Mark Wright’s Apprentice verdict: Sugar will wipe the floor with waffling Mergim

Last year’s winner says the boss of the boardroom hates candidates who won't shut up even more than those who make mistakes

Among all of the frantic fish selling on last night’s opening The Apprentice episode, one of the oddest moments was during the boardroom showdown when 23-year-old Mergim Butaja (you know, the one who tried to sell fish to a vegan restaurant) decided it was high time he told Lord Sugar why he had a “frustration” with his colleagues.


No one had taken on any responsibility, Mergim crowed, no one had shown any leadership qualities, they all “talked a big game” but no one had stepped up. Had he put himself up to project manage? Er, no. Sugar swatted him away like an annoying fly – “What are you on about? Let’s move on shall we” – and got back down to business. But it’s this pointless waffle that last year’s champ Mark Wright says will be Mergim’s undoing.

“He was speaking for the sake of speaking,” Wright told of the Sales Account Manager from Coventry. “That’s the one thing that Lord Sugar hates more than people who make mistakes; people who waffle.

“He is going to get so fired. Lord Sugar’s going to wipe the floor with him.”

Mergim was actually on the winning team, Versatile, who managed to bring back more than Connexus’s “abysmal” £1.87 profit, so he lives to waffle another day.

Of the candidates left, the reigning champ thinks Joseph Valente and Vana Koutsomitis will do well – and that self-proclaimed ‘Swiss Army Knife of business’ Richard Woods “is going to go a long way”. Wright clearly agrees with Lord Sugar’s assessment that some of the language in Richard’s business proposal is “bollocks”, though, adding “I think his business plan will be nonsense…”


The Apprentice continues tonight at 9:00pm on BBC1