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The Apprentice (UK Series Four)

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The Apprentice (UK Series Four)

The Apprentice UK
Series Four

Series Four of The Apprentice (UK) was a British reality television series, which was won by Lee McQueen. The series began on BBC One on 26 March 2008,[1] and ran for twelve weekly episodes. Auditions and interviews are reported to have taken place during the first two weeks of July 2007 in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol.[2] A record 20,000 applications were received.[3]

Sir Alan Sugar reprised his role as the boss,[1] and Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford again served as his advisers. 'Frances', Sir Alan's boardroom 'receptionist', also returned. The show's spin-off, The Apprentice: You're Fired!, was again hosted by Adrian Chiles.[4] Filming of the first episode of The Apprentice: You're Fired! took place on 25 March 2008.[5] TV presenter Jennifer Maguire also participated in this series.


Production of the fourth series took place in September and October 2007.[6] On 19 October 2007, filming took place beside One Canada Square with candidates seemingly advertising an "Aston Martin Roadster Experience".[7]

The candidates were based in an impressive 7,000-square-foot (650 m2), £5million warehouse conversion in Candahar Road, Battersea. The luxury duplex conversion, The Glass Factory, is owned by ex-Formula One racing driver Johnny Dumfries, the seventh Marquess of Bute.[8]


There were sixteen candidates taking part in this series,[9] and they were initially separated into two teams by gender. The women chose the name Alpha for their team, while the men named their team Renaissance. Three candidates - Nicholas, Shazia and Lindi - never had the chance to be project manager.

Candidate Background Original team Age Result Record as project manager
Lee McQueen Recruitment Sales Manager Renaissance 30 Hired by Sugar
2-0 (win in weeks 7 & 10)
Claire Young Senior Retail Buyer Alpha 28 Runner-up
2-0 (win in weeks 1 & 5)
Helene Speight Global Pricing Leader Alpha 32 Fired in the middle of the Final
1-1 (win in week 4 & loss in week 8)
Alex Wotherspoon Regional Sales Manager Renaissance 24 Fired in the middle of the Final
1-1 (win in week 9 and loss in week 1)
Lucinda Ledgerwood Risk Manager Alpha 31 Fired in week 11
1-1 (win in week 8 & loss in week 5)
Michael Sophocles Telesales Executive Renaissance 22 Fired in week 10
1-1 (win in week 6 & loss in week 10)
Raef Bjayou Entrepreneur Renaissance 27 Fired in week 9
1-1 (win in week 2 & loss in week 9)
Sara Dhada International Car Trader Alpha 25 Fired in week 8
1-0 (win in week 3)
Jennifer Maguire Marketing Consultant Alpha 27 Fired in week 7
0-1 (loss in week 7)
Jenny Celerier Sales Manager Alpha 36 Fired in week 7
0-1 (loss in week 2)
Kevin Shaw Bank Manager Renaissance 24 Fired in week 6
0-1 (loss in week 6)
Lindi Mngaza Business Liaison Manager Alpha 22 Fired in week 5
Simon Smith Engineer Renaissance 35 Fired in week 4
0-1 (loss in week 4)
Ian Stringer Software Sales Manager Renaissance 26 Fired in week 3
0-1 (loss in week 3)
Shazia Wahab Mosaic Artist and Company Director Alpha 35 Fired in week 2
Nicholas de Lacy-Brown Trainee Barrister, Artist and Property Developer Renaissance 23 Fired in week 1

Weekly results

Elimination chart
Candidate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Nicholas FIRED
     The candidate was on the winning team (or, in Week 11, managed to avoid being fired.)
     The candidate was on the losing team.
     The candidate was hired and won The Apprentice.
     The candidate was the runner-up.
     The candidate won as project manager on his/her team.
     The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team.
     The candidate was brought to the final boardroom.
     The candidate was fired.
     The candidate lost as project manager and was fired.


