Series Twelve of The Apprentice (UK), a British reality television series, began broadcasting in the UK during 2016 from 6 October to 18 December on BBC One; due to the UK EU membership referendum, Euro 2016, and the 2016 Rio Olympics taking place during the Summer, the BBC postponed the series' broadcast until mid-Autumn. Eighteen candidates took part, naming their teams Titans and Nebula, with Alana Spencer winning the series.
Unlike previous series, the programme was aired on Thursdays but within its regular timeslot, with two specials airing alongside it towards its final weeks, both being new editions - "The Final Five" on 13 December, and "Why I Fired Them" on 16 December.
- 1 Candidates
- 2 Episodes
- 2.1 Week 1: Collectables
- 2.2 Week 2: Advertising - Jeans
- 2.3 Week 3: Corporate Candy
- 2.4 Week 4: Department Store
- 2.5 Week 5: Cycling Crowdfunding
- 2.6 Week 6: Discount Buying
- 2.7 Week 7: Boat Show
- 2.8 Week 8: London Landmarks
- 2.9 Week 9: Virtual Reality Game
- 2.10 Week 10: Gin
- 2.11 Week 11: Interviews
- 2.12 Week 12: The Final
- 3 Criticism and controversy
- 4 Ratings
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
|Alana Spencer||Cake company owner||24||Winner|
|Courtney Wood||Novelty gift company owner||29||Runner-up|
|Frances Bishop||Children's clothing company owner||25||Fired after the Interviews stage|
|Jessica Cunningham||Online fashion entrepreneur||29||Fired after the Interviews stage|
|Grainne McCoy||Make-up studio owner||31||Fired after the Interviews stage|
|Trishna Thakrar||Recruitment agent||28||Fired after tenth task|
|Sofiane Khelfa||Senior sales executive||32||Fired after ninth task|
|Dillon St. Paul||Art director||37||Fired after ninth task|
|Paul Sullivan||Marketing agency owner||38||Fired after eighth task|
|Samuel Boateng||Sales manager||27||Fired after seventh task|
|Karthik Nagesan||IT consultancy owner||33||Fired after seventh task|
|Rebecca Jeffery||Design & marketing agency owner||31||Fired after sixth task|
|JD O'Brien||Beachwear company owner||37||Fired after fifth task|
|Mukai Noiri||Digital marketing manager||36||Fired after fourth task|
|Aleksandra King||Business consultancy owner||38||Quit during fourth task|
|Oliver Nohl-Oser||Food distribution business owner||33||Fired after third task|
|Natalie Hughes||Hair and beauty salon owner||30||Fired after second task|
|Michelle Niziol||Property consultancy owner||35||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 / they passed the Interviews stage.
- 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.
- Template:Color box The candidate left the competition on this task.
Week 1: Collectables
- Original Air Date: 6 October 2016
- Titans: Paul (Project Manager), Courtney, Dillon, JD, Karthik, Mukai, Oliver, Samuel and Sofiane.
- Nebula: Michelle (Project Manager), Alana, Aleksandra, Frances, Grainne, Jessica, Natalie, Rebecca and Trishna.
- Task: Value a collection of antiques, and then sell them to trade and at markets. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Titans performed well on the task, as their market team had a good pricing strategy and sold well, despite their relocation later in the day resulting in low footfall and some of the sub-team performing poorly, while their trader team wasted time with a dealer who had no purchasing authority, but made sales towards the end of the day after slashing prices. Meanwhile, Nebula's performance was not so good; Alana committed the market team to a fire sale that had no pricing strategy despite them making good sales in the end, while the trader team suffered badly from both Michelle's lack of leadership, as the sub-team spent too long evaluating their items, and Jessica's erratic sales, even arranging a deal while en route to Camden without notifying the van carrying their stock about the arrangement, meaning that it left them with nothing to show to the potential customer. Their mistakes ultimately cost them any chance of victory.
- Result: Titans made a profit of £1,428.10, while Nebula made a profit of £959.
- Winner: Titans - By £469.10.
- Reward: Lindy hop dancing
- Brought into the boardroom: Michelle, Alana and Rebecca
- Fired: Michelle - For her extremely weak leadership, poor communication on the task, lacking a pricing strategy, and for bringing Alana back into the boardroom instead of Jessica or Natalie.
- You're Fired Panel: Hal Cruttenden, Matt Edmondson and Anita Manning
- While Titans won, Karren singled out Courtney, JD, and Mukai as the team's worst sellers, citing that despite their lack of sales experience, they should have adapted to a new environment, heavily indicating any of the three could have been fired if their team had lost. In addition, Paul was criticised for wasting his sub-team's time attempting to sell to a store trader, without asking if they were the owner or had purchasing authority.
- Lord Sugar praised Sofiane for selling one of his team's items for £175, after revealing it had been bought for £7, with Paul believing he deserved recognition for aiding the team to victory, particularly as his sub-team contributed the majority of the team's sales. In contrast, Sugar heavily criticised Natalie for selling a pair of vases for £15, as they had been bought for £300.
- As Alana had been Nebula's top seller and her sub-team contributed most of the team's sales, Lord Sugar quickly implied she wouldn't be fired as a result. This was the earliest occassion that the eventual winner was brought to the final boardroom and so far, the only time that the winner was brought back in the first week. In comparison, while she wasn't fired, Rebecca was warned to step up in future, after contributing little to the task and making just £25 in sales. Although Jessica wasn't brought back, Lord Sugar remarked he would have fired her if she had, since along with criticism about her erratic selling, he considered her failed side deal to have been a "fool's errand" after she failed to ensure that the van carrying her sub-team's stock was made aware of the arrangement, meaning it carried on to Camden as a direct result.
- On You're Fired, a marginal majority of the audience and two of the panel agreed with Lord Sugar's decision. Although Michelle believed she didn't deserve to go, she agreed that she had made critical mistakes on the task.
Week 2: Advertising - Jeans
- Original Air Date: 13 October 2016
- Titans: Mukai (Project Manager), Courtney, Dillon, JD, Karthik, Oliver, Paul, Samuel and Sofiane.
