The Apprentice is a reality television series. It was originally broadcasted in the USA, and was hosted by entrepreneur Donald Trump, and has later been re-made for the UK, this version being hosted by Lord Alan Sugar. The US version is billed as "The Ultimate Job Interview" and stars between 16 to 18 candidates trying to compete for a one-year $250,000 starting contract in running one of Donald Trump's companies.
It has run for nine seasons; the first semi-dozen being for the aforementioned one-year $250,000 starting contract, and the succeeding triumvirate being for charity.
This version of The Apprentice offers less money - just £100,000, which would translate into considerably less than $250,000 - and instead the candidates work at one of Lord Alan Sugar's businesses, such as Amstrad (which has been sold to BSkyB), Viglen, Amsprop or Amshold.
Another vital contrast is that while the US version is quoted to be "The Ultimate Job Interview", the UK is in stark contrast as it describes the interview as the "job interview from hell".
The first and second series of The Apprentice aired on BBC Two in 2005 and 2006, the third series ran on BBC One in 2007, the forth series ran in 2008 on BBC One, the fifth series in 2009 on BBC One, and the sixth series due to broadcast later in 2010 on BBC One[note 1]. In the meantime, there is Junior Apprentice.
Junior Apprentice is not the only spin-off The Apprentice has spawned, however. After each mainstream-series episode, The Apprentice: You're Fired will air on BBC Two. This program is basically Adrian Chiles alongside a panel of celebrities - frequently business people - talking to the candidate about whether or not they should have been fired, as well as what happened. The process borders being as gruelling as The Apprentice itself, however, as Adrian Chiles is armed with clips that frequently display errors - fatal or not - and occasionally may take the mickey out of various quotations that a candidate may have used. For example, in one episode - where candidate Tre Azam yelled at another candidate "You'll fucking do as you're fucking told, and then we'll fucking make some fucking money!" - Adrian Chiles showed usage of nine expletives from Tre Azam and remarked that "his grandmother would have given him a right clip round the ear hole for his language" preceding the series of clips.
As well as Junior Apprentice and The Apprentice: You're Fired!, the program has also done celebrity versions for Comic Relief and also for Sport Relief. In addition, occasional 60-minute special episodes, often concentrating on particular candidates and their stories, also air.
The Apprentice has also generated Apprentice-related merchandising, which includes a magazine, a podcast, and also some books have officially been released. The success of the programme has led to other production companies to produce shows that follow a parallel format; such as Tycoon, hosted by Peter Jones; and Beat the Boss, which co-incidentally has been hosted by ex-candidate Saira Khan. It has also been compared to Dragons' Den.