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, with filming taking place in Autumn 2010. Following the sixth series, the show saw the format altered significantly, with not only the task layout being rearranged so that the 'Interviews' stage was the final task, but the prize for winning was no longer a six-figure job, but a £250,000 investment from Lord Alan Sugar with which to start their own business with, with Sugar becoming their business partner; applicants who applied for the show prior to the announcement about the change in prize, assumed the job was still the prize. For the sixteen candidates who took part, their teams were named Venture and Logic, with Tom Pellereau winning the series.
The first two episodes of the series were broadcast on consecutive air dates, while the final episode was aired three days earlier, to avoid clashing with live coverage of the second qualifying round of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League on 20 July. Two specials aired alongside the series during its final weeks, including the return of a new edition of "The Final Five", aired on 7 July, and a unique special called "How To Get Hired", aired on 15 July.
- 1 Candidates
- 2 Episodes
- 2.1 Week 1: £250 Business Start Up
- 2.2 Week 2: Mobile Phone Application
- 2.3 Week 3: Discount Buying for the Savoy
- 2.4 Week 4: Beauty Treatments
- 2.5 Week 5: Create, Brand and Launch a Pet Food
- 2.6 Week 6: Rubbish
- 2.7 Week 7: Freemium Magazine Launch
- 2.8 Week 8: Paris
- 2.9 Week 9: Biscuit
- 2.10 Week 10: Flip It
- 2.11 Week 11: Fast Food Chain
- 2.12 Week 12: The Final
- 3 Criticism and controversy
- 4 Ratings
- 5 References
|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||Fired in Finals|
|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||Fired after fifth task|
|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|
- Template:Color box The candidate won this series of The Apprentice.
- Template:Color box The candidate was the runner-up.
- Template:Color box The candidate won as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
- Template:Color box The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
- Template:Color box The candidate was on the winning team for this task.
- Template:Color box The candidate was on the losing team for this task.
- Template:Color box The candidate was brought to the final boardroom for this task.
- Template:Color box The candidate was fired in this task.
- Template:Color box The candidate lost as project manager for this task and was fired.
Week 1: £250 Business Start Up
- Original Air Date: 10 May 2011
- Logic: Edward (Project Manager), Alex, Gavin, Glenn, Jim, Leon, Tom and Vincent.
- Venture: Melody (Project Manager), Edna, Ellie, Felicity, Helen, Natasha, Susan and Zoe.
- Task: Use fruit and veg to make meals for London's work force, with £250 investment. Highest turnover made, wins.
- Task Review: Venture decided to sell fruits for breakfast, and vegetable pasta for lunch, yet decided to not spend all of their money; due to a misunderstanding of the task's rules, they assumed they would win on profit and not turnover. While they managed to sell well from the start by catching trade at breakfast, pasta sales fell as the team failed to deliver them on time. Meanwhile, Logic decided on serving tomato soup and orange juice, though Edward spent the majority of their budget on oranges, forcing the men to bargain for soup ingredients. They also missed out on the breakfast trade after their juicing equipment broke down and forced them to spend the morning juicing their oranges by hand. Despite their soup and juices sales soon picking up, the poor start and broken machinery proved too much to overcome.
- Result: Logic's turnover was £432.13, while Venture's turnover was £592.
- Winner: Venture – By £159.87.
- Reward: Champagne at the candidates' house.
- Brought into the boardroom: Edward, Gavin and Leon
- Fired: Edward – For his terrible leadership, not allowing others to step up when they were better qualified to lead, refusing to use his accountancy skill-set, and for bringing Gavin back into the boardroom for personal and unrelated reasons instead of Alex.
- You're Fired Panel: Kate Spicer, Richard Reid and Jo Cawfield
- Although Venture had assumed the task was measured on profit, their win would have been even more decisive if this had been the case, as their total profit was £422, compared to the £182.10 that Logic had made, and would have still won with a profit of £362 if the girls had spent their entire budget.
- Both Lord Sugar and Karren were impressed with Jim's performance on the task, as he was the member of Logic who had sold the most, and had negotiated well for the soup ingredients, particularly after Edward had given his team no consultation when he decided to spend £200 on oranges.
- Edward's performance on the task was greatly criticised by Lord Sugar, who felt he had been wrong to step up for the role of project manager when there had been others more suitable, particularly Jim and Gavin. Sugar could not understand why he had not asked anyone else to put themselves forward for the role, with Edward further damaging his chances when he tried to deny that Gavin had offered to volunteer to be PM, only for Leon to challenge this.
