For the first time in a decade, a group of stars will have the chance to prove their business acumen (or lack thereof) to Lord Sugar in Celebrity Apprentice for Comic Relief.
Ten famous faces – from Britain’s Got Talent‘s Amanda Holden, to X Factor judge Ayda Williams and presenter Rylan Clark-Neal – will be tasked to raise as much money as possible from a cabaret show, watched over by Sugar’s trusty aides Karren Brady and Claude Littner.
This should be a nice change for Brady, who last appeared on the celebrity version of the show as a contestant. In fact, it was this appearance that resulted in her becoming a guest interviewer on the main Apprentice, before eventually becoming Sugar’s right-hand woman.
- Meet the Celebrity Apprentice 2019 candidates
- 7 ways the first series of The Apprentice was VERY different from today’s show
- RadioTimes.com newsletter: get the latest TV and entertainment news direct to your inbox
In 2007, Brady appeared in the first all-star Apprentice spin-off, where she led a team including Jo Brand and Cheryl (then Girls Aloud’s Cheryl Cole) to victory over Alastair Campbell’s side.
She won by a landslide. At the end of the task, in which the celeb candidates had to run a funfair for a day, the Girls pulled in a massive £774,998 compared to the Boys’ £286,256.
The series wasn’t just notable for Brady’s victory, though. Not only did actor Rupert Everett leave the show after day one (“I can’t stand the camera, I just can’t!”), but Piers Morgan was pushed by Trinny Woodall after locking her chef in a toilet.
Things then went from bad to worse for Morgan, who was eventually fired as Lord Sugar was fed up with his “demeanour”.
In perhaps one of The Apprentice’s greatest moments, Campbell bellowed “Again!?” immediately after the former newspaper was handed the firing finger.
While the Celebrity Apprentice in the US ran for seven whole seasons with Donald Trump at the helm, the UK has only been gifted two other all-star specials – both of which were also won by the female team.
In 2008 stars including Clare Balding and Phil Tufnell took part in an edition for Sport Relief. It was an episode that didn’t end well at all for Hardeep Singh Kohli, the presenter fired by Lord Sugar after abdicating his role as project manager.
Last but not least (in terms of mess-ups, anyway) was the 2009 series. The Comic Relief shows once again saw the male contestants back in the boardroom with Jack Dee attempting to get Alan Sugar (then still Sir Alan) to fire his aide Nick Hewer on the grounds of bribery and corruption.
Fortunately, Hewer made it through these accusations unscathed, with comedian Alan Carr finally given the firing finger. Not for bad reasons, mind. Saying he was doing Carr “a favour” by letting him escape his “miserable” team leader, businessman Gerald Ratner, Sugar forced him out the boardroom.
After protesting that he could make a mean brew for Sugar, Carr finally accepted his fate and almost shed a tear on his taxi home.
Fortunately, it looks like Alan Carr will have a second attempt to do some good in the competition. It’s not exactly known what his role will be, but the comedian can be spotted in the trailer for the upcoming special.
Could Lord Sugar leave Carr close to crying again 10 years on? Will any accusations of foul play be levelled at Hewer’s replacement Claude Littner? And could one of the all-star contestants do a Karren Brady and become Sugar’s aide in a few years’ time?
After all, who couldn’t see Rylan Clark-Neal in that role?
Celebrity Apprentice for Comic Relief airs Thursday 7th and Friday 8th March at 9pm on BBC1