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The Apprentice (UK series two)

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The Apprentice (UK series two)

The Apprentice UK
Series Two

Series Two of The Apprentice (UK) was a television series which was broadcast on BBC Two between 22 February and 10 May 2006. As in the previous series, Sir Alan Sugar continued as the boss, assigning the teams specifically designed tasks. Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford also returned as Sugar's advisers and observed the teams in action. In addition, a companion discussion program called The Apprentice: You're Fired! was introduced and aired on BBC Three.

The series was won by Michelle Dewberry in the final episode broadcast on 10 May 2006.

This series premiered in Australia on 27 August 2008 at 9:30pm on Channel Seven, under the title Sir Alan Sugar: The Apprentice to distinguish it from the US version. Despite heavy promotion of the series during Seven's Olympic coverage, the series only rated 583,000 viewers nationally, which was third for its timeslot.[1] The following week, the series was moved to 10:30pm, and ratings have continued to decrease. The series also airs in Australia on pay TV channel UKTV.


  • Candidates 1
  • Challenges 2
    • Week 1 2.1
    • Week 2 2.2
    • Week 3 2.3
    • Week 4 2.4
    • Week 5 2.5
    • Week 6 2.6
    • Week 7 2.7
    • Week 8 2.8
    • Week 9 2.9
    • Week 10 2.10
    • Week 11: Interviews 2.11
    • Week 12: The Final 2.12
  • Elimination history 3
  • Ratings 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Candidate Background Original team Age Result Record as project manager
Michelle Dewberry Telecoms Consultant Velocity 26 Hired by Sugar 1-1 (win in week 9 & loss in week 7)
Ruth Badger Sales Manager Velocity 27 Runner-up 1-1 (win in week 8 & loss in week 5)
Ansell Henry Sales Manager Invicta 34 Fired in week 11 0-1 (loss in week 6)
Paul Tulip Headhunter Invicta 26 Fired in week 11 2-0 (win in weeks 5 and 10)
Syed Ahmed Entrepreneur Invicta 31 Fired in week 10
1-2 (win in week 3 & loss in week 8 and 10)
Tuan Le Financial Adviser Invicta 27 Fired in week 9
1-1 (win in week 7 and loss in week 9)
Sharon McAllister Business Lecturer Velocity 30 Fired in week 8 1-0 (win in week 6)
Samuel Judah Product Developer Invicta 29 Fired in week 7 1-0 (win in week 2)
Jo Cameron Human Resources Manager Velocity 35 Fired in week 6 0-1 (loss in week 3)
Mani Sandher Management Consultant Invicta 39 Fired in week 5 1-0 (win in week 4)
Alexa Tilley Management Consultant Velocity 28 Fired in week 4 0-1 (loss in week 4)
Karen Bremner Lawyer Velocity 34 Fired in week 3 1-0 (win in week 1)
Nargis Ara PhD Student Velocity 38 Fired in week 2 0-1 (loss in week 2)
Ben Stanberry IT Consultant Invicta 33 Fired in week 1 0-1 (loss in week 1)

As in the first series, there were fourteen candidates and they were initially separated into two teams by gender. The women chose the name Velocity for their team, while the men named their team Invicta. This was the first UK series in which every candidate had a chance to be a project manager at some point. This occurred again in the first series of Junior Apprentice.

The candidates were:
Name Age * Occupation
Syed Ahmed 31 Entrepreneur
Nargis Ara 38 PhD Student
Ruth Badger 27 Sales Manager
Karen Bremner 34 Lawyer
Jo Cameron 35 Human Resources Manager
Michelle Dewberry 26 Telecoms Consultant
Ansell Henry 34 Sales Manager
Samuel Judah 35 Product Developer
Tuan Le 27 Financial adviser
Sharon McAllister 30 Business Lecturer
Mani Sandher 39 Management Consultant
Ben Stanberry 33 IT Consultant
Alexa Tilley 28 Management Consultant
Paul Tulip 26 Headhunter

* as of the date of the programme.


