The Apprentice (British series 10)
Series ten of The Apprentice (UK), a British reality television series, was broadcast in the UK during 2014, from 14 October to 21 December on BBC One; due to live coverage in Summer of that year for both the FIFA World Cup and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the BBC postponed the series' broadcast until Autumn to avoid clashing with these. It is the last series to feature Nick Hewer as Alan Sugar's aide, who left the programme following the series finale, with the tenth series featuring a guest appearance from Ricky Martin, winner of the eighth series, as an interviewer for the Interviews Stage for this series only.
|The Apprentice (British series 10)|
Promo group shot of Alan Sugar, Nick Hewer and Karren Brady standing before the candidates for series 10
|Country of origin||UK|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Original release||14 October –|
21 December 2014
Production on the tenth series included two prominent tasks traditionally used in the show's format being specially designed towards celebrating The Apprentice's tenth year of broadcast. In addition, other tasks featured a more varied arrangement of challenges that included some being geared towards the technology industry. Alongside the standard twelve episodes, with the first two aired within a day of each other, the series featured two specials before its premiere – "Meet the Candidates", made available online only on 7 October; and "Ten Years of The Apprentice" on 13 October – and two specials aired alongside this series – "The Final Five" on 16 December ; and "Why I Fired Them" on 18 December
Marking the programme's tenth series, production staff selected twenty candidates to take part, the highest number to be involved in any variation of The Apprentice globally, with Mark Wright becoming the overall winner. Excluding specials, the series averaged around 7.40 million viewers during its broadcast.
Applications for the tenth series began in Spring 2013, towards the end of the ninth series' broadcast, with the selection process of auditions, assessments and interviews held within mid-Summer of that year. As The Apprentice was now entering its tenth year, production staff and Alan Sugar discussed how to celebrate this milestone before filming would begin, opting on a few key decisions. One such decision was on the design of the tasks; apart from creating more variety in these than in the previous series – some focused on technology and another aimed at dividing teams to work both within the UK and abroad – two traditional tasks – the first sales task, and the bargain-hunting task – were designed around celebrating the programme's milestone, featuring the involvement of items that had been sold within these tasks. However, the more key decision agreed upon was on the number of candidates that would take part in the series. While the production staff selected sixteen candidates, as had been done in the past since the third series, they were kept unaware that a further four applicants had also been selected to take part, until filming for the series began. The decision to increase the number of candidates meant that Sugar was required to perform more multiple firings than before, allowing for the series to include a triple firing outside of the Interviews stage, the first time in the programme's history that this occurred, though reaction from fans was mixed over this decision during the series' broadcast.
During filming, Nick Hewer began to contemplate his future on the programme, after finding the strain on his stamina becoming increasingly difficult to cope with from the amount of work he had do on and off-camera. Alongside other commitments, including his new role as host of Channel 4's Countdown, he eventually decided that the tenth series would be his last on The Apprentice, revealing his decision towards the end of the tenth series' broadcast, with it fully confirmed by Sugar on social media and the You're Fired half of the series finale. Apart from Hewer, Margaret Mountford decided that, after working as an interviewer for the past four series, she would not be returning, leading to Sugar inviting Ricky Martin to interviewing candidates who made it to the Interviews stage.
Prior to filming being completed and editing finalised, the BBC found that it could not place the tenth series in its Spring 2014 schedule because of live coverage of two major sporting events in that year – FIFA World Cup and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. As a result, it was forced to have episodes aired in Autumn to where it could have less competition for viewing figures, with Sugar confirming this decision during October 2013. To accommodate the final edit of the tenth series, the premiere was preceded by a special, entitled "Ten Years of The Apprentice", which was focused on highlights from the past nine series of The Apprentice, mainly towards scenes that were memorable for Sugar, Hewer, and Karen Brady. In addition, this series saw the introduction of an online exclusive mini-episode, entitled "Meet the Candidates – using tapes from the selection process, the production staff invited comedian Matt Edmondson, a fan of The Apprentice who had been involved in online spin-offs for the programme, to star in a spoof online episode, in which he "interviewed" the candidates who had secured a place on the tenth series, usually deriving comedy from his responses to genuine answers and replies that each candidate had made to questions.
