The Apprentice (British series 7)
Series seven of The Apprentice (UK), a British reality television series, was broadcast in the UK during 2011, from 10 May to 17 July on BBC One; due to a qualifying match for the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League set to be aired live on 20 July, the final episode was given an earlier broadcast date to avoid clashing with this.
|The Apprentice (British series 7)|
Promo group shot of Alan Sugar, Nick Hewer and Karren Brady standing before the candidates for series 7
|Country of origin||UK|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Original release||10 May –|
17 July 2011
After six years of offering a six-figure job as a prize, both Alan Sugar and the production staff conducted a rethink on what the programme offered after the former threatened to quit. This led to the decision that Sugar now offered a £250,000 investment for the winning candidate to use towards starting their own business. The change in prize led to a complete revamp of the format concerning tasks, with the Interviews stage assigned as the final task, and extended to include a scrutiny of each candidate's business plans amongst the other questions made by interviewers. Alongside the standard twelve episodes, with the first two aired within a day of each other, two specials were aired alongside this series – "The Final Five" on 7 July; and a series exclusive, "How To Get Hired" on 15 July.
For the sixteen candidates who took part, the change in prize did not deter their participation, with Tom Pellereau becoming the overall winner and the first to win the new prize. Excluding the specials, the series averaged around 8.80 million viewers during its broadcast, and is the most watched series of The Apprentice to date.
Following the end of the sixth series, Alan Sugar began to question his involvement in the programme, due to the nature of what he offered to those participating and the overall format of The Apprentice. Meeting with both the broadcaster and the production company, Sugar threatened to quit unless changes were made. His demand led to the decision that a re-think of the programme was essentially required to keep the show fresh. One of the reasons behind the necessary change to the format was that Sugar was finding it increasingly difficult to create a new job within his companies, because of the frustration and criticism being created by his existing employees towards this. In discussing how to alter the format, Sugar expressed a belief that there was too high an expectation amongst young entrepreneurs over becoming the next big name in business when setting up their own company, faulting a belief that such individuals suffered from a "fast buck mentality". He thus suggested that The Apprentice geared itself towards showing a scaled but realistic approach to starting up a company. This suggestion led to a complete overhaul of the format, assigning the design of tasks towards setting up, running and operating businesses as smoothly as possible, while offering new participants a life-changing opportunity – the winning candidate would now receive a £250,000 investment towards a new business they wished to start, with Sugar taking a 50% stake in the business in exchange for providing his guidance and support, along with supplying a team of experts to help develop the winning candidate's plan.
The change in format was finalised during the processing of applications for the seventh series, between April and July 2011, with Sugar accepting the changes to remain with the programme. For those applying for a place in the programme, the change in prize came as a surprise, as many still expected it to be the six-figure job, effectively leading those who became part of the final line-up having to come up with business plans before recording of the first episode was set to take place. One task retained during the revamp of the show's tasks structure was the Interviews stage, but this came with it being extended in how it operated – alongside interviewers questioning each candidate about their background, work experience and performance on tasks, candidates were informed that their business plans would also come under scrutiny in this stage – with the task itself being reallocated as the final task of the series. Following the last series, two of the interviewers – Bordan Tkachuk and Alan Watts – decided to leave the programme, leading to Sugar replacing them with Mike Soutar and Matthew Riley. With production completed and final editing almost finished, the sixteen candidates who secured a place on the series were revealed on 3 May 2011, a week before the series premiered, with the first task revealing that the men named their team Logic, while the women named their team Venture.