Week 1

  • Renaissance: Alex (Project Manager), Raef, Michael, Nicholas, Lee, Ian, Simon and Kevin.
  • Alpha: Claire (Project Manager), Sara, Lindi, Helene, Jenny, Lucinda, Shazia and Jennifer.
  • Task: Both teams were given a van containing £600 worth of seafood and a choice of London market locations from which to sell. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: Alpha had decided early in the day to set up their seafood stand in Islington. The women had difficulty in identifying seafood and correctly pricing them, as customers bombarded their stand before they had even begun. Despite this, the team managed to sell large orders to groups of people, increasing their earnings. Alpha made a profit of £153.98.
    • Renaissance: The team wasted a lot of time deciding on their team name and leader, and didn't get started until just before midday. They also decided to set up in Islington. Like Alpha, Renaissance struggled to identify seafood. Nicholas had priced the seafood incorrectly, making them much cheaper than what they should have been. The lobsters were selling for less than a quarter of the recommended retail price. The team lost even more money when Michael panic-sold £100 worth of fish for barely half that amount. Renaissance made a profit of only £32.69.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £121.29.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • Brought into the boardroom: Alex, Nicholas, and Raef
  • Fired: Nicholas, for incorrectly pricing the fish, poorly defending himself in the boardroom, and admitting that he was unable to get on with "less educated" candidates.
  • Notes:
    • While Alpha won the task, Sir Alan did not feel that their profit was especially impressive.
    • Nicholas became the first (and so far only) male candidate who wasn't project manager to be fired in the first week. Sir Alan said that under most circumstances Alex would have been fired, but gave him credit for stepping up as project manager when no-one else was willing, and was impressed by his defence of himself after Nicholas questioned his education and experience.

Week 2

  • Renaissance: Raef (Project Manager), Michael, Alex, Lee, Ian, Simon and Kevin.
  • Alpha: Jenny (Project Manager), Sara, Claire, Lindi, Helene, Lucinda, Shazia and Jennifer.
  • Task: Both teams were given use of an industrial laundry for the night. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:The teams sourced business from a variety of customers including a hotel, a fishmonger and homeowners.
    • Alpha: The team had problems setting a reasonable price, attempting to charge the hotel £4,990 for £200 worth of washing, and the fishmonger £15 for £60 worth of washing. In addition, they were late getting started and hadn't finished by the end of the night. They suffered problems due to mix-ups with customers' clothing, including two lost items for which they were fined £50 in the boardroom. This was blamed on Shazia, who had the task of keeping track of items, but left early in an unsuccessful attempt to get hold of the steam irons at the house, which Renaissance had already removed. Alpha made a profit of only £195.55.
    • Renaissance: The team targeted large companies to service for. They made big earnings from the companies and finished their washing and pressing before the laundry had to close. No articles of clothing were lost, meaning no penalties, and the team made £328 exactly.
  • Winner: Renaissance, by £132.45.
  • Loser: Alpha
    • Brought into the boardroom: Jenny, Lucinda, and Shazia
  • Fired: Shazia, for leaving the laundry early and allowing items to get mixed up. Although Jenny made many major errors, including being appallingly rude to her team, Sir Alan felt that she still had potential, and that Shazia's messing up an easy task such as handling clothing was unforgivable.
  • Notes:
    • Near the end of the first day of the task, Jenny spent nearly the entirety of the journey from the laundry back to the house berating Lucinda for what she perceived as Lucinda working too slowly, reducing her to tears. Sara then tried to tell Jenny that she was out of line, but only succeeded in causing Jenny to fly into a rage at her as well.
    • While Sir Alan had doubts about whether Lucinda was emotionally strong enough to continue in the process, he also indicated that Lindi should have been brought back instead of her, as she had been responsible for many of the errors in Alpha's strategy and had been openly dismissive of the criticisms that Sir Alan made of her performance. Jennifer was also held accountable for the bad sales pitches, though unlike Lindi she acknowledged her errors.
    • For the only time in the show's history so far, not a single member of the You're Fired audience agreed with Sir Alan's firing decision.

Week 3

  • Renaissance: Ian (Project Manager), Raef, Michael, Alex, Lee, Simon and Kevin.
  • Alpha: Sara (Project Manager), Claire, Lindi, Helene, Jenny, Lucinda and Jennifer.
  • Task: Both teams had to devise and run a themed food day in a pub with no previous history of serving food. The teams were given a list of wholesalers to use. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: Alpha chose a Bollywood theme. The team managed to arrange all their printing for free. They had to cancel their lunch service due to the food not being prepared properly, but their strategy of selling admission tickets for £5 that were redeemable against dinner, as well as their better purchasing decisions, meant that they were in profit before they had even served a meal. Alpha made a profit of £604.27.
    • Renaissance: Renaissance chose an Italian theme. But they ran out of time and had to resort to purchasing their supplies from Tesco, resulting in substantially increased food costs. They produced 200 flyers at £1 each. The team took more money, but because of cost overruns they made only £301.97.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £302.30.
    • Reward: Cooking lessons at the Eckington Manor Cookery School in Eckington, Worcestershire.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • Brought into the boardroom: Ian, Kevin, and Simon
  • Fired: Ian, for his "disastrous performance" as project manager, and for trying to deny that Kevin had given a pep-talk to the team in Ian's stead.
  • Notes:
    • For the first time this season, Sir Alan chose the project managers.
    • Late in the day, Kevin brought all of Renaissance outside the pub for a motivational talk. In the boardroom, Ian bizarrely attempted to deny that such a meeting ever took place, despite it being recorded on camera and Kevin and Simon insisting that the meeting did in fact happen.

