The Apprentice (UK series five)
|The Apprentice UK|
Series Five of The Apprentice (UK), a British reality television series, was broadcast in the UK during 2009 from 25 March to 7 June on BBC One, and is the last series to feature Margaret Mountford as one of the advisors to Lord Sugar (then Sir Alan at time of broadcast), after announcing her decision to leave the role and continue her education. Auditions and interviews took place during July 2008 in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham, though the sixteenth candidate who secured a place on the show was forced to drop out before recording due to personal reasons, and thus could not be replaced. In total, fifteen candidates took part for this series, and the two teams were named Empire and Ignite, with Yasmina Siadatan winning the series.
Two new editions of specials that had featured during the previous series, were aired alongside the 2009 series during the final weeks - "The Final Five" on 3 June (followed broadcasting of Week 11), and "Why I Fired Them" on 5 June. In addition, the final episode was aired on 7 June due to ITV airing live coverage of the 2010 World Cup Group 6 qualifying match between England & Andorra on 10 June that year.
- 1 Candidates
- 2 Episodes
- 2.1 Week 1: Scrubbing Up
- 2.2 Week 2: A Hungry Business
- 2.3 Week 3: Survival of the Fittest
- 2.4 Week 4: A Soap Opera
- 2.5 Week 5: The Advertising Challenge
- 2.6 Week 6: Bric-a-Brac Race
- 2.7 Week 7: Heading North
- 2.8 Week 8: Cool Margate
- 2.9 Week 9: Baby Love
- 2.10 Week 10: Car Crash TV
- 2.11 Week 11: Interviews
- 2.12 Week 12: The Final
- 3 Criticism and controversy
- 4 Ratings
- 5 References
- 6 External links
|Kate Walsh||Licensing Development Manager||27||Runner-up|
|Debra Barr||Senior Sales Consultant||24||Fired after Interviews stage|
|Lorraine Tighe||National Accounts Manager||36||Fired after Interviews stage|
|James McQuillan||Senior Commercial Manager||32||Fired after Interviews stage|
|Howard Ebison||Retail Business Manager||24||Fired after tenth task|
|Ben Clarke||Trainee Stockbroker||22||Fired after ninth task|
|Mona Lewis||Senior Financial Manager||28||Fired after eighth task|
|Philip Taylor||Estate Agent||29||Fired after seventh task|
|Noorul Choudhury||Science Teacher||33||Fired after sixth task|
|Kimberly Davis||Marketing Consultant||33||Fired after fifth task|
|Paula Jones||Human Resources Consultant||29||Fired after fourth task|
|Majid Nagra||Business Development Manager||28||Fired after third task|
|Rocky Andrews||Sandwich Chain Owner||21||Fired after second task|
|Anita Shah||Business Strategist||35||Fired after first task|
|Adam Freeman||Internet Entrepreneur||30||Left prior to first task|
- 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.
- The candidate left the competition, before the process began.
Week 1: Scrubbing Up
- Original Air date: 25 March 2009
- Empire: Howard (Project Manager), Noorul, Philip, Rocky, James, Ben and Majid.
- Ignite: Mona (Project Manager), Kate, Anita, Debra, Yasmina, Paula, Lorraine and Kimberly.
- Task: Start up a cleaning company with a budget of £200. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Empire decided to focus mainly on car cleaning, with half the team working a single contract to clean minicabs; the other half attempted shoe-shining in St Pancras railway station for an hour, before rejoining on the minicab contract. Overall, they performed well, making good sales while only spending over half their budget. Meanwhile, Ignite focused primarily on car-cleaning; while half worked on limos, the other half handled a contract with classic cars, before focusing on car by the kerbside. Although they made better sales, their performance was flawed, as their classic car contract was cut short due to unsatisfactory cleaning, while the team overspent on equipment, effectively blowing their entire budget. The latter mistake ultimately lost them the task.
- Result: Empire made a profit of £239, while Ignite made a profit of £160.55.
- Winner: Empire - By £78.45.
- Reward: Taught how to make cocktails by The Bar Wizards.
- Brought into the boardroom: Mona, Debra, and Anita
- Fired: Anita - For her poor management of the budget, not being able to recognise the overspend, and for failing to demonstrate any business acumen or initiative.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Gill Fielding, Rufus Hound and Carol Vorderman
- Although he felt that Howard hadn't been a good project manager, Sir Alan gave him credit for identifying the need to keep costs down, which proved vital for Empire. In contrast, he regarded Ignite's overspend as the key factor in the women's defeat.
