The Apprentice 2016 episode 1 – as it happened

Who will be Lord Sugar's new business partner? Only 12 long weeks to find out, starting today


It’s time to button up that power suit, grasp that wheelie suitcase and pointlessly stride around London landmarks, because The Apprentice is back for another series.


Join us as we watch every twist, turn and terrible business decision in a first-week task that involves the new candidates telling the difference between expensive and worthless antiques, and rushing across London without a clear plan. What could possibly go wrong?

This live blog is now concluded

22.29: Anyway, that’s the end of this Apprentice premiere live blog, and thanks for joining me! I gave it 200%. Good night.

22.23: This segment of You’re Fired, where Matt Edmonson edits himself into the candidate auditions, is odd. Mainly because Matt Edmonson felt the need to explain it was fake…

22.21: Michelle loves Jessica, and so do I. These panellists can back right off.

22.15: Matt Edmonson makes a good point: a parallel story of my sad vase man are all the people who bought £300 items for the price of a big fish and chip dinner. There are always winners where there are losers.

22.14: Hey, I heard Natalie swear LIVE. Those subwoofers were worth it for this moment and this moment alone.

22.11: Overall impressions of this weeks episode? Fun chaos, as is the case when there are 18 headless chickens running around. Still, at some point this format will need another revamp, like the one it had a few series ago when it switched from winning a job to winning an investment, or it’ll get tired.

22.06: If you fancy ANOTHER interview with Michelle, we also have one here on May contain less hilarious antics than Rhod’s, though. Click below for me…

22.03: I like the new set of You’re Fired. I’ve said it, goshdarnit.

9.59: And there we have it! After a lot of antiques sold, some interesting neckties and very odd comments, this series of the Apprentice is off to a flying start.

Now, time to head over to BBC2 for You’re Fired…

9.58: Next time – the advert task! And it looks like fave Jessica is struggling…

9.56: And finally, Shugs sums up Michelle, it’s very easy for the finger to be pointed at you as the project manager. But having said that, I do think that there’s a lot of stuff that you are responsible for… Michelle, You’re Fired.”

Michelle is off!

9.55: Ooh, Lord Sugar summary. Let’s print this in full.

“Rebecca, you make a lot of claims about being a great business woman, yet you’ve demonstrated nothing to me in this particular task. Alana, you were in charge of the market team and the pricing was completely wrong; overlooked. Michelle, you claim to be a business woman and I do see you as responsible for not laying down the rules to your team”

But you Rebecca, I just don’t know whether you are the wrong type of candidate for this process.

9.54: Guys, guys, stop arguing about who sold what, and who had a plan or didn’t, and just think – what if the REAL task was the friends you made along the way?

9.51: Based on this boardroom line-up, blondes don’t have more fun…

9.50: Michelle is bringing back Alana and Rebecca. Time for one of them to get the wheelie suitcase ready…


9.46: Ah, we’re at the bickering stage of proceedings. Someone will be packing their bags soon.

Oh, and someone just swore, if you missed it. A Scottish lady called Natalie Hughes who I SWEAR I’ve not seen in this entire episode…

9.44: The misery cafe gets great trade, I hear. All publicity is good publicity.

9.43: The final results:

Team Titans

Trade Sales: £371

Market Sales: £1,057.10

Total Sales: £1,428.10

Team Nebula

Trade Sales: £540

Market Sales: £419

Total Sales: £959

9.42: The boys have won!

9.39: Sofiane apparently sold a vase for £175 that was worth about £7. Good for them, but from another perspective a tragic tale about how someone was conned into buying a cheap lump of china, and didn’t even get to be on telly.

9.38: Oliver is being picked on for running a sausage business, which seems unfair considering everyone else does interchangeable digital nonsense.

Still, in fairness some of Lord Sugar’s sausage puns are absolute bangers.

(no regrets)

9.37: Tru dat.

9.36: Michelle’s mistake there was in saying your team were behind you. Because this is The Apprentice.