Week 1

  • Invicta: Ben (Project Manager), Syed, Paul, Mani, Samuel, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Velocity: Karen (Project Manager), Ruth, Jo, Alexa, Nargis, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Meeting Place: Sir Alan's birthplace in Hackney
  • Task: Sell fruit and vegetables in Hackney.
  • Result: Velocity obtained most of their fruit for little or nothing by asking for overripe products and acting flirtatiously towards the vendors. The entire Invicta team remained at Hackney market for most of the day, only selling fruit door-to-door in the closing hour. The Velocity team split up and sold both at the market and to small businesses. Velocity spent just £41 of the £500 they were given at the start of the task, and returned to the boardroom with £1,143. Invicta spent £307, over seven times as much as their opponents, but only made a profit of £781.
  • Winner: Velocity.
  • Reward: Celebratory champagne in one of the Vertigo 42 bars at the top of Tower 42 in the City of London.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ben, Samuel and Syed.
  • Who gets fired: Ben, for being a weak and indecisive leader, failing to identify the importance of door-to-door sales, and bringing Syed back into the boardroom for what were seen to be largely personal reasons.
  • Notes:
    • Sir Alan Sugar criticised Velocity for selling substandard food to the public, as well as their flirting tactics to gain the fruit for nothing. He threatened to award the victory to Invicta instead unless they could provide a good argument for why they should have the win. Ultimately, he decided not to on the basis that if Velocity had spent the same amount as Invicta, they would have still won the task with a profit of £884.
    • A key factor in both Invicta's defeat and Ben firing was their failure to utilize door-to-door sales. While Velocity sold in both areas, it was revealed that most of their sales came from the door-to-door's and Ben's failure to realise their importance until the firing helped sealed his fate.
    • Although Syed was warned for trying to gain favour with Sir Alan in the final boardroom by claiming to come from the same background as him, he survived because Sir Alan did not see him responsible for the loss. Samuel nearly talked himself into being fired by admitting that he wasn't a natural salesperson, but ultimately defended himself by pointing out Ben's failures as a leader.
    • By coincidence, the two survivors of the final boardroom would be the winning project managers in the next two episodes.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Tim Campbell, Saira Khan and Polly Graham.

Week 2

  • Invicta: Samuel (Project Manager), Syed, Paul, Mani, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Velocity: Nargis (Project Manager), Ruth, Jo, Karen, Alexa, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Meeting Place: An operating theatre at Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Task: Design, shoot and produce a calendar to raise money for Sir Alan's "favourite charity", Great Ormond Street Hospital, and then pitch it to three different purchasers; Virgin Megastore, Harrods and Calendar Club. The team that makes the most money from sales wins.
  • Result: Velocity decided to go for a contemporary calendar featuring kitten photos despite numerous protests from Jo. Invicta decided on a calendar featuring "fun" photos of children dressed up in various costumes. Nargis's pitching went horribly wrong as she appeared to lose track of what she was saying and even snapped at the purchasers, while their calendar came under heavy criticism for not having any relevance to the charity, and having the dates printed so small as to render it unusable (Ruth, Sharon, and Michelle had all complained about this while the calendar was being produced, but Nargis ignored them). Despite this, Velocity managed to sell to all three retailers, with sales totalling 3,500 calendars. Mani's pitching for Invicta wasn't as bad, but their calendar also came under criticism for being badly designed, and they only managed to sell to one retailer, Calendar Club. However, that one retailer bought 6,000 calendars, which gave them a substantially greater profit than Velocity.
  • Winner: Invicta.
  • Reward: A session of caviar tasting.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Nargis, Jo and Karen.
  • Who gets fired: Nargis, for her bad sales pitches, being rude to their potential customers, creating a poor product which had no relevance to the charity, and for not listening to the legitimate concerns of her teammates. Despite Jo's questionable behaviour in the task, Sir Alan noted that she had been on the right side of the argument over the calendar, and as there was no real reason to fire Karen, Nargis was the obvious choice to go.
  • Notes:
    • Despite Invicta's victory, many of the men felt that Samuel had been too passive and lacking in focus (notably, early in the task Margaret told the team that they were wasting too much time on planning, in a rare instance of one of Sir Alan's advisers actually giving on-task feedback to the team), and that Ansell deserved much of the credit for the victory since he clamped down on the arguments which had taken place on the first day, and identified the problems in Mani's early pitches and got him to refocus it for their ultimately successful deal with Calendar Club.
    • Unlike the corresponding charity tasks in the US series and the first UK series (which do not usually have rewards), the winners here were given a reward for their victory.
    • It was revealed in the boardroom that the only reason Calendar Club bought any of Velocity's calendars was so that they could make a contribution to Great Ormond Street, and that had it been a purely commercial task they would have bought nothing.
    • While Karen was not in danger of being fired, Sir Alan disliked the fact that she didn't say anything in her defence, something which would come back to haunt her in the following episode.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Paul Kemsley and Felicity Lee.

