The Apprentice (UK series 1)

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The Apprentice (UK series 1)
Group shot of the candidates from Series 1 of "The Apprentice".JPG
Promo group shot of Alan Sugar, Nick Hewer, and Margaret Mountford standing before the candidates for series 1
Country of originUK
No. of episodes14
Original networkBBC Two
Original release16 February (2005-02-16) – 4 May 2005 (2005-05-04)
Series chronology
Next →
Series 2

Series one of The Apprentice (UK), a British reality television series, was broadcast in the UK during 2005, from 16 February to 4 May on BBC Two. After securing the rights to creating a British version of American original, the BBC commissioned a total of twelve episodes, a standard that would be used for consecutive series. It is the only series not to feature a boardroom scene after a candidate quit the programme following a task, along with being one of two series to feature a task devoted to charity work. Alongside the twelve episodes that were produced, two specials were also created and aired alongside this series – "The Story so Far" on 2 March, aimed at bringing viewers up to speed on the series; and "You're Hired!" on 7 May, aired after the series finale, with a format that would be later adapted for use in The Apprentice: You're Fired when it began the following year.

Fourteen candidates took part in this programme's first series, with Tim Campbell becoming the overall winner of the series. Excluding specials, the series averaged roughly around 2.5 million viewers during its broadcast.

Series overview[edit]

Work on the series began in Autumn 2004, after the BBC successfully secured the rights to creating a British version of the American original, followed by the broadcaster receiving an agreement of acceptance from Alan Sugar to be at the head of the new programme. Involved in development of the format, Sugar worked with the production staff to determine what tasks would be faced by those participating in the series, and how he would be given feedback on these. Amongst the discussions undertaken with him, it was decided that two of close business associates, Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford, would star alongside him in the role of his aides, and that one of the tasks would focus on interviewing candidates who reached the penultimate stage of the process, with both Hewer and Mountford overseeing this, alongside other business associates of Sugar - Paul Kemsley, Claude Littner, and Bordan Tkachuk.

Applicants for the show were whittled down by the production staff and researchers until around fourteen candidates, consisting of a balanced mix of male and female participants, were chosen to appear in the series. As part of their first task, the candidates formed teams consisting of their respective genders – the women named their team First Forte, while the men named their team Impact. This series is unique for being the only series to date in the show's history, not to feature an extensive boardroom scene after a candidate chose to leave the programme following the fourth task, and to feature a charity-based challenge with no proper reward for the winning team. In addition, the Final of the series only allowed six "fired" candidates to return and provide assistance to the series' two finalists. The schedule for episodes was fixed towards Wednesday evenings, after the watershed period, as final edits of episodes maintained a level of content that included swearing more suitable for mature viewers than young family audiences.

Of those who took part, Tim Campbell would become the eventual winner of the series,[1] and go on to become Project Director of Amstrad's new Health and Beauty division at the time, with his time their documented in a special episode prior to the second series, entitled "Tim in the Firing Line". In 2006, Campbell would leave the company to pursue other interests,[2] and would go on to found the Bright Ideas Trust in 2008, offering funding and support for young people wishing to start their own business.[3][4]


Candidate Background Age Result
Tim Campbell Transport Manager 26 Winner
Saira Khan Sales Manager 34 Runner-up
Paul Torrisi Property Developer 34 Fired after Interviews stage
James Max Investment Banker 34
Miriam Staley Hotel Manager 26 Fired after tenth task
Raj Dhonota Internet Entrepreneur 30 Fired after ninth task
Ben Leary Headhunter 29 Fired after eighth task
Sebastian Schrimpff Financial Analyst 29 Fired after seventh task
Rachel Groves Charity Fundraiser 32 Fired after sixth task
Matthew Palmer Mature Student 39 Fired after fifth task
Adele Lock Retail Manager 29 Quit after fourth task
Miranda Rose Estate Agent 26 Fired after third task
Lindsay Bogaard Communications Manager 35 Fired after second task
Adenike Ogundoyin Restaurant Manager 30 Fired after first task

Performance chart[edit]

Candidate Task Number
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Lindsay IN FIRED
Adenike FIRED


     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 on this task.