9.34: In the boardroom, and Lord Sugar just made an incredibly tortured “going, going gone” joke. It’s good to be back.

9.33: Karthik and his alien tie love the “sounnndddd of money.” Paper money. He’s a refined chap.

9.31: The negotiating in this episode is woeful. Pretty much this.

9.30: “Have a look…don’t be afraid…have a nice scarf.”

Not creepy at all, Mukai.

9.28: Btw, if you’re wondering how I’m keeping all these names straight…


9.27: Haha! The girls sent the van to Camden and went to Bloomsbury! See boys, now that’s a PROPER Apprentice error. Bow your heads in awe.

9.25: The boys made a deal, but the bloke doesn’t have the authority to give them cash. Karen presents this as a big mistake, but it’s here the format doesn’t help – we never usually see them check this, so it’s unclear whether it’s a genuine error or an unfair expectation of them.

On a lighter note, loving this new take on the Karate Kid’s Wax on/wax off.


9.22: Claude and I are of one mind on this. Makes me feel smart. I still miss Nick though.


9.20: The girls also seem to be wasting a bit of time getting their expert to check EVERYTHING. Oh dear oh dear.

9.19: Less ambiguously, it seems like a bad move that Frances sold a £300 chair for £17.50. Oh dear.

9.18: Both sub-teams are selling in the markets now, while their other halves sell the more valuable items to shops.

The girls are selling stuff early, and cheap. Claude says “abysmal”. I say, “this show is edited to the extent that I have no concept of whether this is a good or bad move.”

9.17:  Jessica is my favourite too, Paul.

9.15: Like these guys, my clothes are all business when it comes to doing my job. Even if I’m wearing pajama bottoms with this suit jacket.


9.13: So Paul is boys’ project manager, and Michelle is the girls’. Nope, I’m not 100% who those names apply to either.

9.12: Never know why they care so much about the team names anyway, they have to swap them round by about week 3 anyway.

9.11: The boys have picked “Team Titans” for their name. Now, that sounds familiar to my comic-book fan mind…


Better than the girls, who are boringly called “Nebula” anyway.

9.09: Oh Karthik, your way may be a separate superhighway but you’re also skating close to a bit of workplace sexism there.

9.08: ICYMI, the task is to go through piles of antiques, find valuable stuff among the rubbish and sell it. Simples.

9.07:  “You can compare this to being on a life support machine and one of your colleagues here pulling the plug out just to charge their mobile phone up,” Lord Sugar says. “That’s how competitive it will get.’’

I don’t think this conversation will resort to actual murder, Shugs. Unless someone isn’t watching Dillon at all times.

9.05: You actually CAN’T send Lord Sugar a complaint at, no matter what he says.

9.04: I’m ready for this Lord Sugar. Let’s go.

8.24: Darn, looks like I have a rival recapper tonight.

Feel like I have the star power to bring people over here, though. I was on ITV news once.

8.19: Full disclosure: this is my first time live blogging the Apprentice, having mainly covered Game of Thrones in this format before. Still, I feel like my experience in watching bloodthirsty types stab each other in the back to impress someone in a fancy chair will serve me well tonight, somehow.

8.02: Is this Lord Sugar’s way of asking Nick Hewer if he can guest on Countdown?

8.00: Hello and welcome to this special Apprentice premiere live blog! My name’s Huw Fullerton and I’ll be your project manager for this week’s task, which sees the new candidates digging around old vases, chairs and statues to see which are old junk to be flogged off quickly and which are treasures to be sold to the highest bidder. Insert your own “trash TV” jokes here, if you dare face the wrath of my Apprentice fandom.

Anyway, we’ll be kicking off our patented commentary and bad jokes over the next hour in the build-up to the episode’s start at 9.00pm on BBC1, so strap in – it’s bound to be more or less the same as every opening episode this series has ever had (read: entertainingly chaotic), but hopefully there’ll be a few choice one-liners to enter on The Great Ledger of Weird Apprentice Boasts.


Oh, and here are this year’s candidates. I guarantee you’ll remember none of their names by halfway through the episode.