Week 3

  • Invicta: Syed (Project Manager), Paul, Mani, Samuel, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Velocity: Jo (Project Manager), Ruth, Karen, Alexa, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Meeting Place: The London Stock Exchange
  • Task: Purchase a set list of ten items for prices lower than those asked by the vendors. The team which spends the least of their £1,000 budget wins.
  • Result: Both teams decided to split up into two smaller groups to procure the items. Invicta immediately got on with the task, but decided to do a lot of shopping around before buying. Syed attempted to find and buy the dinner jacket in East London, despite virtually no shops selling one with the required specifications. The team managed to purchase all 10 items, though many of their deals were rushed through with only minimal discounts. Velocity wasted nearly three hours at the start of the day trying to come up with a strategy, and Jo's leadership proved erratic throughout. The sub-team of Ruth, Michelle and Sharon performed very well in the short time they were given, but Jo, Karen and Alexa's sub-team wasted even more time by bargaining for items that were not even in stock, and failed to purchase the tyre required on the shopping list, the resulting £50 penalty from which was enough to cost them victory. Invicta had £326.01 left of their original money, while Invicta had £318 left.
  • Winner: Invicta.
  • Reward: A day watching horse racing.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Jo, Alexa and Karen.
  • Who gets fired: Karen, for having a background and skillset which did not appeal to Sir Alan, who deemed her to be "just another corporate lawyer." Sir Alan also disliked the fact that she only halfheartedly defended herself in the final boardroom, and held her partly liable for the team's failure to purchase the tyre.
  • Notes:
    • The items included a dinner jacket, silk, three red lobsters and a tyre for a Chrysler Voyager.
    • Sir Alan referred to Jo as a "bloody nutter" but admired her vigorous self-defence. Sir Alan agreed to give Alexa a chance to prove her abilities after she defended herself and asked to be the team leader on the following task.
    • The majority of the You're Fired audience disagreed with Sir Alan's decision. Karen herself said that she felt that Sir Alan had held a disdainful attitude towards her from the very start of the series, due to her legal background and the sales tactics she promoted on the first task.
    • Karen's firing was the first occasion on the British version of The Apprentice that a contestant has been dismissed simply because of their previous job. This happened again with James McQuillan in Series 5, and later with Glenn Ward in Series 7.
    • Karen's firing also makes her the shortest surviving candidate to have won as project manager in the first week in any series (not including Young Apprentice).
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Sara Nathan, Duncan Bannatyne and Felicity Lee.

Week 4

  • Invicta: Alexa (Project Manager), Syed, Paul, Samuel, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Velocity: Mani (Project Manager), Ruth, Jo, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Meeting Place: The Oxo Tower restaurant
  • Task: To set up a food stall at the Thames Festival with a budget of £2,000 per team and make as great a profit as they could in a day.
  • Result: Velocity decided to set up a
  • Winner: Velocity.
  • Reward: Dinner at the Oxo Tower restaurant.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Alexa, Syed and Tuan.
  • Who gets fired: Alexa, for her appalling and non-existent performance as a team leader, letting Tuan and especially Syed take over the whole task with unrealistic suggestions and out-of-control buying respectively, and failing to defend herself anywhere near as well as the previous boardoom. Sir Alan noted that all three in the final boardroom bore complete responsibility for the failures, and that at the very least Syed also deserved to be fired with her, but was only allowed to fire one of them and decided that Alexa's complete lack of control over any of the team was the biggest failing in the task.
  • Notes:
    • While Velocity won the task, Sir Alan felt that their performance had merely been adequate, and their victory was mostly down to Invicta having failed the task to such a massive degree. Notably, when Sir Alan questioned the women during the reward dinner, not one of them said that Mani had been a good leader (Ruth was most positive out of all of them, though, claiming he was "brave to take them on".)
    • The full scale of Invicta's calamity only became clear when a concerned Samuel worked out that Tuan's estimate required them to sell a slice of pizza every 9 seconds; Tuan would go on to defend his suggestion by saying it was only a starting point, and no-one attempted to overrule him until it was too late. A major argument erupted between the two the night before the festival, with Samuel angrily claiming that no-one was directing the team; Alexa failed to respond to this, and the professional chef assigned to help the team was instead left to resolve the argument and get production moving.
    • In the final boardroom, Alexa could not even decide whether Syed or Tuan more deserved to be fired, and Sir Alan noted that this extreme indecisiveness was (along with her deferring too much to Syed) likely the reason for their loss. Although Sir Alan identified Tuan's 500 pizza estimate as having doomed the team from the very start, and Syed's out-of-control spending as being the cause of the catastrophic loss, he concluded that Alexa's ineffective leadership had ultimately led to both of these mistakes being made in the first place.
    • In the final boardroom, Sir Alan said that were the option available to him, then Alexa, Syed and Tuan would all have been fired for the failure of the task; however, the show's rules in the first two series permitted only one firing per week before the interviews. Partly because of this, multiple firings were introduced in the third series onwards. Immediately before the firing Sir Alan only specified that Syed should also be fired, suggesting that Tuan would have successfully pleaded the case for his survival were multiple-firings allowed.
    • Invicta's loss of money was the first made by any team in the UK incarnation of the show, and remains the biggest in any incarnation worldwide.
    • This task was later shown on Series 4 spin-off "The Worst Decisions Ever" and Syed explained his huge order of ingredients; Sir Alan told the teams in the task briefing that there would be up to half a million people at the festival and Syed wanted to have as much product as possible, a suggestion that was derided by guests such as Vanessa Feltz and Trevor Nelson. Alexa, meanwhile, said she had gone along with Syed because his confidence had led her to believe he was very experienced in restaurant management. Nick Hewer commented that Invicta "never had a prayer of making any money", described the goings-on in the kitchen from the moment the large chickens were unveiled as a "horror story" and that he had never seen Sir Alan so angry after a task.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Lucy Kellaway, Alasdair Jeffrey and Felicity Lee.