When filming began, the first task saw the men name their team as Summit, while the women went under the team name of Tenacity after this task – their initial name of Decadence was not changed at any point during filming of this task when it was chosen, and was not edited out by production staff; reviewers for the first episode remarked that this choice was a "terrible" one to select for a team name, despite the reasons for its selection. Of those who took part, Mark Wright would become the eventual winner, going on to use his prize to start up an SEO business called Climb Online, which would go on to establish an income of approximately £5 million a year.
|Mark Wright||Sales Manager – Digital Marketing||24||Winner|
|Bianca Miller||Owner – Personal Branding Company||25||Runner-up|
|Daniel Lassman||Director – Pub Quiz Company||27||Fired after Interviews stage|
|Solomon Akhtar||Technology Entrepreneur||22|
|Sanjay Sood-Smith||Senior Manager – Banking||27||Fired after tenth task|
|Katie Bulmer-Cooke||Fitness Entrepreneur||27|
|Felipe Alviar-Baquero||Lawyer||33||Fired after ninth task|
|James Hill||Multiple Business Owner||26||Fired after eighth task|
|Lauren Riley||Solicitor||28||Fired after seventh task|
|Pamela Uddin||Assistant Brand Manager||23||Fired after sixth task|
|Jemma Bird||Operations Manager||26||Fired after fifth task|
|Ella Jade Bitton||Business Management Graduate||23||Fired after fourth task|
|Sarah Dales||Former PA and Hypnotherapist||32|
|Steven Ugoalah||Social Worker||29|
|Nurun Ahmed||Marketing Officer and Fashion Retailer||36||Fired after third task|
|Lindsay Booth||Owner – Swimming Academy||29|
|Scott McCulloch||Clinical Development Strategist||24||Fired after second task|
|Robert Goodwin||Marketing Manager||25|
|Chiles Cartwright||Company Director||35||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 / they passed the Interviews stage.
- 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|
|127||1||"Ten Years of Selling"||14 October 2014||8.22|
|Lord Sugar celebrates the show's tenth year by searching for a business partner for 2014 amongst twenty candidates. For the first task, each team must sell a selection of items handpicked from nine years of opening challenges. Both teams opt for the same strategy of branding the same item with a novel design and making cooked snacks with one of their food products. The women manage good sales, despite selling their branded product for less than potential value and dealing with a frustrating team leader. The men provide a strong performance, but are hampered by one member wasting time to improve the value of their cooked snack, while another focuses priority on less valuable items than their branded product. The women manage to secure victory, after the men's efforts are destroyed by the mistakes that occurred within their team and leaves them facing the boardroom. Of the final three, Chiles Cartwright becomes the first to be fired for his lack of sales, mismanaging a sub-team, and for focusing on low-value items than more valuable commodities.|
|128||2||"Wearable Technology"||15 October 2014||7.50|
|Fashion with in-built technology is the basis of the next task, as each team must come up with a brand new piece of wearable tech and pitch their concept to retailers. The men design a jumper with a built-in camera and LEDS, but secure no orders due to providing a terrible pitch, alongside negative feedback on their concept's design and tech-based aspect. The women design a jacket with solar panels on the shoulders, and a built in phone charger and heat pads, managing to secure orders from only one retailer, despite concerns over their design, alongside difficulty making their pitches and a lack of presences from their team leader. Tenacity are credited for their win, despite what they create, while Summit are criticised over their flawed product. Amongst the losing team, Robert Goodwin is fired after the results for not becoming the team's leader per Lord Sugar's explicit instructions and for his lack of contributions, while Scott McCulloch is dismissed for his lack of leadership and presence, and failing a task suited to his business background.|
|129||3||"Home Fragrance"||22 October 2014||7.79|
