Did Apprentice candidate Frances Bishop’s comments about receipts in her handbag lead to a visit from the taxman?

"I think my accountant actually hates me. I keep all my VAT receipts in my purse," Bishop admitted in her audition video


Fired Apprentice candidate Frances Bishop is concerned that her flippant comments about her handbag-based filing system may be behind a surprise visit from the taxman. 


The children’s clothing boutique owner, who made it to the show’s final five, was eliminated after an interrogation by Claude Littner and the other Apprentice interviewers. 

They honed in on a particularly worrying line from her audition video. 

“I’m the most unorganised person in the world,” Bishop laughs in the clip. “I think my accountant actually hates me.

“I keep all my VAT receipts in my purse, and I went to see him the other week, and he picked them out like that, and there was foundation all over it. And he was like, ‘How am I meant to submit this to the taxman?'”

“That terrifies me,” MediaCom Director Claudine Collins told her. 

But aside from leaving Lord Sugar unimpressed, Bishop told RadioTimes.com that the throwaway line may even have sparked concerns at HM Revenue & Customs. 

“I actually got a VAT inspection a couple of weeks ago and I don’t know if that was from my comment or not, so… yeah. That was quite funny,” she revealed. 

“I said to HMRC, ‘Have you been watching The Apprentice?’

“They didn’t find it funny actually. They didn’t like that.”

Bishop also rose to the defence of her filing system. 

“In the audition process I said, ‘Oh you know, I’m busy and I just chuck invoices in my handbag’ – you know, one of those comments that you just say,” she explained.

“And there’s truth in it. You ask a lot of women. Women just chuck stuff in their handbag, and then when it comes to the end of the week, file it – which I do, by the way. Just to make that clear to everybody.”

HMRC, take note.


The Apprentice Final will air on Sunday 18th December at 9pm