The Apprentice (UK series two)

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The Apprentice UK
 
 
Series Two
ApprenticegroupS2.jpg

Series Two of The Apprentice (UK), a British reality television series, was broadcast in the UK during 2006 on BBC Two, from 22 February to 10 May 2006. As the show was renewed by the BBC, Lord Alan Sugar (then Sir Alan at the time of broadcast), Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford returned in their respective roles, while the broadcaster commissioned and ran a new companion discussion program called The Apprentice: You're Fired!, which was aired on BBC Three alongside the series, interviewing all the candidates who were fired after each episode was aired, including the runner-up and the overall winner. Like the previous series, fourteen candidates took part, naming their teams Velocity and Invicta, with Michelle Dewberry winning the series.

Candidates[edit]

Candidate Background Age Result
Michelle Dewberry Telecoms Consultant 26 Winner
Ruth Badger Sales Manager 27 Runner-up
Ansell Henry Sales Manager 34 Fired after Interviews stage
Paul Tulip Headhunter 26 Fired after Interviews stage
Syed Ahmed Entrepreneur 31 Fired after tenth task
Tuan Le Financial Adviser 27 Fired after ninth task
Sharon McAllister Business Lecturer 30 Fired after eighth task
Samuel Judah Product Developer 35 Fired after seventh task
Jo Cameron Human Resources Manager 35 Fired after sixth task
Mani Sandher Management Consultant 39 Fired after fifth task
Alexa Tilley Management Consultant 28 Fired after fourth task
Karen Bremner Lawyer 34 Fired after third task
Nargis Ara PhD Student 38 Fired after second task
Ben Stanberry IT Consultant 33 Fired after first task

Performance Chart[edit]

Task Number
Candidate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Michelle IN IN IN IN IN IN LOSE IN WIN IN IN HIRED
Ruth IN IN IN IN LOSE IN BR WIN BR BR IN RUNNER-UP
Ansell IN IN IN IN IN LOSE IN IN IN IN FIRED
Paul IN IN IN IN WIN IN IN IN IN WIN FIRED
Syed BR IN WIN BR IN IN IN LOSE BR FIRED
Tuan IN IN IN BR IN IN WIN BR FIRED
Sharon IN IN IN IN IN WIN IN FIRED
Samuel BR WIN IN IN IN BR FIRED
Jo IN BR LOSE IN BR FIRED
Mani IN IN IN WIN FIRED
Alexa IN IN BR FIRED
Karen WIN BR FIRED
Nargis IN FIRED
Ben FIRED

Key:

     The candidate won this series of The Apprentice.
     The candidate was the runner-up.
     The candidate won as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
     The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
     The candidate was on the winning team for this task / they passed the Interviews stage.
     The candidate was on the losing team for this task.
     The candidate was brought to the final boardroom for this task.
     The candidate was fired in this task.
     The candidate lost as project manager for this task and was fired.

Episodes[edit]

Week 1: Fruit and Veg[edit]

  • Original Air date: 22 February 2006
  • Invicta: Ben (Project Manager), Syed, Paul, Mani, Samuel, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Velocity: Karen (Project Manager), Ruth, Jo, Alexa, Nargis, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Task: Sell fruit and vegetables in Hackney; given £500 to purchase stock. Most profit made (includes remaining budget left), wins.
  • Task Review: Velocity obtained most of their fruit for little-to-nothing by asking for overripe products and acting flirtatiously towards the vendors, effectively spending under 10% of their budget, before splitting up and selling well, both at the market and to small businesses. Meanwhile, Invicta spent most of the day at Hackney market, only selling fruit door-to-door in the closing hour. This decision, coupled with them spending over 60% of their budget, proved costly mistakes.
  • Result: Velocity had a profit of £1,143, while Invicta had a profit of £781.
  • Winner: Velocity - By £362
  • Reward: Celebratory champagne in one of the Vertigo 42 bars at the top of Tower 42 in the City of London.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ben, Samuel and Syed.
  • Fired: Ben - For showing weak and indecisive leadership, failing to identify the importance of door-to-door sales, and bringing Syed back into the boardroom for personal reasons.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Tim Campbell, Saira Khan and Polly Graham.
  • Notes:
    • Velocity were criticised in the boardroom for selling substandard food, as well as using flirting tactics to gain fruit for free. Sir Alan threatened to award victory to Invicta unless they could provide a good argument for why they should win, but decided against it on the basis that Velocity would have still won the task with a profit of £884, even if they had spent the same amount as Invicta.
    • Sir Alan questioned why Invicta needed seven people to work on a market stall and blamed their defeat on a lack of door-to-door sales, to which he considered Ben responsible to for failing to understand the importance of such sales. While Velocity sold in both areas, it was revealed that most of their sales had come from the door-to-door selling.
    • Although Syed was not in danger of being fired, he was warned for trying to gain favour with Sir Alan in the final boardroom by claiming to have come from the same background, and further hindered his case by constantly blaming Ben for the failure of the task; almost the whole of Invicta had already done this, with the exception of Mani and Ansell. Samuel nearly talked himself into being fired by admitting that he was not a natural salesperson, but survived by pointing out Ben's failings as a leader.

