The Apprentice interviews pack a punch thanks to Sugar’s new advisor

No nonsense Linda Plant gives the interviews even more fire

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The Apprentice interviews return tonight and this year they pack even more of a punch thanks to new advisor Linda Plant.

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“Are you going to cry?” she almost purrs at one candidate and even at home there’s part of you that thinks, yes I might just.

The interior designer told us she’d be “digging to expose a weakness” and thanks to her simple, ice-cool statements she certainly does.

Plant is – as she told us she would be – firm but fair. There are no trick questions here. No one’s asked to pretend to be a pterodactyl or complete a Rubik’s Cube; she just wants to see through the bravado. Or rather, the “bull****”, as she so matter-of-factly puts it.

As you’d expect, business plans are highlighted more than a Christmas issue of the Radio Times and puffed-up over-zealous statements are periodically scrutinised as the advisors help Lord Sugar determine an idea worthy of his £250,000 investment.

Returning favourite Mike Soutar has been doing his traditional fact checking, which gets one candidate’s knees knocking. Claudine Collins refuses to have the wool pulled over her eyes and Claude Littner, well, he knows even more about the candidates this year so knows exactly what to say to push their buttons.

There’s panic, there’s perspiration, there’s so much backtracking you’ll be forgive for thinking you’re watching the episode with the rewind button switched on. Interviews really don’t get much tougher than this.

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The Apprentice continues tonight at 9:00pm on BBC1 and concludes this Sunday at 9:00pm on BBC1