Week 5

  • Invicta: Paul (Project Manager), Syed, Tuan, Michelle and Sharon.
  • Velocity: Ruth (Project Manager), Jo, Mani, Samuel and Ansell.
  • Meeting Place: A hangar at London Stansted Airport
  • Task: To produce both a billboard and a short promotional video for Sir Alan's new venture: the Amsair Card, which allows easy booking of business jets and related services, with the advertising being made and shot at London Stansted Airport.
  • Result: Paul's team had few ideas at the start, and eventually settled on a theme revolving around magic and card tricks. Much hilarity resulted when Sharon and Tuan first saw the advert, as a shot of the actor suggested he was masturbating - the shot did not appear in the final cut. Ruth's appeared to have a clear strategy throughout, but Ansell and Mani misinterpreted the presentation they were given on the card's features, and told Velocity that its main feature was the concierge service rather than the ease of booking the jet. Sir Alan felt that Ruth's television advertisement focused too much on the concierge service and not enough on the card. Invicta's campaign, while clichéd and not especially impressive (it was noted Sir Alan found the campaign mediocre), was closer to what he had wanted.
  • Winner: Invicta.
  • Reward: Champagne reception and front-row seats at the London Fashion Show.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ruth, Jo and Mani.
  • Who gets fired: Mani, for incorrectly briefing the team on the Amsair Card. Sir Alan actually felt that Ansell was most at fault for the loss, but in his absence fired Mani for his refusal to take any responsibility for his actions, along with his arrogant attitude and his weak leadership in the previous week's task.
  • Notes:
    • Although Mani was blamed and ultimately fired for Velocity's advert having the wrong focus, it had in fact been Ansell that initially mentioned the concierge aspect to the team. However, Ruth decided to bring Mani back instead, as though Ansell had apologised off-camera for his mistake and also admitted to being at fault during the initial boardroom, Mani also mentioned the service, and was extremely rude to Ruth throughout the task. His refusal to accept fault for his part in the misleading briefing also contributed to his firing.
    • Sir Alan warned Ruth that she had made a mistake by not bringing Ansell back, but decided to spare her since most had agreed she had been a very good project manager, and it was noted that Velocity would have easily defeated Invicta had their campaign been targeted correctly.
    • Ruth decided to bring back Jo because she had opposed most ideas without giving any solutions. Though it was agreed she was not at fault for the loss in any real way, Sir Alan warned her that she was now on her absolute last chance.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Vanessa Feltz and Keith Courtney.

Week 6

  • Invicta: Sharon (Project Manager), Syed, Paul, Tuan and Michelle.
  • Velocity: Ansell (Project Manager), Ruth, Jo and Samuel.
  • Meeting Place: Sir Alan's house
  • Task: Sell second-hand cars for a commission.
  • Result: After a bad start, Invicta managed to take a lead by selling the extras which carried a higher commission. Syed got into trouble for falsely claiming that the dealership offered a scheme which would allow buyers to sell their cars at a profit in a few years time, and the manager of the car lot told Syed that he would have been fired for his actions, were he actually employed there. Sharon also struggled both as a leader and a salesperson, but Paul and Tuan both sold well. Ruth managed to sell six cars alone, giving Velocity an advantage at the start. However, the failure of Velocity to sell the extras in high quantities, combined with Jo completely failing to sell anything and Samuel working in a team with Ruth rather than selling by himself, cost the team victory. Invicta made £1,077.40, and Velocity made £871.40
  • Winner: Invicta.
  • Reward: Boat trip down the River Thames.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ansell, Jo and Samuel.
  • Who gets fired: Jo, for not selling any cars despite having previously worked in the automotive industry, being difficult to work with, and for appearing for the fourth time in the boardroom in only six weeks.
  • Notes:
    • Sir Alan and his advisors pointed out that selling the extras played a crucial role in deciding who won and criticised Velocity for not realising this, though Ruth was given much praise and credit for her sales.
    • During the reward boat trip, an argument broke out between Paul and Michelle.
    • There was some confusion about who had made three of Velocity's sales, with Ruth and Samuel both trying to take credit. In the end, Sir Alan decided that Ruth deserved sole credit for all three, leaving Samuel without a sale to his name.
    • The manager of the car lot for Velocity was extremely negative about Ansell's performance as leader, and reported back that he should be fired, but Sir Alan decided to fire Jo instead since she had been brought back every single time that her team had lost and her failure to sell anything despite her experience. However he told Ansell that the reference he had been given by the manager was so bad, he was now "one more boardroom" away from dismissal. Samuel was also told that he was on his last chance, due to his consistently poor track record across all the tasks and since he technically didn't make a single sale either.
    • Sir Alan ended up having to tell Jo that she was fired three times, after she repeatedly begged for another chance. After she left, she declined to shake hands with Ansell or Samuel.
    • For Jo's exit a different style of music was played during her walk of shame, the first time in the series, this occurred again with Syed's firing.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Quentin Willson and Saira Khan.