Week 2: Calendar Club[edit]

  • Original Air date: 1 March 2006
  • Invicta: Samuel (Project Manager), Syed, Paul, Mani, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Velocity: Nargis (Project Manager), Ruth, Jo, Karen, Alexa, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Task: Produce a calendar to raise money for Sir Alan's "favourite charity", Great Ormond Street Hospital, and then pitch it to three different retailers. Most sales made, wins.
  • Task Review: Velocity decided to go for a contemporary calendar featuring kitten photos despite numerous protests from Jo. However, their pitches were not helped by Nargis, who lost track of what she was saying, even snapping at the buyers, and the calendar received criticism for being irrelevant to the charity and for having the dates printed too small to make usable. Despite these issues, all three retailers made orders. Meanwhile, Invicta decided on a calendar featuring "fun" photos of children dressed up in various costumes. While the calendar's design was criticised, and Mani's early pitches were extremely poor, the team received a large order from one retailer that effectively earned them victory.
  • Result: Velocity made £7,545 in sales, while Invicta made £10,020 in sales.
  • Winner: Invicta - By £2,475.
  • Reward: A session of caviar tasting.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Nargis, Jo and Karen.
  • Fired: Nargis - For her horrible sales pitches, being rude to potential customers, creating a poor product with no relevance to the charity, taking no responsibility for her mistakes, and for ignoring her team's legitimate concerns.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Paul Kemsley and Felicity Lee.
  • Notes:
    • Unlike the corresponding charity tasks in the US series and the first UK series, the winners of this task were given a reward for their victory.
    • Despite Invicta's victory, many of the men felt that Samuel had been too passive and lacking in focus, especially as Margaret had to tell the team early in the task that they were wasting too much time planning, one of a number of rare instances where one of Sir Alan's advisers gave on-task feedback. In addition, Margaret praised Ansell as the most deserving of credit for Invicta's win, since he clamped down on the arguments which had taken place on the first day, and identified the problems in Mani's early pitches, ensuring their successful deal with Calendar Club.
    • Velocity learnt in the boardroom that Calendar Club only bought their calendars simply to make a contribution to Great Ormond Street, and wouldn't have done so if it had been purely a commercial task. In addition, the team were criticised for selecting a cats theme that had no relevance to Great Ormond Street, but they could do little else about the choice as out of the 6 themes that both teams could use, the only child-related one was taken by Invicta. Velocity's calendar was not helped further by the failure to incorporate any of Great Ormond Steet's branding in its design.
    • While Karen was not in any serious danger of being fired, Sir Alan disliked the fact that she did not say anything in her defence. Despite Jo's questionable behaviour, in which she believed Sir Alan's consideration of firing her was "bizarre" and accused her team of sidelining her, Sir Alan noted that she had been on the right side of the argument over the calendar, thus making Nargis the obvious choice to go. Sir Alan did not actually fault Nargis for the cat theme, as everyone except Jo had been in favour of it, but felt that all subsequent failings came back to her leadership.
    • Both Nargis and Mani's pitches were featured and derided on the spin-off Worst Decisions Ever, with Nargis claiming that her team had told her that the pitches were excellent; guests stated Velocity had chosen to let her hang herself.

