Andrew Brady, James Hill, Luisa Zissman and, of course, Katie Hopkins: these are just some of the candidates of The Apprentice that went on to become reality TV stars, however briefly.
In fact, with so many stars of the BBC business show cropping up again on the likes of Celebrity Big Brother, is there a chance upcoming candidates could simply be using the ‘job interview from hell’ as a quick route to fame rather than a business opportunity?
That’s a question bugging Lord Alan Sugar, as the TV entrepreneur revealed during the launch of The Apprentice’s 14th run.
“Sometimes I worry that [candidates] are there for the wrong reasons,” Lord Sugar told RadioTimes.com and other press. “If I do come across them – you know, they’re filtered from thousands and thousands of people – they don’t tend too last long, let’s put it that way.”
He added: “However, having said that, a lot of contestants come with the intention of winning the prize.”
Lord Sugar also gave his thoughts about why candidates were keen to chase other TV deals after their stint on The Apprentice. “What happens is that they find their way through the process, they leave because they get fired, and then there’s that withdrawal symptoms after the show ends where they’re not spotted in Tesco anymore,” he said.
“They’re not seen down the road in the supermarket and they then want to do something else because they’ve got that flavour of being on TV.
“I have to say, with the exception of I think only one that I can recall, they don’t get very far. They get used as dummies in some quiz shows or things like that and then they fall away.”
At the same event, Sugar went on to discuss such a candidate that hasn’t fallen out the public eye: Katie Hopkins.
Speaking about the businesswoman-turned-controversial-commentator, he said: “She’s made her bed, she’s going to have to lie in it. It’s one of life’s lessons that she’s learnt. Maybe it might be a wakeup call for her. She’s got to solve this and then move on.”
The Apprentice will air weekly on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC1 from 3rd October
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news