|Each team faces the task of manufacturing a brand new range of fragrances, selling their creations to passing trade and retailers around London. Summit focus on a range made with high-end ingredients and a beach theme of branding, yet reasonable sales of their product is hindered by ineffective salespeople and mistakes made over two deals made by the team. Tenacity focus on a range made with cheap ingredients and a British theme of branding, managing lucrative sales and controlling their costs, despite one product being unappealing and some customers being put off by the high price tag of their entire range. Tenacity's strategy is soon revealed as effective in securing a high profit, leaving Summit to face an in-depth review of their poor performance. Amongst the losing team, Lindsay Booth leaves the process voluntarily after admitting to be out of her depth in the process, alongside her lack of sales, while Lord Sugar fires Nurun Ahmed for her lack of assertiveness and sales, despite her business profession.|
|130||4||"Online Video Channel"||29 October 2014||7.63|
|Each team runs their own YouTube channel, creating unique content for it, with the ability to secure additional views through the support of both a prominent Youtuber and a major website. Tenacity focus on fitness themed videos, yet problematic members cause production errors, their videos are deemed offensive, and their pitch to the website is poorly received. Summit focus on creating culinary comedy videos, securing good views through using a popular Youtuber's promotions, but fail to secure the website over concerns that their content is for the wrong target audience. Summit secure victory thanks to key members of the team, leaving Tenacity to face questions over the flaws in their performance. Amongst the losing team, Lord Sugars fires three members for contributing to their loss – Steven Ugoalah, for presenting a poor pitch to the website and for his volatile personality; Sarah Dales, for lacking the experience needed for her proposal and her weak performance in tasks; and Ella-Jade Bitton, for directing the videos poorly and failing on a task suited to her business idea.|
|131||5||"Coach Tours"||5 November 2014||7.72|
|Teams are tasked with running their own luxury coach tour, complete with refreshments, with each team choosing two venues for Londoners to visit. Tenacity arranged for their tour to visit Blenheim Palace and Oxford, managing their costs efficiently and make good income, along with receiving good feedback from their customers despite criticism over the refreshments they offered and the tour of the second venue. Summit arranged for their tour to visit Hever Castle and Canterbury, receiving good feedback from customers on their refreshments, but were criticised for a poor tour of the first site, forcing their group to a sing-along, and getting lost and thus having less time to see their second venue. Tenacity win the task with the profit they achieve from their strategy, leaving Summit to be criticised over the poor aspects of their tour. Of the final three, Jemma Bird is fired for her poorly planned guided tour of the first venue, alongside her lack of contributions and presence in tasks.|
|132||6||"Board Game"||12 November 2014||7.80|
|Teams find themselves making their own board games, with each selling their creation to retailers around London. Summit create a educational geography board game, managing positive sales due to retailers praising the design of their creation, alongside the good feedback from their focus group of their concept, yet face issues from the sales tactic of the team leader, while one member makes a mistake that prevents finding further customers within one of the city's borough. Tenacity create a dating board game, but despite making modest sales, their concept is criticised over the sexist and offensive nature of its design by both their focus group and retailers. Summit win the task after their product is deemed the best, leaving Tenacity to face questions over the flaws of their game. Of the final three, Pamela Uddin is ejected from the process for ignoring market research and opting for the flawed concept, her inability to take criticism, and failing to bring Mark back into the boardroom.|
|133||7||"Advertising – New York"||19 November 2014||6.77|
|Each team splits in two - one half stays in London to devise a brand new soft drink, while the other half head to New York to create a promotional campaign for it, before pitching it to American industry experts. Summit create a new brand of fizzy drink, being praised over its taste and promo campaign, despite the experts having issues with the brand's logo and their TV advert. Tenacity create a new brand of health drink, but face criticism over a dull presentation, the drink's poor taste, and both the advertising and branding, despite receiving good feedback on their concept. When back in the boardroom, Lord Sugar reveals that from the feedback he received, Summit's concept is the best, leaving Tenacity to face criticism over the flaws of their creation. Amongst the losing team, Lauren Riley is dismissed for contributing to the team's poor pitch, failing to step up her performance, and becoming unsuitable for Lord Sugar's investment opportunity.|