Week 7

  • Invicta: Tuan (Project Manager), Syed, Paul and Sharon.
  • Velocity: Michelle (Project Manager), Ruth, Samuel and Ansell.
  • Meeting Place: Chigwell School
  • Task: Selling items for Topshop.
  • Result: Both teams initially opted for the same two lines of clothing, so Tuan and Ruth agreed that the teams would take one of each - Invicta opted for Admiralty while Velocity chose Gothic. They flipped a coin for their second choice, and Velocity won, so they took Aviator while Invicta were left with Modern Oriental. Invicta had a good display set up by Sharon (despite a huge spat the previous evening), while Velocity lacked a clear strategy for much of the task. After getting off to a flying start, Invicta started to lose their 23% lead at the end of the morning. However, Michelle's unproductive time spent in the VIP Room drinking champagne for most of the morning and Samuel's lack of success at dragging in customers from the street led to Tuan's team emerging as victors. Velocity had a chance to win the task in the afternoon when Topshop owner Philip Green visited their display and asked Ruth for £100 worth of clothing, but Ruth only gave him £66 worth and didn't try to sell him anything else.
  • Winner: Invicta, by £120.
  • Reward: A night in a top-class country hotel, with skeet shooting.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Michelle, Ruth and Samuel.
  • Who gets fired: Samuel, for his mismanagement of marketing and generally poor performances over the course of the series.
  • Notes:
    • A massive argument flared up within Invicta at the end of the first day, as Sharon felt she was being sidelined in decision making, despite the fact she had the most experience of the fashion industry. After complaining about the choice of lines, she accused her teammates of ganging up on her. Paul and Syed quickly grew angry, and asked Sharon to tell them what they had actually said to offend her. Dissatisfied with her persistent complaining, Syed then continued to argue on his own, before walking out of the room in disgust. Sharon refused to take an active role in the task early on the second day (Tuan reflected that she seemed to be sulking), but quickly took charge of setting up a display when she realised Nick and Margaret were both watching.
    • During the first broadroom, Ruth, Ansell and Samuel were not particularly willing to criticise Michelle for her hands-off management, but Sir Alan gave them all a clear warning that this complimentary attitude should stop, as he wanted them to focus on defending themselves, since they would turn on each other sooner or later to get the one job being offered. Ruth was arguably the candidate most unwilling to criticise Michelle, instead saying that Samuel should be fired for failing to provide any useful contribution towards decision-making. When pressured however, she conceded that she was torn between the two, since both had been at fault.
    • Despite mishandling the sales with Philip Green, Sir Alan felt Ruth was not to blame for the Velocity's loss as she was the team's top seller and that both Michelle and Samuel's errors easily outweighed her single mistake, and criticised Michelle for bringing her back. However, Michelle defended her decision by pointing out that she had even less reason to bring Ansell in, since both he and Ruth had performed well in sales, and that Ruth's handling of the deal with Green was the sole fault she could find in either of their performances. Ruth herself agreed with Michelle's choice.
    • Along with the disaster of week 4, this task influenced the decision in later series to give Sir Alan the chance to fire more than one candidate outside of the interview stages. Whilst Sir Alan deemed Michelle most at fault because of her poor decisions, he also added that he had had enough of Samuel's excuses about his poor contributions and held him liable for the marketing aspect of the task. Ultimately, Michelle was saved by her better track record and her more convincing argument.
    • This was the only boardroom this series (excluding the interviews and final) where neither Jo nor Syed was in the final three.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Mary Portas and Mark Frith.