- Nebula: Jessica (Project Manager), Alana, Aleksandra, Frances, Grainne, Natalie, Rebecca and Trishna.
- Task: Create an advertising campaign for a brand of Japanese denim jeans, including a TV advert and an interactive bus shelter poster, and then pitch it to industry experts. Best campaign wins.
- Task Review: Nebula went with a brand called "Unclaimed", aimed solely at women, but were plagued with issues from the start. Despite the team rallying together on the second day, Jessica proved to be a weak leader, while their campaign was deemed to be unclear by the advertising executives, who ridiculed their TV advert for being filmed within a Japanese restaurant's toilet, and criticised their sub-par attempt to incorporate social media into the brand. Meanwhile, Titans went with a brand called "Day After Yesterday", aimed at both genders, but their execution of the task was just as bad; poor communication and time management on the first day left them with an incomplete interactive poster, while their second day was chaotic, partly from Karthik constantly clashing with Mukai. While their brand design was felt to be clear, the executives panned their bus shelter poster and deemed their advert as being awful. Ultimately, Lord Sugar hated both campaigns, and thus declared both teams to have lost the task.
- Winner: None - Lord Sugar hated both campaigns and so declared both teams to have lost.
- Reward: None
- Brought into the boardroom: Jessica, Mukai, Alana, JD, Karthik and Natalie
- Fired: Natalie, with regret - For barely contributing to the two tasks, failing to demonstrate any business initiative, and for her lacklustre defence in the boardroom.
- You're Fired Panel: Zaid Al-Zhady, Grace Dent and Phil Wang
- As both teams had lost, both Jessica and Mukai were told to bring back two members of their respective team for the final boardroom; in total, six candidates were brought back, the highest in the show's history. While discussing about the candidates after they left, Lord Sugar commented to Karren and Claude that he was disappointed that neither team had succeeded on his favourite task. Although they were not brought back, Oliver was criticised by Lord Sugar for lacking presence in the task, while Dillon was criticised for his poor time management, particularly when he spent more time than was needed on the models Mukai supplied him with, leading Claude to label him a "perfectionist" for this.
- Mukai faced criticism on his leadership, as both Claude and Paul were unhappy over his poor communication on the first day, while Karthik deemed him a poor leader, and JD felt he failed to ensure the team functioned well throughout the task. Likewise, Lord Sugar felt Rebecca should have been Nebula's project manager for the task, as he felt that Jessica had been unwise to take on the role, after it overwhelmed her on the first day; she assumed the role after duping Rebecca into believing she couldn't vote herself to be PM, when Jessica herself did exactly that with none of the team noticing she had contradicted her own words.
- Although JD was not fired because of his strong defence and being the least responsible for Titans' loss, Lord Sugar stated it was merely due to him being given the "benefit of the doubt", as his lack of presence on the task was still questionable. While Karthik was also not fired, he was deemed a "loose cannon" by Sugar, who was unimpressed with the aggressive behaviour he displayed, and thus hoped he would remedy this in the future. While Alana was brought back, she was not fired as Sugar sympathised with her difficulty in the final boardroom, as she struggled during it and stopped twice when attempting to answer questions.
- On You're Fired, the panel disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision, believing that there were others who could have gone instead of Natalie; in particular, Phil felt that Mukai should have been fired for the errors he committed in the task. However, Natalie felt it was her time to go, expressing relief she left at this stage of the process, while admitting that she had defended herself in the boardroom because she was too proud to quit or tell Lord Sugar to fire her.
Week 3: Corporate Candy
- Original Air Date: 20 October 2016
- Titans: Alana (Project Manager), Courtney, Dillon, JD, Jessica, Samuel, Sofiane and Trishna.
- Nebula: Oliver (Project Manager), Aleksandra, Frances, Grainne, Karthik, Mukai, Paul and Rebecca.
- Task: Manufacture new kinds of sweets, and then sell them to both a corporate client and the public in Brighton. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Titans focused on a range of luxury styled sweets called "Guiltees", creating Cappuccino toffee and Strawberry & Champagne pillow sweets. Despite a few issues on the first day, from a slight mishap manufacturing them, and Sofiane aggressively attempting to get a high price with the town's football club, the team sold well during the second day. Meanwhile, Nebula focused on a range of traditional seaside sweets called "Suck It & Sea", making Ice Cream rock and Salt & Vinegar fudge. However, the team had problems on the task; the street team had no fixed pricing strategy, selling their sweets at different prices despite good sales and being sold out at the end of the second day, while the trade team failed to sell any fudge, with Mukai compounding matters by making a fixed deal with an upmarket winery, then changing it on the second day by reducing the price of their order after supplying them additional bags of candy rock. These issues effectively cost the team any chance of victory.
- Result: Titans made a profit of £785.66, while Nebula made a profit of £615.08.
- Winner: Titans - By £170.58.
- Reward: Master class in free running
- Brought into the boardroom: Oliver, Mukai and Paul
- Fired: Oliver - For his substandard and indecisive leadership, selling nothing, choosing an unappealing flavour for the team's fudge, making no significant contributions to either of the prior tasks, and for failing on a task related to his working industry.
- You're Fired Panel: Jamie Laing, Konnie Huq and Susan Calman
- For this task, Lord Sugar had Alana, Jessica and Trishna move over to Titans, and Karthik, Mukai, Oliver and Paul move over to Nebula, before subsequently appointing Alana and Oliver as their respective team's project manager, due to their experience in the food industry. Before they left, both teams were given a warning to not repeat their performance from the previous task.
- Mukai was greatly criticised by Karren for not negotiating with Nebula's client, as she felt his fixed deal of 50 bags of sweets for £1.50 per bag had been hardly worthwhile, while Paul criticised him for changing this by reducing the price of the overall order after he added in more bags; Lord Sugar remarked that his explanation for this "did not add up". Likewise, Sofiane failed to impress Claude for his negotiations with Titans' client, saying his continual aggressive pushes for a high price nearly lost his team making a deal, while Lord Sugar chastised him in the boardroom for thinking he was the "project manager" when he was revealed to had ignored Alana's request for some of his sub-team's stock.