- Sir Alan seriously considered firing Debra and Mona for their performance on the task. While Debra was deemed responsible for her sub-team's poor work on the classic cars that effectively cut short an otherwise lucrative deal, and strongly criticised for trying to deny in the boardroom that she had repeatedly insulted and belittled the candidates who worked under her, Mona was criticised for showing little strategy, failing to understand wh the overspend on materials was damaging, and ignoring concerns from Kate and Lorraine on spending too much. Both women survived only because Sugar admired their fighting spirit.
Week 2: A Hungry Business
- Original Air date: 1 April 2009
- Empire: Rocky (Project Manager), Noorul, Howard, Philip, James, Ben and Majid.
- Ignite: Yasmina (Project Manager), Kate, Mona, Debra, Paula, Lorraine and Kimberly.
- Task: Provide a corporate catering services for top business professionals. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Ignite went with a Mediterranean theme and spent wisely on supplies. Although they were accused of skimping on food and making mistakes in preparation, leading to their evening contract being reduced by a third, the team worked well and made a sizeable profit. Meanwhile, Empire decided on a 2012 Olympics theme, yet their execution of the task was a total shambles. Not only did they heavily spend on supplies for their food, they failed to secure any lunchtime contracts and thus chose sell their sandwiches to tourists which had some success despite the outfits Rocky had the team wear. Their more serious problems arose from their evening event, in which they heavily over-spent on props and décor, only served small portions of food, and wore Ancient Greek togas that were badly received, leading the team to having their evening contract halved, effectively leaving them with a loss that cost them victory.
- Result: Empire made a loss of £160.76, while Ignite made a profit of £651.43
- Winner: Ignite - By £812.19
- Reward: Lesson in learning to play polo.
- Brought into the boardroom: Rocky, Howard and James
- Fired: Rocky - For making a series of "immature mistakes", losing money despite his skill-set, and for bringing Howard back into the boardroom instead of Majid or Noorul.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Gregg Wallace and Nick Hewer
- When Sir Alan enquired about Empire's evening contract being halving, Nick commented that the amount they still earned was "more than generous". Even if the team had managed to secure the full amount, it would not have been enough to beat Ignite, as Empire would have finished the task with a profit of just £214.24.
- It was strongly implied that Majid or Noorul would have likely have been fired because of their performance on the task if they had been brought back. On his appearance on You're Fired, Rocky stated when questioned about this that Majid didn't deserve the blame despite his poor theme, but that he should have brought back Noorul for taking a complete backseat on the task. In his exit interview posted on The Apprentice website, he later changed his mind on Majid, saying that the two men did "nothing all task", but hinted that they weren't the only ones.
- On You're Fired, the decision to fire Rocky was near-unanimously disagreed upon, as the panel felt that, despite his many errors, James should have been fired for his disrespectful behaviour in the final boardroom, despite the fact that Sir Alan felt he was not directly at fault for the team's loss, even when James was given heavy criticism for making a few ridiculous claims in his CV. Rocky was not shown to be fired with regret in the main episode, but it was revealed on You're Fired that he was, with Sir Alan adding that he felt he had appeared on the show a little too early in his career.
Week 3: Survival of the Fittest
- Original Air date: 8 April 2009
- Empire: James (Project Manager), Kate, Howard, Ben, Kimberly and Majid.
- Ignite: Debra (Project Manager), Noorul, Philip, Mona, Yasmina, Paula and Lorraine.
- Task: Create an original piece of portable home fitness equipment along with a poster campaign for it, then pitch it to three retailers. Most orders received, wins.
- Task Review: Empire created a small multi-gym kit, despite James instructing Ben's team to make the product simple in design based upon market research by his sub-team. The product was badly received by retailers, who felt it to be a poor alternative to higher-end home gym systems, with the team receiving only a small order from one retailer. Meanwhile, Ignite focused on a simple product consisting of an exercise ball with a built-in plastic attachment that could be used for aerobics. The retailers greatly liked their product and made orders, one of whom ordered a high volume thanks to an exclusivity agreement arranged with them, effectively giving the team a decisive victory.
- Result: Empire received 500 orders, while Ignite received 10,180 orders.
