The Apprentice’s fired Lauren Riley: Daniel and Mark are being kept in because they’re entertaining

“Daniel Lassman knows this show is as much about entertainment as business,” says the latest candidate to be fired

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Lauren Riley was fired in tonight’s episode of The Apprentice after a boardroom battle with project manager Mark Wright and Daniel Lassman – a pairing Lord Sugar labelled “oil and water” for their apparent inability to work well together.

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Once again she was accused of not contributing to the task after Team Tenacity failed to produce a new soft drink that would sell in the US. “If it’s said enough times, mud does stick,” Lauren tells RadioTimes.com, who’s had to defend her performance week after week. But Lauren, a lawyer by trade, ultimately thinks Daniel and Mark are being kept in the show because they’re entertaining – rather than good businessmen.

“Daniel knows this show is as much about entertainment as business. He keeps surviving, doesn’t he?” she says, referring to the fact that Daniel is a regular fixture in the boardroom. Tonight he even admitted he was both a “sitting duck” and “the cat” who is fast running out of lives.

“[Daniel’s] playing that villainous character. He’s creating controversy and that’s creating entertainment.”

On whether that’s fair – given the ultimate prize is a hefty £250,000 business investment from Lord Sugar – Lauren adds:

“I think the show ought to be about business. It ought to be on people’s merit, rather than on the entertainment value they’re providing.”

Lauren believes Mark has lasted for the same reason.

“I think that’s the same with Dan and Mark’s storyline, in terms of their argument – it’s keeping viewers entertained. It’s television at the end of the day as well as business.”

“I could sit here and make a really watertight case for Dan or Mark going [instead of me]. I think Dan continues to make mistakes and make claims that he can’t substantiate about his sales ability. He causes a lot of friction with the team that doesn’t help.

“Equally, Mark, he misrepresented himself to obtain the role of project manager. It did show that he didn’t have any advertising experience. He didn’t contribute to the task any ideas, or any direction. I did feel his project management was poor. The edit has been kind to him in that respect,” she explains. 

As for her prospects, Lauren is excited. She continues to work as a lawyer and will launch her business idea later this month. And she knows who’d she’d like to see take the overall title: “I’m a champion of women in business so I’m backing the stronger women in the competition – Bianca or Roisin.”

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The Apprentice continues Wednesday at 9:00pm on BBC1