- During the boardroom, Aleksandra accused Paul of trying to cover up his poor contribution by blaming her for the trade team's mistakes, revealing that Mukai supported his attempt despite the pair arguing with each other towards the end of the task. Although Paul was not fired, Lord Sugar noted that he hadn't sold anything in the trade team compared to her, despite her questionable contribution on the task, and that he and his advisers had noted a level of despondency coming from him, which Paul stated came from the frustration he felt by the end of the task.
- On You're Fired, both the audience and one of the panellists agreed with Lord Sugar's decision, with Oliver admitting that he deserved to have been fired, and Calman remarking that his failure to provide a pricing strategy had been a mistake and the brand name had been terrible. However, she felt that Paul had "stitched him up" in the boardroom, while Konnie, who had disagreed with his firing, felt there had been others who were more deserving of being fired.
Week 4: Department Store
- Original Air Date: 27 October 2016
- Titans: Sofiane (Project Manager), Alana, Courtney, Dillon, JD, Jessica, Samuel and Trishna.
- Nebula: Grainne (Project Manager), Frances, Karthik, Mukai, Paul and Rebecca.[nb 1]
- Task: Handle sales within the department store, Liberty - half the team run a personal shopping service, while the other half run a department, including the promotion of a new line of products. Most sales made, wins.
- Task Review: Titans opted to handle the sales of scarves, introducing a new line that incorporated a feline design. While the sales team performed well, making good sales despite them being made during a rush hour near the end of the day, the new line was disliked by customers, while their personal shopping team made little in sales due to their failure to secure important information from their customers. Meanwhile, Nebula opted to handle the sales of handbags, introducing a new line that incorporated a futuristic, contemporary design. Although their personal shopping team did very well, it was ruined by the poor performance of the sales team, who used a poor window display and failed to utilise it efficiently, leading to them having low footfall in their branch of the store despite eventually getting good sales. This mistake ultimately caused the team to lose the task.
- Result: Titans had sales of £5,259.38, while Nebula had sales of £4,377.99.
- Winner: Titans - By £861.39.
- Reward: Croquet at an English country house
- Left (shortly after the Briefing): Aleksandra - For being overwhelmed by the process and missing her family.
- Brought into the boardroom: Grainne, Karthik and Mukai
- Fired: Mukai - For selling very little, influencing the team to go with handbags, his dismal track record in tasks, and because Lord Sugar felt he was unsuitable to be his business partner.
- You're Fired Panel: Frances Dickens, Gaby Roslin and Hugh Dennis
- Immediately after Nebula appointed their PM following the task briefing, Aleksandra suddenly announced her intention to leave the process at that point, much to her team's shock; Lord Sugar remarked on this incident at the start of the initial boardroom. This marks the first time in the show's history that a candidate left before a task began. Although not named, her departure was leaked by the media prior to the episode's broadcast.
- Despite Titans winning, their personal shopping team was criticised for how they handled their sales, particularly on their failure to take down important details about their customers, with Lord Sugar stating that they had lost a "great opportunity" after Karren pointed out that one customer spent only a fifth of their £5,000 budget. Sugar was also critical of Alana's performance in the sub-team, and JD's low contributions, remarking that he stood out like a "store detective".
- Liberty informed both teams that if their sales team utilised their window display effectively by sending someone into it to showcase their products, their footfall would increase significantly. In the boardroom, Mukai felt that Grainne's decision not to heed this advice had been a major factor in the team's loss, particularly as he had been most vocal with suggesting someone step into their display, despite its poor design, only for her to dismiss his suggestions.
- Although Karthik was not fired, Lord Sugar warned him he would be keeping an eye on him, as his "loose cannon" nature was beginning to make him appear untrustworthy to his fellow candidates. In comparison, Sugar spared Grainne, as despite her errors on the task, he felt she still had potential, and that although the handbags had been a bad choice, Mukai was directly responsible for the mistake as he had largely influenced the team to go with them.
- On You're Fired, two of the panel and more than half the audience agreed that Aleksandra had made the right decision to leave the show; both Gaby and Hugh revealed that they fully understood her reasons for doing so. Due to Mukai having recently moved to Japan, he was unable to attend the show, instead sending a video message to describe his experience on The Apprentice and his thoughts on his firing; while he received no vote and his highlights were not shown, the show still gave him a gift, which he showed off in the message along with his thanks.
Week 5: Cycling Crowdfunding
- Original Air Date: 3 November 2016
- Titans: Samuel (Project Manager), Alana, Courtney, Dillon, Grainne, Karthik and Trishna.
- Nebula: JD (Project Manager), Frances, Jessica, Paul, Rebecca and Sofiane.
- Task: Create a crowdfunding campaign, including a promotional video and a PR stunt, for a new cycling product, pitching the product to cycling retailers. Most money raised from pledges, wins.
- Task Review: Nebula opted to promote a set of cyclist headphones that were designed with safety in mind, producing a promotional video to demonstrate this and hiring a gospel choir to sing a specially modified song for their PR stunt. However, pledging was delayed by an hour due to the sub-team making the crowdfunding site failed to discuss rewards with the product's creator until the day of pledging, while filming of their PR stunt led to a poor viral video. Their biggest problem came from their terrible pitch, which failed to impress the retailers and lacked proper pricing information. Meanwhile, Titans focused on promoting a cycle gilet with built-in LED lights, with their promotional video focused on promoting the style and safety factors of its design. Although the team had minor issues, from Samuel's poorly conceived PR stunt, and a slight misspelling of the product on their site, their pitch impressed retailers, due in part to Karthik's presentation, which ultimately secured significant pledges to ensure the team's victory.
- Result: Titans received £788 of pledges, while Nebula received £681 of pledges.
- Winner: Titans - By £107.
- Reward: Cooking Michelin star food at Aveqia
- Brought into the boardroom: JD, Paul and Rebecca
- Fired: JD - For his hands-off leadership, being too nice, his consistent lack of contribution, and for bringing Paul back into the boardroom instead of Sofiane.
