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The Apprentice (UK series eleven)

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The Apprentice (UK series eleven)

Series Eleven of The Apprentice is a British reality television series, which (similar to the previous year) began in mid-October 2015. Though usually aired earlier in the year, this series was postponed due to the general election, which Lord Sugar has ties with. Also similar to last year, the series started airing with two episodes on 14 and 15 October 2015, though would continue running weekly afterwards.[1] The series contained 18 candidates, an increase for the usual number in previous series except the tenth series. As Nick Hewer departed from his role as Lord Sugar's aide, his replacement was revealed as interviewer, Claude Littner.[2] Sugar had promised that the series would include "more serious" candidates, most of which would generally be older.[3]


  • Candidates 1
  • Weekly Results 2
  • Episodes 3
    • Week 1: Fish Food 3.1
    • Week 2: Cactus Shampoo 3.2
    • Week 3: Cross-Channel Discount Buying 3.3
    • Week 4: Pet Show 3.4
    • Week 5: Children's Book 3.5
  • Criticism and Controversy 4
    • Selina Waterman-Smith 4.1
  • Ratings 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Candidate Background Age Original Team Result
April Jackson Owner of a Jamaican boutique 26 Connexus
Brett Butler-Smythe Builder 28 Connexus
Charleine Wain Hair and beauty salon owner 31 Versatile
David Stevenson Owner of a sports marketing company 25 Versatile
Elle Stevenson Construction operation executive 21 Connexus
Gary Poulton Programme manager 34 Versatile
Joseph Valente Owner of a plumbing business 25 Connexus
Mergim Butaja Sales account manager 23 Versatile
Natalie Dean Corporate account manager working in telecoms 25 Versatile
Richard Woods Digital marketing agency director 31 Versatile
Sam Curry Private tutor 23 Versatile
Scott Saunders Senior account manager in sales 27 Versatile
Selina Waterman-Smith Owner of an events agency 31 Versatile
Vana Koutsomitis Social media entrepreneur 27 Connexus
Ruth Whiteley Sales training consultancy owner 47 Connexus Fired in week 4
Jenny Garbis Student 23 Connexus Fired in week 3
Aisha Kasim Inventor and hair extensions specialist 30 Connexus Fired in week 2
Dan Callaghan Director of a fragrance retailer 23 Connexus Fired in week 1

Weekly Results

Elimination chart
Candidate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Charleine IN IN IN IN
Mergim IN IN IN IN
Natalie IN BR IN IN
Richard IN WIN IN IN
     The candidate was in the winning team.
     The candidate was in the losing team.
     The candidate became Lord Sugar's new business partner 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: Fish Food

