As The Apprentice comes towards a close for another year, there are just two key episodes yet to air, with one being a particular fan favourite over the years.


That's right, the interviews are back! Claudine Collins, Linda Plant, Claude Littner and Mike Soutar are all returning to grill the candidates on their business plans and CVs, hoping to suggest the correct candidates to go through to the final.

As ever, only two can make it to the end, and it's down to the interviewers to advise who would be the best at becoming Lord Sugar's next business partner.

As the interviews take place tonight, here's everything you need to know about Lord Sugar's trusted advisor, Mike Soutar.

Who is Mike Soutar?

Mike Soutar has been taking on interviewing duties on The Apprentice in the 2010s, and has built quite the reputation for getting to the heart of a candidate's flimsier plans.

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When not a guest on the show, Soutar is a prolific name in the media industry, with a career that spans three decades.

Over the course of his career, Soutar has been the managing director of Kiss FM, as well as a board director for the publisher TI Media, which produces well-known titles like Woman & Home and What's On TV.

He co-founded Shortlist Media, stepping down as chairman in 2018 – the same year it was announced the company was rebranding as The Stylist Group, and ShortList, a prominent weekly lifestyle magazine for men, was ceasing publication.

He is originally from Dundee, and gave a lecture this year at the city's university.

In a new Q&A as to why he keeps returning to the interviews, Soutar said: "It's an immense honour, personally, to be involved in The Apprentice. It's as simple as that.

"And for me, I love the challenge of researching different business sectors. You never know what each year is going to throw up in terms of the business sectors that the final five candidates want investment in.

"I've got a limited amount of time before the interviews happen. I need to really understand the sectors they're launching into, what the dynamics are within there, what the margins typically are, what the challenges are, because I need to be able to take candidates to task on their understanding of those marketplace."

The Apprentice season 18 final premieres on Thursday 18th April at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.


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