- You're Fired Panel: Allyson Stewart-Allen, Jenny Eclair and Guz Khan
- Despite his team winning, Samuel was greatly criticised. Grainne felt his leadership had been poor and that he refused to let others voice ideas, while Lord Sugar and Claude agreed his PR stunt was poorly conceived. Samuel's attempt to refute this was then shot down by Claude commenting that he had gone with his own idea, whether it had been "right or wrong". Sugar remarked, after the result was given, that Samuel had been "very lucky", strongly implying he would have been fired if his team had lost.
- Both Alana and Karthik received good feedback. Claude praised Alana for her idea for the team's promotional video, while Karthik, despite being considered "disruptive" during the filming of the promo, was told that one retailer felt he had been "superb" during the pitch, with Karren adding that he had been quite engaging.
- Karren openly blamed Sofiane for his team's pitch, explaining that his failure to provide pricing information had been the key factor behind it being terrible, something Lord Sugar agreed upon, while she also frowned upon the fact that he had passed on this responsibility over to Frances. Furthermore, both he and Paul were blamed for failing to provide information on the team's site about the rewards, with JD remarking it would have been a "game-changer" if the two men had not clashed.
- While Paul was not fired, Lord Sugar advised him to "man up" after voicing concerns about his stability of character, despite him giving a good defence, the difficulty he had with Sofiane on the task, and the fact that JD had been wrong to bring him back. Sugar was also unimpressed with Rebecca, despite her claiming she brought in £200 of pledges; she was given "one more chance" to prove herself.
- On You're Fired, the panellists and the audience all agreed with Lord Sugar's decision, with both Allyson and Guz remarking that JD should have done more as PM during the task, though the former approved of him owning up to his mistakes rather than trying to conceal them from his team.
Week 6: Discount Buying
- Original Air Date: 10 November 2016
- Titans: Courtney (Project Manager), Alana, Dillon, Grainne, Karthik and Samuel.
- Nebula: Trishna (Project Manager), Frances, Jessica, Paul, Rebecca and Sofiane.
- Task: Purchase a set list of nine items all in one night and on a budget of £1,000, negotiating for low prices. Least amount spent, after addition of fines, wins.
- Task Review: Titans left as soon as they quickly sourced their items, but had a few issues, as Courtney delayed getting the poster print until just before the deadline, and left his sub-team little chance of negotiating for the black soap, after leading his sub-team further out of their way than needed, and for the rainbow bagels, wasting an hour to wait for them to be made. Despite Karthik also wasting time on securing the lehnga, the team managed to find eight items and returned to the finish line on time. Meanwhile, Nebula wasted too much time sourcing their items, securing only seven on the list with most poorly negotiated for. Despite securing their print and bagels much earlier in the task, and acquiring a lehnga for a good discount, Rebecca led her sub-team to a trader who had nothing that they wanted, while Trishna's sub-team arrived late to the finish line. Ultimately, these mistakes and the fines incurred, cost them victory.
- Result: Titans spent £408.11 (including fines), while Nebula spent £520.65 (including fines).
- Winner: Titans - By £112.54.
- Reward: Home spa treatment
- Brought into the boardroom: Trishna, Rebecca and Sofiane
- Fired: Rebecca - For her failure to properly double-check that a supermarket had the tagine and soap, failing to step up as Project Manager as promised after the previous task, and for her overall weak track record throughout the process.
- You're Fired Panel: Ellie Taylor, Rick Edwards and Angela Middleton
- To even out the teams, Trishna was moved over to Nebula.
- The items that both teams had to get were: a Tagine, a pool cue, a Lehnga, Rambutan fruit, African black soap, 200 rainbow bagels, 10 premium Cuban cigars, a poster print of London at night, and "Bird of Paradise" flowers.
- Both teams went to the same bakery and pool hall for their bagels and pool cue, respectively.
- Despite Titans winning, Karren criticised Alana and Samuel for their negotiations only taking off 35p from the black soap they bought. She also criticised Courtney for his very relaxed approach to the task, later mocking him for looking in a Turkish supermarket for the Moroccan tagine, an item that neither team found.
- In the boardroom, both Claude and Karren were deeply unimpressed with the negotiations done for the cigars. While Alana was told the vendor of Titans' cigars gave them a discount merely so he could send them away and get sleep, Jessica was deeply criticised by Lord Sugar for using "pathetic tactics" to get Nebula's cigars and that her discount of £1 had been hardly worthwhile, with Claude adding that Trishna hadn't helped by opting to buy them without seeking out a better deal elsewhere.
- Although they were not fired, Sofiane was criticised for his lack of participation, as Lord Sugar voiced concerns over feedback that he preferred to work alone, while Trishna was deemed a poor PM, and held responsible for Nebula's loss due to allowing the negotiations to be poor and not prioritising stores that would shut early into the task. While not brought back, Lord Sugar implied that Frances ran the risk of being fired for her losing streak, stating that she needed to be "on the winning team" in the next task.
- On You're Fired, both the panel and the audience agreed with Lord Sugar's decision. Angela pointed out that Rebecca's failure to double-check that an international supermarket had the items that Nebula wanted, which caused her sub-team to waste time, had been a serious "task-ending" mistake, later adding that she also should have delved out of her "comfort zone" and become the PM for the task, to which Rebecca agreed completely.
Week 7: Boat Show
- Original Air Date: 17 November 2016
- Titans: Karthik (Project Manager), Alana, Courtney, Dillon, Grainne and Samuel.
- Nebula: Frances (Project Manager), Jessica, Paul, Sofiane and Trishna.
- Task: Choose a selection of boating and leisure accessories, and then sell them at the Poole Harbour Boat Show. Most sales made, wins.