  • Air Date: 14 October 2015
  • Versatile: Selina (Project Manager), Charleine, David, Gary, Mergim, Natalie, Richard, Sam and Scott.
  • Connexus: April (Project Manager), Aisha, Brett, Dan, Elle, Jenny, Joseph, Ruth and Vana.
  • Task: Cook and sell products made of fish on the streets of London. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Versatile decided early on to sell fish fingers made of coley (a cheaper alternative to cod) and calamari, but while they bargained well for both, the latter was of poor quality. While they sold well, they ran out of fish fingers late in the day, and lost £150 worth of raw calamari when its container overheated. Meanwhile, Connexus went with April's choices of salad and fishcakes, but despite warnings from her team, purchased the required quota of fish from the first vendor she met. The team then took too long making the fishcakes, owing to Dan having trouble working out ingredient quantities and Brett wanting the fishcakes to meet the given brief; as a result, they were late in leaving the kitchen, missing most of the lunch rush trade and having less than a third of the stock they had planned to sell. Poor footfall and the extremely high pricing of their salad made initial sales difficult, and while they enjoyed good sales once they lowered them, many were made under cost price.
  • Result: Versatile had a profit of £200.29, while Connexus had a profit of £1.87.
  • Winner: Versatile - By £198.42.
  • Reward: Eating fish prepared by a chef from a top Japanese restaurant.
  • Brought into the boardroom: April, Brett and Dan
  • Fired: Dan - For his poor work in the kitchen, making no sales, poorly defending himself in the boardroom, and for failing to display any appealing business skills.
  • You're Fired Panel: Thomasina Miers, Matt Edmondson and Romesh Ranganathan.
  • Notes:
    • For the first time since Series 3, Lord Sugar shuffled the single-gender teams, making them mixed for the first task.
    • Versatile's victory was overshadowed by the mixed feedback on their performance. A lack of volunteers for PM led to a drawn out process for one, followed by chaotic discussions during the task, and Mergim's bizarre attempt to sell to a vegan restaurant; Claude pointed out it was a "shambles" and something he had never witnessed before. The only undisputed successes were Natalie's negotiation for the squid, and Richard and Charleine's sales. Though Selina's leadership was patchy (she took on the role only after admitting she was intolerant to a number of foods), Claude credited her for keeping costs down.
    • Mergim received great criticism in the boardroom for stating how annoyed he was about people shying from the PM role. His claims that this task would be a good way for a candidate to prove that they could control people, was met with questions about why he didn't do so himself. His only answer was that it was "too early" for him, which garnered a disapproving reception.
    • Dan's performance in the task was very poor; not only was he told to take his hands out of his pockets during the initial meeting with Lord Sugar, he then proceeded to make the humorous suggestion of "Sugarbabes" (a play on the popular English pop group "Sugababes") as a team name. In the boardroom, his admittance that he couldn't sell to the public prompted Sugar to point out that part of the criteria for winning was to be able to do so. Vana was just as ineffective; Lord Sugar had heavy criticism of her with regards to calculating the required ingredients, while questioning of her boast of an average sales price of £5 for salad revealed that she had only sold one.
    • While Joseph's sales were the highest across both teams, and Ruth's technique was effective (despite Karren saying it seemed "creepy", she admitted it worked), Connexus's profit of just £1.87 outshone this; it was the lowest ever made in any show incarnation. Karren called it "pathetic", whilst Lord Sugar described it as "disgusting", "abysmal" and barely better than a loss. April was criticised for claiming that the products sold at a high margin, when in reality most were achieved after the price had been lowered.
    • Lord Sugar seriously considered firing April for bad leadership and delegation, and failing on a task she was more than qualified to lead, given her background in food. He decided to give her "the benefit of the doubt", warning her that, had this not been the first week, she would have been fired alongside Dan. Brett was also warned for his lack of common sense in blindly following the fishcake specification, with Karren adding that he couldn't make any excuse for his portioning errors; his survival was purely down to the fact that he had organised the kitchen relatively well.
