The Apprentice (2005– )

TV Series  |   |  Game-Show, Reality-TV
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,496 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 5 critic

20 young entrepreneurs compete in several business tasks, and must survive the weekly firings in order to become the business partner of one of the most successful businessmen.

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself - The Boss / ... (121 episodes, 2005-2014)
Nick Hewer ...
 Himself - Sir Alan's aide / ... (118 episodes, 2005-2014)
Mark Halliley ...
 Himself - Narrator (83 episodes, 2005-2014)
Margaret Mountford ...
 Herself - Sir Alan's aide / ... (68 episodes, 2005-2011)
Karren Brady ...
 Herself - Lord Sugar's aide / ... (51 episodes, 2008-2014)
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Storyline

Sir Alan Sugar - the £700m owner of AMSTRAD, is presented with 14 candidates, he must split the candidates up into two teams each week, and set them a business task. At the end of the each task, Sir Alan will fire one member of the losing team. Until Week 12 when one of the candidates will get a £100,000 with Sir Alan and become 'The Apprentice.' Written by Tim Reynard

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Release Date:

16 February 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Alan Sugar: The Apprentice  »

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Technical Specs

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(12 episodes)

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Alan Sugar was the boss on the show for the princely sum of £0.00. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Peep Show: Jeremy Therapised (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

The different tasks keep it fresh while the different characters and conflicts keep it interesting – very easy to see why this has been a winning formula in the US and UK
2 April 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Fourteen aspiring business people (seven men and seven women) come together to go for one available job working for Sir Alan Sugar for $100,000 a year. However this is no ordinary job interview and instead of being a couple of days long the interview lasts about 12 weeks. Each week the two teams are given a task to carry out, the team that succeeds the most (in terms of sales generally) is rewarded but the team that loses is berated before three are selected for one final discussion before Sugar fires one.

I didn't bother with this show at first just because I'm not a massive fan of reality shows and this one looked like it was based on cruelty and shouting. However I gradually started to watch it and, although I don't worry about missing a show, I do enjoy it as a show. The task structure makes each week different and interesting for different reasons and I was surprised by how engaging each show was. Of course being a harder reality show it is driven forward by a lot of fighting, raised voices and confrontation but it is not forced or cruel for the sake of it – it just happens as a result of the structure and task. The dynamics of the characters are constantly interesting and it is impossible to watch it without getting drawn into the debate and judgement. This is why it works because it engages on this level – you won't like many of the people in the show and you may not like Sugar but it is the dramatic race against time and tensions that make it work.

I'm not totally convinced that the whole business concept rings true because for the type of job they are going for £100,000 a year isn't really that much money, plus their antics are not the sort of thing you expect from people in their earning bracket or areas of responsibilities. Some of them are smart, sharp and controlled but others you just have to wonder why they think anyone would want to give them a lot of responsibility. The tasks do require skills but they normally are more about the ability to work under a great deal of time pressure that makes them hard rather than requiring much more than good common sense. So aside from the link to business skills being a bit questionable this is quite an enjoyable show. It is cruel (Sugar plays the harsh host just like countless others) but mostly it is interesting and engaging to watch the two sides race against the clock (and each other) to complete their task. A winning formal then which, although it is a reality gameshow, stands out as one of the stronger reality gameshows.


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