- It was hinted that had Alex been brought back, he would have been in the firing line as he had spent the entire task serving soup and only contributed £8 to Logic's turnover. Both Lord Sugar and Karren criticised him for doing "back-office" work, while Nick accused him of hiding in order to avoid any responsibility.
- Lord Sugar believed that Edward's decision to bring back Gavin, who had contributed the second-highest amount for the team, was purely down to personal reasons, especially after Edward admitted that he didn't actually know how much Gavin had sold until Karren told him in the final boardroom. As a result of this, Lord Sugar quickly deemed Gavin to be safe from any risk of firing.
- In the final boardroom, Leon and Gavin repeatedly questioned whether Edward, as an accountant, was qualified to lead. Despite his otherwise heavy criticism, Lord Sugar defended him on this point, explaining to the men that many successful business people had started out as accountants, and told Edward after his firing that he had nothing to be ashamed about with his occupation.
Week 2: Mobile Phone Application
- Original Air Date: 11 May 2011
- Logic: Leon (Project Manager), Alex, Gavin, Glenn, Jim, Tom and Vincent.
- Venture: Edna (Project Manager), Ellie, Felicity, Helen, Melody, Natasha, Susan and Zoe.
- Task: Develop a mobile phone app, pitch it to three distributors to promote as 'App of the Day' (for 24 hours), and attempt to convince bloggers and software experts to support their application further. Most downloads received, wins.
- Task Review: Venture focused on an app called "Ampi-Apps" that featured annoying noises paired up with random pictures, although they had to wait for feedback from market research before they initially conceived the concept of it. While their idea was felt to be somewhat pointless by two of the three distributors, with Edna mistakenly forgetting to explain where to download the app during the team's pitch, downloads of it soon took off after it was showcased at the gaming fair. On the other end, Logic created an app called "Slangatang" that featured a number of stereotypical characters from in the UK and around the world saying things in regional dialects. Although they had a strong start on downloads and gave a better presentation, their app was felt to be extremely offensive by the largest of the distributors and most of the people at the gaming fair, with downloads drying up eventually afterwards, effectively ending their chances of a win.
- Result: Logic had a total of 3,951 downloads, while Venture had a total of 10,667 downloads.
- Winner: Venture – By 6,716 downloads.
- Reward: A meal hosted by Michelin two-star chef Michel Roux, Jr.
- Brought into the boardroom: Leon, Alex and Glenn
- Fired: Alex – For taking a backseat in both tasks, making too many excuses for his lack of contribution, and for showing no skills that would be beneficial for investing in him.
- You're Fired Panel: Andrew Harrison, Karren Brady and Andy Parsons
- Despite Venture's win, the majority of the team were unhappy with the finished app, feeling it was somewhat pointless, with the majority of Logic condemning its design as well and were subsequently shocked to lose against it. In addition, Edna received criticism over her decision to deliver the team's pitch instead of Melody, who had stated she had pitched to people "on a day-to-day basis", while her team noted that Susan had tried to explain an idea of hers but was shot down by Edna, causing friction between the two during the task, with the suggestion she might have been brought back had the team lost.
- Leon initially decided to bring Alex and Jim back into the boardroom, but Jim openly challenged this, causing Leon to change his mind and bring back Glenn instead for his bad idea. Despite Glenn hastily trying to convince him to bring Tom back instead, Leon stuck to his choice.
- Discussing the team's loss, Lord Sugar pointed out that one of the reasons for the app failing, apart from its conception being bad and Glenn receiving criticism for it, was that its description was deemed boring in comparison to Venture's. While Leon was not fired for losing a task he was well suited for, Sugar informed him that he was on his last warning.
- Two of the panellists and a small majority of the audience of You're Fired agreed with Lord Sugar's decision. The one panellist who disagreed, believed that Leon should have been fired for his weak leadership and for allowing Jim to convince him to bring Glenn back into the boardroom instead.
Week 3: Discount Buying for the Savoy
- Original Air Date: 18 May 2011
- Logic: Gavin (Project Manager), Ellie, Melody, Natasha, Tom, Vincent and Zoe.
- Venture: Susan (Project Manager), Edna, Felicity, Glenn, Helen, Jim and Leon.
- Task: Purchase a set list of ten items within nine hours for the grand reopening of the Savoy, negotiating for low prices. Least amount spent, after addition of fines, wins.
- Task Review: Venture performed well and purchased nine of the items required, but their bargain-hunting was poorly executed, as they spent more for their items, including twice as much on the tea, while their failure to buy a large consignment of light bulbs incurred them a heavy fine as a result. In comparison, Logic's performance was poor from the start, as Natasha wasted the team's time with numerous bad ideas, while their bargain-hunting only allowed them to secure 6 items, causing them to receive several large fines and penalties, and thus narrowly miss out on winning.
