Seven ways Apprentice series 1 was VERY different from today’s show

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Whether or not you see it as a slickly-produced slice of leisure gold or a well-worn components that’s getting stale, probably the most broadly accepted concepts about The Apprentice is that yearly it’s the identical. However really, that’s not fairly true. Solid your eyes again to series one – initially broadcast in 2005 on BBC2 – and it’s a really different show.

After all, Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford flanked Lord Sugar as a substitute of Claude and Karren, and the candidates had been chasing a job slightly than a £250,000 funding, however there are additionally loads of small however vital variations that you could have forgotten about…

1. It’s Sir Alan, not Lord Sugar

Series one Alan Sugar nonetheless guidelines the boardroom. Series one Alan Sugar nonetheless maintains minimal eye contact with all candidates. However series one Alan Sugar is simply Sir Alan, not Lord Sugar.

Earlier than series six aired in 2010, Alan Michael Sugar was merely a knight of the realm (a title he’d held since 2000). Nevertheless, after he was appointed to the Home of Lords as Baron Sugar of Clapton in 2009, contestants needed to consult with him by his new not-at-all-sinister-sounding title.

Curiously, Sugar sidekick Karren Brady was made a Conservative life peer in 2014, however doesn’t make the contestants name her ‘Baroness Brady’ – and even ‘Girl Brady’ – though they sound ten instances higher than ‘Lord Sugar’.

Claude Littner isn’t a lord, however candidates would undoubtedly be too scared to not name him Lord Littner if he requested.

2. Sir Alan is on first-name phrases with the receptionist

Though you’ll be able to catch a tiny glimpse of the receptionist in at present’s Apprentice, she’s only a anonymous back-of-a-head within the firing machine. Rewind to series one and he or she has a face and a reputation: Frances.


Nevertheless, in series two there’s a totally different receptionist, mysteriously additionally referred to as Frances. And that receptionist is changed once more for series three, however is nonetheless known as Frances by Sugar. In actual fact, all of the receptionists had been actresses, not certainly one of whom was referred to as Frances.

However why had been all of them provided that title? Easy: Sugar used to have a PA referred to as Frances. It’s mainly like how all-new Bond actors are at all times 007, solely The Apprentice job comes with much less rooftop shootouts and extra Microsoft Excel formatting.

3. The losers’ café was a different café

Acton’s Bridge Café: setting of a number of the finest post-task-balls-up bitching in current series. Nevertheless, within the first ever episode of The Apprentice there’s no common café of disgrace, nowhere for the contestants to collectively hold their heads.

In actual fact, there’s hardly any dissection of the duties in any respect in the whole first series. On the uncommon event we had been handled to some pre-firing chat away from Sugar (Sir Alan, not the condiment), it was in Kensington’s Addis Café, a greasy spoon that closed in 2009.


And weirder nonetheless, all of the candidates are good to 1 one other. For example, within the second episode, dropping challenge supervisor Lindsay says to the group “I feel we’ve all completed a very credible job. No matter occurs, let’s do not forget that. I’m actually happy that we caught collectively as a staff.”

No person performs the blame recreation. No person tries to talk over her. They only sit there and luxuriate in a cappuccino.

Utter insanity.

4. The Boardroom was a lot dimmer

Load up a clip of series one in full-swing boardroom motion and it’s not the different candidates you’ll discover first, however the room itself. It’s inexperienced. Positive, a pale gradient of inexperienced, but it surely definitely has a Dr Stangelove post-apocalyptic bunker really feel about it.


And it’s a set contestants had been caught with till series 4, when the studio (yup, that was by no means Lord Sugar’s precise boardroom) was become the blue-lit one we’re used to at present (additionally not Sugar’s precise boardroom).

5. Numerous the candidates’ speaking heads had been filmed after the duty

A really jarring distinction this: the speaking head photographs – those the place a person candidate says to digital camera one thing like “Zee doesn’t actually know Dubai”/ “Phil’s not shut up about Pants Man all day”/ “Significantly, he needs our mascot to put on tighty-wighties” – are filmed after the duty.

For example, you’ll be watching a candidate haggling over flowers in a warehouse and — CUT TO: the identical candidate in a different outfit speaking about how the haggle went in a swanky restaurant.

It’s an absolute pace-wrecker.

6. The interview stage was a lot much less glamorous

Final 12 months’s interview stage – the bit in direction of the top the place candidates have to resist a large kick within the CV – was held in glass-panelled monolith the Leadenhall Constructing, a location infinitely extra glamorous than series one’s setting: a college headmaster’s workplace.


Okay, it’s not really completed in a college. However a number of of the interviews are filmed in a tiny workplace full of overflowing folders and submitting cupboards. The candidates are even requested to attend outdoors on a chair/naughty step earlier than they will go in.


However there’s one predominant similarity with the present series. Veteran interviewer and Sir Alan’s present aide Claude Littner makes for a well-recognized face, albeit one with a totally different hairline – ie, he really has one.


7. There’s a actual lack of one-liners within the boardroom

The boardroom simply isn’t nearly as good in series one. Positive, Sir Alan appears to be genuinely centered on the enterprise activity, however there are not any zingers. No quotes of the week.

As a substitute of delivering such strains as “Should you nod your head any longer I’m going to place you on the again seat of my bloody automobile”, Sugar systematically lays into every candidate, attempting to unravel the duty.

It may need helped him discover the most effective candidate, however an entertaining watch it ain’t.


The Apprentice is on 9pm Wednesday, BBC1

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