Week 3: Buying the Tire[edit]

  • Original Air date: 8 March 2006
  • Invicta: Syed (Project Manager), Paul, Mani, Samuel, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Velocity: Jo (Project Manager), Ruth, Karen, Alexa, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Task: Purchase a set list of ten items with a budget of £1,000, negotiating for lower prices. Least amount spent, after addition of fines, wins.
  • Task Review: Invicta, despite making an immediate start on the task, chose to shop around before making purchases, though Syed's attempt to find the dinner jacket in East London turned up none that matched the required specifications. While the team managed to purchase all 10 items, many deals were rushed through with only minimal discounts. Meanwhile, Velocity wasted nearly three hours at the start trying to come up with a strategy, and while Ruth's sub-team performed well, Jo's sub-team wasted even more time by bargaining for items in shops that did not have them in stock, and failing to purchase the tyre required, resulting in a fine that cost them victory.
  • Result: Invicta's total spend was £673.99, while Velocity's total spend was £682 (including fines).
  • Winner: Invicta. - By £8.01.
  • Reward: A day watching horse racing.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Jo, Alexa and Karen.
  • Fired: Karen - For having an unappealing background and skill-set, poorly defending herself in the boardroom, and for being partly liable for the team's failure to purchase the tyre.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Sara Nathan, Duncan Bannatyne and Felicity Lee.
  • Notes:
    • The items required included: a dinner jacket, silk, three red lobsters and a tyre for a Chrysler Voyager.
    • Most tasks featured on the show often have a constraint on them in regards to filming, in that production staff must get filming permission from a shop/establishment that the candidates wish to visit and do deals within, which can often be time consuming. An example of this can be found in this task, in that Karen had located several places for the tyre she sought, but could not visit them as the film crew following her team had no permission to film on these premises.
    • While Sir Alan referred to Jo as a "bloody nutter" in the boardroom, he admired her vigorous self-defence. He also agreed to give Alexa a chance to prove her abilities after she defended herself, particularly when she asked to be the team leader on the following task, a strategy that would be adopted by other candidates, who sought to avoid being fired, in later series.
    • The majority of the You're Fired audience disagreed with Sir Alan's decision, with Karen herself feeling that he had held a disdainful attitude towards her from the very start of the series, due to her legal background and the sales tactics she promoted on the first task.

Week 4: A Hundred Chickens[edit]

  • Original Air date: 15 March 2006
  • Invicta: Alexa (Project Manager), Syed, Paul, Samuel, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Velocity: Mani (Project Manager), Ruth, Jo, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Task: Set up a food stall at the Thames Festival with a budget of £2,000 per team. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Velocity decided to set up a Chinese themed stall, selling noodles. Despite arguments between Mani and the team, their control on costs and good pricing ensured them decent sales throughout the day and a respectable profit, though they failed to sell out. Meanwhile, Invicta focused on pizzas, but their execution of the task was a complete disaster; Tuan made an unrealistic estimate that they could make and sell 500 pizzas, Syed over-ordered on ingredients including buying 100 chickens that used up nearly the entire budget, while the team was disorganised, made few sales in the day and had to greatly reduce prices in the evening. Despite selling out, the issues faced along with infighting between the team, effectively ended any chance of winning the task.
  • Result: Velocity made a profit of £326, while Invicta made a loss of £807.
  • Winner: Velocity - By £1,133
  • Reward: Dinner at the Oxo Tower restaurant with Sir Alan.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Alexa, Syed and Tuan.
  • Fired: Alexa - For a complete lack of leadership that allowed Syed and Tuan to take over and make several terrible decisions, being too indecisive, failing to control costs, and failing to live up to her promises in the previous boardroom.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Lucy Kellaway, Alasdair Jeffrey and Felicity Lee.
  • Notes:
    • Invicta's loss of money set a new record for the highest loss of money in any incarnation of the show.
    • Sir Alan felt that Velocity's performance had merely been adequate, and their victory was mostly down to Invicta being a "bloody shower". Notably, when Sir Alan questioned the women during the reward, no one said that Mani had been a good leader. Ruth was most positive, claiming he was "brave to take them on", while Sharon walked out of a meeting in spite of Michelle trying to stop her.
    • Because of programme rules at the time, Sir Alan was not permitted to fire more than one candidate per task with the exception of the Interviews stage, until the format was changed by production staff following this series, partly due to his belief that both Syed and Alexa deserved to be fired. This was due to him holding Syed "100% responsible" for the failure of the task, while criticising Alexa for surrendering control of the task to him and Tuan, despite feeling that both had at least shown passion.
    • This task was later shown on Series 4 spin-off "The Worst Decisions Ever" and Syed explained his huge order of ingredients; Sir Alan told the teams in the task briefing that there would be up to half a million people at the festival and Syed wanted to have as much product as possible, a suggestion derided by guests such as Vanessa Feltz and Trevor Nelson. Alexa, meanwhile, said she had gone along with Syed because his confidence had led her to believe he was very experienced in restaurant management. Nick Hewer commented that Invicta "never had a prayer of making any money", and that he had never seen Sir Alan so angry after a task.