- Result: Venture's total spend was £1,381.69 (including fines), while Logic's total spend was £1,389.20 (including fines).
- Winner: Venture – By £7.51.
- Reward: Visit to a circus style Cabrera show in one of Covent Gardens trendy bars.
- Brought into the boardroom: Gavin, Vincent and Zoe
- Fired: Gavin – For his ineffective and disorganised leadership, lacking assertiveness, failing to demonstrate any skills other than sales, and for not bringing Natasha back into the boardroom.
- You're Fired Panel: Tara Burnett, Sean Lock and Jane Moore
- Despite feeling that Susan had managed her team well, Lord Sugar criticised her sub-team for buying the tea and the top hat at ridiculous prices, which he blamed on poor initial research. By contrast, Jim was commended for his persistence in getting numerous small discounts, which proved decisive given the narrow margin of victory, while Nick dubbed Susan a "force to be reckoned with".
- Lord Sugar was appalled by Logic's disorganised performance, hinting that he would have disqualified them if they had won the task. While he was critical of Zoe for her lack of contribution to the task, he opted to assign her as PM on the next task after she gave a strong counterargument to the criticism. In contrast, Natasha received heavy criticism for her poor ideas, including her attempt to obtain a list from a rival hotel so to know where to source things, with Sugar indicating he would have fired her over Gavin if she had been brought back.
- Both the You're Fired! audience and two of the panellists agreed with the decision to fire Gavin, with one of the panellists who agreed commenting that it had been a close decision between Gavin and Vincent. Sean Lock described it as "the best decision Lord Sugar ever made".
Week 4: Beauty Treatments
- Original Air Date: 25 May 2011
- Logic: Felicity (Project Manager), Ellie, Jim, Melody, Natasha, Tom and Vincent .
- Venture: Zoe (Project Manager), Edna, Glenn, Leon, Helen and Susan.
- Task: Set up a beauty-treatment business, boosting sales with a sideline of cosmetic products; products are chosen from vendors the day before selling. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Venture secured a spray-tanning system along with cold foot-massage products for treatments, selling tanning products and nail polish on the side, with their location at the Westfield Merry Hill centre offering a treatment room that could serve three customers at once. The team enjoyed good sales and had little issues, except for selling only half of their products, with Susan making the poor decision of requesting more tanning supplies despite Zoe talking her down from the initial amount she wanted. Meanwhile, Logic chose a hot-shell heat massager along with hair-styling for treatments, and sold additional hair-styling products and massagers, but their facilities within the Bullring centre in Birmingham, while giving better footfall, had only one treatment room available, situated three floors above from their main sales point. The team were hampered further by Felicity making very little decisions, relying on her team to help out, before making a serious error by focusing on their sidelines than the more profitable treatments for much of the day, even pulling two of their therapists to assist. While she eventually focused on treatments later in the day, both this and the overspend on their products, far grather than Venture's, proved to be costly mistakes.
- Result: Venture had a profit of £203.01, while Logic had a loss of £246.28.
- Winner: Venture – By £449.29.
- Reward: Dance lessons with the cast of Strictly Come Dancing
- Brought into the boardroom: Felicity, Ellie and Natasha
- Fired: Felicity – For being too indecisive, choosing a bad location, focusing on cosmetics rather than the more profitable treatments, and for not bringing Tom back into the boardroom.
- You're Fired Panel: Nicky Kinnaird, Ed Byrne and Lisa Snowdon
- At the briefing, Lord Sugar re-balanced the teams by having Zoe change places with Felicity, appointing both as Project Managers, while also having Jim switch from Venture to Logic. Before he finished, he warned the candidates not to repeat Gavin's mistakes, stating he had been a real "contender" prior to his firing.
- Nick was forced to make a rare intervention during the task, stepping in to stop Ellie and Melody complaining to Felicity about the lack of customers for treatments and wasting time, by reminding both that they had to continue onwards regardless of their issues.
- Although Venture won, Lord Sugar noted that their profit would be hardly impressive in the beauty industry. In addition, he pointed out to Susan, who had a background in skincare products, that had she spent the amount she initially suggested, her team would have made a loss, implying she would have been fired if they had lost the task. Meanwhile, despite being heavily insecure with selling beauty products and performing treatments, Karren praised Leon in the boardroom for his valiant effort, which had made him the most effective member of Venture's sale team.
- Both teams initially sought to secure the spray-tanning system, with Venture ultimately acquiring the right to use it due to the vendor perceiving a lack of enthusiasm from Logic. In the boardroom, Lord Sugar was quick to rebut Felicity's claim that this had been the cause of her team's loss by stating that it actually been the bad location and the misguided strategy of focusing on selling products that been the more decisive errors.
