Seven Secrets From The Apprentice!

The Apprentice Series 13 - 2017
(Image credit: BBC/Jim Marks)

All the behind-the-scenes gossip from The Apprentice

As The Apprentice continues, here are seven behind-the-scenes secrets from the addictive reality show…

1. Selection process

From the thousands of candidates who apply online, some are invited for regional interviews. Then, around 75 have further interviews in London to test their skills and teamwork. Psychotherapists then evaluate 30 of them and their references are checked before the final line-up is selected.

2. Café culture

The Bridge Café in Acton has become a tourist attraction, as it is where the losing candidates head after each task for tears and recriminations as they prepare for some boardroom backstabbing.

3. Boardroom blitz

The boardroom scenes are also filmed a studio in Acton as Lord Sugar’s real office is in Brentwood, Essex and isn’t large enough to accommodate the filming equipment. The shots of each candidate leaving in a taxi after being fired are all filmed at the start of the process.

4. Busy schedule

The tasks are filmed consecutively over two months so there's little downtime for the candidates. "It’s crammed in and filmed back to back without a break, so it can be intense and exhausting," says Lord Sugar’s aide Karren Brady. "It’s good for me in the interviews round because I get a four-day break to return to my real job!"

5. Taskmaster

The tycoon devises all the tasks himself. "He knows what he wants to do, what skills he wants to test and how they should be tested," says Karren.

6. Early starts

The candidates really do get up early to start their tasks – and so do Karren and her fellow aide Claude Littner. "We’re with them all the time but when you get up at 4am and work until late, you are knackered and you wonder why you are doing it!" laughs Claude.


Apprentice Rhod

7. The winner is…

Two endings are filmed as Lord Sugar doesn’t decide the winner until the day the final airs. "I wish Lord Sugar would choose his winner sooner!" You’re Fired host Rhod Gilbert laughs. "I write two scripts and then once we know who has won, I urgently polish up one of them and chuck the other in the bin. It’s a nightmare!"

The Apprentice continues on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC1

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.