final five. Sir Alan noted that Lohit's firing was overdue, and that he would have been fired two weeks previously if not for Jadine's nervous breakdown.
- Tre (with regret), for performing poorly in the interviews, and for his argumentative manner and lack of maturity.
- Left: Katie, despite being given a place in the finals, resigned, citing potential difficulties in making childcare arrangements should she be offered the job.
- Finalists: Kristina and Simon.
- Notes: In a one-off special, The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them, broadcast a few days later, Sir Alan Sugar expressed his opinion that Katie had never really been interested in working for him but had entered the competition merely for the kudos. He said that he felt he had been hoodwinked, and that if Katie had not voluntarily stood down he would have reversed his decision and fired her after all. After the airing of the episode, internet conspiracists believed that Katie's exit from the show was fixed and the segments were re-filmed and edited in later. Although, Simon Ambrose denied that this was the case and that nothing was changed. This task was also used in the eleventh week of the first and second series.
Week 12: The Final
- Task: Each of the two finalists, Simon and Kristina, must put together a proposal for the redevelopment of a site currently occupied by the IBM Building on London's South Bank. This site was purchased for £120m by Sir Alan Sugar. The task involves the designing of a major landmark building that is both profit-making and has an iconic design. After each enlisting the help of four of the previously fired candidates, the finalists must then present their ideas to an audience of 100 property, finance and architectural experts, along with Sir Alan Sugar and his assistants Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer.
- Kristina's team: Kristina (Project Manager), Paul, Naomi, Adam and Natalie.
- Simon's team: Simon (Project Manager), Tre, Jadine, Rory and Lohit.
- Result: Simon proposed "The Wave", an ambitious building with an "organic" design. Pre-show favourite Kristina offered "The Phoenix", whose name symbolised the regeneration of the site. Both presentations were well received by the experts. In his final boardroom evaluation, Sir Alan contrasted Kristina's experience with Simon's creativity, and said that both candidates were very employable.
- Runner-up: Kristina; despite a largely superior track record in the series and her prior career next to Simon, Sir Alan felt that she had played it a little too safe in the final task.
- Who is hired: Simon, for being more of a risk taker than Kristina, as well as his intelligence and insight on Sir Alan's business background. Sir Alan himself admitted that he was "taking a risk" hiring Simon.
- Notes: A maximum of 7.4 million people watched this episode, achieving more ratings than an episode of Big Brother on Channel 4, but less than Britain's Got Talent on ITV1. The final boardroom scene broadcast was one of two different boardroom showdowns, one for each possible result, that were filmed. Sir Alan then took the two finalists to lunch to tell them who had actually won closer to the airdate.
Criticism and controversy
This series was described as "the most controversial" out of all three series that had been made at the time.
Two candidates, Katie Hopkins and Paul Callaghan, started a romance while competing on the programme. This received much coverage from the tabloid press. This was one of the reasons that Callaghan was fired from the competition, as other candidates complained about the situation, saying that the relationship affected the performance of the team during the tasks.
Candidate Gerri Blackwood claimed that the allocation of showers in the house where the candidates stay appeared to have been manipulated in such a way as to force the female contestants to shower together. She told the Daily Star "One of the bathrooms was used by the film crew, but two of the others were closed off with 'Out of Order' signs on them. That left two bathrooms to share between 16 people. I am not sure whether it was deliberate or not but you can imagine they wanted us to share showers".[dead link] In her interview, she also claimed that Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford fed the candidates misleading information so that they would fail the tasks, and that Sir Alan Sugar's boardroom diatribes were re-filmed to make them look better.[dead link] Fellow candidate Tre Azam also criticised the editing of the programme, claiming he was worried that his portrayal "might have been dumbed down because I made some of the other characters look too weak".
The mental health charity MIND has criticised the programme for enrolling Jadine Johnson, a candidate who was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in 2003, expressing fears that a vulnerable person was being used for entertainment. In response, a spokesperson from the BBC said "As a part of the selection process, all candidates are seen by an independent qualified psychologist to assess their suitability for participating in the programme".
After Paul Callaghan was fired in the sixth episode, wholesale chain Makro and manufacturer Wyke Farms criticised the programme due to the negative comments made about its cheese. In the episode, Sir Alan Sugar verbally blasted Paul for taking the inexpensive products to France to sell. Makro and Wyke Farms claimed that the cheese is very popular in France. Richard Clothier, the Managing Director of Wyke Farms, said "Alan Sugar, you know a lot about electronics, but not that much about cheese, and for that reason, you're fired!".