This series is notable for featuring a task in which the winning team was not given a prize – arranged by Sugar for those who worked hard to win a task, it was withdrawn when the winning team had failed to comprehend the basis of the task's goal – along with a candidate establishing records for the most wins, both consecutive and total. Of those who took part, Tom Pellereau would become the eventual winner, going on to make subsequent appearances on You're Fired as an audience member during later series, while also launching a range of manicure products with assistance from Lord Sugar. Amongst the products he would create would include a line of curved nail files – the S-file, the S-Buffer and the Emergency File, two curved nail clippers, the S-Clipper and S-Clipper mini and a curved foot exfoliator, and the S-Ped – all of which would be stocked by major retailers in the country. Susan Ma, who would lose out in the final, would later receive an investment offer from Sugar, that she would put towards creating her skincare company Tropic in 2012.
|Helen Milligan||Executive Assistant to CEO||30||Runner-up|
|Susan Ma||Natural Skincare Entrepreneur||21||Fired in Finals|
|Jim Eastwood||Sales and Market Manager||32|
|Natasha Scribbins||Divisional Manager – Recruitment||31||Fired after eleventh task|
|Melody Hossaini||Founder & Director – Global Youth Consultancy Business||26||Fired after tenth task|
|Zoe Beresford||Project Manager – Drinks Manufacturer||26||Fired after ninth task|
|Leon Doyle||Fast Food Marketing Entrepreneur||26||Fired after eighth task|
|Glenn Ward||Senior Design Engineer||28||Fired after seventh task|
|Edna Agbarha||Business Psychologist||36||Fired after sixth task|
|Vincent Disneur||Sales Manager – Telecoms Software||29||Fired after fifth task|
|Ellie Reed||Managing Director||33|
|Felicity Jackson||Creative Arts Entrepreneur||23||Fired after fourth task|
|Gavin Winstanley||Managing Director – Opticians||27||Fired after third task|
|Alex Britez Cabral||Estate Agent Manager||28||Fired after second task|
|Edward Hunter||Accountant||25||Fired after first task|
- The candidate won this series of The Apprentice.
- The candidate was the runner-up.
- The candidate won as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
- The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
- The candidate was on the winning team for this task.
- The candidate was on the losing team for this task.
- The candidate was brought to the final boardroom for this task.
- The candidate was fired in this task.
- The candidate lost as project manager for this task and was fired.
|Title||Original air date||UK viewers|
|85||1||"£250 Business Start Up"||10 May 2011||8.79|
|Lord Sugar begins a hunt for an apprentice for 2011, now offering his new batch of sixteen candidates a £250,000 investment to kickstart a new business with. Their first task gives them a taste of this reward – each team is given £250 to invest in produce from New Covent Garden Market, turning these into meals to sell around London. Venture focus on turning their purchases into fruit breakfasts and vegetable pastas, selling well and managing costs despite misunderstanding the task's goal. Logic opt for turning their purchases into tomato soup and orange juice, but make a slow start on sales after missing out the morning trade, due to a manufacturing issue, while they overspend on oranges. In the boardroom, the women make a substantial turnover, leaving the men to face questions on their performance. Of the final three, Edward Hunter becomes the first to be fired for his terrible leadership and his failure to use his skill-set.|
|86||2||"Mobile Phone Application"||11 May 2011||8.30|
|Teams face the challenge of coming up with their own mobile phone app, with each team promoting their concept to experts and bloggers at a gaming fair. Venture opt for an app combining annoying sounds with random pictures, making reasonable downloads, despite providing a poor pitch and raising questions over the concept's design. Logic opt for an app featuring stereotypical British characters saying things in their dialect, but get few downloads despite a good start and a well-received presentation, after their concept is condemned for its design and raises concerns over its limited marketing potential. In the boardroom, the women's concept proves more attractive after achieving a higher total of downloads, leaving the men to face criticism over their app. Of the final three, Alex Britez Cabral is fired for demonstrating no notable skills and for his lack of contribution within the team.|
|87||3||"Discount Buying for the Savoy"||18 May 2011||8.10|
