How is The Apprentice filmed? 16 secrets of Lord Sugar’s show revealed

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From cringe-inducing procuring channel pitches to racist gin, unintended nudity and no matter on earth Pants Man was, The Apprentice has served up some of one of the best TV moments of the previous 15 years.

Nevertheless, there’s a lot of Lord Sugar’s enterprise competitors we don’t see on screens. Though the show that airs in your field packs the duty and boardroom battles into a decent one hour, there is a mine of behind-the-scenes gold hidden from viewers.

Like what? Effectively, listed here are simply 16 of one of the best secret guidelines, laws and oddities of filming The Apprentice…

1. An entire collection of The Apprentice is filmed in just a few weeks

Though the seek for Lord Sugar’s enterprise accomplice is sometimes aired over 12 weeks, the duties themselves are filmed in a fraction of that point, months prematurely.

As Karren Brady revealed to on the show’s 2019 launch: “The complete of the collection is crammed into 5 weeks. We’re back-to-back-to-back-to-back and not using a break day!”

These are hardly regular working days, both. “While you watch the Apprentice and it says it’s 4am, it actually is 4am – the duty needs to be set actually early within the morning to provide them sufficient time,” explains Brady, including that filming usually finishes at 10pm every night time just for the candidates to begin once more at 4am the following day.

“It actually is a very hard-working show,” she says. “The solely few days they get off is when the interviews come […] everybody is knackered by the tip – together with me and Claude!”

2. Candidates have even much less time on duties than we’re informed

In case you’re ever left questioning how candidates fail to drum up gross sales of their allotted time, it could not solely be their fault. As you in all probability suspected, their job time is considerably lower down by filming pink tape and restrictions.

“You don’t truly get so long as you suppose on job,” collection 12 contestant Frances Bishop beforehand informed

“The public suppose you [have] eight hours promoting – in actuality, you don’t as a result of you’ve got a digicam crew with you, you’ve received to clear locations for filming.

“You suppose it’s simply you with eight candidates, however you’ve truly received a sound man, a digicam crew, and then you definitely’ve received poor Karren [Brady] following after you.”

And, simply in case they aren’t robbed of sufficient time already, candidates are additionally required to interrupt for lunch.

As former contestant Dillon St Paul informed us: “In the true world in the event you had a extremely urgent deadline you may not do this, however you variety of HAVE to [on The Apprentice].”

3. Manufacturing do a check run of the duties

Karren oversees the boys on task in series 15

Karren oversees the boys on job in South Africa throughout collection 15

Seems that it’s not solely the candidates that check out their enterprise acumen on The Apprentice. With a view to be certain that filming goes easily, members of the manufacturing crew try the duties through the show’s planning course of.

“They do a dry run to verify duties are potential – that you may exit and purchase these objects and the way a lot you need to be getting them for,” explains Brady. “There is an monumental quantity of work that goes into every job.”

4. Each candidate’s taxi ‘stroll of disgrace’ is filmed earlier than the competition begins

Though the backseat ‘you haven’t seen the final of me!’ taxi interview with fired candidates is filmed after they’ve been kicked out the competitors, the shot of them coming into the automobile was recorded properly prematurely.

The truth is, in what we think about is a terrifying omen for all contestants, it’s one of the primary sequences they shoot. Even the eventual winner has to movie this loser’s stroll of disgrace. (Sadly, the reverse isn’t true: solely the winner will get to trip in Lord Sugar’s Rolls Royce).

Additionally, ever questioned why all of the candidates put on coats and scarves? As Claude Littner confirmed on Twitter, it’s all for continuity.

5. The Apprentice boardroom is not Lord Sugar’s actual boardroom


Opposite to the various photographs of the London skyline sprinkled all through the episode, The Apprentice’s boardroom isn’t truly in Canary Wharf. It’s not even filmed in Lord Sugar’s precise HQ in Brentwood, Essex.