No. in
TitleOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [5]
11"Wilting Blooms"[6]16 February 2005 (2005-02-16)2.02
Sir Alan Sugar begins a search for an apprentice amongst fourteen candidates, informing them that they will undertake a gruelling selection process composed of various business challenges, with a six-figure job being offered to the winning candidate. For their first task, the candidates must sell flowers for money as teams. The men opt for conducting door-to-door sales, focusing on a solid sales strategy throughout the task despite a slow start. The women commit to selling at a market before making sales on the move, but struggle from in-fighting amongst members and a problematic salesperson. In the boardroom, the men prove themselves with their sales figures, leaving the women's team faced with discussing their performance on the task. Of the final three, Adenike Ogundoyin becomes the first person to be fired on the show, due to the detrimental effect she had on her team's sales strategy.
22"Child's Play"[7]23 February 2005 (2005-02-23)N/A
Teams put their creative skills to the test when Sir Alan tasks them with creating a brand new toy for the 5-9 age group, with each pitching their designs to industry experts. The men focus on a safe, low-key concept involving electronic trading cards, receiving praise for the concept despite gambling on the cards producing most of the profits when pitching their design. The women find themselves dealing with a problematic leader, who forces them to take on a risky concept involving semaphore-designed cards, despite their focus group opting for more creative idea, with their overall design being panned by the experts. Feedback to the boardroom soon leaves the men winning the task. Amongst the losing team, their leader, Lindsay Bogaard, is fired for her poor decisions made on the task.
33"Shop Till You Drop"[8]2 March 2005 (2005-03-02)2.17
On their next task, Sir Alan assigns both teams to seek out ten items that he requires, with each teams seeking out bargains with each of their purchases. First Forte manage to secure all their items, yet face problems from a difficult leader who clashes with the other members. Impact secure all but one item due to an indecisive leader, but offset this by making a surprising bargain during their search for each of their purchases. In the boardroom, Impact prove themselves the better negotiators thanks to the key purchase they made, leaving First Forte to come under scrutiny for their performance. Of the final three, Miranda Rose is fired for the severe criticism towards her attitude with the team and her management of them.
44"The Harrods Sales"[9]9 March 2005 (2005-03-09)2.35
Given a concession stand to run within Harrods, Sir Alan tasks each team to select items from the store's catalogue, before selling these to passing customers. Impact work steadily to achieve sales despite a slow start, thanks to one member donning a costume that attracts young customers. First Forte struggle throughout the task, due to a weak team leader and problematic salespeople, despite managing to improve towards the end. The sales figures soon show that Impact's efforts were more efficient, leaving First Forte to face questions on their execution of the task. Before a final boardroom can be made, Sir Alan is surprised when Adele Lock, who is deemed the worst contributor of the team, opts to leave after being unable to cope with the pressure from the challenges she had undertaken up to this stage.
55"Art with a Capital F"[10]16 March 2005 (2005-03-16)2.18
Both teams find themselves each representing an artist, selling their artwork to visitors at their own exhibition. First Forte secure representation with two artists, managing to sell well despite the artwork they exhibit having a high tag price. Impact take on representing an artist with reasonably priced pieces, managing higher sales despite one member causing issues for the team throughout the task. In the boardroom, First Forte are commended for managing a higher income than is achieved by Impact's sales strategy. Amongst the losing team, Matthew Palmer is fired for his poor contributions, false accusations against the other team, and for his confrontational personality with other candidates.
66"Advertising Executives"[11]23 March 2005 (2005-03-23)2.80
Sir Alan seeks an advertising campaign for his company's new Jukebox music system, and so assigns the teams to each design one for a sales pitch to potential buyers. First Forte focus on a campaign comparing the product to classical jukeboxes, providing a presentation that is well received. Impact produce a campaign that is poorly made, due to the team struggling to devise their concept and poor contributions from one member, while presenting a poorly received pitch. In the boardroom, Impact's campaign is voted as the worst, leaving First Forte to win the task. Amongst the losing team, Rachel Groves is fired for demonstrating inefficient pitching skills and for contributing the least amongst her team.
7SP 1"The Story So Far"[12]2 March 2005 (2005-03-02)N/A
As the battle to be Sir Alan's apprentice reaches its midway point, this special episode gives a brief recap on what happened over the past six episodes.
87"Apprentice Celebrities"[13]30 March 2005 (2005-03-30)2.82
Sir Alan assigns each team to run their own charity auction, convincing celebrities to donate something for a good cause. Impact secure a wide variety of donations for their auction, maintaining full control throughout the task. First Forte secure less donations from the celebrities they approach, with most of these receiving less money due to misinformation about them. In the boardroom, Impact win the task by securing the most money, leaving First Forte to face questions on what mistakes they made. Amongst the losing team, discussion over negotiation skills result in Sebastian Schrimpff being fired for both his underwhelming performance and presence on tasks.
98"Food Fight"[14]6 April 2005 (2005-04-06)2.74
Turning produces into products is the basis of the next task, as Sir Alan assign each team to sell what they create at a country market. First Forte focus on making jellies, jams and chutneys to sell, using promotions to help shift stock despite concerns over hiring a cook to make their products. Impact focus on selling a variety of soups, but overspend on ingredients, arrive late to sell what they make, and fail to sell most of their products. First Forte claim victory with their marketing strategy, leaving Impact to receive an in-depth review of their performance. Amongst the losing team, Ben Leary is dismissed for his poor leadership and control over the team, and raising questions over his decisions and judgment.
109"Team News"[15]13 April 2005 (2005-04-13)2.59
Each team find themselves tasked with selling a text messaging service for football match updates, through the use of promotional means. First Forte opt for using posters and hiring promotional staff to market their service, but secure less subscriptions from this approach. Impact opt for making use of a Jumbotron and also making use of professional staff, increasing sales through motivating their employees with an offer of commissions for sales. In the boardroom, Impact win the task with their strategy, leaving First Forte to face scrutiny over their execution of the task. Of the final three, Raj Dhonota is fired over his failure to step up in tasks and his dismal sales skills.
1110"Apprentices on TV"[16]20 April 2005 (2005-04-20)2.40
Made to work on a shopping channel, each team is tasked to chose the right products to sell, assign members as presenters, and use a presentation style that can entice viewers to buy during their allotted airtime. Impact struggle with selling their choice of products due to constant interruptions amongst the production sub-team leaving their chosen present receiving mixed advice and instructions. First Forte secure less products than they desire, but manage well during their broadcast thanks to a strong presentation style by their chosen presenter. In the boardroom, Impact face criticism over their performance after First Forte win with their choices and presentation style. Amongst the losing team, Miriam Staley is fired for her poor management style on the task and demonstrating an unsuitable personality.
1211"Interviews"[17]27 April 2005 (2005-04-27)2.72
After facing ten tasks as teams, the four remaining candidates now compete as individuals in their next task – a series of tough, gruelling interviews with five of Sir Alan's most trusted associates. Each member faces scrutiny over their backgrounds, work experience and performance within the process when questioned by the interviewers. Feedback to Sir Alan, alongside observations by his aides, leads him to firing James Max over questions on his dedication to tasks, while Paul Torrisi is fired due to concerns by interviewers on his aggression and providing unclear reasons for the job on offer. Of the remaining two, Saira Khan receives unanimous praise from interviewers, while Tim Campbell, despite questions on him being naive, is commended for his business acumen he demonstrated.
1312"The Final"[18]4 May 2005 (2005-05-04)3.77
After facing a multitude of business tasks and a tough interview, the two finalists now face one more challenge – with help from old friends they worked with, each receives a budget of £5,000 to help with setting up a special themed event aboard a riverboat. Saira opts for a wine-tasting event, with her team recouping their costs and making a profit towards the end. Tim opts for a fashion show, demonstrating his ability to keep costs down despite making less from the event. Reviewing the performance of both finalists, Sir Alan decides that Tim Campbell's overall performance and background make him worthy to become his first apprentice, leaving Saira Khan to become the runner up due to issues with her personality and elements of her leadership in the task.
14SP 2"You're Hired!"[19]7 May 2005 (2005-05-07)N/A
In this special episode, Adrian Chiles interviews the winner of The Apprentice and the losing candidates to find out what they learned of the experience throughout their time on the show, as well as meeting with Sir Alan to see what he thought about the candidates that took part.