Week 4

  • Renaissance: Simon (Project Manager), Sara, Michael, Claire, Jenny and Alex.
  • Alpha: Helene (Project Manager), Raef, Lindi, Lee, Lucinda, Kevin and Jennifer.
  • Task: Running a photography business in Bluewater shopping centre. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: Alpha hired a David Beckham lookalike. Communication issues between the shop floor and the production room caused lost orders for the team. Alpha had problems operating their computer, caused mostly by Helene assigning Lucinda to work the computer despite her lack of technical knowledge and then refusing to allow anyone else to swap in for Lucinda when it became clear she couldn't do the job and were unable to meet the orders. Alpha made a profit of £145.10.
    • Renaissance: Renaissance opted for a "glamour and beauty" theme. Like Alpha, communication issues caused lost orders, only they were hurt seriously. Simon clashed with his teammates about ideas, particularly him insisting to have people take pictures in public. Renaissance made a loss of £73.81.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £218.91.
    • Reward: Dinner aboard a luxury yacht, on trip to the Isle of Wight.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • Brought into the boardroom: Simon, Alex, and Claire
  • Fired: Simon, with regret, for coming up with a poor theme, not being able to control the strong personalities of his team members, and because Sir Alan felt he was completely out of his depth.
  • Notes:
    • Claire was ordered out of the boardroom shortly before the firing, after constantly attacking Simon and refusing to admit any wrongdoing in the task. Sir Alan told her that she would be leader of Renaissance in the next task, and strongly implied that she would be fired if they did not win it.
    • Despite Alpha's victory, Sir Alan was not happy with either team's performance and in particular had heavy criticism for Helene's leadership, even questioning whether she had deliberately tried to make her team lose in order to get rid of Lucinda.
    • The majority of the You're Fired studio audience disagreed with the decision, although Simon himself said that he deserved to be fired.

Week 5

  • Renaissance: Claire (Project Manager), Sara, Michael, Jenny, Alex and Kevin.
  • Alpha: Lucinda (Project Manager), Raef, Lindi, Helene, Lee and Jennifer.
  • Task: Both teams had to develop three new flavours of ice cream at farms that specialised in making ice creams, and then choose two to sell direct to the trade market in London. The team that makes the most profit wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: Alpha decided on "Avocado and Chili" and "Toffee Apple" flavoured ice creams after a focus group meeting. Their orders included those from a group of pubs and a those from a cinema chain that Renaissance had sold to first, but the manager decided to take Alpha's ice cream instead. However, Jennifer and Lindi decided to target ice cream shops that in fact made their own ice cream, believing that they could sell to them anyway, meaning that many of their scheduled sales appointments proved to be dead ends and resulted in no sales. Alpha made a profit of £1,273.64.
    • Renaissance: After arriving 30 minutes late to their focus group and finding nobody there, Renaissance's market research came from two drinkers at a local pub, who opted for "Very Berry" and "Cider and Elderflower" (nicknamed "Scrumplelicious") flavours. They struggled at first, even having a major deal broken because the cinema chain preferred Alpha's, but eventually secured a large order from a designer restaurant at the last minute. Renaissance made a profit £1,455.45.
  • Winner: Renaissance, by £181.81.
  • Loser: Alpha
    • Brought into the boardroom: Lucinda, Jennifer and Lindi
  • Fired: Lindi, for her poor sales strategy, violating the task rules by promising exclusivity to potential buyers, and for failing to live up to her repeated boasts about her abilities.
  • Notes:
    • Sir Alan said in the boardroom that if Alpha had won the task, he would have disqualified them and handed victory to Renaissance due to Alpha's sales to the cinema and pub chains being done on an exclusive basis, as the whole point of the task was to open up new sales for the farmers, which would be limited by the exclusivity deals.
    • Claire's victory in this task meant that she had won two tasks as project manager, making her the joint most successful project manager this series, along with Lee.
    • Jennifer narrowly escaped firing, as Sir Alan considered her to have made many of the same mistakes that Lindi did. Her survival was largely down to Sir Alan feeling that she had been a bigger contributor to the previous four tasks than Lindi, but she was warned that she was on her last chance.
    • This is the last time that Renaissance won a task. Conversely, it was also the final time that Lucinda and Lee were on the losing team.