Week 5: The Amsair Card[edit]

  • Original Air date: 22 March 2006
  • Invicta: Paul (Project Manager), Syed, Tuan, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Velocity: Ruth (Project Manager), Jo, Mani, Samuel and Ansell.
  • Task: Produce both a billboard and a short promo video for Sir Alan's new venture - the Amsair Card (which allows easy booking of business jets and related services) - with the advertising being made and shot at London Stansted Airport. Sir Alan decides on who wins.
  • Task Review: Invicta settled on a campaign theme revolving around magic and card tricks, though the team ran behind schedule with their billboard and video, and had to wait for the sub-team filming the inside of the plane. Meanwhile, Velocity focused on promoting the card's feature, yet despite a clear strategy from Ruth, their campaign focused on the concierge service of the card rather than the ease of booking the jet with it. Sir Alan was unimpressed with their campaign for making this mistake, and stated that, while it was somewhat clichéd and not especially impressive, Invicta's campaign was closer to what he wanted, and declared them the winners.
  • Winner: Invicta - For a campaign that was close to the venture's aim.
  • Reward: Champagne reception and front-row seats at the London Fashion Show. On the way to the show, Invicta also saw both their own billboard and Velocity's.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ruth, Jo and Mani.
  • Fired: Mani - For incorrectly briefing the team on the venture, his arrogant behaviour, taking no responsibility for his actions, being disrespectful towards Ruth in the boardroom, and for his generally average at best track record through the process.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Vanessa Feltz and Keith Courtney.
  • Notes:
    • Although Mani was blamed and ultimately fired for Velocity's advert having the wrong focus, it had in fact been Ansell that initially mentioned the concierge aspect to the team. However, Ruth decided to bring Mani back instead, as though Ansell had apologised off-camera and admitted his mistake during the initial boardroom, Mani also mentioned the service, and was extremely rude to Ruth throughout the task, with his refusal to accept any blame for the misleading briefing being a contributing factor to his firing. On his appearance on You're Fired! Mani later admitted that if Ansell hadn't mentioned the concierge service, then he probably would have.
    • Sir Alan warned Ruth that she had made a mistake by not bringing Ansell back, as he had felt he was most at fault for the loss, but decided to spare her since most had agreed she had been a very good project manager, and it was noted that Velocity would have easily defeated Invicta had their campaign been targeted correctly.
    • To Sir Alan's surprise, Ruth decided to bring back Jo because she had opposed most of her ideas without giving any solutions. Though it was agreed she had not caused any actual mistakes, Sir Alan warned her that she was now on her absolute last chance.
    • While the You're Fired vote on Mani's firing was openly split, it ultimately led to disagreement with Sir Alan's decision, with the two panellists feeling that Ruth was more deserving of being fired.

Week 6: Second-Hand Automobiles[edit]

  • Original Air date: 29 March 2006
  • Invicta: Sharon (Project Manager), Syed, Paul, Tuan and Michelle.
  • Velocity: Ansell (Project Manager), Ruth, Jo and Samuel.
  • Task: Sell second-hand cars for a commission. Most money from commissions, wins.
  • Task Review: Invicta suffered a bad start, but managed to turn this around by selling the extras which carried a higher commission, with Paul and Tuan selling well. However, Syed got into trouble for making false claims to customers that the manager of the lot disapproved of, while Sharon struggled both as a leader and a salesperson on the task. Meanwhile, Velocity got off to a good start when Ruth managed to sell six cars alone. However, the team failed to sell the extras in high quantities, which combined with Jo completely failing to sell anything and Samuel working in a team with Ruth rather than selling by himself, cost the team victory.
  • Result: Invicta made £1,077.40, and Velocity made £871.40
  • Winner: Invicta - By £206
  • Reward: Boat trip down the River Thames.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ansell, Jo and Samuel.
  • Fired: Jo - For not selling any cars despite her automotive experience, being too difficult to work with, and for making her fourth appearance in the final boardroom.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Quentin Willson and Saira Khan.
  • Notes:
    • Sir Alan and his advisers pointed out that selling the extras played a crucial role in deciding who won and criticised Velocity for not realising this, though Ruth was given much praise for her sales. Meanwhile, there was some confusion about who had made three of Velocity's sales, with Ruth and Samuel both trying to take credit. In the end, Sir Alan decided that Ruth deserved sole credit, leaving Samuel without a sale to his name.
    • During the reward boat trip, an argument broke out between Paul and Michelle, after the latter accused him of being disrespectful towards Sharon. However her argument was contradictory to actual facts, as she, Syed, and Tuan had completely ignored and disrespected Sharon, with Paul being the only one who supported her.
    • The manager of the car lot for Velocity "didn't exactly give a glowing report" about Ansell's performance as leader, and reported back that he should be fired. After Jo's firing, Sir Alan told Ansell that the reference was so bad he was now "one more boardroom" away from dismissal. Samuel was also told that he was on his last chance, due to a poor track record across all the tasks and since he technically did not make a sale either.
    • Sir Alan had to tell Jo that she was fired three times, after she repeatedly begged for another chance. After she left, she declined to shake hands with Ansell or Samuel. For the first time in the show's history, a different style of music was played over the clip of Jo's departure. This has sometimes been employed in other episodes to emphasise the departure of a notable candidate. During her taxi interview, Jo started off fine but soon became tearful.