- Logic's loss of money was second only to the £807 lost by Team Invicta in the fourth episode of series two, and the last of three occasions (as of 2019) where the task's overall result was a net loss, with Logic's loss of money outweighing Venture's profits.
- Seeking to pin the blame on him for the team's loss, Melody openly accused Tom of failing to persuade customers to take up their treatments, after Felicity pulled him from treatments to help out her sub-team, with Nick adding that he chose to assist with selling products rather than provide customers for her and Ellie. However, Felicity refused to blame him, pointing out that he had raised concerns on the location that ultimately proved to be correct. Meanwhile, Ellie faced criticism from Lord Sugar for wasting three hours within the treatment room and making no effort to communicate with Felicity, earning her a severe warning from him.
- Almost the entire audience of You're Fired agreed with Lord Sugar's decision, and even Felicity felt she should have been fired, acknowledging that by the time she shifted focus onto treatments by mid-afternoon, her team had realised they were almost certainly going to lose.
Week 5: Create, Brand and Launch a Pet Food
- Original Air Date: 1 June 2011
- Logic: Vincent (Project Manager), Ellie, Jim, Melody, Natasha and Tom.
- Venture: Glenn (Project Manager), Edna, Leon, Helen, Susan and Zoe.
- Task: Create a new brand of pet food, then pitch it. Best concept made, wins.
- Task Review: Venture opted to create a brand of cat food called "Cat-Size" that was designed as to be a diet meal for cats, yet their execution of the task was weak. Not only did Glenn struggle to gain the respect of his teammates, their television advert was slightly unclear, while Leon stumbled through his pitch in spite of his sub-team spending five hours preparing for it. In comparison, Logic opted for a dog food brand called "Every Dog", conceived to be fed to dogs of all shapes and sizes despite the fact the actual product was designed to specifically help with joints and heart. While their campaign was felt to be more professional, with Natasha's advert considerably better, their failure to give a clear target market, along with a vet pointing out early on that making a dog food for every dog was impossible, effectively allowing Venture to snatch victory.
- Winner: Venture – For a campaign that was not fatally flawed and having a clear target market.
- Reward: Playing tennis with Pat Cash
- Brought into the boardroom: Vincent, Ellie and Natasha
- Ellie – For taking a backseat in all tasks to date, her insubordination towards Vincent, failing to contribute anything valuable to the task despite her background, and for not stepping up despite being warned to do so in the previous boardroom.
- Vincent – For ignoring the advice from a vet and creating an unsellable product, refusing to admit any fault for the loss, continuously being on the losing team, and for bringing Natasha back into the boardroom instead of Jim.
- You're Fired Panel: Debbie Woscoe, Kelvin McKenzie and Sarah Millican
- After Lord Sugar criticised him in the boardroom, Jim asked to be team leader on the next task but was denied the request, with Sugar stating that he would decide when he could lead a team on a task.
- After discussing Vincent's dubious decision to bring back Natasha, Lord Sugar ultimately concluded that he was too scared to choose Jim and fired him to send "a message" to the other candidates.
- While the audience of You're Fired! and two of the panellists agreed with Lord Sugar's decision to fire Vincent, it proved to be "a split jury" for Ellie, as only the panel agreed to it. While Ellie was not fired with regret on the main episode it was shown on You're Fired! that she was. The panellists also noted that Glenn had been merely fortunate that his team had won, considering he went against the marketing choice of Leon's sub-team and gave them little to do, while making a slogan that was deemed to be very weak.
Week 6: Rubbish
- Original Air Date: 8 June 2011
- Logic: Helen (Project Manager), Jim, Melody, Natasha and Tom.
- Venture: Zoe (Project Manager), Edna, Glenn, Leon and Susan.
- Task: Operate a waste disposal service, clearing rubbish while also selling anything valuable that is collected. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Logic decided to focus on obtaining waste with a high scrap value, particularly metal, and obtained two major clients set up by Lord Sugar by offering to dispose of their waste for nothing, relying solely on the profit from selling the high value scrap. While the team worked well, Melody hampered the team with a third client who proved to be less lucrative, and who gave them more trash they agreed upon while on their first trip, the additions being worthless trash. Venture, who lost out to both clients after Zoe ignored Susan's suggestion to pay them a small fee for their valuable scrap and insisted on charging for the team's services, obtained two contracts the following day to make up for this, but were unable to do anything to turn things around.
- Result: Venture had a profit of £706, while Logic had a profit of £712.