Week 8

  • Invicta: Syed (Project Manager), Paul, Tuan and Sharon.
  • Velocity: Ruth (Project Manager), Michelle and Ansell.
  • Meeting Place: The house
  • Task: Buying a particular product from the designer and selling it on to the trade.
  • Result: Both teams split up in order to sell their products in different parts of London. Velocity sold lighting kits and a designer coat stand, and managed to find more customers by asking for contacts from stores that they had sold to. Invicta had a fuel can with a flow control system, and a set of metallic shelves. Despite Sir Alan warning the teams not to bother trying to get sales from major chains, Syed spent most of the day trying to set up a major deal with a chain of petrol stations, and while he eventually secured the deal, the time spent and an accident in the middle of London made them two hours late back to the boardroom. Velocity made £3,237.50; Invicta made £3,840, but Sir Alan fined them 25% of Syed and Tuan's sales for being late, bringing them down to £3,140 and costing them victory.
  • Winner: Velocity.
  • Reward: A day at a luxury spa.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Syed, Sharon and Tuan.
  • Who gets fired: Sharon, for doing poorly in the sales negotiations and contributing less than £100 to the team's total, and for being "too nice" for the business environment. While Sir Alan was annoyed by hiss arrogance even in the face of the team's loss, he felt that Syed's good performance showed he still had potential, and that though neither Sharon nor Tuan really deserved to continue, Sharon had been a little less effective overall.
  • Notes:
    • Tuan told Syed to try to negotiate their penalty down to 20% in the boardroom, as this would have still allowed Invicta to win, but Syed ignored Tuan and accepted the penalty without argument, not wanting to risk angering Sir Alan and potentially getting an even bigger fine as a result.
    • Sir Alan offered Syed Ahmed immunity from being fired because he was so impressed by his selling prowess. However, Ahmed refused this and put himself forward for firing with his team. The entire segment was edited out.[2] Syed and Tuan's final appointment was the reason for their late arrival - the buyer originally agreed to a deal of 100 cans over the phone if Syed and Tuan came to his home for the pitch. Tuan recognised that this would be the last deal they would do, and they therefore needed to upsell the offer, which led to them securing an order of 300 units for around £1000, so even with the £700 penalty, the deal was still worthwhile. Sir Alan was impressed when he heard the details, even asking Tuan whether he had added "a little bit of VAT" to his story - Tuan quickly denied this, and Syed did not challenge him, going on to say that while he had led the negotiations, the final deal was a team effort. ·
    • Despite Sharon's firing, Sir Alan had heavy criticisms for all three remaining members of Invicta; Paul for coming across as rude and abrasive in the sales negotiations, Syed for refusing to admit to his mistakes and constantly interrupting the other candidates and Sir Alan in the boardroom, and most of all Tuan, for technically not making a single sale and for being seen as a "backroom man", which Sir Alan made clear was absolutely not the type of person he wanted to hire.
    • At this point, Paul was the only candidate who had not appeared in the final boardroom.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Duncan Bannatyne and Victoria Derbyshire.

Week 9

  • Invicta: Tuan (Project Manager), Syed and Ruth.
  • Velocity: Michelle (Project Manager), Paul and Ansell.
  • Meeting Place: The hallway of a residential building in Mayfair
  • Task: Rent out property in different areas of London.
  • Result: With only three members on each team, Velocity split up and worked individually with Michelle keeping in contact with both Paul and Ansell. Ansell quickly became popular with customers, whilst Paul initially struggled. All three team members however, eventually managed to close deals. For Invicta's part, Tuan took a back seat role leaving Ruth and Syed to concentrate on sales. Syed made many mistakes including taking the wrong keys to properties on two occasions and sending a client to the other side of town by mistaking a railway line for Wandsworth Bridge. Ruth, meanwhile, excelled, closing deals on both days, and even succeeded with the most expensive property at the very end of the first day (the clients came in to close the deal as soon as the office opened the next morning). Both teams closed six deals with commission earned in excess of £8,500 (two each for Velocity, whereas in Invicta, Ruth closed five, Syed one and Tuan none). Invicta lost the task by approximately £250.
  • Winner: Velocity.
  • Reward: A day's tuition with chef Raymond Blanc.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Tuan, Ruth and Syed (the only members on the team)
  • Who gets fired: Tuan for not managing to let out any properties, not having the passion or drive as Syed, and for taking a back seat during the task again, despite being given a warning by Sir Alan the previous week.
  • Notes:
    • This marks the second time Tuan and Michelle had faced off as project manager.
    • Since Ruth sold more properties than Syed and Tuan combined, Sir Alan told her she was in no danger of being fired and instead merely asked for her opinion on who should be. Ruth said that while Syed "bites off more than he can chew" and was disorganised, his passion was inspiring to those around him, and since Tuan lacked this passion, he should be fired.
    • The one deal Syed had managed to close had been signed by punters in the street he had managed to draw into the office, the suggestion of which even the estate agent had scoffed; this played a large part in his survival in the boardroom. Tuan did manage to let out one apartment, but it fell through due to the potential tenants not having the money for a deposit on the day. However, Syed had a second deal fall through in similar circumstances, meaning that Tuan was still the least effective salesperson on his team.
    • Sir Alan commented that Tuan had already given up on the competition, and described him as 'a broken man'. Tuan himself confirmed that this was the case on You're Fired, and said that he did deserve to be fired. Despite this Syed was given a final warning by Sir Alan, who noted that had he not secured the one deal he made, he would have been in serious danger of being fired.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Ann Maurice and Paul Torrisi.