Week 7: Selling in Topshop[edit]

  • Original Air date: 5 April 2006
  • Invicta: Tuan (Project Manager), Syed, Paul and Sharon.
  • Velocity: Michelle (Project Manager), Ruth, Samuel and Ansell.
  • Task: Sell clothing items for Topshop. Most money made, wins.
  • Task Review: Invicta opted to sell a line called "Admiralty", and were left to take "Modern Oriental" after losing a coin toss over a different line. While they had a good display set up and had a flying start, their lead diminished yet they maintained a steady strategy. Meanwhile, Velocity opted for line called "Gothic" and won a coin toss to take "Aviator", yet the team lacked a clear strategy in the task. In addition, Michelle was unproductive and spent the morning drinking champagne in the VIP Room, while Samuel failed to drag in customers from the street, and Ruth gave Philip Green £66 of clothing than the £100 he asked for and never sold him anything else. These mistakes effectively ended their chances of a win.
  • Result: Velocity made sales of £2,548, while Invictia made sales of £2,668.
  • Winner: Invicta - By £120.
  • Reward: A night in a top-class country hotel, with skeet shooting.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Michelle, Ruth and Samuel.
  • Fired: Samuel - For mismanaging the marketing, making several excuses in the boardroom, and for his generally weak track record in all seven tasks.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Mary Portas and Mark Frith.
  • Notes:
    • During the team briefing, Velocity were asked by Sir Alan who they wanted as Project Manager; the choice of Tuan and Michelle was down to the fact that neither had yet to lead a team prior to this task.
    • During the task, a massive argument flared up when Sharon felt she was being sidelined in Invicta's decision making, despite the fact she had the most experience of the fashion industry, and accused her teammates of ganging up on her, angering Paul and Syed, the latter disgusted by this after walking out of the argument. After refusing to take an active role in the task on the second day, she quickly changed her mind after realising that Nick and Margaret were both watching her.
    • During the first boardroom, Ruth, Ansell and Samuel were given a clear warning to stop their complimentary attitude, as none of them were willing to criticise Michelle for her hands-off management, and Sir Alan wanted them to defend themselves. Of the three, Ruth was most unwilling to criticise Michelle, instead stating that Samuel should be fired for failing to contribute towards decision-making, yet conceded under pressure that she was torn between the two.
    • Despite mishandling the sales with Philip Green, Sir Alan felt that Ruth was not to blame for the loss as she had been the top seller on her team, criticising Michelle for bringing her back when both her errors and those of Sam outweighed Ruth's single mistake. However, Michelle said she had even less reason to bring Ansell in, since both he and Ruth had sold well, and that Ruth's handling of Green was the sole fault she could find in either performance.
    • It was not shown in the final edit that Tuan's contribution on the entire task had been severely limited due to food poisoning, which also affected a member of the production crew. Although he was given the option of sitting out the boardroom and not facing it because of this, Tuan chose to still participate.
    • Along with the disaster in the fourth task, this task further influenced the decision in later series to give Sir Alan the chance to fire more than one candidate outside of the interview stage. Whilst Sir Alan deemed Michelle most at fault, he added that he was tired of Samuel's excuses and held him liable for the marketing aspect of the task. Ultimately, Michelle was saved by her better track record and her more convincing argument.

