It looks like The Apprentice has found a new hero. In last night’s episode of the BBC One business reality show, Thomas Skinner demanded to be brought back into the boardroom to save his teammate – and Apprentice fans are falling at his feet.
When Thomas’ team, led by Ryan-Mark Parson, lost the challenge – which involved having to organise the best corporate away day on the Belmont British Pullman train – it was only a matter of time before Lord Sugar was sending someone home.
But when Ryan-Mark named Pamela Laird as one of the two teammates to place in the firing line, Thomas stepped in with the self-sacrifice, insisting that Pamela didn’t deserve it.
In a programme that is built on the cut-throat business ideals of blame-shifting and self-preservation, Thomas’s act sticks out like a sore thumb – and fans were quick to praise the candidate’s sudden nobility with one joking they “want Thomas to win The Apprentice more than [they] want air in [their] lungs”.
Thomas from the apprentice could sell me my own limbs and I’d given him a tip and a thank you card
— . (@Zeayuz) November 16, 2019
Thomas from the apprentice is too pure we must protect him at all costs (and also provide him with a string quartet)
— Lils (@AnInnocentOlive) November 20, 2019
— Simon O'Regan (@SiORegan) November 20, 2019
— g (@jewittsthurlow) November 20, 2019
— hannah (@daylightluthors) November 20, 2019
What’s more, Thomas’s ploy paid off – in the end, it was team leader Ryan-Mark who was removed from the series.
With only four episodes to go in The Apprentice’s 15th series, and with eight young entrepreneurs still in the competition, anything could happen.
For now, however, it’s pretty clear most people’s sympathies lie with the series’ unlikely new hero – and they’re hoping he can make it all the way…
— #JusticeforBellyMujinga ???????? (@pat_hilary) November 20, 2019
@iamtomskinner is probably the most likeable candidate ever on#Theapprentice The way he stood up for Pamela, putting himself potentially at risk was a sign of a good leader. Just wish he'd get a few more wins under his belt and he'd have this in the bag. He's Lord Sugar v2. pic.twitter.com/kV1nqA4txn
— Gareth Tancred (@GTancred) November 20, 2019
— Siobhan Michaels (@littleduckquack) November 20, 2019
Ryan Mark spoke to RadioTimes.com about the man who may have gotten him sacked, saying: “A character like Thomas, he’s universally loved, adored by everyone in the house. There were a few times in the process that he deserved to be back in the boardroom, like in the Finland episode.
“It took me by surprise when Thomas volunteered himself to come back. I just didn’t know what to make of it. I thought maybe he was trying to resign from the process, because maybe he was fed up with dealing with all these people and he was hoping to leave, or maybe he was feeling sorry for Pamela.”
Whatever the case, Thomas has clearly gone a long way towards winning the hearts of the viewing public.