The Apprentice is a British television series which airs on the BBC in which a group of people compete for the chance to win a £100,000-a-year job as an apprentice of British Entrepreneur, Lord Alan Sugar Sugar is a ruthless British entrepreneur who has an estimated fortune of approximately £830m and was born in east London as the youngest of four children. Sugar has starred in the BBC production, which has run for six seasons in the United Kingdom.
The UK Apprentice is very similar in format to the American series, which stars Donald Trump. Both versions of The Apprentice are produced by Mark Burnett.
Open auditions for The Apprentice are held across the country, attracting thousands of budding entrepreneurs. A shortlist of about 70 – 80 candidates are then called back and asked to do various exercises to test their business skills. After this, around 20 to 30 people are taken aside and further assessed then the final line-up is chosen.
The contest to find an apprentice sets the candidates a procession of gruelling challenges, with at least one candidate being fired after each task leaving just one candidate victorious to reap the rewards of a six-figure salary job.
The rules of the apprentice are very simple. The contestants are divided into two teams each week and assigned a task. Each task is set to test the skills of each of the candidates, in addition to their team work and resilience.
Following the task, the anxious teams have to present their results to Alan Sugar and as the losers are sent away to think about their failings; the winning team is rewarded. The project manager then chooses two of his colleagues to join them to review their exploits by Lord Sugar and his advisers. At least one of them will then be fired.
The Apprentice is a BAFTA award-winning British reality television series with the previous winners going on to work at companies such as Amstrad. The first two series aired on BBC Two in 2005 and 2006 and the third series was promoted to BBC One due to its popularity. The programme has spawned three spin-offs and the occasional special.
The Apprentice has received high rating figures in its run. The first series, got an average of 2.5 million viewers. The second series achieved an average of 4.4 million viewers. Series Three, which aired on the more popular BBC1, attracted 6.8 million viewers at its peak with the figures rising year after year.