- Winner: Ignite - By 9,680 orders
- Reward: A private performance by Katherine Jenkins
- Brought into the boardroom: James, Ben and Majid
- Fired: Majid - For being seen as peripheral figure who made little contribution to the task, not asking for a bigger role, and for his poor theme suggestion in the previous task.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Michelle Mone, Trevor Nelson and Carole Malone
- Despite leading his team to considerable defeat - a near 20:1 margin in Ignite's favour - James was not fired, largely down to Margaret telling Sir Alan that aside from not properly supervising the product design, his leadership had otherwise been competent, but was warned that this feedback was the only reason he was allowed to continue. Likewise, despite the bad product design, ignoring James's instructions, refusing to accept responsibility and trying to shift blame onto James, Ben survived due to no-one else making much contribution during the design phase.
- Although he was not seen as being responsible for the loss, Majid sealed his own fate when he admitted in the boardroom that he saw no reason to ask James for a larger role. Nick accused Majid of having no confidence in himself, and whilst Sir Alan acknowledged that it was early in the competition, he felt Majid had been given enough opportunities to contribute and was too much of a passenger.
- On You're Fired, there was general disagreement with Sir Alan's decision, with the consensus amongst the panel being that James should have been fired, and that even firing Ben would have been more justifiable than firing Majid. Despite indicating his disagreement, Nick Hewer said that Majid probably would not have lasted long either way.
Week 4: A Soap Opera
- Original Air date: 15 April 2009
- Empire: Paula (Project Manager), Kate, Debra, Yasmina, James and Ben.
- Ignite: Noorul (Project Manager), Howard, Philip, Mona, Lorraine and Kimberly.
- Task: Sell two brand new bath and beauty products made from natural ingredients, that stand out. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Ignite produced soap bars and bath foam based on honeycomb, though their products were felt to be unattractive; their soap was later found to disintegrate when it was tested in a shower. While their market stall team had success with sales in Camden Town, their face-to-face team had less success due to a lack of direction from Noorul, leading them to resort selling their products cheaply by the end of the day. Meanwhile, Empire focused on products based on seaweed, yet while these were well liked and enjoyed good customs, their manufacture had serious mistakes, as the sub-team handling this spent over £700 on essential oils because of a measurement error, and chose sandalwood oil instead of the much cheaper cedarwood oil due to a mix-up. These manufacturing blunders effectively cost the team victory.
- Result: Ignite made a profit of £493.97, while Empire made a loss of £68.04.
- Winner: Ignite - By £562.01
- Reward: Dinner at a luxury sushi and sake restaurant, and learnt how to make sushi.
- Brought into the boardroom: Paula, Yasmina and Ben
- Fired: Paula - For mixing up the oils that caused the overspend of the fragrances, admitting she was bad at costings, and for being primarily responsible for the loss as Project Manager.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Sarah Halton, Andy Parsons and Jo Elvin
- Having become frustrated with the indecisiveness of both Noorul and Kimberly, Phillip had a fierce argument with the latter whilst creating the packaging and promotional material for the team's products, foreshadowing the troubles between Phillip and the other candidates, particularly Lorraine, later on in the process. In The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them Sir Alan stated Noorul should have been fired as his team won by default.
- Sir Alan commented that, although Paula had managed her team well, it was a irrelevant factor since Empire had lost money, with Nick commenting that if her team had used cedarwood and not sandalwood in their products, they would have won the task with a profit of £590. While the final three were felt to be equally at fault, it was decided that Paula carried responsibility as the team's leader, though in her taxi interview she stated that she had gone simply "over an error."
- Both the audience and the panel on You're Fired disagreed with Sir Alan's decision. While the panellists generally agreed that Paula and Yasmina were at fault for the sandalwood error, they felt that both shown enough potential to continue, and that Ben should have been fired instead for not attempting to scrutinise the figures, though they also felt that Noorul was far more deserving of being fired than any member of Empire.
Week 5: The Advertising Challenge
- Original Air date: 22 April 2009
- Empire: Kate (Project Manager), Debra, Yasmina, James and Ben.
- Ignite: Kimberly (Project Manager), Noorul, Howard, Philip, Mona and Lorraine.
- Task: Produce a brand identity for a new breakfast cereal, including a television advert and original character, then pitch it to a panel of advertising experts. Best concept, wins.
- Task Review: Empire branded their cereal as "Treasure Flakes", focused on a pirate theme with a parrot character called Captain Squawk to go along with it. While experts felt their box was overcrowded and questioned the team on who their target audience was, Debra's pitch was well received with Kate providing clear answers to questions. Meanwhile, Ignire branded their cereal as "Wake Up Call", which evolved from a theme around pants and had a superhero character called Pants Man who aimed to prevent people wearing their underwear over their clothing through the consumption of the cereal. While the team's TV ad was praised for the technical quality, their box was criticised for being incomplete, due to the graphic designer not being briefed in time, while Mona's presentation style spoiled their pitch. Overall, the team failed the task after Sir Alan effectively declared the whole campaign to be terrible.