- Task Review: Nebula opted for fish-themed backpacks, full face snorkels and a paddleboard for their accessories, and were forced to sell an entry-level motorboat for their high-end item. Despite a few issues, Frances and Sofiane engaged with potential customers and secured two deals out of the orders they took, while the accessories team made good sales throughout the task. Meanwhile, Titans opted to go for fish cushions, a stand-changing robe and a niche watersports board for accessories, while they secured jet skis for their high-end item. However, the team were extremely disorganised; the accessories team barely sold much, with Samuel ignoring the pre-agreed pricing strategy, while the high-end team focused mainly on appointments arranged by the jet ski vendors, ignoring passing trade. Their mistakes, along with none of the jet ski sales coming through, handed them a landslide defeat.
- Result: Nebula made sales of £40,480.68, while Titans made sales of £188.90.
- Winner: Nebula - By £40,291.78.
- Reward: Rowing lesson at the Leander Club with two-time Olympic gold-medalist James Cracknell.
- Fired (during internal review): Karthik - For his terrible leadership, not allocating Samuel to the high-end team alongside either Courtney or Grainne, selling nothing, his volatile personality in previous tasks, and being solely responsible for his team's catastrophic loss.
- Brought into the boardroom: Alana, Dillon and Samuel
- Fired (during final boardroom): Samuel - For failing to be a part of the high-end team when given the opportunity, barely involving himself in team discussion outside of sales, his stubborn personality, and for his poor leadership on the fifth task.
- You're Fired Panel: Russell Kane, Martin Lewis and Karren Brady
- For this task, Lord Sugar appointed Frances and Karthik as their respective team's project manager. Despite Karren feeling Frances had come off a bit unprofessional in the task, she was impressed with the sales her team achieved, with it noted that even without the boat sales, Nebula would still have won due to the combined sales of their accessories totalling over £2,000. In contrast, Claude was critical of Karthik's leadership, deeming him the sole reason for Titans' loss, effectively leading Lord Sugar to firing him, while asking Grainne and Dillon about who deserved to come back, eventually choosing the latter alongside Samuel and Alana.
- Although Dillon was not fired, Lord Sugar remarked he was "too much of a nice guy" to be his business partner and that he couldn't hide away from sales, warning him that he had no more room for error. In comparison, Sugar maintained concerns about Alana's lack of confidence and weak sales, but felt she was least responsible for the loss, with Karren noting that she felt she had serious potential.
- On You're Fired, both the panel and the audience agreed with Karthik's firing, though Karren encouraged him to retain his enthusiasm. However, over half the audience and one of the panel disagreed with Samuel's firing, with Kane stating that if Sugar had wanted a double firing, he "should've fired Karthik twice". Although Samuel was not shown to be fired with regret on the main show, it was revealed on Why I Fired Them that he was.
Week 8: London Landmarks
- Original Air Date: 24 November 2016
- Titans: Dillon (Project Manager), Alana, Courtney and Grainne.
- Nebula: Paul (Project Manager), Frances, Jessica, Sofiane and Trishna.
- Task: Organise an exclusive late-night event at two of London's biggest tourist attractions - the London Aquarium and Madame Tussauds - supplying food, drink, a VIP tour, and entertainment. Most profit made (minus refunds), wins.
- Task Review: Titans designed their event for the London Aquarium around a "fantasy island" theme, yet made most of their ticket sales from office visits. Despite their planned night having some minor issues, from Courtney's poor VIP tour, to very little of the hot food being sold, it was well received by their guests, thanks to Dillon's entertainment and the canapes that they provided. Meanwhile, Nebula designed their event at Madame Tussauds around a "casino night" theme, but ticket sales were disorganised due to changes made in their pricing strategy that eventually led to them being sold for less than originally planned. Their event was poorly handled; despite Trishna's VIP tour being very good, the team's cheaply made canapes didn't go down well, while some guests got free hot food after they had been mistakenly informed it was included in the price of their ticket. The team's mistakes ultimately cost them victory.
- Result: Titans made a profit of £2400.66, while Nebula made a profit of £1127.64.
- Winner: Titans- By £1273.02
- Reward: Sword Fighting at Warwick Castle.
- Brought into the boardroom: Paul, Frances and Jessica
- Fired: Paul - For his poor leadership, being responsible for several of the team's mistakes including the argument with the ticket prices, and his aggressive attitude towards the other candidates throughout the process.
- You're Fired Panel: Kanya King, Claude Littner and Joe Lycett
- Each team's venue was pre-arranged by Lord Sugar prior to this task, while they were warned in the briefing that customers could demand a refund if they were unsatisfied with the event that they planned. Titans' win effectively was due to receiving 100% positive feedback from customers, partly from the good quality canapes they provided, though Karren remarked that these were the key reason for the team selling little hot food.
- Claude was very impressed with Trishna's handling of Nebula's VIP tour during the task, deeming it "faultless" due to her ability to recall every detail she had been given by Tussauds' staff. In contrast, Karren felt that Titans' VIP tour had been poor due to Courtney's lack of charisma throughout it, while deeming Grainne's efforts to sell the tour as a "disaster", with Lord Sugar unable to understand how she managed to both oversell it, and then over-refund her mistake afterwards.
- During Nebula's event, Paul engaged in a heated row with Jessica over her handling of ticket sales, after he had learnt from some of their customers that she had informed them that hot food would be included with the price of their ticket. Claude did not approve of the argument taking place before the team's guests, stating it should have been done in private, with Lord Sugar pointing out in the boardroom that some of the guests believed they were witnessing a "remake of EastEnders" as a result.
- Although Frances was not fired, Lord Sugar couldn't understand how she had gone "12 steps backwards" after her success on the previous task, stating that her cheaply designed canapes had been the sole reason for Nebula's refunds. Likewise, while Jessica was not fired, she was scrutinised for not providing an honest answer over her ticket sales, despite her mistake in regards to the hot food, with Claude remarking that she had "panicked" when she sold for less than the price Paul had set out.
- On You're Fired, both the panel and the audience agreed to Lord Sugar's decision to fire Paul, with Claude remarking that apart from making a number of key bad decisions on the task, his aggressive behaviour, including the fact that he lost his cool as a direct result, had been the key factor behind his firing.
Week 9: Virtual Reality Game
- Original Air Date: 1 December 2016
- Titans: Sofiane (Project Manager), Alana, Dillon and Grainne.