Week 6

  • Renaissance: Kevin (Project Manager), Sara, Claire, Jenny and Alex.
  • Alpha: Michael (Project Manager), Raef, Helene, Lee, Lucinda and Jennifer.
  • Task: Create a new "occasion" for a range of greetings cards to pitch to prospective retailers, namely Clinton Cards, Tesco and the Celebrations Group. The team that makes the most sales wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: The team came up with the idea of a "National Singles' Day" to be held on 13 February, and produced a range of cards intended as an alternative to Valentine's Day cards for single people. Alpha's first two pitches were relatively unsuccessful due to objections over the date, and so Michael chose to remove it from their final pitch, which was to the Celebrations Group. Celebrations ordered 19,500 cards, while Clinton Cards and Tesco ordered 1,500 each, for a total of 22,500 cards.
    • Renaissance: Jenny suggested an environmental card, and effectively forced it on the team by not doing any research for their other ideas. The retail buyers questioned whether environmentally conscious consumers would want to express their views by sending a card, and Kevin's aggressive pitching alienated Celebrations and in particular Clinton Cards, who accused him of "preaching" to them after he likened their unenthusiastic reception of the cards to the U.S. not doing enough to combat global warming. Kevin's pitch to Tesco was less aggressive and secured an order for 6,000 cards, but neither of the other two retailers ordered any at all.
  • Winner: Alpha, by 16,500 cards.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • Brought into the boardroom: Kevin, Claire, and Sara
  • Fired: Kevin, for his mismanagement, poor sales pitching, and his decision not to bring Jenny into the boardroom.
  • Notes:
    • Back at the house, Sara was the subject of a heated debate between several candidates - primarily Lee, Jenny and Alex - over her perceived laziness. Lee was shown to heavily criticise Sara. Raef was the only one shown on screen to jump to her defence on this matter (Claire, while not specifically defending Sara, pointed out that Kevin was the one to blame for the loss), although it has been said that Lucinda also defended her off-camera.
    • Michael spent 3 hours debating the correct way of spelling "National Singles' Day," and more specifically where the apostrophe in "Singles'" should go.
    • After the firing, Sir Alan commented that Kevin had "talked himself into his departure," in part due to not bringing back Jenny, and also for offering what Sir Alan saw as a completely unconvincing case for his survival.