- Winner: Empire - For having a better brand, and for providing a better pitch.
- Reward: Yoga and laughter therapy session.
- Brought into the boardroom: Kimberly, Philip and Lorraine
- Fired: Kimberly - For her poor leadership, refusing to pitch despite her marketing background, and for bringing Lorraine back into the boardroom mainly for personal reasons, instead of Noorul.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Jenny Eclair, Mary Portas and Robert Senior
- Philip came very close to getting fired, not only being responsible for the poorly conceived idea, but also for his attitude towards his teammates on the task, but was spared as Sir Alan felt that Kimberly was more at fault, on the basis that she failed on a task she was more than qualified to lead, describing her as the "Wizard of Oz", in that "she looked impressive, but behind the curtain, there was nothing special". In his autobiography, Sugar remarked that, with hindsight, firing Phillip would have also been justifiable.
- While Lorraine was accused by Kimberly for being disruptive during the task, Sir Alan was somewhat more critical of her, chiding her for hypocrisy after she accused her team's idea of not fitting the brief, despite suggesting a brand that contradicted the task's specifications. Despite this, he felt she was not responsible for the loss and implied very early on in the boardroom that she would not be facing dismissal.
- Although it was not explicit, it was hinted that several others had not made a significant contribution. In particular, it was implied that Noorul would have been fired had he been brought back, both for taking a backseat on the task, and his awful leadership in the previous task.
Week 6: Bric-a-Brac Race
- Original Air date: 29 April 2009
- Empire: Ben (Project Manager), Noorul, Debra, Yasmina and James.
- Ignite: Philip (Project Manager), Kate, Howard, Mona and Lorraine.
- Task: Sell a miscellaneous assortment of ten items, including a "hidden gem", on the streets of London. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Empire performed poorly on the task, as they failed to realise that the rules specified that the teams would be measured on the profitability of each sale compared to the item's list value. Matters were made worse when Ben had his sub-team value seven of the items, meaning they wasted time selling them and sold several valuable pieces for a loss towards the end of the task, with Noorul losing more money when selling the bicycle and the skeleton. Meanwhile, Ignite performed better, but while they made a decent profit on most of their sales, these were cancelled out through selling their rug for nothing. Despite the error, the team managed to have a smaller deficit by the end, and thus won the task.
- Result: Empire made a loss of £169, while Ignite made a loss of £34.
- Winner: Ignite - By £135.
- Reward: Dinner, featuring beef and truffles, at a luxury restaurant.
- Brought into the boardroom: Ben, Noorul and Debra.
- Fired: Noorul - For a consistent lack of contribution throughout many of the tasks, his arrogant behaviour, selling the bike and the skeleton at a huge loss, being disrespectful towards Ben in the boardroom, making several excuses for his failures and for his weak and ineffective leadership in the fourth task.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Al Murray, Hilary Kay and Alvin Hall
- Both teams were given ten items which they had to value and sell, including: a skeleton, a deceptively valuable Indian rug, a bicycle, a box of second-hand books and a commode.
- During the sale of the rug, Lorraine debated with Philip as to whether they should have got a better price for it. Her concern was justified in the boardroom after it was revealed that the underselling of the rug had completely wiped out any profit that had been made by Ignite, earning them what Sir Alan described as "a fool's victory".
- Ben initially chose to bring back James alongside Noorul for the final boardroom, much to the visible shock of both James and Sir Alan, but decided to take back Debra instead after she demanded to be brought back, a first in the show's history. As Ben was dubbed as "a broken man" at this stage in the process and was blamed for his failure to understand the rules that resulted in the near-total fault, Sir Alan, who suspected he planned to bring back James for personal reasons before Debra made her demands, warned him that he was on his last chance.
- After Debra attempted to claim sole credit for her all of her sub-team's sales, Nick commented that Ben had been a part of the book sale, causing her to fly into a rage and accuse him as a liar, while lashing out at Ben and Noorul when they challenged her. Sir Alan lambasted her for this, informing her that any point she had should be brought back to him, before later giving her a clear warning over her aggressive outburst. Furthermore, had the British version of the show operated in a similar manner to the American original, Debra's demands to be brought back to the boardroom would have earned her an automatic dismissal from the process.