|134||8||"Country Show"||26 November 2014||7.04|
|Heading to the Royal Bath and West Show, each team must select two new products and one sure-fire seller, and then sell their choices to visitors at the event. Summit opt for selling hanging chairs, folding wellingtons and lawnmowers, but make poor sales throughout the task, due to a lack of focus by those handling the chairs and wellingtons, and inefficient salesmanship by those selling the lawnmowers. Tenacity focus on selling hot tubs, bike trailers with a child seat and transforming handbags, achieving significant sales with the hot tubs, yet in-fighting between those selling the trailers and handbags impacts sales on these. Summit face the boardroom due to the arguments and issues that effected their performance, as Tenacity secure victory with their sale figures. Amongst the final three, James Hill is fired for his poor decisions as team leader, his immature and arrogant attitude and for bringing Roisin into the boardroom for personal reasons.|
|135||9||"Ten Years of Discount Buying"||3 December 2014||6.66|
|Lord Sugar has a list of ten items he requires, each handpicked from those featured in his negotiations task over the past nine years, requiring each team to get each for a bargain price. Summit focus on sourcing items before seeking out bargain, managing good negotiation on some purchases, but being hampered by a problematic member wasting time and forcing another to conduct deals in their stead. Tenacity spend little time on sourcing items, but despite strong negotiators securing good bargains, two purchases are disallowed for not matching specifications. Summit are amazed to achieve victory, as Tenacity face serious questions on their performance after their total spend is impacted by the fines they receive. Of the final three, Felipe Alviar-Baquero is fired for making the critical purchase that was disallowed and contributed to the team's loss, alongside demonstrating a lack of business skills and his overall track record.|
|136||10||"Premium Pudding"||10 December 2014||7.31|
|Each team must create a brand new premium pudding, complete with packaging, and pitch their creations to retailers. Tenacity create a line of exotic trifles, but receive few orders from retailers due to criticism on their packaging, the appointed pitcher struggling with their presentations, and one member lack proper cooking knowledge and thus giving one of their flavours an overpowering taste. Summit create a line of tea-based cheesecakes, earning favourable orders thanks to good feedback on their creation and its flavour, despite the initial pitch being poorly received and the team having some concerns over the taste of their desert. Tenacity find themselves facing the boardroom, after the creation loses out to that of Summit and the order total they achieve. Amongst the losing team, Lord Sugar decides to fire Katie Bulmer-Cooke for creating an unpopular flavour and lacking experience for her business proposal, while Sanjay Sood-Smith is dismissed over his mediocre track record in the process and for raising doubts over his business proposal.|
|137||SP–1||"The Final Five"||16 December 2014||N/A|
|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.|
|138||11||"Interviews"||17 December 2014||7.17|
|After facing ten tasks as teams, the five remaining candidates now compete as individuals in their next task – a series of tough, gruelling interviews with four of Lord Sugar's most trusted associates. 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, leads him to immediately firing Solomon Akhtar for his vague and awful business plan, his naivety, and his lack of business experience, while he decides to fire Roisin Hogan for raising serious concerns over the costs of her business proposal, and dismisses Daniel Lassman for his weak track record, for being given too many second chances and for failing to demonstrate his sales skills. Of the remaining two, both Bianca Miller and Mark Wright receive praise from the interviewers alongside Lord Sugar deeming their proposals to be very appealing, despite minor concerns over each candidate.|
|139||SP–2||"Why I Fired Them"||18 December 2014||N/A|