- Nebula: Trishna (Project Manager), Courtney, Frances and Jessica.
- Task: Create a new virtual reality game, and pitch it to gaming enthusiasts at the Comic Con exhibition. Most votes earned (both from the public and gaming experts), wins.
- Task Review: Nebula focused on an adventure game that saw players travelling through space to find a lost space pet while dealing with various obstacles. Despite issues with the branding not featuring the game's main character and suggestions that the design could be improved, it was well received at the convention, with their pitch to the experts helped out by Jessica's engaging personality. Meanwhile, Titans focused on an underwater puzzle game involving a character called the "Coral Kid" who sought to find and put together pieces of various shells. However the design had issues as Dillon ignored Alana's suggestions on incorporating further gameplay elements, while the game was disliked at the convention, with the experts unimpressed with their badly disorganised pitch.
- Winner: Nebula - For a game concept that was well received by five out of the seven gaming experts and earning a majority result from the public poll.
- Reward: An immersive dining experience at the secretive, Chamber of Flavours.
- Brought into the boardroom: Sofiane, Dillon and Grainne.
- Dillon, with regret - For creating a poor video game despite his design expertise, failing to demonstrate any skills other than creativity, and for having an unsuitable personality for Lord Sugar's next business partner.
- Sofiane - For mismanaging the sub-teams, delivering a poor pitch, failing on a task his business plan was related to, and for his total disregard of authority and generally erratic track record throughout the previous tasks.
- You're Fired Panel: Zaid Al-Zaidy, Ellie Gibson, and Susan Calman.
- As Lord Sugar indirectly briefed the team via VR headsets, Karren had Sofiane move over to Titans, and Courtney move over to Nebula, before suggesting that Sofiane and Trishna be their respective team's project manager, due to the technology aspect of their business plans. Dillon openly complained after putting himself forward to be Titans' PM, believing that he was better suited than Sofiane to deal with the creative nature of the task.
- Although Nebula won, both Trishna and Frances openly criticised the branding that Courtney and Jessica creating, claiming it was poorly designed and had failed to include the game's main character. In the boardroom, Karren noted that an expert had the same opinion, describing the title as more "a cry for help". During the reward, Jessica remarked that the criticism was controversial, since despite the experts voting for their game, they had voiced the belief it needed further adjustments.
- The key factor behind Sofiane's firing was his preference to often work solo and do "his own thing", which Lord Sugar felt he could no longer deal with. In comparison, he openly commented to Dillon just before firing him, that his decision to disregard Alana's input and go off with his own design idea was just as similar to Sofiane's behaviour on previous tasks.
- Although Alana was not brought back and that Dillon was blamed for the game's design, Lord Sugar criticised her for not strongly voicing her own ideas during its creation rather than leaving it until the boardroom, leaving him to wonder about her contribution on the task. While Grainne was not fired due to her decent track record, she was heavily accused of making no contribution on the task, with Claude noting that she had appeared to take a step back and not been as vocal on ideas as she had before.
- On You're Fired, only two of the panel agreed to Dillon's firing, with Susan remarking the poor game had been his responsibility, while Zaid stated his creativity would never have been enough for him to stay in the process. However, all of the panel and the audience agreed with Sofiane's firing, though Ellie felt that he was not entirely to blame for his team's loss.
Week 10: Gin
- Original Air Date: 8 December 2016
- Titans: Grainne (Project Manager), Frances and Trishna.
- Nebula: Courtney (Project Manager), Alana and Jessica.
- Task: Market a new brand of gin, pitching it to three major drink retailers. Most orders received, wins.
- Task Review: Nebula focused on a fruity gin called "Giin", with a flavour consisting of raspberry and pink pepper. While Courtney struggled, both in coming up with concept of the brand's labelling and with the pitches, and the raspberry flavour failed to stand out enough, the team managed to impress two retailers, both of whom made large orders. Meanwhile, Titans focused on a spicy gin called "Colony Gin" that included it being given an orange colour, yet the team's execution of the task was poor. Poor communication led to an unfinished label that had no information on ingredients and alcohol content, which was criticised by the retailers, along with the negative connotations of the brand. However, the gin's colour drew the most criticism, and ultimately led to only one retailer making a small order, effectively costing the team victory.
- Result: Nebula secured orders worth £71,400, while Titans secured orders worth £5,280.
- Winner: Nebula - By £66,120.
- Reward: A luxury helicopter ride over London.
- Brought into the boardroom: Grainne, Frances and Trishna
- Fired: Trishna, with regret - For influencing her team to colour the gin, undermining Grainne's leadership and attempting to blame her for the communication error, refusing to take responsibility for her mistakes, and for her gratuitously negative attitude throughout the task.
- You're Fired Panel: Frances Dickens, Sara Cox and Nathan Caton
- For this task, Lord Sugar had Trishna and Frances move over to Titans, and had Alana move over to Nebula.
- Early in the task, Alana and Jessica privately admitted to hoping their team would lose the task and that Courtney would be fired, ensuring an all-female final five. Though it was indicated that these remarks were made largely in jest, they soon became legitimately annoyed with Courtney's leadership, finding him to be indecisive.
- During the initial review, Courtney was questioned over his ability to pitch, to which he admitted that pitching was not one of his best skills after Lord Sugar pointed out that his first pitch had been poor, with Claude noting that he fumbled through it badly, even struggling to set up an easel for the team's storyboard of the brand name. In addition, Lord Sugar also voiced that, despite the team winning, the labelling could have been better if pink had been used and not blue.
- Frances was notably critical in the boardroom of the fact that she could not contact Grainne and Trishna in regards to the labelling after phoning them 19 times, noting that the lack of flavour information had hurt the team badly. Grainne admitted that the issue was caused by her leaving her phone elsewhere in their distillery, yet Karren rebuked Trishna's efforts to shift the blame for this mistake solely onto her.