- One of the factors that contributed to Sir Alan's decision to fire Noorul, was that several candidates had stated, but not referred to him directly, that they were outraged he had not been in the boardroom when they had been on previous tasks, due to his consistent habit of going under the radar. The more decisive factor, however, came when Noorul attempted to harm Ben's chances of remaining in the competition by accusing him of only having entered the competition in pursuit of fame, only for Ben to retaliate by accusing him of being desperate by this stage, thus sealing his fate.
Week 7: Heading North
- Original Air date: 6 May 2009
- Empire: Mona (Project Manager), Howard, Debra and James.
- Ignite: Lorraine (Project Manager), Kate, Philip, Yasmina and Ben.
- Task: Travel to North West England, select two new innovative products, then sell to trade. Most sales made, wins.
- Task Review: Empire went with a sleeping bag suit called a "Selk Bag" and a dog lead called "Lovers' Lead" that was designed for two people to share. The team had to rely on sales on the second day through arranging pitches with other companies, after failing to secure any from two potential customers on the first day, but sold well as a result, with Mona making a large contribution to this. Meanwhile, Ignite selected a bag-carrying attachment for bicycles, and a set of cat playhouses. While they sold to one of the main customers, they also focused on finding companies to pitch to on the second day, but made little sales as a result, with only Lorraine and Yasmina primarily contributing, and thus effectively lost the task.
- Result: Empire made sales of £4,500, while Ignite made sales of over £1,000.
- Winner: Empire - By over £3,500
- Reward: A luxurious helicopter ride over London at sunset.
- Brought into the boardroom: Lorraine, Kate and Philip.
- Fired: Philip - For not selling a single item, showing "bravado" and arrogant behaviour, taking no responsibility for his actions, his constant negativity towards the other candidates, and for being openly disrespectful to Sir Alan in the final boardroom.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Ruby Max, Mark Frith and Kavita Oberoi
- For this episode, the candidates found themselves operating within Liverpool, Manchester and Chester.
- Despite failing to sell anything himself, Ben managed to set up an appointment at the head offices of pet superstore chain, Pets at Home, for Lorraine and Yasmina, which accounted for most of Ignite's sales income on the second day. However, Nick commented that Ben, Kate and Philip going back to London without a sale to any of their names was like getting into one of the cat playhouses and joining the Battle of Britain "they haven't got a hope in hell's chance".
- In the boardroom, Lorraine revealed that Philip and Kate were in a relationship and accused them of conspiring against her, leading Sir Alan to question them on whether they had decided to take a backseat to make Lorraine look bad. The two denied this was the case, and Kate even criticised Philip's performance. A fierce argument took place between Kate and Lorraine at the apartment, with Kate accusing Lorraine of "hitting below the belt", while Lorraine defended it as legitimate and re-iterated her accusations. Both Kate and Philip eventually began a relationship, but claimed it did not truly start until the show had finished.
- While Sir Alan was convinced that Philip had no place in his organisation because of his attitude and negativity, especially after he snapped at him and openly accused him of not being given enough credit on his performances despite being reminded of his responsibility for "Pantsman", he still had concerns over Lorraine's behaviour and tendency to alienate the others. As for Kate, despite her failure to sell and the criticism she drew throughout the task, Sir Alan gave her a second chance, primarily because of her past performance prior to the task.
- The panel on You're Fired and almost the entire audience completely agreed with the decision, with one panellist saying that if they had behaved the way Philip did in the boardroom, they would have been fired regardless of the circumstances. In an exit interview that he made, Philip remarked that his behaviour had been "pathetic", and that despite having called the decision a "joke" when he left, Sir Alan had been correct to fire him.
Week 8: Cool Margate
- Original Air date: 13 May 2009
- Empire: Debra (Project Manager), Howard, Mona and James.
- Ignite: Yasmina (Project Manager), Kate, Ben and Lorraine.
- Task: Re-brand the seaside resort of Margate, Kent, by producing a series of posters and leaflets, then pitching them, to be scored afterwards. Highest score, wins.
- Task Review: Empire decided to play on Margate's existing gay scene by promoting it as a gay resort. While both local and industry experts saw it as a daring idea, it was considered to be badly executed, as they came up with poorly designed, over-crowded posters, and produced an incomplete leaflet which they falsely claimed had been designed to leaving advertising spaces for local businesses to use. Meanwhile, Ignite decided to market the town as a family resort. While their idea was considered to be neither risky or hugely inventive, they felt it was well executed, effectively scoring them well enough for them to win the task.