- Winner: Logic – By £6.
- Reward: Trip to a thermal spa in Bath.
- Brought into the boardroom: Zoe, Susan and Edna
- Fired: Edna – For falsely claiming credit for the team's sale appointments, unproven claims on her abilities, and for having a background that Lord Sugar felt was ill-suited to starting a business with him.
- You're Fired Panel: Jason Moore, Aileen Phillips and Kevin Bridges
- Logic's decision not to charge clients arranged by Lord Sugar for their services was seen as an extremely risky move. Jason Mohr, an entrepreneur who acted as advisor for the task, noted on You're Fired! that he would have charged for removal if had been a participant on the task, yet could have been fired if had done so.
- Both Helen and Tom were praised by Lord Sugar, the former for her input on the task, while the latter for securing his first win after having been on a losing streak since the start of the process.
- Zoe was largely chastised by Lord Sugar, for lack respecting towards Susan and for shooting down her suggestion to pay the clients for their scrap. While Susan initially agreed in the task she had been foolish, she found it would have been the right decision when the clients rejected them, with Sugar pointing out that had they gone with it, it would have given Venture a decisive victory. While he suspected Zoe mainly brought her back for personal reasons, especially as she berated Susan throughout the final boardroom and was openly aggressive when she defended herself, Sugar opted to not fire her, mainly for her impressive defence, stepping up as PM when no-one else would, and taking responsibility for the failure to secure the clients.
- The key factor behind Edna's firing was her claim she had secured a major appointment, when in reality it had actually been secured by both Leon and Glenn. Nick accused her of "taking credit where it's not due", a view shared by many within Venture, while Lord Sugar felt she was too much of a glory seeker and would not "gel" with him in business.
Week 7: Freemium Magazine Launch
- Original Air Date: 15 June 2011
- Logic: Natasha (Project Manager), Helen, Leon, Melody and Tom.
- Venture: Jim (Project Manager), Glenn, Susan and Zoe.
- Task: Create a free magazine and sell space to advertisers when pitching it. Most sales made, wins.
- Task Review: Logic opted to create a combined business and lad's magazine called Covered, yet its concept was considered outdated by advertisers, who also felt it was somewhat vulgar. Venture opted to go for an older market with a seniors' magazine called Hip Replacement, which advertiser felt had more market potential despite having a name that they hated. However, while they secured sales with some of the agencies, Jim failed to offer any sort of bulk discount to one agency, the largest of those they met, who subsequently purchased all of the advertising space in Logic's magazine. This fatal mistake ultimately cost them victory.
- Result: Logic had sales of £76,000, while Venture had sales of £28,850.
- Winner: Logic – By £47,150.
- Reward: Fencing lessons
- Brought into the boardroom: Jim, Glenn and Susan
- Fired: Glenn – For his insufficient input and presence in most of the tasks, having nothing valuable in his engineering background, and for his general lack of business experience.
- You're Fired Panel: Claudine Collins, Nick Hewer and Jenny Eclair
- Susan was nicknamed "the mouse" by the other members of Venture, due to her constant failure to speak up in the tasks. Nick, however, spoke very strongly in her defence, particularly of her recognition for the need to "slash prices". This, along with her passionate defence, resulted in Lord Sugar deciding to let her stay.
- A majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision for the first time in the series, along with two of the panellists, who felt that Jim should have been fired. While Glenn wasn't shown to be fired with regret, it was shown on You're Fired! that he was.
Week 8: Paris
- Original Air Date: 22 June 2011
- Logic: Tom (Project Manager), Leon, Melody and Natasha.
- Venture: Susan (Project Manager), Helen, Jim and Zoe.
- Task: Choose 2 British products, then sell them to retailers in Paris. Most sales made, wins.
- Task Review: Venture pitched a children's booster seat that folded into a backpack, and a stand to put various electronic devices such as an iPhone or iPod Touch in. Despite Zoe and Jim failing to sell any of the stands, both struggling to arrange suitable appointments for them, the team's execution of the task was excellent, with large sales made with independent retailers and a massive order made at one of their pre-arranged appointments. Meanwhile, Logic went with a teapot-based lamp and a postcard sown with cress seeds that unfolded into a "garden", after Melody was against the seat backpack. However, their items failed to attract noteworthy sales, with Tom and Natasha selling very little as Melody kept all the team's sales appointments to herself and withheld information from Tom on one of the pre-arranged appointments. Ultimately, Logic's overall performance and low sales cost them any chance of a victory.
- Result: Venture had sales of €228,699, while Logic had sales of €11,705.
- Winner: Venture - By €216,994.