Week 7

  • Renaissance: Jennifer (Project Manager), Michael, Claire, Jenny and Alex.
  • Alpha: Lee (Project Manager), Raef, Sara, Helene and Lucinda.
  • Task: Buy a set list of items in the marketplaces of Marrakesh, Morocco. The team that spends the least wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: Alpha had difficulty in finding items, particularly Lee, Lucinda, and Sara. Helene and Raef got the cow hide for an amazingly small amount. The Santos orange juicer was given to them second-handedly, but they bought it off the tourists for a fair price. Alpha collected all ten items without penalties, spending only £413.61.
    • Renaissance: Renaissance, not paying attention to the dossier, bought a white mosque alarm clock instead of a green one, and didn't realise their mistake until later. Alex, Claire, and Jennifer then found a green one. Jenny and Michael attempted to sabotage Alpha by offering a sports store a bribe if they would incorrectly string a tennis racket that Alpha were in the middle of purchasing; however the store's employees refused to accept the bribe. Renaissance spent £449.60, but penalties were given for purchasing unbranded tagines and a halal chicken instead of a kosher chicken. The £153.99 penalty brought their total amount to £603.59.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £35.99 without the penalties, and by £189.98 with the penalties.
  • Loser: Renaissance
    • Brought into the boardroom (first time): Jennifer, Alex, Claire, Jenny, and Michael
      • Fired: Jenny, for lying about the Kosher chicken fiasco in an effort to get Michael fired, and attempting to sabotage Alpha's efforts to buy a tennis racket.
    • Brought into the boardroom (second time): Jennifer, Claire, and Michael
      • Fired: Jennifer, for failing to control the team in the task, for rushing to get to the marketplace, and for not paying attention to the dossier. She was not shown to be fired with regret on the main episode, but it was revealed on You're Fired that she was.
  • Notes:
    • Jenny and Michael did not specifically inform Alex, Claire and Jennifer of their bribery attempt, only describing it as "espionage," leading to their team-mates being outraged when Margaret revealed exactly what they had done in the boardroom.
    • Due to Jenny's exceptionally dishonest behaviour, along with her mediocre overall track record and roles in her team's losses in Weeks 2 and 6, Sir Alan decided not to even wait for the final boardroom before firing her; he sent the five Renaissance members out while he had a brief discussion with Nick and Margaret, then recalled them to the boardroom and immediately fired Jenny.
    • This episode marked the first occasion where more than three people remained on the team, but the project manager was not allowed to choose the two candidates who would also face Sir Alan in the final boardroom. It still remains the only occasion that this has happened on the UK show, excluding occasions where the losing team had three or less people in it. After Jenny's firing, Alex was sent back to the house, as Sir Alan considered his mistake (purchasing the unbranded tagines) to be the least serious of Renaissance's errors, and a second and final boardroom session took place.
    • While Alex was negotiating for a rug, Claire interrupted the negotiations and complained about being tired and wanting to go back to the hotel, in an attempt to put pressure on the seller to drop the price faster. This gambit backfired however, as the seller instead froze the price and forced Alex to agree to it straight away so that he could tend to his "girlfriend." Sir Alan indicated that had Renaissance lost the task by a narrow margin he would have fired Claire, but decided that the other major mistakes outweighed hers.
    • Michael was grilled at length in the boardroom, not only for his role in attempting to bribe the sports shop, but also over the fact that he had claimed to be "a good Jewish boy" on his application form, yet displayed no knowledge of what kosher food was and also didn't recognise the Hewbrew greeting L'Chaim. Ultimately, Sir Alan accepted that Jenny had been the main instigator in the bribe attempt and that he could recognise an element of "youthful exuberance" in Michael's actions and outlandish claims.
    • After Sir Alan indicated that Michael would get another chance, Jennifer became angry and effectively gave Sir Alan an ultimatum to fire her if he would not fire Michael. Sir Alan was enraged by this, but ultimately based his firing decision solely on her poor leadership in the task.
    • This was the first time a UK Apprentice episode has been filmed outside of Europe. After this series the world economy experienced a severe downturn, and Sir Alan admitted that it would be inappropriate for the series to continue to be filmed in exotic locations. Consequently, most subsequent series have taken place exclusively in the UK, and the rare occasions where the candidates have visited another country have generally remained within the European Union. It wasn't until the fifth episode of Series 9 that the show would leave the EU again, for a task set in Dubai.

Week 8

  • Renaissance: Helene (Project Manager), Sara, Michael and Alex.
  • Alpha: Lucinda (Project Manager), Raef, Claire and Lee.
  • Task: Select and sell wedding dresses and accessories at a wedding exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. The team that makes the most money wins.
  • Result:
    • Alpha: On Raef's recommendation, Lucinda chose to go for dresses by high-end designer Ian Stewart, and this secured them their accessory choice of bridal lingerie. Alpha sold three dresses for a total of £5,105 and £647.24 worth of lingerie, making overall sales of £5,752.99.
    • Renaissance: Despite Michael and Sara recommending the Ian Stewart dresses, Helene refused to consider them owing to their high price and instead went with a mid-range supplier that sold much cheaper dresses. They also wanted to sell the bridal lingerie, but lost out to Alpha and so instead went with wedding cakes, which had been Michael and Sara's first choice. Renaissance sold five dresses for a total of £1,925 (almost solely through Alex), but failed to sell any cakes, mainly due to Michael and Sara's highly aggressive sales technique.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £3,827.99
  • Reward: Luxury spa visit.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Helene, Michael, and Sara
  • Fired: Sara, for her argumentative manner towards everyone, her inability to listen to others, and her general lack of contribution to the tasks in previous weeks.
  • Notes:
    • While Sir Alan told Helene that she lost the task right at the start by deciding to go for cheap dresses, he actually assured her that she would not be fired due to her good track record in previous tasks; this was removed from the transmitted episode, however.
    • After Sara's firing, Sir Alan appeared to be on the verge of firing Michael also, however, he and Helene were sent back to the house.
    • Lee was at this point the only candidate who had not appeared in the final boardroom.
    • In spite of turning out to be a correct decision Sir Alan and Nick expressed the view that Raef had been a fortunate that it had turned out that way since his decision to go with the high priced selection had not taken into account any business justification outside of the high price.
    • A majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with this decision, though like Simon, Sara said that she did deserve to be fired.