Official episode viewing figures are from BARB.[5]

Airdate Viewers
weekly ranking
1 16 February 2005 2.02 15
2 23 February 2005 N/A N/A
3 2 March 2005 2.17 24
4 9 March 2005 2.35 26
5 16 March 2005 2.18 26
6 23 March 2005 2.80 13
7 30 March 2005 2.82 8
8 6 April 2005 2.74 13
9 13 April 2005 2.59 11
10 20 April 2005 2.40 11
11 27 April 2005 2.72 6
12 4 May 2005 3.77 2


Airdate Viewers
weekly ranking
The Story So Far
2 April 2005 N/A N/A


  1. ^ "Transport manager wins Apprentice". BBC News. 4 May 2005. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  2. ^ "First Apprentice winner quits job". BBC News. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2007.
  3. ^ "Apprentice winners through the years – and where they are now". Daily Star. 1 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  4. ^ Bright Ideas Trust. "Bright Ideas Trust". Bright Ideas Trust. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Episode 1, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  7. ^ "Episode 2, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  8. ^ "Episode 3, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  9. ^ "Episode 4, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  10. ^ "Episode 5, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  11. ^ "Episode 6, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  12. ^ "The Story so Far, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  13. ^ "Episode 7, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  14. ^ "Episode 8, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  15. ^ "Episode 9, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  16. ^ "Episode 10, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  17. ^ "Episode 11, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  18. ^ "Episode 12, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  19. ^ "You're Hired!, Series 1, The Apprentice – BBC One".

External links[edit]