|Lord Sugar has a new list for ten items, all required for the last-minute refurnishing of the Savoy Hotel before its grand reopening, with each team needing to seek out quality pieces at bargain prices. Venture secure all but one item and maintained a good performance, yet conducted poor negotiations that included a purchase costing more than they needed to spend. Logic secure six items with good negotiations, yet are comprised by being completely disorganised and wasting time with a suggestion from one member that proves futile. Despite Venture receiving a heavy fine, the poor performance of Logic causes their spend to be greatly increased by the fines they occur, leaving them to be criticised over their execution of the task. Amongst the losing team, Gavin Winstanley is ejected from the process after being deemed an ineffective, flawed team leader, and for demonstrating no other skill than selling.|
|88||4||"Beauty Treatments"||25 May 2011||8.62|
|Lord Sugar instructs both teams to each set up a beauty-treatment business within one of Birmingham's shopping centre, alongside selling a sideline of cosmetic products. Venture focus on spray-tanning and cold foot-massages as their treatments, enjoying good sales thanks to their retail location offering enough space for multiple customers, yet only sell half of their sideline of tanning products and nail polish. Logic opt for hot-shell massages and hair-styling as their treatments, but receive less sales due to their retail space limiting customers, with this further hampered by a late decision to focus solely on the sale of their sideline of hair-styling products and massagers along with an overspend on these. A review of sale figures soon reveal that Logic's execution of the task was flawed, leaving Venture to be praised for their efforts. Amongst the losing team, Felicity Jackson is dismissed for her indecisive leadership and the mistakes she made that contributed to her team's loss.|
|89||5||"Create, Brand and Launch a Pet Food"||1 June 2011||7.59|
|Each team faces the challenge of making a brand new type of pet food, complete with a promotional campaign, and pitching their concept to industry experts. Venture opt for a diet-styled cat food, but face questions over an unclear advertising, handle a difficult pitch, and have issues with a less assertive leader. Logic focus on a dog food aimed at helping to improve their joints and heart, receiving praise for a professional advertising campaign, but face criticism over lacking a proper target market and making a false claim on its design. Feedback from the experts leaves Lord Sugar deeming Venture's brand as the more effective design, leaving Logic questioned over the fatal flaws in their concept. Amongst the final three, Ellie Reed is fired for failing to contribute anything significant and her lack of respect to authority, while Vincent Disneur is also dismissed for contributing the most to the team's flawed product and failing to bring back its chief designer for further scrutiny.|
|90||6||"Rubbish"||8 June 2011||8.62|
|Each team find themselves operating a waste disposal service for two days, selling any valuable scrap they find amongst the trash that they dispose of for their customers, including from major contracts. Venture acquire little custom for the first day, thanks to the poor decision of their leader to charge for their services losing them out on contracts, leaving them to find contracts on the second day. Logic enjoy reasonable custom on both days, securing contracts by offering no fee for their service, and focusing on securing high-profit scrap amongst their refuse collections, despite one member arranging a deal that proves problematic. A totalling of revenue soon reveal Logic's strategy was very efficient, leaving Venture to be questioned over their tactics. Of the final three, Edna Agbarha is fired after falsely claiming credit for contributions made by other members and for becoming unsuitable for Lord Sugar's investment offer after a review of her track record.|
|91||7||"Freemium Magazine Launch"||15 June 2011||8.40|
|Creating a new type of free magazine is the basis of the next task, with each team pitching their concept to advertisers to secure sales for advertising space within. Venture create a magazine targeted at senior citizens, managing reasonable sales due to their concept being praised for its potential, yet face concerns over the magazine's title and issues with a problematic member ruining potential sales in one of their pitches. Logic create a magazine targeted at young men and including an element of business in their design, yet despite criticism over their concept being outdated and vulgar, they manage to receive considerable sales order for advertising space. In the boardroom, Logic's concept is praised over the sale figures it creates, leaving Venture to face questions over their design and performance. Amongst the final three, Glenn Ward is dismissed over issues with his background, his lack of business experience, and for his failure to make significant contributions and increase his presence on tasks.|