Week 9

  • Renaissance: Raef (Project Manager), Michael, Claire and Helene.
  • Alpha: Alex (Project Manager), Lee and Lucinda.
  • Task: Create a new brand of tissues along with television and print advertisements, then present them to a panel of advertising executives. The team deemed to have created the best ad-campaign wins.
  • Result: Renaissance created a smart aesthetic design for their tissue box, branded "I ♥ my tissues". Michael and Raef were meticulous in directing their television advert, and hired weather forecaster Siân Lloyd to appear. Crucially however, in the editing suite their advert proved to be too long, and most of the material showing the product itself was removed in order to bring it down to the required length. In contrast, Alpha's efforts with both their tissue box design and advert were deemed relatively poor, and Lee was ill-prepared for their presentation. However, their brand name, "Atishu!", was praised, and their overall campaign was deemed to be attention-grabbing and gave a very clear message about the product. This secured their victory in the task.
  • Winner: Alpha
  • Reward: An after-hours shopping spree at Harvey Nichols (London).
  • Brought into the boardroom: Raef, Claire, and Michael
  • Fired: Raef, for losing focus of the requirements of the task due to his artistic flair, and for editing out the close-in of the product in the commercial (Sir Alan said that he had concluded Raef, with all due respect, was nothing but 'hot air').
  • Notes:
    • During the reward, even the three members of Alpha admitted that they had expected to lose the task.
    • Siân Lloyd's involvement in Renaissance's advert was criticised for having little relevance to the product or the events in the advert, and also for the very brief duration of her appearance in the edited version. Lloyd herself admitted to the camera being unsure why she had been cast as a mother, considering she is single and has no children.
    • Renaissance's brand name was also criticised by Sir Alan, who said he could not imagine anyone "loving their tissues". Nick Hewer commented that it would probably have worked as a tagline, but not as a brand name.
    • The majority of the You're Fired studio audience disagreed not only with the decision to fire Raef, but also to name Alpha as the winning team. The panel felt that Michael most deserved to be fired out of the three in the final boardroom, and that had Alpha lost, all three members would have been equally deserving of being fired (Alex for being unconvincing as project manager, Lee for his terrible presentation, and Lucinda for contributing little and being uncooperative with the two men on her team).

Week 10

  • Renaissance: Michael (Project Manager), Claire and Helene.
  • Alpha: Lee (Project Manager), Alex and Lucinda.
  • Task: To select and rent out a set of luxury sports cars. The team that make the most money, by rental, wins.
  • Result: The teams had a chance to review the available cars, before the project managers had to choose two for rental sale. Renaissance decided to choose the Ferrari and Spyker. Alpha chose the Aston Martin, and the risky and rare Pagani Zonda, with a price tag of £2,750 for just one day of rental. Claire and Helene had almost no difficulty attracting customers for the Spyker, but it was Claire who made the sales. Michael fruitlessly searched around for customers to rent the Ferrari, with one customer almost taking the offer. Alex and Lee struggled to find customers, but Lee eventually made deals to a few. Lucinda struggled as she wasn't good in sales. She asked Alex and Lee to help her, but they stuck with the Zonda. Lucinda tried to sell rental of the Aston, but mistook it for the Zonda, and sold nothing. At the square, Claire and Michael got a few more buyers, but for hours not days. Claire and Helene saw that Alex had booked one customer for a full-day on the Zonda. Lee helped Lucinda in the selling, and Lucinda finally made a sale. Renaissance made sales of £2,114, almost all of which was earned by Claire (Michael sold about £200 worth, while Helene did not make a single sale). Alpha made sales of £11,815, with Alex contributing £8,000, Lee £3,400, and Lucinda £65.
  • Winner: Alpha, by £9,701
  • Reward: Wine tasting at a Mayfair hotel.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Michael, Helene and Claire
  • Fired: Michael, for his consistent attempts to take advantage of the other candidates, and for his poor track record of appearing in the final boardroom four times in a row.
  • Notes:
    • Six luxury sports cars were featured, namely the Koenigsegg CCX, Pagani Zonda S, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, Spyker C8, Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Ferrari 360 Spider.
    • Lucinda's victory on this task was her eighth overall, tying her with James Max from Series One as the most successful candidate. In spite of this she was criticised for her minimal contribution to the task. This record was broken in Series 7 by Helen Milligan, who won ten tasks out of eleven.
    • Helene came perilously close to being fired due to her failure to make any sales, but was saved by the fact that Sir Alan felt she had been one of the strongest candidates prior to her three-week losing run, and decided to give her a chance in the interviews.
    • Lee's victory in this tasks meant that he had won two tasks as project manager, making him joint most successful project manager this series, along with Claire.
    • This was Claire's fifth appearance in the final boardroom, tying her with Syed Ahmed of Series 2 as the candidate to have made the most appearances in the final boardroom. On this occasion however, Sir Alan told Claire almost immediately that there was no way that she would be fired, as she had been responsible for the vast majority of the team's revenue.

