Blunt Alan’s not going to Sugar-coat his answers
As this series of The Apprentice hits the half-way point, the boss is proving as brutally honest as ever. He tells GEORGIA HUMPHREYS he worries about the motives of some contestants and that Brexit is a ‘terrible, terrible decision’ for Britain
During the first episode, one of the teams bought a real octopus instead of scuba diving equipment. how did you feel watching it back? WELL, I mean obviously I’ve seen it, and I’d heard about it at the time, so I’m not frustrated now, but at the time it was frustrating to see how they could make such a monumental mistake.
You’ve said the BBC doesn’t consider how inspiring the show is for younger people – what else can be done to inspire young people to go into business? I DON’T think I can do much more than what I already do on the programme. The BBC could do a follow-up programme showing how well the winners have done and thow well their programme has done, to create this enterprise culture.
You have also said how you worry about the candidates going into it for fame... YOU always think about that, don’t you? Sometimes you see people and you think to yourself, ‘I hope someone hasn’t come in for the wrong reason and taken the place of a genuine candidate’, if you understand what I mean.
It can happen, and what tends to happen is they get withdrawal symptoms after they’ve been shown on TV for a few episodes and they quite like the fact they’re being recognised by their friends, family and members of the public.
Opportunities come their way afterwards to go on some of these silly programmes. But I don’t think most of my candidates enter in there with the thought of saying, ‘Ooh, this is going to enhance my TV career’. It just comes afterwards. There have been quite a few references (in the show) to the fact that things are currently uncertain because of Brexit. Is it important for us to be thinking about that? UNFORTUNATELY we have to think about it. It’s very unclear at the moment what a post-brexit situation is going to be.
In my opinion, I think even a smooth transition post-brexit is not going to happen in a month, or a couple of months – it could take five to 10 years for us to really settle down after every single regulation has been unwound.
I think it’s a bad decision, a terrible, terrible decision, but it’s been done, and that’s it. Can’t do anything about it.
After 14 series of The Apprentice, do you feel the same excitement? YEAH I do. My buzz out of this is getting that winner to start a business from scratch, basically.
Two hundred and fifty thousand pounds is a lot of money for most people, but actually in the IN a surprise twist, two winners were crowned last year and each received a £250,000 investment. James expanded his Right Time Recruitment business, while Sarah developed a confectionary brand Sweets in the City.
THE former pro wrestler and Lord Sugar are partners in Hyper Recruitment Solutions, a specialist recruitment consultancy.
STELLA’S win was overshadowed when she took Lord Sugar to court for constructive dismissal in 2013 – a case she ultimately lost.
Business is tough and I’ve always been known to laugh things off and have a sense of humour because you have to laugh sometimes otherwise you’d kill yourself...
AFTER taking the crown, Lee famously called in sick on his first day at Amscreen but ultimately went on to spend two years at the company as development director in ‘digital signage’.
In 2010 he set up a recruitment and training company called Raw Talent Academy based in Oxfordshire.
MICHELLE’S career working for Lord Sugar was shortlived, with the series two winner leaving the job before the end of her 12 month contract.
She has since become a motivational speaker and is also a host on Sky News. She stood in the General Election last year as an independent, pro-brexit candidate.
Alan Sugar has lost none of his enthusiasm for the Apprentice after 14 seasons
Lord Sugar, Karren Brady and Claude Littner brief the candidatesThe Apprentice continues on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC1.