Week 8: Selling to the Trade[edit]

  • Original Air date: 13 April 2006
  • Invicta: Syed (Project Manager), Paul, Tuan and Sharon.
  • Velocity: Ruth (Project Manager), Michelle and Ansell.
  • Task: Buy a particular product from a designer, and then sell it on to trade. Most sales made, wins.
  • Task Review: Velocity sold lighting kits and a designer coat stand, and managed to find more customers by asking for contacts from stores that they had sold to. Meanwhile, Invicta sold a fuel can with a flow control system, and a set of metallic shelves, yet despite Sir Alan's warning not to bother with major retailer chains, Syed spent most of the day doing so with a chain of petrol stations. While he secured the deal, the time spent and an unforeseen delay meant his sub-team was late back to the boardroom and fined 25% of their sales, losing the team the task.
  • Result: Velocity had sales of £3,237.50, while Invicta had sales of £3,140.
  • Winner: Velocity - By £97.50
  • Reward: A day at a luxury spa.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Syed, Sharon and Tuan.
  • Fired: Sharon - For having the weakest sales negotiations in the team, contributing less than £100 to the team's total, being "too nice" for the business environment, and for being the least effective over both Syed and Tuan.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Duncan Bannatyne and Victoria Derbyshire.
  • Notes:
    • In the boardroom, Tuan attempted to convince Syed to negotiate the penalty down to 20%, an action that would have allowed Invicta to win with total sales of £3,280, their overall sales prior to the penalty were £3,840. However, Syed refused and accepted the penalty without argument, as he did not wish to anger Sir Alan any further.
    • Although Syed and Tuan's final appointment was the reason for their late arrival, it quickly transpired that the buyer had originally agreed to a deal of 100 cans over the phone if the pair came to his home to pitch it, at which point Tuan recognised it as the final deal and up-sold it. The resulting order of 300 units for around £1,000 meant that it had been a worthwhile deal, even with the £700 penalty. Sir Alan was impressed when he heard the details; he even asked Tuan whether he had added "a little bit of VAT" to his story, though he denied this. Syed, however, noted that he while he had led the negotiations, it had been mainly a team effort.
    • Despite Sharon's firing, Sir Alan had heavy criticisms for all three remaining members of Invicta. While Paul came across as rude and abrasive in sales, and Syed refused to admit his mistakes and constantly interrupted both Sir Alan and the other candidates during the boardroom, Tuan received most of the criticism for technically not making a single sale and for being seen as a "backroom man", which Sir Alan made clear was absolutely not the type of person he wanted to hire.
    • The final edit of the episode removed a segment in which Sir Alan offered Syed immunity from being fired. In the segment, the offer was made because of Syed's selling prowess, yet he refused this and put himself forward for firing with his team.[1]

Week 9: Property Sales[edit]

  • Original Air date: 19 April 2006
  • Invicta: Tuan (Project Manager), Syed and Ruth.
  • Velocity: Michelle (Project Manager), Paul and Ansell.
  • Task: Rent out property in different areas of London, making money from commissions. Most commissions made, wins.
  • Task Review: Velocity split up and worked individually on the task, with Michelle keeping in contact with both Paul and Ansell. Ansell quickly became popular with customers, whilst Paul initially struggled, but all three eventually managed to close deals. Meanwhile, Invicta had issues as Tuan took a back seat on the task and left his teammates to handle the sales, with Syed making many mistakes with his clients. Although Ruth proved efficient and closed deals with success, including one for the most expensive property, Syed and Tuan's mistakes ultimately lost them the task.
  • Result: Velocity made £8,923.20 in commissions, while Invicta made £8,637.20 in commissions.
  • Winner: Velocity - By £286.
  • Reward: A day's tuition with chef Raymond Blanc.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Tuan, Ruth and Syed (the entirety of Invicta).
  • Fired: Tuan - For not managing to let out any properties, taking a backseat as project manager despite being warned in the previous boardroom, and for lacking the passion and drive that both Syed and Ruth had demonstrated.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Ann Maurice and Paul Torrisi.
  • Notes:
    • Sir Alan soon told Ruth she was in no danger of being fired and instead merely asked for her opinion on who should go, to which she stated that, despite being disorganised and taking on more than he could handled, Syed's passion was inspiring to those around him, and Tuan should be fired as he lacked this. In addition to her comments, Syed was credited to closing a deal with punters off the street that he managed to draw into the office.
    • Although Tuan did manage to let out one apartment, it fell through due to the potential tenants not having the money for a deposit on the day, making him the least effective salesperson, as while Syed had a second deal that fell through in similar circumstances, this spurred him into making his only successful deal.
    • Sir Alan commented that Tuan had already given up on the competition, and described him as 'a broken man'; Tuan confirmed that this was the case on You're Fired, and said that he deserved to be fired. Syed was still given a final warning by Sir Alan, who noted that had he not secured one deal, he would have been in serious danger of being fired.