- Reward: Flying lessons
- Brought into the boardroom: Tom, Leon and Melody
- Fired: Leon – For taking a backseat role, deliberately trying to use his lack of fluent French as an excuse not to make many sales, and for lacking the passion and desire that both Tom and Melody demonstrated.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Micky Flanagan and Alvin Hall
- Venture's victory on this task was described by Lord Sugar as an "annihilation", with Helen given much of the credit for single-handedly securing this through getting the large order from the team's pre-arranged appointment. In contrast, Karren raised concerns on Susan's immaturity in the task, particular when she asked several bizarre and unnecessary questions when selecting products, including whether the French were fond of their children.
- Although Melody was accused repeatedly for being insubordinate during the task by Tom and Leon, Lord Sugar admired her aggressiveness and strong personality, and made it relatively clear early in the final boardroom that she would not be fired, hinting to Tom it would done him better to bring back Natasha instead, even if she was not directly at fault for the loss.
- Karren was quick to shoot down Leon's excuse that his lack of French had hampered his sales, by pointing out that both Melody and Natasha had outsold him mostly using English, even though the former spoke the language and Natasha had a minimal grasp of it. On You're Fired, Leon revealed that he had previously worked for La Redoute but was unaware that the company was one of Sugar's arranged appointments due to bad communication. He also decided against bringing up the fact that he did not give Tom any information for the meeting, as he assumed he had been, because he feared it would get him into more trouble in the boardroom.
Week 9: Biscuit
- Original Air Date: 29 June 2011
- Logic: Zoe (Project Manager), Melody, Susan and Tom.
- Venture: Helen (Project Manager), Jim and Natasha.
- Task: Manufacture a brand new, distinctive biscuit and its packaging, then pitch it to retailers. Most orders received, wins.
- Task Review: Venture created a biscuit called "Special Stars", which featured a star-shaped chocolate lump on a flapjack. While the retailers felt that their marketing message was unclear, Jim, the biscuit's creator, took a risk and convinced one retailer to commit to a large-scale marketing strategy, who agreed to a large order of packs if they were granted exclusivity. Meanwhile, Logic created a two-in-one biscuit called "Bix Mix", which was made of a digestive biscuit with a core of butter biscuit, and partially coated in chocolate. However the team struggled due to arguments throughout the task between Melody, Susan and Zoe, even before they made a pitch to a retailer. While the biscuit was well-marketed, all the retailers felt that the cheap price of its production did not justify its high price, and thus made no orders, giving the team a decisive loss, and the worst defeat in the history of the show.
- Result: Venture received 800,000 orders, while Logic received 0 orders.
- Winner: Venture – By 800,000; effectively an outright win for the team.
- Reward: Country House Visit
- Brought into the boardroom: Zoe, Melody and Tom
- Fired: Zoe – For leading the team to the worst defeat in the show's history, failing on a task she was more than qualified to lead, and for electing to handle the marketing than manufacturing despite her background in the food and drink industry.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Bob Mortimer, Perween Warsi and Karren Brady
- Although Venture won, Jim's slogan for their biscuit - "Anytime is treat time" - was criticised as being contradictory by Natasha, Karren, one of the executives of Waitrose, and Lord Sugar, though Helen was left with no choice but to run with it, as despite Natasha opposing it, she did not come up with an alternative suggestion. Meanwhile, Lord Sugar was surprised by the result, the biggest in the show's history to date, as he believed that Logic had done a far better job in their marketing, but soon found fault with the biscuit afterwards.
- Although Melody was not held responsible for the loss and thus not fired, Lord Sugar warned her that he now had several issues with her abrasiveness and continued refusal to listen to others, adding that he would find it difficult to invest in her unless she quickly addressed these issues. His views came after she constantly conflicted with Zoe throughout the task, refusing to concede ground even after decisions on the product and target market had been made, eventually culminating in an argument before the pitch with Asda, forcing Nick to intervene so they could attend to it.
- Although Tom was at risk from being fired for several reasons, including his horrendous track record and for being most responsible for the biscuit design, Lord Sugar felt that Zoe's failing either outweighed or exacerbated his mistakes on the task, but pointed out that she had been a "contender" much like Gavin.
- For the second week in a row on You're Fired!, two of the panellists agreed with Lord Sugar's decision. The one panellist who disagreed, felt that Tom should have been fired instead.
Week 10: Flip It
- Original Air Date: 6 July 2011
- Logic: Melody (Project Manager), Helen and Tom.
- Venture: Natasha (Project Manager), Jim and Susan.
- Task: Sell a pallet of wholesale items, reinvesting profits in items that sell well. Most amount of assets (remaining stock and cash, minus purchases), wins.
