The Apprentice made the most of a year without the real series, cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, by featuring highlights of the 15 series so far in the first of a six-part Best Bits anthology of the best characters on the BBC One entrepreneurial show.
It was all about the best characters on Thursday night and social media lit up with fans of the show when it featured a montage of the late Stuart Baggs, the contestant from season six who tragically died in 2015 at the age of 27.
He wasn’t so much an Apprentice as “a brand” and his bravado was legendary.
“I’m not a one-trick pony, I’m not a 10-trick pony, I’ve got a field of ponies to run to this,” he memorably said.
The tributes rolled in from fans for the “brilliant” contestant.
Stuart Baggs the "Brand"
Such a shame he passed a way.????#TheApprentice
— ???????????? Jay Bell Rock ???????????? (@Jamesy_c1) October 1, 2020
Others remarked that he was their number one contestant: “Stuart Baggs will always remain my most favourite #TheApprentice candidate ever.”
Can we just have an hour of Stuart Baggs please? #TheApprentice
— Tom Wyatt (@t__wyatt) October 1, 2020
The impact Stuart had on fans of the show has lasted 10 years after he appeared.
— Vrtl Mrtl (@VrtlMrtl) October 1, 2020
The Apprentice boss Lord Alan Sugar made his own memorial to Stuart who, aged 21, was the youngest to ever compete on the show.
“He could talk the hind legs of a donkey. He was quite amusing, he actually made me laugh for once in the boardroom,” said Lord Sugar.
“Stuart was one of our most memorable characters and regretfully he’s passed away. But he’ll never be forgotten. What a great character.”
Then of course there was Ruth “The” Badger from season two of The Apprentice in 2006.
She came second in the series, to Michelle Dewberry, but many on social media felt she was “robbed”.
Ruth Badger – absolute legend. She’ll always be the one that got away, but wonder what’s she’s doing now? #TheApprentice
— Dan E Sioux (@dannysioux) October 1, 2020
Others remarked on her no-nonsense attitude to the tasks and her take-no-prisoners approach in the boardroom.
“I’m not saying The Badger was good, but in real life Lord Sugar is now working for her #TheApprentice,” tweeted one fan.
Some of the contestants themselves got involved in the nostalgia, like Melody Hossaini, who made it to week 10 of 12 in season seven.
The Apprentice – wow what an experience! Definitely a lot tougher than people think. Happy to have been a part of it! Very nostalgic watching the clips tonight.#theapprentice #TheApprenticeBestBits @Lord_Sugar
— Melody Hossaini (@Melody_Hossaini) October 1, 2020
The Apprentice Best Bits will return next Thursday onen BBC One with an episode focusing on the celebrity specials.