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

The Sentinel - - HOTSEAT -

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.

RICKY MARTIN

THE for­mer pro wrestler and Lord Sugar are part­ners in Hy­per Re­cruit­ment So­lu­tions, a spe­cial­ist re­cruit­ment con­sul­tancy.

STELLA ENGLISH

STELLA’S win was over­shad­owed when she took Lord Sugar to court for con­struc­tive dis­missal in 2013 – a case she ul­ti­mately lost.

LEE MCQUEEN

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 DEWBERRY

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.

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