The Apprentice 2014: Lord Sugar Is Back And Fiercer Than Ever

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The boys are grilled by Lord Sugar
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The boys are grilled by Lord Sugar

The Apprentice is back on our television screens!

The wait is finally over - a new, fresh-faced batch of candidates will once again lock horns to become Lord Sugar’s next apprentice.

The multi-millionaire tycoon has upped the ante for the latest series though, inviting 20 hopefuls – that’s right, 20 instead of 16 – to compete in what is without a doubt the toughest job interview in the world. 

He will be flanked by his trusted advisors, Nick Hewer and Karren Brady, over the course of the new 12-week series.

The entrepreneurs will have to prove their worth by demonstrating their abilities in sales creativity, leadership, strategy and business insight if they want to avoid the Finger of Fear and walk away with the £250,000 investment.

But that, as we know, is much easier said than done. To make matters worse for the candidates – or better for our viewing pleasure, depending on which way you look at it – this is the tenth serious of the popular BBC show.

We’re therefore guaranteed a rollercoaster ride of thrills and spills that will keep us on the edge of our seats.

Photo credit: BBC/PA Wire
 
 
Chiles Cartwright was the first candidate to be fired
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Chiles Cartwright was the first candidate to be fired

Let the games begin

It all started last night when the 20 hopefuls were set the monumental task of selling 10 products in just one day.

Split into two teams – boys and girls – they were given products featured in different opening tasks over the last decade that they had to sell.

Coffee and sausages were among the basic items, as were flowers, balloons and potatoes. Cue a mad dash around London in search of buyers and big profit with the usual dose of hilarity in good measure.

Company director Chiles Cartwright (pictured above) became the first candidate to be fired from this year's series after facing a grilling in the boardroom.

So to celebrate 10 years of boardroom drama – and the show’s much anticipated return– we’re taking a look a 5 great moments from series gone by. 

Pic: Jim Marks/BBC/PA Wire
 
 
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1. Kosher chicken

Remember the ‘kosher chicken’ episode from 2008? Of course you do, but let us jog your memory anyway.

The contestants were flown to Marrakech and told to buy 10 specific items. Here they had to use their bartering skills to get the best price, but the bone of contention turned out to be a kosher chicken.

Michael Sophocles, the self-declared Jewish contestant, tried to pass off halal slaughtered chicken as kosher.

Needless to say Lord Sugar wasn’t too impressed when things got back to the boardroom.
 
 
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2. Wrong oil

We were treated to the classic ‘wrong oil’ episode in 2009 when a collection of the candidates were making soap and shower gel.

Nice idea, yes, but it all went downhill rather quickly. Paula Jones and Yasmina Siadatan famously and dramatically misunderstood the price list for shower gel ingredients – and the rest is television gold.

They were unaware they had bought sandalwood oil (about £1,200 a kilo) instead of cedarwood oil (£26 a kilo) until Nick kindly pointed it out to them. This left them in serious deficit heading back to the boardroom. 
 
 
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3. Football yob

Michael Sophocles again got on the wrong side of Lord Sugar with his outburst in the ‘football yob’ episode.

The candidate let out a loud “come on” upon realising his team had won the task of making and selling celebration cards.

“This is not a football match,” said an annoyed Lord Sugar. “This outburst of yours is not something I would condone in this boardroom.”

Margaret Mountford’s reaction – Lord Sugar’s old advisor – is priceless. 
 
 
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4. Big fish

Lord Sugar called in his chief interrogator, Claude Littner, to help whittle down the candidates towards the end of the series in 2010.

Stuart Baggs – the big fish in a small pond (his own words, not ours) – was on the end of a serious dressing down.
“You’re not a big fish!” yelled Claude. “You’re not even a fish!”

It’s one of the most awkward interviews you’re ever likely to see. The attempted handshake at the start kind of sets the tone. 
 
 
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5. Jordan’s celebrations

Tasting success in the boardroom is a joyous moment and once that should be celebrated. But Jordan Poulton took celebrating to a whole new level in 2013 – something which eventually rattled Lord Sugar.

His enthusiastic celebrations even left the other candidates baffled at times, much to our amusement.

Sadly for Jordan, however, he didn’t become Lord Sugar’s next apprentice, bowing out in the latter stages of the competition.  

Brace yourselves
Thankfully we don’t have to wait too long for the next episode of the new series.
The second instalment will hit our television screens tonight at the usual time of 9pm.

So, if you missed the curtain raiser last night, we suggest you stick the kettle on and catch up as soon as possible.

Even we can’t predict what will happen tonight. One thing is for sure though – someone will be fired. 
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