|92||8||"Paris"||22 June 2011||8.78|
|Each team splits in half on a marketing task – one half choose British products for the other half to sell in Paris, through making appointments with potential customers. Venture focus on selling a transformable child booster seat and an electronics device stand, yet despite the sales team struggling with one of their choices, they secure sizeable orders from the customers they meet with. Logic focus on selling a teapot-styled lamp and a garden growing postcard, but achieve less sales with their choices due to a member of the sales team restricting the others from handling meetings with potential customers. Upon their return to the boardroom, the sale figures show Venture's performance excelled well, leaving Logic to face questions over their execution of the task. Amongst the losing team, Leon Doyle is fired for his lack of sales, not demonstrating the same enthusiasm for business as his fellow team members, and for making poor excuses that Lord Sugar could not accept from him.|
|93||9||"Biscuit"||29 June 2011||8.98|
|Each team must manufacture a brand new type of distinctive biscuit, complete with packaging, and pitch their concept to retailers. Venture focus on a flapjack topped with a thick chocolate star, securing a large order mainly due to a member's suggestion of arranging a large-scale marketing strategy, despite most retailers raising concerns over the unclear message of their marketing scheme. Logic focus on a digestive and buttermilk biscuit combination with a partial chocolate coating, being praised for a clear marketing scheme, but receiving no orders due to criticism of their cheap production costs against their proposed sales price, alongside facing issues with in-fighting amongst the team. Venture's gamble is praised by Lord Sugar for achieving its high order total, leaving Logic to be criticised over their terrible performance. Amongst the losing team, Zoe Beresford is eject from the process for focusing on marketing rather than utilising her background, and for her mistakes on the task.|
|94||10||"Flip It"||6 July 2011||9.42|
|Both teams are each given a £250 pallet of wholesale items to sell around London over two days, reinvesting in those that sell well and accumulating as much assets from stock and cash. Venture find success with umbrellas and nodding dogs and so focus on these, yet good sales are hindered by a team leader's decision not to reinvest until the last minute. Logic fail to heed the premise of the task, reinvesting in new items on the second day rather than in good sellers, with their performance hampered by a poor decision that wastes time. Although Venture secure greater assets from their performance, Lord Sugar strips them of their prize because of their leader's actions, while Logic faces scrutiny over their weak performance. Amongst the losing team, Melody Hossaini is fired for not heeding the task's goal, her unacceptable personality, and for becoming unsuitable for the investment offer.|
|95||SP–1||"The Final Five"||7 July 2011||5.29|
|As this year's series of The Apprentice draws closer to its finale, this special episode takes a look at profiling the true story behind the five remaining candidates. Discussing their backgrounds, experiences, personality, and strengths and weaknesses, are a selection of each candidate's friends, family and colleagues, as well as Lord Sugar's aides, Nick Hewer and Karren Brady.|
|96||11||"Fast Food Chain"||13 July 2011||9.73|
|In their penultimate task, each team must invent a new type of fast-food outlet, operate a trial run of it with the public, before pitching their concept to industry experts. Venture focus on a outlet offering Mexican array of cuisine, but provide a poor service and unappetising food during their trial run, due to a greater focus on their outlet's decoration, while the presentation of their concept was ruined by a mathematical mistake on figures. Logic focus on an outlet offering a British selection of pies, providing a flawless service and good quality food during their trial run, along with providing an impressive pitch despite some questions over certain aspects. In the boardroom, Lord Sugar is impressed with the scores given to Logic, leaving him to scrutinise the performance made by Venture. Amongst the losing team, despite criticism of their team leader, Natasha Scribbins is dismissed for her lack of contributions despite her hospitality background, and becoming generally weaker by this stage of the process.|
|97||SP–2||"How to Get Hired"||15 July 2011||N/A|
|With the final looming, comedian and Apprentice fan Dara Ó Briain gives out a guide on how a candidate should operate in the process, and become a winner. Using incidents from this year's series, he analyses the common mistakes made by candidates, and some of the clever tactics they used to keep them in the process and out of Lord Sugar's firing line.|