As an alternative, boardroom shoots happen in a studio by West Acton (simply not far away from the Bridge café).

There is good purpose for this although. In the beginning of the collection, there are as much as 20 individuals crammed into that one room, a setup that requires a lot of cameras.

Because the BBC says: “With a view to arrange and manoeuvre these cameras correctly with out interrupting proceedings, the collection director must work from a gallery. Due to this fact it is not potential to movie the boardroom scenes from Lord Sugar’s actual boardroom.”

6. The Bridge café is an actual place…

Is The Bridge Cafe a real place? Where is it? When's it open?

You may even go there your self and revel in a cuppa. It’s at Acton in West London – Westfields Street, London, W3 0AP, to be exact.

As talked about above, it’s simply across the nook from the boardroom studio.

7. …and so is La Cabana

Screenshot La cabana


Or, as we prefer to suppose of it, the reserve losers café. Just like the Bridge, it is an actual enterprise which you’ll go to – no grilling by Lord Sugar crucial. Yow will discover it at this tackle: 36 Cumberland Enterprise Park, Cumberland Avenue, Acton, Park Royal, London, NW10 7RT.

Why do candidates sometimes discover themselves right here as a substitute of the close by Bridge? Though nonetheless unconfirmed by the BBC, candidates visiting La Cabana might have simply endured a specific prolonged boardroom session – one which has gone on past 2.30pm (as of September 2019, closing time for the Bridge Café). La Cabana, in the meantime, opens up longer, till 4pm.

8. No, Alan Sugar doesn’t use a boardroom script

Alan Sugar

In accordance with the BBC and aide Claude Littner, all of Lord Sugar’s quips are ad-libbed (though there’s no telling if he thinks of a couple of ready jokes in his head earlier than every job).

The BBC says: “He doesn’t put on an earpiece, so the manufacturing group can not interrupt him or feed issues to him within the boardroom. Every thing he says and all the selections he makes are his personal.”

Additionally, by way of chatting with Sugar on a number of events, can verify Sugar’s pun-loving off-the-cuff humour is real. We’ll depart it as much as you to resolve if that’s a great factor or not.

9. Candidates have to remain offline throughout duties

Ever questioned why Apprentice contestants by no means suppose to Google any unknown objects through the shopping for job? Or ditch the A-Z in favour of a GPS? Easy reply: they’re not allowed to. The telephones they’re given can’t entry the web.

10. There are strict guidelines to cease candidates selling their companies 

Since The Apprentice airs on BBC One, a publically-funded broadcaster, the show can’t promote any actual companies. And this rule can put candidates in an actual pickle – notably within the ultimate. Though they might need Lord Sugar to spend money on a enterprise they already personal, a finalist can’t pitch utilizing the identical branding as their present firm.

As an example, as a substitute of presenting her actual nut milk enterprise MYLKPLUS to Sugar within the 2018 ultimate, we noticed contestant Camilla Ainsworth pitch MLK IT.

“It was actually weird,” Camilla informed “I used to be like, ‘I really feel a bit disconnected as a result of despite the fact that it’s my enterprise, it’s not my enterprise,’ if that makes sense. It’s clearly totally different branding and we couldn’t have had any of the identical names – nothing!”

Camilla additionally claimed that she wasn’t even allowed to make use of pink – the principle color of her MYLKPLUS model – on her packaging for the duty. “You’re introduced with decisions and you must select sure issues,” she defined. “You don’t have free rein on the colors [in the final].”

On the time, a spokesperson for The Apprentice informed “Throughout the ultimate, the candidates are requested to current their marketing strategy and provide you with a hypothetical model title to show their abilities in branding.

“The intention is not essentially to commerce with this title. The ultimate resolution of the branding of the brand new enterprise will probably be made by the candidate and Lord Sugar, and at this level all crucial trademark checks will probably be made.”

