From masterminding cereal superhero Pants-Man, to flogging unfortunately-placed trampolines on a shopping channel, the candidates of The Apprentice have messed up a lot of challenges over the show’s 15 years.
However, turns out there’s one task they’ve never been given a chance to botch, with Lord Sugar revealing he once devised a challenge that was outright rejected by the production team.
“In the early days of the show, I thought of a task [where the candidates] became city traders. Selling, buying and selling shares and all that type of stuff,” he told RadioTimes.com and other press at the launch of The Apprentice series 15.
So why didn’t this Wolf of Canary Wharf assignment ever make it to screen? “One has to think of the logistics of how to make a TV programme,” Lord Sugar said.
“The truth of the matter is it would make a very boring film […] I think what we’ve got at the moment is tasks that actually have some physical element to them – I do believe the physical side of things is important.”
The boardroom veteran also admitted he has another idea that the BBC turn down every year: a show looking into the current lives of former Apprentice winners, from inventor Tom Pellereau, Lord Sugar’s first business partner on the show, to series 14 champ Sian Gabbidon.
“I have asked them time and time again,” said Lord Sugar. “The BBC do not understand what they have there. They really don’t […] One of the reasons why I do this programme is to encourage young people. The amount of youngsters that I speak to every day of the week who love the programme and are inspired by it, it’s quite amazing.”
Yet, as Lord Sugar concedes, the BBC has good reason for not producing a ‘What Happened Next?’ show. “They won’t do it as I suppose there’s some policy that it would be deemed to be promoting one of Lord Sugar’s businesses, which, of course, you can’t do on the BBC,” he explained.
But even though viewers won’t be treated to a stock trader task or a winner’s show anytime soon, Lord Sugar says Apprentice fans still have plenty of treats ahead.
Not only will this year’s 16 candidates be sent to South Africa for a tour guide task in the series opener, but in future episodes they will try their hands at designing a rollercoaster, running a corporate day on a British Pullman train and one “very special task” in Finland.
“Finland is recognised as a cold country and therefore they have a kind of void in the Summer and they wanted to boost their summer attendance,” Sugar cryptically teased.
“There’s a lot to look forward to. I can assure you.”
The Apprentice returns to BBC One 9pm, Wednesday 2nd October