    • A narrow majority of the You're Fired audience agreed with Lord Sugar's decision; only two of the panel disagreed, who felt that April should have been fired for being such a poor leader.

Week 2: Cactus Shampoo

  • Air Date: 15 October 2015
  • Versatile: Richard (Project Manager), Brett, David, Gary, Joseph, Mergim, Sam and Scott.
  • Connexus: Aisha (Project Manager), April, Charleine, Elle, Jenny, Natalie, Ruth, Selina and Vana.
  • Task: Create an advertising campaign for a brand of shampoo made with cactus. Best campaign wins.
  • Task Review: Connexus decided to go with Vana's idea of a product aimed at the over-50s, yet this led to problems as they had little knowledge of their target market. Aisha's leadership didn't help, as she called the product "Desert Secrets" despite opposition, and then went on to select unsuitable models for their billboard advert; the sub-team had to use Ruth as their model instead. Their TV advertisement was deemed fairly poor, whilst Natalie gave a dull and disjointed pitch, receiving dreadful feedback. Versatile aimed their product at men their own age range, with David suggesting the name "Western". Their smart and simple bottle design was universally praised, but the billboard was poor, as it did not include the product frequently or the end result. However, their advert was deemed far better, and despite Scott stumbling in his pitch, Lord Sugar labelled the campaign "one of the best" in the show's history of advertising.
  • Winner: Versatile - For a campaign that was more cohesive and generally better executed.
  • Reward: Gravity yoga class
  • Brought into the boardroom: Aisha, Natalie and Vana
  • Fired: Aisha - For her poor and dictatorial leadership, constantly sidelining Charleine despite her experience, refusing to listen to her team, and for bringing Vana back into the boardroom for no good reason instead of Elle, Selina or April.
  • You're Fired Panel: Romesh Ranganathan, Grace Dent, Zaid Al-Zaidy
  • Notes:
    • Lord Sugar decided to re-organise the teams back to single-genders.
    • When the team chose Aisha as Project Manager, it was due to her claim that she was more suited to the products. However, her leadership was criticised by some of the girls; after Charleine's ideas were overruled by a majority, Aisha did not involve her in the pitch, and ignored suggestions on a different brand. Along with addressing these points, Lord Sugar criticised the cactus flower used on the bottle, implying that more straightforward branding was needed.
    • Despite Charleine being sidelined during the task, her contributions, including her criticism of their advertising, were observed and received positively throughout, with Jenny backing her up in the boardroom. The men admitted afterwards that had Charleine led, as she had experience running a hair salon, they would probably have lost.
    • Versatile generally worked together well, since Richard let everyone offer ideas, and gave every team member some responsibility. Despite this, Karren suspected he was trying to set up potential scapegoats and David, who came up with the concept and directed the advert, accused him of unduly taking sole credit for the win.
    • Connexus's digital billboard advert was the one aspect that was felt to be clearly better than Versatile's, getting near-unanimous praise from members of the public. While Lord Sugar had minor criticism for Ruth's performance in the advert, she was credited for objecting to the original choice of models and stepping up to star in it.
    • Despite Vana's previous poor performance, Lord Sugar heavily criticised Aisha for bringing her back solely because she had pushed for the over-50s market; this had not caused the loss, and he suspected Aisha simply acted out of spite. Vana further defended herself by implying that other candidates (particularly April and Elle) should have been brought back for not contributing ideas. Elle in particular was heavily criticised by Lord Sugar and Claude for constant negativity with no constructive feedback, implying that she might have been fired had she been brought back.
    • In the final boardroom, Natalie admitted that she had little enthusiasm for their product due to the poor execution. She denied that it affected her presentation, but Lord Sugar was unhappy with her explanation. In the pitch, she also claimed that the team's target market, women over forty-five, would be "scared" to try new things, earning the ire of Karren. Despite her somewhat impressive performance in the previous task, Lord Sugar warned her that she only narrowly avoided firing.
    • The majority of the You're Fired audience agreed with Lord Sugar's decision, though one panellist disagreed, saying Natalie should have been fired for her lack of enthusiasm and poor presentation. Aisha admitted on the show that she should have brought Selina back for directing the poor advert.