- While the colour of Titans' gin was greatly criticised, with Lord Sugar disapproving of Trishna's refusal to change the colour when Frances suggested it in one of their pitches, the women were informed by one of the retailers that the brand name gave out the wrong message. In the boardroom, Sugar noted the label's design made this even worse; Frances' idea was to use a portion of the world map and have India feature prominently, but the finalised design left Africa being the focal point of the label. Sugar was also bewildered by Frances claiming India to be south of Africa, leading to him pointing out that is actually to the east of the continent.
- Although neither Frances or Grainne were fired, Lord Sugar voiced concerns over both. In regards to Frances, he felt that her losses in most of the previous tasks had raised questions which she failed to give answers on, and that she had not strongly voiced opinions anywhere other than the boardroom. In regards to Grainne, he pointed out to her that she had not excelled when given the opportunity, had not led her team well, and that her pitches were poor; the only orders given were made when she didn't pitch at all.
- On You're Fired, only two of the panel agreed, with Sara pointing out that Trishna's decision to colour the gin had been the key factor behind her firing. Nathan, who disagreed, felt that she had been the strongest candidate and Grainne should have been fired instead, with Frances surprised she hadn't been after Trishna. When reviewing the products, the panel were mixed over Nebula's gin; while Frances liked the concept, the other panellists had issues with the social implications within the branding.
Week 11: Interviews
- Original Air Date: 15 December 2016
- Semi-Finalists: Alana, Courtney, Frances, Grainne and Jessica.
- Task: The final five candidates undergo an interview process from four interviewers - Mike Soutar, Claude Littner, Claudine Collins and Linda Plant. Lord Sugar decides on which two proceed, based on the feedback on their CVs and business plans.
- Candidate Review: Alana was widely praised by the interviewers for her personality, her determination, and for owning a business with very attractive profit margins, but they questioned her ability to handle a larger business based on the proposal she was offering. Although Courtney earned some criticism over his lack of charisma, along with a consensus of poor pitching skills, Claude felt he still had good potential and that his business plan had promise, despite some minor issues with it. While Frances was praised for her strong entrepreneurial spirit and determination, the interviewers felt she had questionable business skills after deeming her CV and business plan to be unprofessional. Grainne earned near-unanimous praise as a strong candidate, yet the interviewers felt she was aiming too high with her proposal, believing she would struggle on focusing on the five different aspects that she planned to run. Finally, Jessica fared the worst out of the group; along with concerns over her skittish and hyperactive personality, her proposal drew strong criticism for being based on a previous business she ran, which made a huge loss in its first year and was barely profitable in subsequent years.
- Decision: Grainne was fired first, as her plan meant she would be struggling to manage all of its aspects she wanted to run, while Jessica went next for providing a plan that was just too risky for Lord Sugar's liking, along with the history of her past business concerning him. Of the remaining three, Sugar felt that, despite issues with the plans of Courtney and Alana, Frances's plan had no likely chance to be scaled up, and so fired her.
- Grainne, with regret - For proposing a business plan that was unfocused, overly ambitious, and which she lacked the necessary experience and qualifications to manage some of its aspects.
- Jessica, with regret - For proposing a business idea with too much risk to it and being based on a similar model that had previously failed, and for her generally mediocre track record in the process.
- Frances - For lacking an understanding of finances, having weak organisational skills, having a business plan that was unlikely to scale up to the size Lord Sugar wanted, and for having the weakest track record of the remaining candidates.
- You're Fired Panel: Ricky Martin, Matt Edmondson and Sara Pascoe
- Grainne's business plan raised considerable concerns on her ability to focus, as Mike found she wanted to run an agency for beauty counter staff, an academy for training make-up artist, as well as setting up both a physical and an online store, with the intention of being a managing director and also handling sales with customers. Her over ambitiousness with her proposal led to Lord Sugar effectively firing her after speaking with her in the boardroom, particularly after she was found to have yet become qualified to teach others; Karren expressed disappointment that this factor had ruined her chances, as during the talk with the interviewers she had considered Grainne to have been a very strong candidate.
- While Jessica was fired for basing her plan on exactly the same model as her first company, especially after she admitted to Linda that it had made a considerable loss, Lord Sugar was concerned that one of the ideas of her proposal involved spending £10,000 a month on celebrity endorsement via social media. Prior to talking to the candidates, Claude had noted to Sugar that the idea had every chance of backfiring, regardless of the celebrities managing to draw in interest on her products.
- During his talk with the interviewers, Lord Sugar was surprised to learn from Mike that Frances' business plan didn't mention anything about the fact she had recently run two stores that had eventually dissolved, while Linda voiced concerns that her proposal's need to be supplied by end-of-line/bankrupt stock raised issues about how likely it could be scaled up, and that she ran her business "out of her handbag". Although she was fired primarily for the scalability issues of her plan, Frances revealed on You're Fired that she intended to expand what she had by opening up two new stores and a warehouse in the future.
- Despite making his choices, Lord Sugar still had some concerns with his finalists. Although he was impressed with Alana's improvements over the course of the process and for having good profit margins with her products, he was concerned about how much she would need sell to offset the cost of scaling up her new business. Likewise, while Claude noted that Courtney had potential that couldn't be ignored and Mike felt he could pick up on the next "big thing", Sugar voiced that he had the advantage of knowing the manufacturing industry and therefore knew the various things that could go wrong for Courtney's plans for trendy, novelty gifts.
- On You're Fired, the audience agreed with Lord Sugar's decision on Grainne and Frances, but disagreed with Jessica's firing, as she had been considered the favourite to win the series from the very beginning. Of the panel, Ricky agreed with all three decisions, Sara completely disagreed with them, while Matt strongly felt that Frances should have gone into the final based upon her consistent effort within the tasks. Despite being fired, Grainne admitted on the show that she felt she had "run her course".
Week 12: The Final
- Original Air Date: 18 December 2016
- Finalists: Alana and Courtney
- Alana's Team: Grainne, Frances, Oliver and Rebecca.
- Courtney's Team: Jessica, Karthik, Paul and Sofiane.
- Task: Finalists prepare a pitch for their business plan, including campaigns and branding, before presenting it to a panel of experts. Lord Sugar decides on who is his business partner, based on feedback on the plan and their overall performance.