Week 11: Interviews - Semi-Finals

  • Semi-Finalists: Alex, Claire, Helene, Lee, and Lucinda
  • Task: The five remaining candidates undergo a sequence of intense interviews by four of Sir Alan Sugar's business colleagues. The interviewers then report their impressions of the candidates back to Sir Alan to help him choose the finalists. The four interviewers were Paul Kemsley, a property developer; Claude Littner, Sir Alan’s former "global trouble-shooter"; Karren Brady, the managing director of Birmingham City Football Club; and Bordan Tkachuk, the chief executive of the computer and IT firm Viglen, one of Sir Alan’s companies.
  • Result: Claire was accused of being too talkative but otherwise got the best reports from the interviewers, with Karren Brady even offering to employ her if Sir Alan did not. Lee was considered to be a good all-round candidate, but got caught off-guard when asked to do a humorous impression by Paul, which backfired when he was told this demonstrated he did not seem to take the interview seriously. He was also reprimanded for exaggerating on his CV, lying about his length of time at university. Helene was also considered to have a good set of skills, but faced criticism for not having demonstrated any progression in work outside of her current company, and was accused of having a poor attitude after she repeatedly made insulting remarks about the other candidates. Alex continuously came under fire, with his CV being highlighted as boring. While he argued that this was because he was only 24 years old, both Karen and Paul insisted that this was not an excuse, stating that they had achieved more than him by his age. However, he did earn some praise for his accomplishments as a salesman, particularly the fact that he had managed to earn a living purely from sales commission. Lucinda got the worst reports, as she was praised for being intelligent, but heavily criticised for being a "handful". The interviewers questioned her motives for wanting the job, and felt that her teamwork skills were weak. In the end, the interviewers agreed that Claire was the front-runner, but there was no clear consensus on who should be in the final with her. As a result, Sir Alan fired Lucinda, the only candidate who everyone agreed was totally unsuitable for his organisation, and put all of the other four candidates through to the final.
  • Fired: Lucinda, with regret, for being "too zany", having a degree unrelated to business (in aromatherapy), and because there were doubts over how much she desired the job.
  • Notes:
    • During the boardroom, Alex brought up the subject of Lucinda's lack of desire towards wanting the job, which may have led to Sir Alan's decision to fire her. Also, only one candidate was fired, despite the fact that Sir Alan had previously said that three people were going to get fired. This was because he felt that all of the four finalists were worthy of the job and wanted to put them through one last test to help him with his final decision. In the episode, Lucinda was not shown to be fired with regret. However, in the Why I Fired Them episode, she was.
    • Lucinda's firing made her the first female to be fired at the interview stage. In the first two series (when only two candidates were fired at interview stage), both the fired candidates were male. In Series 3, two male candidates were fired before Katie Hopkins left voluntarily.

