"Not all heroes wear capes": The Apprentice finds its new hero in Thomas Skinner
The last episode saw Thomas put himself nobly in the firing line - and BBC One viewers haven't been shy in letting people know what they think of it
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".
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...
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.