- Task Review: Alana worked to pitch her idea for creating a nationwide brand of baked goods called "Ridiculously Rich", though had to redesign her logo after her sub-team felt it was weak, generic, and lacked a USP to it, with the redesign featuring her name upon it. Despite being slightly nervous, her presentation was well-received, with her packaging receiving positive feedback on highlighting her Welsh heritage, with only minor concerns raised on her ability to run a larger business. Meanwhile, Courtney worked to pitch his idea for the creation of a new brand of novelty goods called "Purple Whale", designing and producing a child's drinking cup in the shape of a trophy for his presentation, and practising at length to be confident for it. Despite his sub-team having to amend his TV advert, his pitch was well received by the experts, who felt he could produce new products at a good rate, yet had concerns over the costs involved in his proposal, and the difficulty in protecting his ideas.
- Decision: Lord Sugar felt that despite similarities in low cost and Courtney's business being nearer to his own area of expertise, he felt that Alana had given a far better presentation and that there had been less issues with her proposal, effectively making her Lord Sugar's new business partner.
- Runner-Up: Courtney - For a business plan that would be entering a crowded market and had less than attractive profit margins.
- Hired: Alana - For her very well-received presentation, her improvement throughout the process, and for the high profit margins and heartfelt nature of her brand.
- You're Hired Panel: Claude Littner,[nb 2] Myleene Klass and Hal Cruttenden
- Although Courtney stated that his choice of candidates was due to wanting to have strong personalities, Karren felt during the task that some of the members let him down for mistakenly making his TV advert portray his business as a mail-order service, rather than an online shop, while Lord Sugar felt it was like a "rematch" to have Jessica, Sofiane and Paul working together on the first day. However, his decision to have Karthik help him with his presentation proved to be a good choice, as Karren complimented him on his improvement since the ninth task by stating his pitch in the final was "remarkable".
- Alana was forced to change her brand logo during the task, after its initial design was criticised by Frances and Grainne, as both felt that Rebecca had influenced her creation. In the boardroom, Lord Sugar felt it had been a good idea for her to incorporate herself more with the brand, both by adding her name in the redesign of the logo and being featured prominently in her TV advert, with Oliver praised by both him and Alana for his Welsh-inspired design for the packaging, which he cited was to highlight the provenance of the brand.
- On You're Hired, Lord Sugar stated that apart for her business plan being the best, he was greatly impressed by Alana's improvement over the process, her determination and intelligence, and that he liked the challenge her idea presented. In terms of Courtney's plan, Sugar stated that the low cost of his items presented an issue with scaling up his business, which influenced his decision to be "adventurous" and take on Alana's proposal.
Criticism and controversy
Following the second episode, fans of the show went onto social media to criticize the selection of candidates for the series as being "the worst ever" in the show's history, based upon the result of the second task, with some remarking that the candidates hadn't shown anything worthwhile to make them continue watching the programme. However, Claude Littner felt differently about the candidates for the series, panning the comments made on social media by stating in an interview:
"It is stressful. Having me stand there and all the cameras, and then Lord Sugar asking questions – it’s not comfortable, that’s for sure. So I think, every year everyone says ‘oh these candidates aren’t very good are they,’ it’s just that they’re put under pressure. All these people saying ‘this is the worst bunch,’ or whatever it is that they’re saying, I just think is farcical, really."
Allegations of racism and sexism
Following the broadcast of the sixth episode, a number of viewers made accusations that Dillon St. Paul had been racist after he complained about Karthik Nagesan's negotiation technique for their team's lengha, by remarking that it was being basically "Indian chit-chat". In response to this, Dillon apologized for what he said, stating:
"I would never intentionally set out to say something derogatory. I apologise if my comment caused offence, it was not intended in that manner."
In a similar incident three episodes earlier, a number of viewers also made accusations on Twitter that Sofiane Khelfa had been sexist after he made a comment of wanting to stay out of the manufacturing process of sweets by stating that "I've got a wife who cooks for me." 
Allegations of gender discrimination
Following the broadcast of the Interviews episode, it was alleged by the media that Lord Sugar had fired Grainne McCoy, Jessica Cunningham and Frances Bishop, purely on the basis of them being working mothers. However, Karren Brady, herself a working mother, denied the allegations when the matter was raised during her guest appearance on Loose Women the day after the episode's broadcast, claiming that:
"The people that went through were those who had the best business plans - I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that they're working mums or not working mums. It was purely a decision based on who's got the best business plan and who's done the best."
Following the broadcast of Week 9, it was revealed by The Mail on Sunday that Lord Sugar had been following Alana Spencer on Twitter, although she was not named in their report. The newspaper explained that it was a tradition of his, every year, to follow the candidate that had won that respective series of The Apprentice. The revelations caused an uproar of controversy by many, with Sugar admitting to his mistake before he subsequently unfollowed the candidate as a direct result, in an effort to conceal the winner's identity before the finale had been aired.
Official episode viewing figures are from BARB.
|Air date||7 day viewers
|28 day viewers
|1||6 October 2016||7.37||7.60||4|
|2||13 October 2016||7.40||7.59||5|
|3||20 October 2016||7.37||7.49||4|
|4||27 October 2016||7.65||7.83||4|
|5||3 November 2016||7.37||7.51||4|
|6||10 November 2016||7.26||7.41||6|
|7||17 November 2016||6.60||6.80||8|
|8||24 November 2016||6.40||6.59||10|
|9||1 December 2016||6.38||6.57||10|
|10||8 December 2016||6.89||7.02||4|
|11||15 December 2016||7.24||7.37||4|
|12||18 December 2016||7.45||7.62||3|
|Special||Airdate||7 day viewers
|28 day viewers
|The Final Five||13 December 2016||Template:TBA||Template:TBA||Template:TBA|
|Why I Fired Them||16 December 2016||Template:TBA||Template:TBA||Template:TBA|
- Aleksandra was part of this team, before she announced her decision to leave the process
- Claude was part of the panel only for the interview with Courtney Wood
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