- Task Review: Venture found that umbrellas and nodding toy dogs sold the best on the first day and so reinvested in them for the following day, while Susan, despite wasting the day attempting to sell door-to-door in Knightsbridge, took a successful gamble by buying bracelets from another wholesaler. While she and Jim sold well the second day, Natasha refused to reinvest until their stock ran out, brushing off any criticism she received, and leaving Jim to make an evening dash for umbrellas close to the task's deadline that gave him no time to sell them, with the team fined for ignoring the rules on reinvestment. Meanwhile, Logic chose not to reinvest in stock they had; despite Tom pointing out the dogs were good items, Melody and Helen chose to purchase a line of travel accessories and digital picture frames, with moderate, untested success for the second day, with Helen wasting an afternoon to fulfil a commitment made the previous day for duvets, only to find the retailer selling them had closed when she reached them. Despite Venture's fine, Logic could not avoid losing the task.
- Result: Venture's total assets were £751 (after deduction of the fine), while Logic's total assets were £728.
- Winner: Venture – By £23.
- Reward: None – Lord Sugar disallowed it due to Venture's performance; the treat would have been a helicopter trip to Goodwood and riding in vintage cars.
- Brought into the boardroom: Melody, Tom and Helen
- Fired: Melody, with regret – For not understanding the premise of the task, failing to heed Lord Sugar's warnings on listening to others, her overly abrasive and stubborn nature, and for being seen as an potentially poor business partner.
- This episode marks the first time that Lord Sugar cancelled a winning team's reward, after he found Venture's performance on the task to be a disappointment, despite the team still winning after receiving their fine. Sugar noted Natasha was the root cause of the team's issues on the task, making it clear she would have been fired if the team had lost. When the team returned to the house, a major argument broke out after Natasha attempted to blame Susan for the loss of their reward.
- Despite it being his eighth loss, Tom was not judged to be at fault for his team's loss, as he single-handedly made nearly half of Logic's sales and had been the only one to push for re-investment in previous items. Lord Sugar was also impressed with his stronger defence in the boardroom, as he pulled no punches in accusing Melody of missing the point of the task, and Helen of showing no knowledge of how a small business works.
- During the second day of the task, Melody refused to let Helen take over her role as project manager, despite her feeling the team had no strategy following the bizarre purchasing decisions. While she remarked in the boardroom that she would have sold only to retailers if she had taken control, her idea was heavily criticised for being flawed, since retailers bought directly from wholesalers, meaning the margins from sales would have been much smaller than those to the public. While her working background was highlighted and raised concerns from Lord Sugar, Helen avoided being fired due to her exceptional track record in the process.
- The panel on You're Fired! agreed that while Melody deserved to be fired, as her performance as PM was a key factor behind it, they felt that Natasha was much more worthy of dismissal for her actions on the task.
Week 11: Fast Food Chain
- Original Air Date: 13 July 2011
- Logic: Helen (Project Manager) and Tom.
- Venture: Jim (Project Manager), Natasha and Susan.
- Task: Invent a unique cuisine and its outlet, open it to the public on the first day, then pitch the concept to Lord Sugar and experts from the fast-food industry the next day. Best score in four categories wins.
- Task Review: Logic decided on a British theme of pies, naming it "MyPy". While questions were raised about the profit margins that would be attainable with premium ingredients used in their pies, along with falling into trouble with the names of one of their pies, their run-through and actual service were virtually flawless. Their pitch was equally impressive with the experts, despite Helen struggling slightly in the beginning, with Lord Sugar believing their food was very quick to make and of a good quality. Meanwhile, Venture decided on a Mexican theme of cuisine, calling it "Caraca's", yet their run-through was a disaster and their actual service was just as bad, as Jim had insisted on themed decorations taking higher priority, meaning that their food was very slow to come out, and was cold and unappetising. Their pitch struggled badly in terms of finances and Jim making a huge mathematical mistake, with Lord Sugar remarking that their profit margins would be poor. These flaws ultimately cost them the task.
- Result: Logic scored an average of 7/10 in each category, while Venture scored an average of 4/10 in each category.
- Winner: Logic – For a better theme, offering better service and food, and for an overall good pitch.
- Reward: No reward – the following task was the Interviews stage, so Tom and Helen were sent to the house to prepare.
- Brought into the Boardroom: Jim, Susan and Natasha
- Fired: Natasha – For contributing the least the task despite her experience in the hospitality business, losing the energy and enthusiasm she displayed earlier in the process, and for her poor performance as Project Manager on the previous task.