- Result:Ignite received a score of 7/10 for their pitch, whereas Empire only received 4/10.
- Winner: Ignite - For a better executed promotion.
- Reward: Lotus Exige Driving Day at Thruxton Circuit.
- Brought into the boardroom: Debra, Mona and James.
- Fired: Mona, with regret - For a lack of full effort due to her thoughts on the theme, and for failing to demonstrate any skills other than selling.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Claire Balding, Jason Manford and Martine Ainsworth-Wells
- Although Ignite won the task, the team dynamic was not harmonious; Lorraine was particularly disruptive in opposing some suggestions, culminating in Yasmina shouting at her to be quiet. After Margret brought this up in the boardroom, Sir Alan hinted that had Ignite lost, Lorraine would have been fired. Kate later confirmed after the series had finished, that Lorraine had gotten drunk the night before the task, and was forced to miss several hours of filming the next day as a direct result.
- While Sugar indirectly praised Howard's work ethic in this task, he was more critical of James'. Unimpressed with his argument that he had overseen the photoshoot for the team's brochure, he accused James of jumping on that task to avoid being part of the key decisions.
- Although Debra appeared to be at most fault for the loss, Sir Alan spared her since she had taken a risk with her idea, whereas Mona had taken a backseat once the theme had been decided. On You're Fired, the panel and Mona herself agreed that she deserved to be fired; Mona admitted she was not very creative which played a big part in her firing.
Week 9: Baby Love
- Original Air date: 20 May 2009
- Empire: James (Project Manager), Debra, Yasmina and Ben.
- Ignite: Lorraine (Project Manager), Kate and Howard.
- Task: Interview suppliers of baby equipment, select two products, then sell them on to potential customers at the country's biggest baby show. Most sales made, wins.
- Task Review: Ignite chose a padded toddler helmet and a travel pushchair to sell at the show. While they faced trouble selling the pushchair due to them being sold much cheaper elsewhere at the show, the team managed to secure good sales with their products. Meanwhile, Empire went with a home birthing pool and an expensive hand-made rocking horse for the show due to fierce recommendation by Debra and Ben, but the team's sales were not as good, largely due to the rocking horses failing to sell, effectively ruining any chances of a win.
- Result: Ignite made sales of £1,600 (approx), while Empire made sales of £722
- Winner: Ignite - By £878.
- Reward: A caricature of themselves drawn by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.
- Brought into the boardroom: James, Ben and Debra
- Fired: Ben - For aggressively lobbying for the rocking-horse and then failing to sell it, and failing to address criticism of his arrogant behaviour.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Hugh Dennis, Michael Ball and Laura Tenison
- In the boardroom, Sir Alan effectively called out Ben on his constant boasts about achieving a scholarship to Sandhurst, something he repeatedly fell back onto during previous boardrooms, by stating it had little bearing with him after citing that Paul Callaghan, a former candidate from Series 3, had been infamous for poor management despite the fact he had attended Sandhurst himself.
- Despite surviving the boardroom both James and Debra were warned that they were on thin ice; James for his poor track record and laid-back management, and Debra for her hand in picking the rocking horse and her ruthless behaviour, though she seemed more humble in the boardroom than on previous occasions, and certainly more so than Ben.
Week 10: Car Crash TV
- Original Air date: 27 May 2009
- Empire: Yasmina (Project Manager), Debra and James.
- Ignite: Howard (Project Manager), Kate and Lorraine.
- Task: Select a range of products and sell them live on a TV shopping channel. Most sales made, wins.
- Task Review: Empire opted to sell a range of low-price products, including a remote control car, a gardening tool, hair clips and a head-wrap. Despite a faux pas by Yasmina and James, the team sold large volumes of their goods, with Debra praised over her sales demonstration of the head-wraps. Meanwhile, Ignite went for a more mixed range of goods, including a lower-priced craft set and infra-red "air guitar", a shallow fryer and a leather jacket with a high ticket price. The team however, did not perform well, as despite the inclusion of more valuable items, their sales were weak and ultimately cost them the task.
- Result: Ignite had sales of £1376.73, while Empire had sales of £1541.88.
- Winner: Empire - By £165.15
- Reward: A private flight with an aerobatics team.
