As an outspoken candidate on the 2015 series 11 of the show, myself – and the others – experienced the usual lack of sleep and food, cameras-in-faces at all hours, psychological bullying and inevitable manipulation that goes with a reality show past its sell-by date.
But at least the line up was comprised of credible business owners with proven success rates, profits and commercial acclaim. The Apprentice Series 12 signals an all-new low, with the 18 candidates being the most dubious business-wise, and by far the most fame-hungry.
A WAG, student, full-time employee or trust fund baby of the Bank of Mum and Dad with a 100 quid website selling tacky goods does not an entrepreneur make.
Here are some of the worst offenders thus far:
Frances Bishop, self-proclaimed anti-WAG – who believes everyone should have their own money and independence – owns kids store The Pud, which ironically filed a loss of around 6,000 GBP in 2015. She also boasts of entering beauty pageants and seems quite openly petulant about not winning a crown. So she’s a footballer’s wife with a debt-ridden business and tattered beauty queen dreams; early prediction she is fired before Task 5.
Jessica Cunningham: former stripper, highly ditzy and aspires to Jim Carrey – this one has entirely questionable motives. Conveniently setting up her online shop when the Series 11 candidates were at the height of their fame, she produces skimpy synthetic dresses for Love Island stars – all of whom she remembers to take selfies with and plaster all over social media. She should forget business and carve a reality TV career; taking off your clothes at the drop of a hat being the number one criteria – just ask Luisa Zissman.
And it goes on – Aleksandra King, Courtney Wood, Oliver Nohl-Osser all own or are directors for companies that have filed substantial losses in the last year.
Natalie Hughes, a hair and beauty salon owner who says: “My salon’s called VIP, so I always say VIP it’s the only way to be, I always say look VIP and be VIP.” Right, so repeating VIP four times in a sentence but not bothering to wash and style her hair for her press shots? Sugar is better off investing in Supercuts.
Dillon St Paul, already on the celebrity circuit, bizarrely quotes his management on Twitter as Taylor Herring PR; (the same that rep the show) I smell a set-up like the previous “winner” who was not found organically – he allegedly tweeted Lord Sugar in 2014. Contractually in previous years (including mine) candidates were prohibited from all forms of social media, press interviews, management and TV appearances. But based on the enormous press coverage during The Apprentice 2015 – partly down to my absolute refusal to adhere to Gestapo-like institutions of lies and deception – producers have evidently wised-up to the ratings-value of controversy. Thus, picking the most fame-hungry and media-savvy to head up what is allegedly the last ever season is a shrewd move on their part.
Let’s not forget the boardroom banter; patronising and glacial, Karren Brady harps on about “women in business”, admires herself in her compact, bitches at the prettier female candidates and sneaks notes to Sugar.
Bald baddie Claude Littner, a total pit bull in the interviews, yet sadly more air-time has revealed him to be a mere errand boy.
Cranky, short and looking increasingly like a damp grey sponge, Lord Sugar must be bored rigid with the inanities of candidates each year with their farcical business proposals and ludicrous statements. I don’t know why we watch this drivel, yet we do.