11. You don’t see most of the boardroom motion on TV

Which isn’t stunning contemplating how a lot is filmed. In accordance with Brady, whereas viewers solely see about 25 minutes of Lord Sugar’s showdown with contestants, usually filming goes on for 4 or 5 hours.

“You don’t see so much of long-winded explanations for Alan’s profit,” she defined. “He’s not there, however the viewers have seen what’s occurred, the way it all unravelled – from him setting the duty proper the best way by way of to it ending […] I don’t suppose viewers would desire a working commentary of what they’ve simply seen.”

Claude Littner additionally revealed on Twitter that the (usually horrifically awkward) pitches from candidates to potential purchasers usually go on for 20 minutes – for much longer than we see on display.

12. Any income made through the duties go to charity

It’s simple to suppose that any gross sales made on The Apprentice contain a bit of TV trickery, that no precise cash adjustments fingers and people handshaking scenes are staged. However that’s not so.

As former contestants revealed to, they do actually make actual cash when flogging meals or providers to the general public.

Moreover, as an Apprentice spokesperson informed us: “Any revenue made out of the sale of merchandise created within the programme is given to charity.”

Though The Apprentice didn’t reply to our query, we are able to deduce that large-scale orders (those seen when candidates pitch merchandise to main retailers) aren’t actual and merely consultant of how that firm act.

13. The candidates enterprise plans are solely seen on the interview stage

Let’s face it: at instances it’s a bit ambiguous how a lot Lord Sugar is aware of about every contestant’s marketing strategy earlier than the interview week.

In the beginning of some weeks, he might power the challenge supervisor function on an unfortunate candidate, revealing they wish to begin up a enterprise in the same space. Which means he should have learn everybody’s marketing strategy already, proper?

Nevertheless, with regards to the interview weeks, Sugar can appear stunned by the content material of some of these plans. Is he performing ignorant in these later boardroom scenes?

Right here’s what is actually happening: firstly of the method Sugar is allowed to look by way of every candidate’s CV, a doc that comprises a line or two about their marketing strategy.

Thriller solved.

14. The interview episode is much more gruelling to movie than you suppose

There may not be any determined dashing round London, however the interviews – usually the penultimate episode of every collection – is one of the hardest duties for candidates.

The principal purpose: it takes about 12 hours to movie. And the candidates sit in silence for almost all of that point.

“You see us [the candidates] speaking between interviews, however we solely actually do this speaking for about two or three minutes earlier than every job after which sit in silence for 20 minutes to half an hour,” finalist Courtney Wooden beforehand informed

“I’d say mentally it’s variety of powerful sitting in silence for such a very long time, attempting to psych your self up.”

15. The Apprentice movies alternate endings to keep away from spoilers leaking

Maybe one of the most important secrets of The Apprentice is that every one finalists document their very own ‘You’re Employed’ phase. Though Lord Sugar makes his resolution on the day of the ultimate boardroom assembly, two endings are usually filmed to “be sure that the winner is not revealed prematurely,” in response to the BBC.

The truth is, the end result is so secret that not even the candidates are informed who gained till the day earlier than the ultimate is aired on TV. This implies they don’t truly know who gained the show when filming their ‘You’re Employed’ response.

16. Lord Sugar actually does work carefully with the show’s winners

At the least, that’s in response to earlier champs Alana Spencer and Sarah Lynn.

“I get requested, ‘Have you ever completed with Lord Sugar now?’ so much. However that’s a typical false impression, that you simply win the prize and he’s not concerned anymore,” Sarah Lynn informed “Each step of the best way he’s there.”

Though having amicably parted methods with Lord Sugar, Alana additionally informed us that she used to recurrently meet Sugar after successful the show.

“Normally it’s round as soon as per week, although,” she mentioned. “He lets us crack on with the day-to-day stuff, however something in phrases of pricing or the larger total marketing strategy, he has a say.”

However regardless of how shut you get to him, it’s at all times nonetheless Lord Sugar and by no means simply Alan.

The Apprentice airs 9pm Wednesdays, BBC One

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