Week 3: Cross-Channel Discount Buying

  • Air Date: 21 October 2015
  • Versatile: Joseph (Project Manager), Brett, David, Gary, Mergim, Richard, Sam and Scott.
  • Connexus: Vana (Project Manager), April, Charleine, Elle, Jenny, Natalie, Ruth and Selina.
  • Task: Find and negotiate low prices for nine items, dividing teams into two to search both England and France. Lowest costs made (fines included), wins.
  • Task Review: Versatile's sub team in France had major trouble; Richard was the only especially fluent French speaker and negotiated poorly for the cheese, nearly all the items needed were bought for generally higher prices, and they failed to purchase the snails. Brett's sub-team fared much better in England, with Gary in particular getting a child's inflatable boat (which did meet requirements) for a very low price. On Connexus, poor research meant each sub-team was searching for items that were only available in the other teams country. While there was much in-fighting on Vana's team in France, Elle's UK sub-team had major problems; they had difficulty sourcing goods, while Elle's indecisive leadership resulted in them visiting the same shop several times, where after much failed negotiating, they spent £250 on a boat. This overspend, along with failing to buy the mussels and mirror, and buying a block of cheese that was too small, proved to be costly mistakes.
  • Result: Versatile spent £409.21 (including fines), while Connexus spent £725.90 (including fines).
  • Winner: Versatile - By £316.69
  • Reward: Wine tasting
  • Brought into the boardroom: Vana, Elle and Jenny
  • Fired: Jenny - For failing to buy the mussels and therefore not making a single purchase, making no significant contributions within the three tasks, and for making various lacklustre excuses in the boardroom.
  • You're Fired Panel: Claude Littner, Frances Dickens, Romesh Ranganathan
  • Notes:
    • The list of items for the teams to buy were: an inflatable boat at least 1.5 metres in length, 30 kilograms of manure, a 4 kilogram anchor, 10 kilograms of mussels, 2 metres of Leavers lace, a Louis Philippe mirror, 100 snails, one whole Maroilles cheese, and seven crystal champagne flutes. The items had to be found around Kent, England, and Calais, France.
    • Vana's sub-team had good luck in getting the champagne flutes, as they met a glassware specialist at the hotel they were staying in, who agreed to a low price due to their aggressive negotiations. While Joseph's sub-team purchased flutes as well, Sam's negotiations meant they bought them for twice the price. In addition, he made his team wait for an antique shop to reopen after lunch to get them, rather than source other items, yet doing so meant they were pointed to a shop nearby where they managed to secure a mirror for well below market value.
    • Whilst Versatile managed to purchase the correct size of cheese, despite Richard's negotiation managing to only earn a 30c discount for it, Connexus ended up buying only one quarter of the size of cheese required, due to confusion over whether the specification was for size or the milk used in it. The girl's error was blamed on Natalie in the boardroom, but she argued that this wasn't the overall reason for their failure of the task.
    • Karren had nothing else to describe the efforts of Elle's sub-team, other than a "complete and utter lack of strategy"; their search for mussels led them into random restaurants, where in one restaurant they didn't take the word of anyone else but a waitress, whilst Elle's indecisiveness over an inflatable boat, at the same shop they bought an anchor in for £10, meant they not only returned to it three more times, but bought it for well above what they were willing to pay due to Vana's instructions. For the boys, Gary secured theirs for just £10 from a toy shop, with no intention of purchasing one for use on open water, which Claude described on You're Fired as a big risk.
    • Whilst on the way back to the ferry, Joseph's sub-team were forced to pay £110 more for the Leavers lace than the girls, who also got theirs on the way back to the ferry. This was due to them going to a more expensive supplier and having no ability to turn down the sale. Because they failed to secure the snails in France and had to get back, Brett's sub-team were forced to seek them in Kent within the last 30 minutes, though when they asked a source if they had any "snails bred in France", the source ended the call quickly in disbelief.
    • Despite Versatile's win, several of the men openly criticised Joseph's leadership in the boardroom as indecisive and disorganized. Richard mentioned that he wished Brett was Project Manager, as his sub-team was credited for carrying them to victory.
    • While Lord Sugar warned Vana and Elle that he could easily have fired one (or both) of them alongside Jenny, he decided they didn't deserve this. For Elle, it was simply because she strongly spoke up for herself during the final boardroom. Vana survived because she took responsibility for her mistakes, yet she was criticised for doing so, and having little respect for other people in her subteam; Karren remarked that it was "a tale of woe; chaos, unfriendly at times, an utter shambles", despite Vana complaining about dead weight within the team.
    • The majority of the You're Fired audience disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision, but the panel, although anticipating that Jenny would go on to do great things, agreed. Littner commented that Elle was lucky to have not been fired along with Jenny.