Week 10

  • Invicta: Syed (Project Manager) and Ruth.
  • Velocity: Paul (Project Manager), Michelle and Ansell.
  • Meeting Place: None - Sir Alan sent a recorded message
  • Task: Devise and promote a service available to passengers aboard the cruise liner, the Grand Princess, on her voyage between Istanbul and Naples.
  • Result: For Velocity, Paul hit upon the idea of running and promoting a series of dance classes and a competition with a grand prize of £50 to the winners. For Invicta, Syed came up with the idea of an above-deck fun day with events taking place across the ship. The teams were told that success would not be judged solely on sales, but also on many other criteria including marketing, originality and customer satisfaction. At the end of the task, Velocity had generated £507, whereas Invicta had only made £191.50. Invicta's deficit was due in part to Ruth buying more bottles of Moët & Chandon champagne (distributed as thank-you gifts to staff) than was necessary. Moreover, Invicta's team organisation and customer satisfaction ratings were far below those of Velocity, meaning that they lost the task in every regard.
  • Winner: Velocity.
  • Reward: As the liner was docked in Naples on the coast of Italy, the winning team was sent to Rome to stay in a luxury apartment and spend a few days in the city.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ruth and Syed (only two team members remained).
  • Who gets fired: Syed, for having lost the passion and enthusiasm he displayed throughout the previous weeks, organising events which were impractical given the cruise ship setting, and doing an overall poor job as a project manager. Sir Alan acknowledged Syed as having "flashes of genius," but saw him as too much of a risk.
  • Notes:
    • Syed's firing was the first significant point in the series in which a key character was fired; Syed had become well-known, and (as with Jo Cameron) a different style of ending with higher, slower music being played over his "walk of shame" to the taxi to emphasise this.
    • There was an incident with raffle tickets where Syed lost the names of many people who had bought tickets and suggested going ahead anyway (the names were later found).
    • This was the first and only occasion (to date) that the final boardroom consisted of only two candidates instead of the usual three, so there was no choice as to who was brought back.
    • Ruth came close to being fired after admitting that she didn't read the task rules and thought they were being measured on turnover rather than profit combined with her consistent attempts to blame Syed for the whole task but Sir Alan decided that Syed was more deserving of being fired, since Ruth had been a much stronger contributor in the tasks and had a better CV.
    • Paul's victory in this task meant that he had won two tasks as Project Manager, making him the most successful project manager in this series. He also became the first candidate to make it through the entire series of tasks without ever being brought back into the final boardroom; the only other candidate to have achieved this to date is Lee McQueen of Series 4 (excluding Raleigh Addington from Series 6, who never appeared in the final boardroom but left before the end of the series).
    • Syed's defeat in this task meant that he had lost two tasks (and won one) as Project Manager, making him the least successful project manager in this series.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Mark Frith and Jane Moore.