- Brought into the boardroom: Howard, Lorraine, Kate
- Fired: Howard - For not taking enough risks, lacking presence in prior tasks, and for failing to demonstrate any truly exceptional qualities.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Margaret Mountford, Rufus Hound, and Hasfa Abubacker
- Yasmina's success in this task earned her the achievement of most successful project manager, primarily for winning three tasks as PM, and is one of two candidates to earn this, the other being Helen Milligan in Series 7. However, this is rare to achieve, as most candidates usually have a chance to be PM for at least two tasks; while Claire Young and Lee McQueen in the previous series could claim such a record, they held the position of PM jointly on the third occasion.
- On You're Fired, there was disagreement over Sir Alan's decision to fire Howard, with the panel believing that Lorraine should have been fired instead. While Howard was not shown to be fired with regret on the main episode, it was revealed on the discussion show that he was.
- As Kate had to attend her grandmother's funeral the day after this task, the subsequent boardroom scenes were completed the day before the Interviews stage was to take place.
Week 11: Interviews
- Original Air date: 3 June 2009
- Semi-Finalists: Kate, Lorraine, James, Yasmina, Debra
- Task: The five remaining candidates undergo a gruelling interview process from four interviewers - Claude Littner, Karren Brady, Alan Watts and Bordan Tkachuk. Sir Alan decides on which two proceed based on the feedback.
- Candidate Reviews: Kate was felt to be the best all-round candidate, but there were questions about her being "too perfect" , while she was accused of being too controlling and robotic. Yasmina also received praise from the interviewers, but her motives for wanting to work for Sir Alan were called into question, and she was criticised for not knowing the turnover of her own restaurant and for getting her mother to re-mortgage her home to finance the restaurant's start-up costs. James was accused of not being serious enough, and for having a CV that was incomprehensible to anyone outside the communications industry. Debra earned fierce criticism, ironically enough from her own character references, along with being difficult to work with due to her being extremely aggressive and bad-tempered, yet she impressed Sir Alan for being extremely skilled at her age due to her fellow candidates claiming she was a "business expert". Lorraine fared the worst, as her relatively sparse CV came in for criticism and she also stood accused of being hard to work with; she was also found to have overstated her previous employment term by a year, which she claimed was a typographical error, but the interviewers accused her of lying and attempting to pad out her CV.
- Final Decision: In the boardroom, Sir Alan came to the conclusion that James' corporate background and failure to take things seriously made him completely unsuitable for the job, and fired him first. Lorraine went second, after Sir Alan decided that despite whatever intuition she had displayed, he couldn't overlook the poor reports from the interviewers and her former team-mates. Of the remaining candidates, Sir Alan had serious issues with Debra's attitude and Yasmina's motives, but found no such major faults with Kate and so made her the first finalist. Choosing the second was difficult, but Sir Alan reluctantly fired Debra in what he said was virtually a split-decision, making Yasmina the other finalist.
- James, with regret - For being a "corporate" person, his inability to take things seriously and for having the weakest track record out of the remaining candidates.
- Lorraine - For being unable to communicate clearly to the executives, as well as being too aggressive towards her former colleagues.
- Debra - For being too aggressive and too difficult to work with.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: James Caan, Jo Brand and Jane Moore
- James' firing had a major impact on the remaining four candidates, who all had tears in their eyes when he left, so Sir Alan sent them out of the boardroom to cool down before continuing.
- While Sir Alan had given serious consideration to just firing James and letting the other four candidates all proceed to the final much like the previous year, he chose against this after discussing with Nick and Margaret about Lorraine's track record during the intermission after James's firing, both of whom agreed she was a far weaker candidate of the remaining candidates and thus would have hindered whoever she was paired up with in the final.
- Sir Alan remarked that deciding on a final two from Debra, Kate, and Yasmina was very hard, but despite his reasons for firing her, he left Debra a parting remark - "Keep in touch."
- This episode is technically marked as the first treble firing in the show's history, as while there had been three candidate who had left in the third series, Katie Hopkins mostly withdrew from the process rather being fired.
Week 12: The Final
- Original Air date: 7 June 2009
- Finalists: Kate and Yasmina
- Kate's team: Debra, Rocky, Ben and Kimberly.
- Yasmina's team: Howard, Philip, James and Lorraine.
- Task: Finalists market a brand new box of chocolates, complete with TV advert, pitching it in front of a panel of business and chocolate experts. Sir Alan decides who is hired based on overall performance in the task and throughout the process.