|As the final looms, Lord Sugar takes a look back to the tasks he set for this year's series of The Apprentice. From making board games and soft drinks, to making online videos and operating a coach tour, he relieves all of the mistakes, disasters and doomed decisions that were made, and gives out his reasons for what made him fire a candidate in that respective task when their arguments were not enough to survive the firing line in the boardroom.|
|140||12||"The Final"||21 December 2014||7.22|
After facing a multitude of business tasks and a tough interview, the two finalists, aided by old friends, face the task of presenting their business proposal to an audience of business and industry experts, detailing key areas in it – its name, its goals, its target market, and its business structure. Bianca works to present her plans for a tights and hosiery business, but faces questions over her lack of manufacturing experience, product pricing and branding, despite her presentation being well received and her concept deemed good. Mark works to present his plans for a SEO business for supporting small companies, receiving praise for his strong industry expertise and brand name, yet faces questions over his proposal's target market and staff costs. Based on feedback from these presentations, Lord Sugar deems that Mark Wright will be his business partner for 2014 for his strong proposal he had expertise to create and being the stronger of the two finalists, leaving Bianca Miller to finish as runner-up due to the many concerns raised about her proposal.Notes: This episode was originally broadcast as part of a two-hour crossover special with the programme's sister show, You're Fired. After the crossover special, this episode was broadcast separately in subsequent repeats.
Criticism and controversyEdit
Inclusion of twenty candidatesEdit
While the decision to have 20 candidates for this series made it the highest number of participates in an incarnation of the show worldwide, it drew criticism from viewers who remarked that there was less room to get to know the candidates, some of whom remained in the competition for some time yet had almost no screen time at all. The decision also received complaints that this led away from the business aspect of the show, becoming more of a "reality" programme by inducing "shock firings".
Questioning of drink brand in Week 7Edit
Following the broadcast of the seventh episode, it was revealed that an energy drink in the United States already had the brand name of "Big Dawg", raising questions over why Summit had been allowed to use the name during the episode's task. The production staff later acknowledged that they had been aware of this fact, but had seen no issues for its use in this series of The Apprentice, for two reasons:- firstly, there was no British trademark of that name in use, at the time of filming; and secondly, the candidates couldn't have known of the existence of the brand, due to the show's rules prohibiting them from accessing the internet while taking part in the show.
Week Nine's ResultEdit
Following the broadcast of the ninth episode, many viewers raised complaints about Lord Sugar's decision to revoke Tenacity's purchase of the paper-made skeleton, with the scene receiving similar reactions from the participants of Channel 4's Gogglebox, who were just as negative about Sugar's decision. Many of these complaints stated that the purchase had technically fitted the task's briefing because there had been no proper specification made about what kind of skeleton the teams had to purchase, deeming the decision to have been unfair and for being biased against Felipe Alvair-Baquero, the candidate who made the purchase.
|1||14 October 2014||8.22||3|
|2||15 October 2014||7.50||6|
|3||22 October 2014||7.79||5|
|4||29 October 2014||7.63||5|
|5||5 November 2014||7.72||4|
|6||12 November 2014||7.80||6|
|7||19 November 2014||6.77||8|
|8||26 November 2014||7.04||7|
|9||3 December 2014||6.66||9|
|10||10 December 2014||7.31||4|
|11||17 December 2014||7.17||7|
|12||21 December 2014||7.22||6|
Note: During the 2-hour final, the show was shared with The Apprentice: You're Hired, and as a result the figures are lower than expected. The first hour was the main show whereas the second hour was You're Hired. Original overnights for the final put the first hour at one million viewers more than the 2-hour average.
|Ten Years of The Apprentice||13 October 2014||N/A||N/A|
|The Final Five||16 December 2014||N/A||N/A|
|Why I Fired Them||18 December 2014||N/A||N/A|
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