Week 11: Interviews

  • Semi-Finalists: Ansell, Michelle, Paul and Ruth.
  • Task: The four remaining candidates went through a series of interviews with each of three associates of Sir Alan. The interviews were based around the candidates' previous work and experience as well as their reasons and motivations for appearing on the show.
  • Interviewers: Paul Kemsley, Claude Littner and Bordan Tkachuk.
  • Result: Despite consistent success with previous tasks, Paul's underwhelming employment record was unearthed and he was heavily cross-examined by the interviewers. His overconfident attitude and cocky personality resulting in the interviewers delivering strongly negative reports to Sir Alan. He was described by Paul Kemsley as a "door-to-door salesman", though both Nick and Margaret defended him pointing out his strengths on the tasks. Michelle received better reports, but Sir Alan was confused by the fact that she already had a £100,000 salary and was self-employed. Ansell was described by all as a "nice guy" with even hard-to-impress Bordan and Claude admitting they both found themselves liking him, but there were questions over his limited experience in sales and how well he would cope in a more aggressive environment. Ruth had an impressive sales record over the series and generally she impressed despite Sir Alan having some doubts over the credibility of parts of her CV. Sir Alan spoke to Paul in depth for the first time in the series and despite Paul's record throughout the tasks, having been on the winning team seven times, Sir Alan was unimpressed with him and said he was merely "lucky" to be in the final four. Sir Alan then demanded a good reason why he should stay. Paul boasted that many companies would employ him if Sir Alan didn't, but this only served to infuriate Sugar, who immediately fired him. Michelle, when questioned, justified her cause and Sir Alan was impressed with her independent business nature and her apparent generosity with family and friends. He decided that she should stay. It was close between Ansell and Ruth, with Sir Alan torn between them. It was Ruth's intelligence, however, that led to her staying – both she and Ansell were strong candidates, but Ansell was deemed to be too nice.
  • Who gets fired:
    • Paul, for his arrogant behaviour, unimpressive CV, and because Sir Alan felt he made this far due to sheer luck.
    • Ansell, (with regret) for being too nice, too focused towards sales, and never demonstrating any real leadership qualities during the series.
  • Notes: The majority of the You're Fired audience disagreed with Ansell's firing.
  • The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Saira Khan and Nick Hewer.

Week 12: The Final

  • Finalists: Michelle and Ruth.
  • Ruth's team: Ruth (Project Manager), Jo, Tuan and Ansell.
  • Michelle's team: Michelle (Project Manager), Syed, Paul and Sharon.
  • Task: Each were given the opportunity to select from the last five of the six previous candidates – Ansell, Paul, Syed, Tuan and Sharon. Samuel did not return, so Jo came in his place as the last candidate to be fired prior to the final eight. They had to put on an evening event to be staged at London's Tower Bridge with a theme of their choice. While money was not the main issue, costs were monitored carefully.
  • Result: Ruth chose to have a "Murder Mystery Theme" and hired actors to play the parts of various characters throughout the night. Despite Sir Alan having doubts about this, her event took more money than Michelle's and sold more tickets, mostly because of the way in which her team of Tuan, Ansell and Jo worked through contacts made throughout the series. Sir Alan, however, having himself paid a visit to both evenings, questioned her originality in that she had directly implemented his suggestions to her of can-can dancers. Michelle's night also came under fire for being almost identical to Sir Alan's suggestions when he had briefed the two on the task. She chose a casino themed 007 (James Bond) evening called '00Heaven'. Her team of Sharon, Paul and Syed was an interesting choice as the group had experienced many confrontations in previous weeks. They failed to work as efficiently as Ruth's – Syed and Paul sold very few tickets and clearly did not enjoy working together, and this led to conflict between Syed and Sharon. In the end tickets were sold for as little as £10, despite the original price being £65, although Michelle did manage to improve their sales by reorganising her team.
  • Runner-up: Ruth. While Sir Alan acknowledged that she had been the clear victor in the final task, he had concerns that she was too aggressive, and questioned whether she would do well in an environment not focused around sales.
  • Who gets hired: Michelle. Despite the result of the final task, Sir Alan considered her to be a strong all-round candidate.
  • The Apprentice: You're Hired! panel: No panel as such, but Alan Sugar made a guest appearance, and all of the previous candidates were in the audience.

Elimination history

Candidate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
     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 on the winning team (or, in Week 11, managed to avoid being fired.)
     The candidate was on the losing team.
     The candidate was brought to the final boardroom.
     The candidate was fired.
     The candidate lost as project manager and was fired.


Episode Viewing figures from BARB.[3]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers
BBC Two Weekly Ranking
1 22 February 2006 3.65 2
2 1 March 2006 3.51 2
3 8 March 2006 4.20 1
4 15 March 2006 4.11 1
5 22 March 2006 4.03 2
6 29 March 2006 4.45 1
7 5 April 2006 4.26 1
8 12 April 2006 4.58 1
9 19 April 2006 4.76 1
10 26 April 2006 4.68 1
11 3 May 2006 4.98 1
12 10 May 2006 5.95 1
Series average 4.43 N/A

See also


  1. ^ "TV Tonight: Week 35 Ratings". David Knox. 11 September 2008. 
  2. ^ Teeman, Tim (10 May 2006). "There's only one Apprentice". London: The Times Online. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "BARB". BARB. 

External links

  • The Apprentice at BBC Online
  • Times Online interview with Alan Sugar
  • Amstrad Site
  • Blog of the 2nd series written by marketing expert Steve Gibson
  • Free tickets to You're Fired/Hired show at Lostintv

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