- Task Review: Kate focused on the brand being called "Choc d'amour" after Debra criticised the initial name, and centred the brand on a romantic theme of sharing, incorporating high quality flavours with their chocolates through their master chocolatier, Paul A Young, including Strawberry & Champagne, and Honey & Lemongrass. While her team's presentation was flawless and her flavours praised, the product was felt to be too expensive for the mass market. Meanwhile, Yasmina focused on a brand called "Coco Electric" that featured unconventional flavours at a budget price, with Gerard Coleman of L'Artisan du Chocolat helping them to incorporate strawberry & basil and chili & popping candy into their product. While the box's design, the products low price and her team's commercial were well praised, the product received strong criticism for its low quality and poor flavours. Despite this, Sir Alan felt her performance had been good and that she was the better of the two finalist, effectively declaring her the winner.
- Runner-Up: Kate - For being "too perfect and robotic", and for pricing the chocolates at a high retail price
- Winner: Yasmina - For being more of a risk taker, and for a good, business promotion of her chocolates, despite the bad quality of the chocolates
- As ITV was to air live coverage of the 2010 World Cup Group 6 qualifying match between England & Andorra on 10 June that year, and thus would have competed with the show in its usual timeslot, the BBC opted to avoid this by broadcasting the final episode a few days earlier, during a Sunday evening timeslot instead.
- Sir Alan claimed his final decision to be the hardest, stating that if it was only Kate and she was being compared amongst the previous winners of The Apprentice for a job, she would certainly win it. However, Yasmina proved a more attractive prospect upon showing her willingness to take risks.
Criticism and controversy
While the series ended up having fifteen candidates for this year's competition, it initially had sixteen. However, Adam Freeman, the sixteenth candidate, was forced to depart from the show before filming began, citing family reasons behind this. In the first episode, Alan Sugar described Freeman as a candidate who had "bottled it", but he later denied he had done so, and went on to describe his decision to leave as "the best decision I made in my life".
Mona Lewis and Howard Ebison
On 19 April 2009, it was reported that Mona Lewis had made homophobic statements during the filming of the series, and had offended Howard Ebison was openly gay. During the task to re-brand Margate, Lewis was reported to stated she wouldn't want her six-year-old son to meet a homosexual man, after Howard suggested the location become a gay resort. However, both candidates denied any allegation of homophobia, with Lewis stating she "wasn't homophobic, just boring".
After Rocky Andrews was fired following the second task, he was reported to claim that along with the belief he was dismissed because of discrimination against his age, at the time he appeared on the show, his firing was mostly influenced by prejudice against him being a Northerner, adding that his role as project manager in the catering task was hindered by people from London refusing to do business with Phillip Taylor, who himself was from the North. In an interview with entertainment channel Holy Moly, Rocky further added to his claims of prejudice by stating that he felt Alan Sugar's previous winners had all been chosen because they were Southerners, although in reality he failed to note that Michelle Dewberry, winner of Series 2, was actually born in Northern England.
After leaving The Apprentice, the Daily Mirror dubbed Lorraine Tighe a "broken woman", reporting that she had been victimised by other candidates by them branding her "crazy" and an "animal", along with becoming the target of hate groups on Facebook, where people described their desire to hurt her, with four pages devoted to calling her an “ugly bitch”. 
Following her appearance on the show, a report by The Sun alleged that that she had gotten a breast enhancement at the age of 17 to improve her self-esteem and appearance and that she had been in a sex tape, alongside claims she had been unpopular at at Beacon School in Surrey in regards to criticism over her aggressive approach to business during her time in the series. In response, Debra insisted during an interview with the Daily Mail that the tabloid's report was just rumours, adding:
"If there had been a video it would have been all over YouTube by now wouldn't it? It's a stupid assumption that if you're strong and tenacious in business you have to be swinging from the chandeliers in your private life. Anyone who knows me would tell you, if I wanted to be a lesbian, I'd be one. But I'm not."
|1||25 March 2009||8.71||4|
|2||1 April 2009||7.16||5|
|3||8 April 2009||8.04||5|
|4||15 April 2009||7.86||4|
|5||22 April 2009||8.32||2|
|6||29 April 2009||8.29||2|
|7||6 May 2009||8.45||2|
|8||13 May 2009||8.50||2|
|9||20 May 2009||8.90||2|
|10||27 May 2009||7.14||3|
|11||3 June 2009||9.76||1|
|12||7 June 2009||9.31||2|
|The Final Five|
|3 June 2009||5.06||17|
|Why I Fired Them|
|5 June 2009||N/A||N/A|
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