|98||12||"The Final"||17 July 2011||10.24|
After facing tasks as teams, the four finalists now face their final task as individuals – a series of tough, gruelling interviews with four of Lord Sugar's most trusted associates to determine who is worthy of investment. Each member faces scrutiny over their backgrounds, work experience, track record, and business proposals when questioned by interviewers. Feedback to Lord Sugar, alongside observations by his aides, lead to Jim Eastwood being fired first for being the weakest of the group and providing a plan more suited for a charity, with Susan Ma leaving after him due to concerns the investment would be used up too quickly to scale her proposal up, despite it being the best of the group. Among the remaining two, Tom Pellereau finds himself becoming Lord Sugar's first business partner for his established track record as an inventor and businessman, leaving Helen Milligan to finish as runner-up due to her plan being set within an industry she had no expertise within and concerns her background was unsuitable for setting up a new business.Notes: Due to live coverage of a UEFA Champions League qualifying match on 20 July, this episode was aired three days earlier to avoid clashing with it. The series finale was originally broadcast as part of a two-hour crossover special with the programme's sister show, You're Fired; following the special, subsequent repeats broadcast only the final episode.
Criticism and controversyEdit
Sugar's "Engineers" commentEdit
Following the broadcast of the seventh episode of both The Apprentice and You're Fired!, Lord Sugar provoked anger amongst the engineering community over comments that he had made, in which he stated, in regards to his firing of Glenn Ward, that he had seen many engineers fail at business in the past. Many media articles disagreed to his view, pointing out James Dyson as a prime example of an engineer who became a hugely successful businessman.
|1||10 May 2011||8.79||4|
|2||11 May 2011||8.30||7|
|3||18 May 2011||8.10||5|
|4||25 May 2011||8.62||4|
|5||1 June 2011||7.59||1|
|6||8 June 2011||8.62||3|
|7||15 June 2011||8.40||5|
|8||22 June 2011||8.78||2|
|9||29 June 2011||8.98||1|
|10||6 July 2011||9.42||1|
|11||13 July 2011||9.73||2|
|12||17 July 2011||10.24||1|
|The Final Five||7 July 2011||5.29||12|
|How To Get Hired||15 July 2011||N/A||N/A|
- Dan Wootton (6 October 2016). "Lord Sugar told BBC he'd quit The Apprentice unless they changed format of giving the winner a job". The Sun. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "The Apprentice 2011: Why the final will be very different this year". New Magazine. New. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- "The Apprentice won by non-stop ideas factory Tom Pellereau". The Guardian. 17 July 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- Dyson, James (17 July 2011). "Tom Pellereau strikes a blow for great British inventors". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "Tom Pellereau wins The Apprentice". RTÉ News. 17 July 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- Michael Hogan (13 March 2012). "The Apprentice 2012: Lord Sugar – revitalising Apprentice prize gave me a new lease of life". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Stylfile: Nail Care Innovation from Tom Pellereau and Lord Sugar
- "Apprentice winners through the years – and where they are now". Daily Star. 1 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- "Lord Sugar invests in The Apprentice loser Susan Ma's skincare range". 19 March 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "£250 Business Start Up, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Mobile Phone Application, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Discount Buying for the Savoy, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Beauty Treatments, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Create, Brand and Launch a Pet Food, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Rubbish, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Freemium Magazine Launch, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Paris, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Biscuit, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Flip It, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "The Final Five, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "Fast Food Chain, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "How to Get Hired, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- "The Final, Series 7, The Apprentice – BBC One".
- Dyson, James (18 June 2011). "Engineers always do the business, Lord Sugar". The Guardian.
- "Lord Sugar criticised for 'engineers can't run businesses' comment". BusinessZone.