Week 4: Pet Show

  • Air Date: 28 October 2015
  • Versatile: David (Project Manager), Joseph, April, Charleine, Richard, Sam, Vana and Mergim.
  • Connexus: Scott (Project Manager), Selina, Brett, Elle, Ruth, Natalie and Gary.
  • Task: Select and sell products at the London Pet Show. Most sales made, wins.
  • Task Review: Versatile decided to focus on selling products for pet owners, going with animal-themed balloons and t-shirts, while Connexus went with products for cats, due to Brett's aggressive negotiation losing them the balloons, choosing an electronic cat toy and cat seat warmers to sell. For a high-end item to sell, Connexus secured large customisable cat beds, while Richard swayed Versatile to pick dog bed sofas. On the day, Versatile sold many accessories; while the t-shirts sold at a much higher price, the balloons drew in more sales. However, they struggled to sell the dog beds, with only Charleine, April and Richard making five sales between them. Meanwhile, Connexus struggled with selling; while accessories sold well, both Selina's unenthusiastic sales technique and Ruth being far too talkative, hampered sales of the cat beds, with only four being sold - three by Scott and one by Selina with assistance from Scott. This, combined with Versatile's strong accessory sales, cost them dearly.
  • Result: Versatile had sales of £4,051.62, whilst Connexus had sales of £3,028.40
  • Winner: Versatile - by £1,023.22
  • Reward: Training session with Mo Farah
  • Brought into the boardroom: Scott, Ruth and Selina
  • Fired: Ruth - For selling nothing despite being a sales trainer, being too talkative and too nice, and because Lord Sugar felt she had an unsuitable personality for going into business with him.
  • You're Fired Panel: Natalie Ellis, Romesh Ranganathan and Susan Calman.
  • Notes:
    • Lord Sugar decided to shuffle the teams around, moving April, Charleine and Vana over to Versatile, and Brett, Gary and Scott over to Connexus.
    • Products to pick out (including High-End products) were: Hi-Viz Chicken Jackets, Animal-branded T-shirts, Pet Fragrances, Eco-Friendly Poop Bags, Animal-Themed Balloons, Cat Seat Warmers, Interactive Cat Toys, Luxury Dog Sofas, High-End Rabbit Hutches, and Customisable Cat Towers.
    • Although Versatile went for the t-shirts, which had a high sale price, because they secured the balloons which proved popular at the Pet Show and sold more, David decided to shift focus upon those instead of the t-shirts, despite each balloon selling for £5. Karren frowned upon this, commenting that between the two items "it didn't take a genius to work out" that the t-shirts would bring in more money. In the boardroom, Lord Sugar pointed this out by asking him to state how many balloons they would have to sell to match the sale of one of their dog sofas.
    • In the boardroom, when Scott described his decision to bring in Gary to help sell the cat towers, as bringing in a feeling of "enthusiasm" that his sales team had lacked, Ruth tried to suggest it was down to not talking with customers a lot. However, both Claude and Lord Sugar heavily criticised her for talking too much with them and not making sales as a result; during the task, Scott had to have a word with her because of this issue. Both stated that she should have been getting rid of customers, rather than keeping them back as she did. In her taxi interview, Ruth admitted she deserved to be fired as a result of her performance in the task.
    • When asked about their choice of High-End items in the boardroom, Charleine was quick to criticise Richard for going with the dog sofas rather than the cat towers, despite the fact they sold very well from the figures they had heard from the vendor. However, Richard stated that the figures for the product were misleading because they were for a "great day" of sales, compared to the sofa vendor's figures which he felt were more realistic to work with.
    • In the boardroom, Brett's aggressive negotiations drew criticism for making him behave like a "bull in a china shop" with the vendors, and had he not been like this, his team could have secured the balloons, which proved immensely popular with customers at the Show. The only strong point in Brett's performance, was that he made a strong pitch on the main stage of the Pet Show that helped to draw in customers to their accessories.
    • Prior to the final boardroom, both Karren and Claude believed that Selina needed to go, along with Ruth. Although she claimed she made good contributions before and didn't need help to make a sale, Claude wasn't impressed with her lack of enthusiasm in the task, her small number of sales, and the fact that Scott had to help her with the only sale she made. However, Lord Sugar decided to give her one final chance, but warned her that Claude was "not very happy" with her. In addition to her, despite a strong defence and his sales figures, Scott was warned to be more ruthless in future, if he was to have any chance of winning.
    • The majority of the You're Fired audience disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision, as did two of the panellists; Ranganathan felt Selina should have been fired instead, as, without Scott's assistance, she too would not have made any sales, whilst Calman argued that Ruth was a very good candidate, and just had a bad day.

Week 5: Children's Book

  • Air Date: 4 November 2015
  • Versatile: Not confirmed, until broadcast...
  • Connexus: Not confirmed, until broadcast...
  • Task:Create and sell a children's book aimed at three to five year olds.
  • Task Review: No information yet, until broadcast...
  • Result: No information yet, until broadcast...
  • Winner: No information yet, until broadcast...
  • Reward: No information yet, until broadcast...
  • Brought into the boardroom: From losing team; unknown until broadcast...
  • Fired: From final three; unknown until broadcast...
  • You're Fired Panel: Romesh Ranganathan
  • Notes: No information yet, until broadcast...

Criticism and Controversy

Selina Waterman-Smith

During the series throughout October, candidate Selina Waterman-Smith performed a number of actions which raised questions about her behaviour behind the scenes. After having a physical altercation with fellow candidate Charleine Wain, which almost resulted in both of them leaving the show, she was given a verbal warning by the producers about her actions. Following Week 4, it was revealed by a number of news websites that she had sent out a number of tweets that criticised The Apprentice for making her out as a "pantomime villain", whilst also mocking that Sugar's aides, Claude Littner and Karren Brady, were jealous of her appearance. In a deleted tweet, she also claimed she'd "broken contract" with the show and would not appear on the spin-off, You're Fired.[4][5][6]


Official episode viewing figures are from BARB.[7]

Airdate Viewers
weekly ranking
1 14 October 2015 7.93 3
2 15 October 2015 7.22 7
3 21 October 2015 7.70 3
4 28 October 2015 TBA TBA
5 4 November 2015 TBA TBA
6 11 November 2015 TBA TBA


  1. ^ The Apprentice - Series 11 - BBC - FAQs - Home
  2. ^ Adam Sherwin (27 April 2015). "Apprentice series 11: Claude Littner to replace Nick Hewer as Lord Sugar's aide". The Independent. 
  3. ^ Emma Daly. "The Apprentice 2015 to be more serious: it's not Geordie Shore". RadioTimes. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes".  

External links

  • Official site BBC

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