- The Apprentice: You're Fired! panel: Sarah Willingham, Mark Frith and Ed Byrne
- Lord Sugar pointed out that Venture's theme was a good choice compared to Logic's, but was ultimately destroyed by the performance, with Susan and Natasha, despite disliking each other, both agreeing that Jim deserved to be fired for being a poor project manager as a direct result. However, Sugar ultimately believed that Natasha had to go for not getting involved with the cookery simply because she "didn't like" it, even though she had a hospitality degree, comparing the situation to that of a paramedic refusing to perform CPR.
- On You're Fired!, the majority of the panel disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision to fire Natasha, feeling Jim should've been fired instead.
Week 12: The Final
- Original Air Date: 17 July 2011
- Finalists: Helen, Jim, Susan and Tom.
- Task: The four finalists undergo a gruelling interview process from four interviewers - Claude Littner, Mike Soutar, Margaret Mountford, and Matthew Riley. Lord Sugar decides on who wins based on feedback on their CVs and business plan.
- Candidate Reviews: Helen received positive feedback from all four interviewers regarding her strong work ethic, employment history and record on the show, though saw a major flaw in her business plan, stemming from her lacking experience and contacts in the concierge industry, with them baffled on why she didn't based a plan on her work background, leading them to feel that she lacked the required entrepreneurial flair and she had no prior experience of running her own business. While Jim's proposal was felt to be good in the current economic climate, concerns were raised on its low profit margins and the lack of market research, with the interviewers feeling that Jim had a lot of problems associated to him, as he proved hard to give answers to their questions. Although Susan's plan received considerable praise for playing off her experience in the cosmetics industry, all felt her to be immature for believing she could make a net profit of £1,000,000 in the first year, something Claude felt was a foolish mistake, and that she had little experience. Finally, Tom was praised for his prior success in marketing nail files to major retailers, but was accused of being unable to focus himself properly, with the interviewers feeling his business plan, to market specialist products for people with back problems, had been poorly written up.
- Initial Decision: As Jim was found to be the weakest candidate of the four finalists, he was fired first for his poor plan and being unconvincing overall. Susan was next to be fired by Lord Suger, as despite her plan being the best, it was still flawed while she continued to refuse to admit to unrealistic figures, leading him to believe she needed more real-world experience.
- Fired (Before final decision):
- Jim – For coming across as "clichéd" in the interviews, and for suggesting a plan more suited to a charity than a business.
- Susan – For her inexperience, and for making unrealistic claims about the potential profits her business could make.
- Final Decision: While Helen suggested scrapping her original plan and instead creating a chain of bakeries, her lack of hands-on experience and poor initial idea counted against her, leading Lord Sugar to declaring that, despite his business plan needing heavy tweaking, Tom would be his new business partner.
- Runner-Up: Helen – For proposing a business plan that did not play to her strengths, and having a background more suited to business administration and operation than setting up a whole new company.
- Hired: Tom – For his prior business experience, along with his innovation and creativity.
- It was noted that in the very final boardroom, Tom had explained to Lord Sugar how his business idea came around, what inspired him to do so and how he managed to secure a meeting with a major retailer to successfully pitch his "Stylfile" product. This ultimately turned out to be one of the major factors for him winning. Tom was notably commented as being a "candidate to watch over".
- On You're Hired!, Lord Sugar said that if the prize had been a job in one of his companies, Helen would have won, as he considered her to have been the best candidate throughout the process, and was only let down in the end by a poor business plan that was rather "disappointing". He also suggested that he looked forward to doing some form of business with Susan in the future, as despite her unrealistic claims about her financial model in the interviews, he predicted during his final decision that she would go on to do great things in the future; he later invested in Susan's business, Tropic Skincare, in April 2012.
- Both finalists set notable records following their appearance on the show. Tom's surprise victory, coupled with his poor success rate in tasks, earned him the record for being the least successful winner of The Apprentice. Meanwhile, despite being runner-up, Helen's success rate of wins earned her the record for the most successful candidate in the show's history; she currently retains records for both consecutive and total wins made by a candidate in the show's history.
- Following his appearance on the show, Tom made an appearance on You're Fired! during its run alongside the eighth series of The Apprentice, mainly as an audience member. During his appearance on the sister show, he revealed that Lord Sugar had rejected his original business plan for the orthopedic chair, and instead backed the expanding of his Stylfile into an entire family of grooming products revealing that amongst this range was a product named the "Emergency File"; the name was inspired from his comedic-considered biscuit idea he made during this series.
Criticism and controversy
Sugar's "Engineers" comment
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.
Official episode viewing figures are from BARB.
|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||Template:N/A||Template:N/A|
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web
- Template:Cite web