According to The Times, the “produceers of The Apprentice have rejected claims that Wednesdays final was fixed after viewers complained that Michelle Dewberrys moment of triumph was a sham.
However, viewers were not told that both finalists (Dewberry and Badger respectively) had been working for Sir Alan for six months before the final result was revealed to them. “.
What really narks me about this is that the finale was pre-recorded well over 6 months ago. Unlike the American version where the finale was done ‘live’, the UK version has opted to do it 6 months before it was due to air.
Although I don’t think the “moment of triumph” was a sham, I do think the whole situation stinks. Why was both competitors given a job? Why even bother having a contest?
The problem I had with series two of the UK version of the Apprentice was that it became increasingly derivative – by week 4 I was already bored with Sir Alan Sugar’s overtly aggressive “managerial” style. Sure, I accept it’s been done for entertainment (that’s why Sayed was kept until the end), and sure they need poetic licence, but for me Sir Alan and the Apprentice highlights and encapsulates everything that is wrong with entrepreneurship.
Alan’s style is stuck in the mid-80’s, when it was all “dog eat dog”. In the Apprentice world, no-one helps you, there is no team, it’s all about me, me, me. Qualities other than sales do not matter. Sir Alan is quite obviously looking for someone he can control, someone who can do the job. This ain’t the army, this ain’t the 30’s, and your workers aren’t soldiers for you to bark, belittle and berate for your own personal amusement.
“But this is business! — You gotta be hard, tough and roughless” I hear you say.
If business is about Machiavellian plots and stabbing each other in the back, and doing dodgy deals that a car salesmen would utilise, and if business is about you or indeed if business ain’t about the customer, then entrepreneurship can f–k itself.
One of the reasons I hate this myth of entrepreneurship is the ideal sold by shows like the UK apprentice where it’s all dodgy deals, where it’s all fake smiles and even faker people. This is where the UK version of the Apprentice is so far behind the American one. The American version has the flavour, sure it still has its Machiavellian plots, but Trump doesn’t belittle you or get easily frustrated just because you couldn’t sell.
The ideals of entrepreneurship aren’t shown in the Apprentice, rather it’s the ideals of the ideal salesperson, the ideal “team player” (in the Sir Alan Sugar world that could mean anything!)… and the ideal, willing slave.
But it’s not just me…
Sir Alan Sugar’s leadership style has been criticised by Professor Graham Jones. He’s worried that other entrepreneurs will copy the millionaire businessman’s abrasive style. He reckons good leaders “encourage and inspire” staff, rather than bullying them. Nearly 19 million working days are lost every year due to bullying, accounting for around 10% of firms annual profits. Professor Jones says Sir Alan’s style should be seen as entertainment, not a master class in leadership for entrepreneurs.
Applications for Series Three of The Apprentice is starting. The applicants will be asked questions including (I’ve included a SPOOF application, this isn’t me, honest!)
- Why do you want to work for Sir Alan? (Because I like being talked down to, like I’m a kid that can’t make decisions by myself)
- Have you ever lied or cheated to get what you want? If yes, when and why?(Sure, doesn’t every Apprentice TV-wannabe pre-madonna do this? Why? Well it won’t be good tele if I didn’t lie now would it?)
- How do you deal with conflict at work?(By constantly shouting down my peers and blaming them for all failures, thereby allowing Sir Alan the courtesy of firing them. And anyway, who really cares about the team when I can make a SALE)
- Describe something you would do if you knew you wouldn’t get caught?(Sell second cars to their previous owners, I mean you’re gotta have a challenge on selling, right?!)
- How do you react when you don’t get what you want?(Shout louder than the previous person, making them burst into tears.)
- Is there any one business ethic that you would never break?(All of them. Well okay, I lied)
- Have you been on television before? If yes, please give details(No, much like the ‘much loved’ Chantelle of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’, I intend to fool everyone with my dashing looks and rather lack of brain cells. This will endure me to the newspaper buying public and I will be able to write a 300 page autobiography of my life at the tender age of 22)
- Have you ever started or run your own business?(Yes. Please contact Del Boy of Trotters Independent Traders (T.I.T.))
- What was it and what was the outcome?(Last time, last year we became millionaires. Then Del Boy blew the lot, but I can’t remember on what on, nor why. Sadly, old Del Boy is stuck in some French Prison)
- In what way is money important to you?(In every way I guess)
- Have you ever been fired?(No. But the kudos I will acquire from Sir Alan Sugar firing my ass will be a noteworthy thing to have on my CV, sorry I mean resume (urgh!))
- Describe how you intend to make sure that YOU become The Apprentice?(By lying, cheating, defrauding, belittling, shouting down, being forceful and by selling more than everyone. Also, I intend to shoot the other candidates)
Will I be applying for UK Apprentice 3? Hell no. The UK version of The Apprentice stinks. And it stinks royally!
BBC denies triumph of Sir Alan’s apprentice was a sham