On the ropes: Lord Sugar’s best put downs from this year’s Apprentice

The boardroom is Lord Sugar’s chance to put candidates in their place – and he’s not afraid to ask the questions others wouldn’t dare. Here’s what we’ve learned from the beast of the boardroom this series…

Candidates have been sweating it out in the boardroom for twelve long weeks, as Lord Sugar picked apart all of their business decisions.

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Scary he may be, but we’ve picked up a few tricks on how to get question asking just right…


Ask a few questions they know they shouldn’t even try to answer…

Giving Kurt Wilson what for after he bodged the milkshake task: “You made the fatal error of putting a number, a stake in the ground, 200 was your figure – you put a noose around your neck don’t you think?” It doesn’t matter that they won’t answer, they’d be silly to try, you’ve already shown you’ve got their cards marked and that’s your job done.


Don’t be afraid to mix questions up with a witty line…

On Myles Mordaunt’s inability to get a good deal on a palm tree in Dubai: “Did the boss palm you off so to speak?” Make sure you pause for laughter afterwards – particularly if you have loyal aides by your side. They’ll laugh, even if they don’t think it’s that funny.


Whatever you do, don’t let someone else do your job for you…

To Neil Clough after he marked Uzma Yakoob out as the weakest candidate: “Don’t tell me about weakest candidate, as you’re digging a hole for yourself. Your job as the PM is to talk about who is responsible for the task in which you’re the PM, I don’t want you sitting over here doing my job for me, do you understand?” No-one will question you again, that’s for sure.


Ask the awkward question – like outing the elephant in the room…

On the girls’ decision to run with their Tidy Sidey design: “At that time were all of you deep in your heart happy with the product?” Wait for everyone to admit that you’re right, that it really was a crap product, and accept that you’re the cleverest of them all for noticing.


Sometimes, just ask a question you’re going to answer straight away anyway. You have all the questions and all of the answers, naturally…

In reference to the design of the Tidy Sidey: “Glueless? More like bloody clueless!”


Hindsight is a wonderful thing – use it to your complete advantage…

To Neil on the farm shop task: “You set off on a voyage somewhere and halfway through the voyage you think to yourself, I’ve made a right c**k up here, this is not right, there is a mistake, halfway through if you’ve recognised something’s wrong, you need to change your plan. Why didn’t that happen?” You might have even made the same mistake had you been in the same situation at the time, but they certainly don’t need to know that.


Every now and then chuck in a swear word. Just to prove you’re hip, like…

On Alex Mills’ Deadly Dinner debacle: “What is the point of going to a research group if you take no bloody notice of them?” People always say it’s not big and it’s not clever. But what do you care, eh?


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Lord Sugar’s only got one question to worry about tonight – who will his new Apprentice be? Catch the two hour special from 8pm tonight, BBC1