Several organisations, including the Trades Union Congress, the Liberal Democrats, The Equal Opportunities Commission and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, accused Alan Sugar of sexism and breaching the 1976 Sex Discrimination act after only questioning contestants Katie Hopkins and Kristina Grimes about their child-care arrangements, despite the fact that male contestant Tre Azam was also a parent (though Hopkins and Grimes were single parents at the time of the interviews, whereas Azam was married). Sugar's questioning, during the eleventh episode, eventually made Hopkins resign from the programme and decline Sugar's initial offer of a chance to compete in the final episode. Although, Sugar defended his actions and told Fiona Phillips of GMTV that he was aware of all rules regarding sexual discrimination within the workplace. The incident was well documented within the media.
Contestant Natalie Wood complained about a situation with Adrian Chiles, host of The Apprentice spin-off programme, The Apprentice: You're Fired!. Chiles, who has a distinctive Birmingham accent, asked Wood on the spin-off programme whether her Essex accent had been a hindrance. "But how can you pick up on my accent when Sir Alan is sitting across the table," commented Wood. "How can he say that? Essex is fantastic and I'm proud to come from Essex. A lot of people from Essex are very successful. I find it hard to swallow."
The Apprentice: Beyond the Boardroom
This was a one-off special shown on BBC Two on 2 June 2007. The programme featured interviews with the final five candidates from this series. Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford also gave their opinions on the final five, along with some of the previously fired candidates. The programme spoke about the candidates' private lives, revealing that Kristina Grimes was sent to a convent at age 17 due to her pregnancy, Tre Azam once fell asleep whilst driving and nearly died, Simon Ambrose was bullied as a child and has an IQ of 174, Katie Hopkins ran the New York Marathon despite knowing that she was pregnant and that Lohit Kalburgi is a homosexual. Friends of the candidates and members of their families, including parents, children and partners, aired their views.
The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them
This one-off special was screened on BBC Two on 10 June 2007, three days before the revelation of the winner of this series of The Apprentice. In the programme Sir Alan Sugar looked back over the series so far, discussed the merits and demerits of the candidates, and explained in more detail why he fired each candidate when he did. The episode featured the former participants' views of their time on the programme and what they had learnt from the experience. Sugar's assistants Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford also spoke about the former contestants. At the end of the programme, Sugar reviewed the performances of the two finalists, Kristina Grimes and Simon Ambrose, and said that deciding who to hire would be difficult. Despite voluntarily leaving rather than being "fired", Katie Hopkins also featured on the programme and her time on The Apprentice was discussed.
As a result of winning The Apprentice, Simon Ambrose started work on a project to develop a hotel and golfing complex near Stansted Airport, whilst training as a chartered surveyor. Runner-up Kristina Grimes was offered a job by Sir Alan, but decided to work as an investment sales director with property company Dandara instead. Katie Hopkins, who finished in third place, was sacked from her job as a global brand consultant at The Met Office as a result of her appearance on the programme. Hopkins is taking the organisation to an employment tribunal. Candidate Adam Hosker left his job at a car dealership in order to work as a sales director, but was later questioned by police over allegations that he assaulted a man in a nightclub. Other contestants have started their own businesses, such as Natalie Wood, and Naomi Lay has expressed interest in becoming a television presenter. Both Hopkins and Grimes have been offered to participate on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!. Hopkins accepted the offer and became a late arrival on the 7th series, but was voted off second. Tre Azam has appeared on Big Brother's Big Mouth.
|Episode No.||Airdate||Total Viewers||BBC One Weekly Ranking|
|1||28 March 2007||4,500,000||19|
|2||4 April 2007||4,980,000||16|
|3||11 April 2007||5,310,000||17|
|4||18 April 2007||5,680,000||10|
|5||25 April 2007||5,460,000||14|
|6||2 May 2007||5,680,000||11|
|7||9 May 2007||5,920,000||9|
|8||16 May 2007||6,050,000||11|
|9||23 May 2007||4,990,000||18|
|10||30 May 2007||5,230,000||12|
|11||6 June 2007||6,600,000||8|
|12||13 June 2007||7,090,000||5|
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