After 15 series of The Apprentice, you’d think we’d have pretty much seen it all – but no, the business-based reality show still has the power to shock us.
In this week’s task, which saw our two teams have to put on a luxury event on a steam train, it was project manager Ryan-Mark Parson’s team who failed to impress – seeing their group lose by just £15.50.
But when it came to bringing back a following two teammates to the boardroom, Ryan-Mark found his decision hijacked (rather gallantly) by Thomas Skinner.
When Ryan-Mark announced that he would be bringing cosmetics entrepreneur Pamela Laird into the boardroom, Thomas said: “I don’t think you should be bringing Pamela back.
“She actually did save this task. I’ll take her place.
He added: “No, I’m being serious. I won’t have it. She should not be coming back to this room.”
Having argued his case, Ryan-Mark reconsidered his decision. “If Thomas wants to come back so desperately, I’ll bring him back,” he said.
However, despite Thomas’s fairly noble efforts, the writing really was on the wall for Ryan-Mark, who was fired by Lord Sugar.
And Thomas’s sudden switch-up is something that still leaves Ryan-Mark confused.
“It took me by surprise when Thomas volunteered himself to come back,” he said to RadioTimes.com. “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.”
But Ryan-Mark did admit that while Thomas was popular in the house, he did feel Thomas should have gone into the boardroom on several other occasions.
“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,” he explained.
“But because Marianne Rawlins liked him and knew he was popular, he brought me out because I’m divisive, I speak out and I’m more controversial.
“There’s a lot of game-playing [in the boardroom] and it’s influenced by people’s relationships in the house.”
The Apprentice continues Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One