Scott Saunders has left The Apprentice and fellow boardroom quitter Katie Hopkins is delighted to welcome him into her ‘I fired Lord Sugar’ club.
Hopkins famously turned down the chance to appear in the final of the show during 2007’s third series. Having made it through eleven weeks of the process Hopkins told the boss of the boardroom that it was best she “stand down” and get her own plans in place.
“I like this idea that I fired Lord Sugar and that there’s another one of us,” Hopkins told RadioTimes.com after Scott chose to give up his place in the process tonight. “I say more power to his elbow!”
“I think anybody who’s got some kind of guts about them, some kind of sense of moral compass maybe, or someone who knows who they are, actually that’s a really employable quality for me. So I say, good for him. He tried it, he decided he was better than the show and he left. Good on you son, go you!”
Laughing that he was now a member of her ‘I fired Lord Sugar’ club, Hopkins has an idea for an entirely new show.
“There may be a whole new programme of apprentices that fired Lord Sugar. I quite like that. It could be the new spin-off show were we fired Lord Sugar…”
Of Scott’s decision to leave, Hopkins suggested Lord Sugar will now become openly critical of the candidate.
“I think probably what will happen is a similar thing that happened with me; you’re offered your place, you were considered a reasonable candidate, and then the minute you quit, suddenly you’re unemployable and you’re everything he ever hated. He’ll talk about the fact that you’re useless, whereas until the point you quit, he actually thought you were quite good.”
Hopkins said she hasn’t actually been watching this series, but does think Scott could have timed his exit with a little more care.
“I think it would be a bit more dignified to wait until the end, as I did. So you’re offered the position, or at least offered your place in the final, so you can officially say you made it there,” she explained.
“I don’t think being a quitter is a great thing, nobody wants to be called a quitter. But perhaps if you are a principled person and maybe after this many rounds of Apprentice filming, where it has become a little less about quality of candidates and a little more personality driven, kind of the show for the show’s sake, perhaps if you are then seriously thinking about maybe going into business with someone who’s going to put up the funds, if it isn’t for you, it is a good idea to call time on it.”
“When I quit it was ‘Well, actually I’ve got a better job already thanks’,” Hopkins added.
The former candidate bargains there’ll be a “whole bunch of people very cross” about Scott’s decision to leave and says show bosses will have tried to turn it around.
“I think from all sort of perspectives, but certainly from Lord Sugar’s point of view, this isn’t something the programme would want to have happen. They will have done everything in their power to make it not happen, as happened with me. That involved the whole exec team, all sorts of people trying to convince you otherwise. I think from a production perspective, it’s a complete nightmare […] essentially the show is a very well controlled piece of craft. Anybody who throws anything unexpected into that is not something they want to happen.”
But while Hopkins is all for a bit of joshing with the show and the boss – “Lord Sugar knows it’s quite fun to banter about Hopkins still” – she’s not got time for candidates who leave the process and moan about how they’re perceived.
“I always say if you put yourself out there, don’t blame the edit later. You asked to go on The Apprentice. By now people should know what that show’s like. Never ever blame the edit. The camera can’t make you say things you didn’t say. The camera can’t make you look like a cow if you’re delightful. People say to me maybe the edit made you look like a cow? I always say ‘No, I actually was a cow. I was very direct, I was very harsh – if your interpretation of that is a cow then that’s absolutely fine.’ Never blame the edit, suck it up, stop complaining. Don’t like it? Quit, fine.
“I think people maybe should spend maybe a bit more time looking in the mirror at the person responsible for whatever downfall they may have suffered.”
The Apprentice continues Wednesdays at 9:00pm on BBC1