Week 10: Moet & Chandon[edit]

  • Original Air date: 26 April 2006
  • Invicta: Syed (Project Manager) and Ruth.
  • Velocity: Paul (Project Manager), Michelle and Ansell.
  • Task: Devise and promote a service to passengers aboard the cruise liner, the Grand Princess, on her voyage between Istanbul and Naples. Overall performance, both in sales and service, wins.
  • Task Review: Velocity went with an idea of running and promoting a series of dance classes and a competition, with a grand prize of £50 to the winners, which proved popular as it drew in good sales and good ratings on organisation and customer satisfaction. Invicta went with an idea of having an above-deck fun day, with events taking place across the ship. However, they made less money due in part to Ruth buying more bottles of Moët & Chandon champagne for their thank-you gifts than was necessary, while their organisation and customer satisfaction ratings were poor, effectively losing them the task in every regard.
  • Result: Velocity made £507, while Invicta made £191.50.
  • Winner: Velocity - By £315.50. They also had better ratings for their service.
  • Reward: As the liner was docked in Naples on the coast of Italy, the winning team was sent to Rome to stay in a luxury apartment and spend a few days in the city.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Syed and Ruth.
  • Fired: Syed - For losing the passion and enthusiasm he displayed earlier in the competition, being a weaker overall candidate than Ruth, several serious mistakes in previous tasks, and for being seen as "too much of a risk" for Sir Alan's company despite some "flashes of genius".
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Mark Frith and Jane Moore.
  • Notes:
    • During the task, Syed lost the names of many people who had bought raffle tickets and suggested going ahead anyway. The names of those involved in the raffle was not found out until later on.
    • This episode marks the only occasion to this date, that the final boardroom consisted of only two candidates outside of the Finals.
    • Ruth came close to being fired after admitting that she didn't read the task rules and thought they were being measured on turnover rather than profit, combined with her consistent attempts to blame Syed for the whole task, but Sir Alan decided that Syed was more deserving of being fired, since Ruth had been a much stronger contributor in the tasks and had a better CV.
    • Syed's firing was the first significant point in the series in which a key character was fired; Syed had become well-known, and as with Jo Cameron, a different style of ending with done, with higher, slower music being played over his "walk of shame" to the taxi to emphasise this.
    • Paul became the first of three candidates to make it through the entire series of tasks without ever being brought back into the final boardroom, an achievement that would be matched again in Series 4 and Series 12.

Week 11: Interviews[edit]

  • Original Air date: 3 May 2006
  • Semi-Finalists: Ansell, Michelle, Paul and Ruth.
  • Task: The four remaining candidates undergo a gruelling interview process from three interviewers - Paul Kemsley, Claude Littner and Bordan Tkachuk. Sir Alan decides on which two proceed based on the feedback.
  • Candidate Reviews: Despite consistent success with previous tasks, Paul's underwhelming employment record was unearthed and he was heavily cross-examined, with his overconfident attitude and cocky personality resulting in strongly negative reports being delivered to Sir Alan. He was described by Paul Kemsley as a "door-to-door salesman", though both Nick and Margaret defended him by pointing out his strengths on the tasks. Michelle received better reports, but Sir Alan was confused by the fact that she already had a £100,000 salary and was self-employed. Ansell was described by all as a "nice guy" with even hard-to-impress Bordan and Claude admitting they both found themselves liking him, but there were questions over his limited experience in sales and how well he would cope in a more aggressive environment. Ruth generally impressed despite Sir Alan having some doubts over the credibility of parts of her CV. Sir Alan spoke to Paul in depth for the first time and despite Paul's having won seven tasks, Sir Alan was unimpressed and said he was merely "lucky" to be in the final four. When Sir Alan demanded Paul give a good reason why he should stay, Paul boasted that many companies would employ him if Sir Alan did not, only to be immediately dismissed by an infuriated Sugar. Michelle, when questioned, justified her cause and Sir Alan was impressed with her independent business nature and apparent generosity with family and friends. He decided to put her through. Sir Alan was then torn between Ansell and Ruth, but Ruth's intelligence led to her staying, as Ansell was deemed to be too nice.
  • Fired:
    • Paul - For his arrogant behaviour, unimpressive CV, and because it was felt he made it to the interview process just by sheer luck.
    • Ansell, with regret - For being too nice, being too focused towards sales, and for never demonstrating any real leadership qualities during the task he led.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Saira Khan and Nick Hewer.
  • Notes:
    • At first Claude was notably critical of Ansell due to his CV, saying in the review that when he "saw his CV, I would have put it in the bin", but later admitted that he liked him upon meeting him. Bordan meanwhile admitted he liked Ansell, but found him "shallow" because he had not researched Sir Alan's organisations, the companies in them, and the products that they sold.

