It's the episode we've all been waiting for – The Apprentice 2023 finally reached the interview stage of the competition tonight on BBC One and it lived up to its brutal reputation.


The five semi-finalists' business plans were picked apart by Lord Sugar's trusted advisors – including Claude Littner, who returned for the episode – delivering some of the most cringeworthy moments of the whole season.

If you missed tonight's episode, then is here to catch you up with the latest Apprentice 2023 recap.

Episode 11 began with the five remaining candidates – Victoria Goulbourne, Marnie Swindells, Rochelle Anthony, Dani Donovan and Megan Hornby – preparing to go through their business plans, some of which appear to be more thought through than others.

The next day, the line-up headed to meet Lord Sugar's advisors: Claude Littner, Mike Soutar, Linda Plant and Karren Brady, all of whom had read through the business plans and were armed with criticism.

First up was Dani, who was hoping Lord Sugar would invest in her hair extensions business and said that losing "has never been an option" for her, however she was quickly humbled by Claude Littner. The businessman promptly called her out for not knowing the difference between sales and profit, before Linda Plant categorically told her that her business had no unique selling point.

Later on, Dani's interview with Mike Soutar got a bit hairy, with the Scottish entrepreneur taking an issue with the confidentiality agreement featured in her business plan. "There's something in this business plan that's put me in a really bad mood," he told her, before Dani admitted that she'd forgotten to take it out of the business plan template.

He then said that her £10,000 budget for marketing her company across the world was "completely unrealistic", and by the time Dani reached Karren Brady, she began to well up, telling her that her website features no products because she "didn't think [she'd] get this far."

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As for Victoria's pick n mix business, the air stewardess' interviews got off to a savage start, with Linda in leopard print saying there was no gap in the market for sweet kiosks and that she should consider returning to the airline. Ouch!

Victoria became emotional during her interview with Karren Brady in tonight's episode. BBC

Moving onto Claude, Victoria was made aware of various mistakes in her business plan when it came to the numbers, while Karren said that she hadn't included any staff costs, adding: "Who's going to be working these kiosks? The tooth fairy?" After silently accepting a tissue off Karren to wipe her tears, Victoria visited Mike, who pointed out the 33 spelling mistakes in her plan and clarified that she couldn't consider herself to be "self-taught" as she had in fact been at school. "I'm not an expert when it comes to English language," Victoria said when confronted with her business plan errors.

The experts didn't have much to say about Megan's business plan – for a dessert shop that became a cocktail bar in the evening – as it was just 14 pages long with "no depth" and "no substance", according to Karren (or rather Baroness Brady after the business exec told Megan that only her friends can call her Karren).

Moving onto Claude, Megan's plan was obliterated by the former aide to Lord Sugar, with him saying: "These numbers are meaningless. You've shot yourself in the foot here. This is hopeless."

Marnie's business hopes for a boxing gym were received more warmly by the experts, however they were quick to point out that central London is packed with boxing gyms, while Karren was concerned by Marnie's various funding grants being contingent on a signed property lease which she currently didn't have.

Meanwhile, Linda wasn't impressed by Marnie's lack of experience when it came to running a gym and her plans not to pay her trainers but instead give them access to the gym in exchange for their services. "You have not convinced me today that your business in its present form is in any way investable," she said to an annoyed-looking Marnie.

Lastly, it was time for a rinse and repeat of Rochelle's hair salon business and immediately Claude noted that her numbers didn't make for "great reading", criticising her over-optimistic jump in turnover from £150,000 to over a million pounds. "You've done something that just seems not ambitious but reckless," he said.

Mike then pointed out that Rochelle had incorrectly estimated how much space she would need for her salon before Karren said that her plans to open a salon in Belgravia would cost her a lot more than she's budgeted for.

Back in the boardroom with Lord Sugar, the business boss spoke to the semi-finalists after consulting with his interviewers, revealing that it would be Marnie and Rochelle going through to next week's final.

The Apprentice continues on BBC One and BBC iPlayer next Thursday at 9pm. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide, or visit our dedicated Entertainment hub.


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