Week 12: The Final

  • Finalists: Alex, Claire, Helene, and Lee
  • Task: Develop an original fragrance for men, and then market it at an industry event.[10]
  • Teams:
    • Claire and Lee's team:: Claire and Lee (joint Project Managers), Michael, Jenny and Simon.
    • Helene and Alex's team:: Helene and Alex (joint Project Managers), Raef, Kevin and Jennifer.
  • Results:
    • Helene and Alex: The team struggled for name ideas, and it was eventually left to a product designer to suggest a bottle design, which eventually evolved into their brand, DUAL. While the design of the DUAL bottle was innovative, including a detachable smaller bottle, it was more expensive to produce and therefore not fitting the given retail price of £29.95. Despite the major error, the experts loved the smell of the fragrance, which smelled of caramel and chocolate, although it was also pointed out that it was a (seemingly accidental) copy of a fragrance that Helene normally wears, Angel. The first day of the task saw the team struggle to work together, as Helene constantly argued with Alex and their team-mates and did not contribute many ideas, causing Alex to have to rely on Kevin for help with most of the key decisions. The team dynamic greatly improved on the second day, and they pulled everything together in time for the presentation.
    • Claire and Lee: Claire and Lee named their fragrance R0ULETTE, playing on associations with gambling and James Bond. They replaced the 'O' on the name with a '0', representing the 0 on a roulette wheel. R0ULETTE was criticised by both an industry representative and Sir Alan, as likely to be unpopular with women buyers due to the gambling connotation. The experts also stated the fragrance was "retro 50", as in "boring". Sugar expressed that although Claire's question and answer skills were excellent, it does not help sell fragrances. Despite the fact that several of the team-members (most notably Claire and Simon) hadn't gotten along in the past, the team worked together well.
  • Winner: Claire and Lee proceed to the final two.
  • Loser: Helene and Alex.
    • Reason: Although Claire and Lee's name and theme of R0ULETTE were unpopular with some women, Helene and Alex's budgetary problems caused by the DUAL bottle design were felt to be a more serious flaw, resulting in Claire and Lee being once again named the winner of the task.
  • Fired: Alex and Helene, for making the bottle unreasonably cheap and therefore losing the task, plus the following additional reasons:
    • Alex, for his overly defensive nature, for failing to show skills aside from selling, and for having the least impressive employment record of the final four candidates.
    • Helene, for her highly negative attitude throughout the process, for taking a backseat during the first day of the final task, and for trying to shift responsibility for the bottle's price onto Alex.
  • Runner-Up: Claire; Sir Alan complimented her on the improvement she had shown over the course of the series, but expressed doubts about whether he'd want to work with her in the long-term.
  • Hired: Lee, who was viewed by Sir Alan as "very resilient" and "very convincing". Sugar also was impressed that Lee improved his presenting skills by "100%".
  • Notes:
    • Throughout the entire season, Renaissance only won two tasks, while Alpha won eight. Alpha holds the record for the most wins, and Renaissance holds the record for the most losses, this record would be later equalled in series seven, when team Logic lost eight tasks to team Venture.
    • This is the first time two candidates were fired simultaneously. Usually Sir Alan would fire one candidate and then proceed to fire a second candidate.
    • Helene spent her exit interview badmouthing Alex, accusing him of being solely responsible for the loss because he was the one who accepted the bottle design (though she subsequently retracted her remarks on the You're Hired special that followed the episode). By contrast, Alex (who had his own taxi) was tearful and didn't say much beyond lamenting that he had been "so close, but so far."
    • Lee's joint victory with Claire in the task meant that he also equalled the then record of eight wins overall, tying Lucinda from this series and James Max from Series 1. It was also his sixth task victory in succession (not counting the interviews), tying the record which James Max from Series 1 and Tre Azam from Series 3 also held. In Series 7, Helen Milligan broke this record by winning nine tasks in a row (and ten tasks overall.)
    • Lee became the first (and to date, only) UK Apprentice winner never to appear in the final boardroom at any point during the series, and alongside Paul Tulip from Series 2, one of only two people overall never to be brought back (not counting Raleigh Addington from Series 6, who escaped being brought back in the first task, then resigned from the show).

Related programmes

To date, four additional hour-long specials have accompanied Series Four; The Apprentice: Worst Decisions Ever, The Apprentice: Motor Mouths, each revisiting candidates from the previous three series and two candidate profile programmes entitled The Apprentice: The Final Five and The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them.[3]

An Apprentice version of the Weakest Link also accompanied the series, with major characters from all four series competing for their chosen charities. The contestants were (in order of elimination):

  • Kevin Shaw (Series 4)
  • Paul Torrisi (Series 1)
  • Katie Hopkins (Series 3)
  • James Max (Series 1)
  • Ian Stringer (Series 4)
  • Tre Azam (Series 3)
  • Jenny Celerier (Series 4)
  • Kristina Grimes (Series 3)
  • Jo Cameron (Series 2)

Jo defeated Kristina in the final and donated £11,550 to her chosen charity.


The show had gradually been increasing in popularity since it began, but this series proved to be a major ratings success. Every episode finished in the top ten of the BBC One Weekly Ranking, and the series finale became the first-ever Apprentice episode to be the BBC's top-rated programme of the week. Moreover, it was the BBC's third most successful series of the year, beaten in audience numbers only by EastEnders and Doctor Who.

Episode Viewing figures from BARB.[11]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC One Weekly Ranking
1 26 March 2008 6,730,000 8
2 2 April 2008 6,730,000 9
3 9 April 2008 7,320,000 6
4 16 April 2008 7,430,000 5
5 23 April 2008 7,850,000 5
6 30 April 2008 7,280,000 5
7 7 May 2008 7,170,000 5
8 14 May 2008 7,110,000 6
9 21 May 2008 5,730,000 9
10 28 May 2008 6,840,000 6
11 4 June 2008 7,940,000 4
12 11 June 2008 9,290,000 1


External links

  • BBC Online
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