THE Apprentice is back on the BBC and as audiences watch the hopefuls battle their way to victory over Lord Sugar, it’s worth remembering that their reality is even worse than imagined.
The BBC hit show offers contestants the chance to land a huge £250,000 investment from Alan Sugar, but the journey towards cash has been a rough one.
The tax challenges posed by Lord Sugar and his assistant Karren Brady are famously the toughest for entrepreneurs, but some struggle more than others.
As each episode concludes, Sugar discards the hopefuls, who are most confused as he famously declares: “You’re fired.”
But what about the reality of the experience beyond what viewers see on the small screen?
Contestants gave a glimpse of the incredible behind-the-scenes of the series, from the draconian sex ban to the silence in effect.
The exits are pre-recorded
The apologetic scenes as the fired candidates wheeled their suitcases out of Sugar’s office into a waiting black cab were actually filmed before the competition even started.
Taking to Twitter, Claude Littner revealed they were asked to wear jackets and scarves for the sake of continuity.
He wrote: “All the opening acts were done before the show even started. They were wrapped up to ‘constantly’ not show clothing that was not what was worn at the time of the shot.”
The show’s bosses don’t want romance or lust to get in the way of serious business, as it has done in the past, when candidates would cranky in the communal mansion.
A source told the Mirror: ‘Couples will suddenly disappear and there have been several times where they have been found upstairs under tarps, kissing.
Lord Sugar has since declared the program “not an island of Love”, tasking staff with monitoring entrepreneurs much more closely than in the past.
Entrants are denied internet access throughout the process to ensure that they cannot make any shady transactions.
They were also only allowed one short call per day with a pre-approved person who signed a non-disclosure agreement and on top of that all letters were checked.
Lottie Lion revealed that, at the time she left, she had no clue whether Theresa May was no longer Prime Minister or that Meghan Markle had given birth to Archie.
On TikTok, she added: “My Nana often writes to me and there will be large sections that go blank.”
6:00 p.m. day and silence is in effect
2015 winner Joseph Valente revealed that the candidates worked tirelessly for 18 hours a day and they were forbidden to talk to each other unless the camera was on.
The father of one said they would be silent for hours before entering the meeting room waiting area, only to sit without talking for a few more hours until reception called them in.
The receptionist, who announces: “Lord Sugar will see you soon”, is not really a real receptionist but an actress – present Ashley Young.
Lord Sugar is not responsible for his witty remarks, according to Lottie, who stated: “It’s all scripted and he has a piece of paper and he marks them up as he speaks.” .
However, Ryan-Mark Parsons told a different story on Twitter, writing: “Lottie’s allegations about The Apprentice are completely untrue.”
“Being at the end of many Lord Sugar jokes, I can assure you they are not scripted,” he added.
Karren previously confessed that filming was only for five weeks, which is why sleepy candidates were forced to go at dawn.
“Tasks have to be set early in the morning so they have enough time,” she said, adding that filming usually lasts until 10 p.m.
The tough nut added: “The only few days they get off are when the interviews come…everyone finally knows.”
Frances Bishop has also shared that the time spent on missions is really short, telling Radio Times: “The public thinks you [have] eight hours of sales – in fact, you don’t have to because you have a camera crew with you, you have to clearly go to locations to film.”
Before the contestants are informed of their next extreme challenge, the producers run a test run to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Karren admits: “They work really fast to make sure the quests are doable – that you can go out and buy those items and how much you should buy them for. There’s a huge amount of work. work for each task”.
Fake meeting room
In fact, the dreaded meeting room is an area designed to hold all the people that need to be in it, as well as all the equipment.
The BBC said: “In order to properly set up and maneuver those cameras without disrupting the proceedings, the series director needed to work from a gallery. As a result, it was not possible to shoot the scene. meeting room from Lord Sugar’s actual meeting room”.
Raef added: “The boardroom scene is really a set. It’s always been quite interesting, psychologically, I think.”
The Apprentice airs at 9pm on BBC One every Thursday.
https://www.thesun.ie/tv/8209825/the-gruelling-truth-about-the-apprentice/ The grim truth about The Apprentice