Week 12: The Final[edit]

  • Original Air date: 10 May 2006
  • Finalists: Michelle and Ruth.
  • Ruth's team: Jo, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Michelle's team: Syed, Paul and Sharon.
  • Task: The finalists each put on an evening event to be staged at London's Tower Bridge, using a theme of their own choice. Sir Alan decides who is hired, based on performance.
  • Task Review: Ruth chose to have a murder mystery theme, and hired actors to play the parts of various characters throughout the night. Her team worked efficiently and sold considerable number of tickets, allowing her to take in more money, although Sir Alan questioned the originality of her event as she had directly implemented his suggestions to her of can-can dancers. Meanwhile, Michelle's event was a James Bond casino themed evening called "00Heaven", yet her team were not efficient as conflicts occurred during the task between the returning candidates she chose, while sales were poor despite Michelle reorganising her team, as the tickets were reduced from £65 to £10. However, despite these issues, Sir Alan felt that Michelle had done better than Ruth and chose her as the winner.
  • Runner-up: Ruth - For raising concerns on being too aggressive, and for a mediocre record in non-sales orientated tasks which made her unsuitable for a less focused sales environment.
  • Winner: Michelle - For being a stronger all-round candidate than Ruth.
  • The Apprentice: You're Hired! panel: No panel as such, but Alan Sugar made a guest appearance, and all of the previous candidates were in the audience.
  • Notes:
    • Samuel would have been part of Ruth's team, but did not return, so Jo was brought in as a replacement.
    • During the special Apprentice 'Motor Mouths' documentary programme, Margaret publicly stated that she felt Ruth should have won the series.
    • 4 months after being hired, Michelle quit her job at the Xenon Green computer disposal company, just to start her own consultancy firm.
    • This episode marks the first use of the Rolls-Royce sequence, in which the winner is shown leaving the boardroom and the building it is housed in before getting into Sugar's Rolls-Royce. While this sequence would be used in future series, it is the only occasion in the show's history to feature the winner entering the Rolls-Royce with their luggage.

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Mani Sandher[edit]

A year after he left the show, Mani Sandher sent in a complaint to the BBC claiming that he was unfairly portrayed, yet the complaint was subsequently rejected by the broadcaster, with the BBC Trust pointing out that the editing done to the show did not mislead the audience and that it "fairly reflected" his role in the fifth task, adding that he had been aware that the programme was subject to editing. The makers of The Apprentice further refuted suggestions that Mani's portrayal had been defamatory, saying the show's cut and commentary were "checked and re-checked" to ensure fairness to the candidates. Appealing against the dismissal of his complaint by the BBC, Sandher added to his claim of unfair portrayal that a direct response to a question he had received during a sales presentation to pitch a charity calendar during the series had been cut, stating that this gave the impression that he had failed to consider pricing policy, which he maintained the programme's edits revealed that he had addressed. In response to this, the Editorial Complaints Unit said that "fairness does not require broadcasting a whole of a particular exchange".[2]

Ratings[edit]

Official episode viewing figures are from BARB.[3]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Two
weekly ranking
1 22 February 2006 3.65 2
2 1 March 2006 3.51 2
3 8 March 2006 4.20 1
4 15 March 2006 4.11 1
5 22 March 2006 4.03 2
6 29 March 2006 4.45 1
7 5 April 2006 4.26 1
8 12 April 2006 4.58 1
9 19 April 2006 4.76 1
10 26 April 2006 4.68 1
11 3 May 2006 4.98 1
12 10 May 2006 5.95 1

Specials[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC Two
weekly ranking
Tim in the Firing Line
19 February 2006 2.26 25

References[edit]

  1. ^ Teeman, Tim (10 May 2006). "There's only one Apprentice". London: The Times Online. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Apprentice hopeful claim rejected". BBC. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2007. 
  3. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 

External links[edit]