Lord Alan Sugar has quite a reputation for being the king of the “You’re fired!” line, a man who is not afraid to say exactly what he thinks and doesn’t stand for any kind of ‘sugar-coating’. He says it as it is - a quality which can be criticised, feared, and admired in equal measure. This year’s series may show a different side to his character however.
Lord Sugar has insisted that the producers of The Apprentice also show his caring side, rather than editing anything slightly more ‘human’ out of the show for dramatic effect, ‘To be honest with you, I told them “I’m not doing it anymore if all you’re going to do is keep showing the hand-banging-on-the-table side of me. You can forget it.”’ So it will be interesting to see how the show is edited over the autumn and whether this is portrayed on screen. Lord Sugar has had a busy few months having just released his autobiography ‘What you see is what you get: My Autobiography’ which describes a man who doesn’t do the usual business small-talk and has experienced regrets as well as incredible successes in his life. One of his best stories about overcoming adversity describes how one of the biggest computer giants refused to employ him due to his ‘poor results’ on an aptitude test. His comeback in response to this was remarkable, “[I then] took twenty six per cent of their market share away from them and end[ed] up owning their headquarters on the South Bank.”
Keynote speaker and awards host Nick Hewer has been by Lord Sugar’s side for many a year. He was initially taking care of everything on the PR side when Lord Sugar asked him to take part in The Apprentice but it took quite a bit of persuasion until he finally agreed. Keynote speaker Karren Brady is also replacing Margaret Mountford on this year’s series. Karren joined Lord Sugar on The Junior Apprentice earlier this year and has achieved incredible success in the world of business and the football boardroom. As she says, "Alan has taught me the toughest thing about being a success is you have to continue to be one. There's no point in having an award-winning show last year. It has to be this year as well. Sometimes we're up at five in the morning and go through until one the next morning." With regards to the show, Karren has seen quite a few ‘interesting contestants’, “They come in with a chip on their shoulder and are aggressive, but they also want to learn, and listen to feedback from Alan. It amazes me they don't realise they need two strategies: one for the task, and another in the boardroom."
Series Six will see 16 candidates battling it out for the chance to win a £100,000 job with Lord Sugar – one of whom Stuart Braggs is the youngest ever to appear on the show at the age of 21. Previous winners including motivational speaker Tim Campbell have gone from strength to strength. Tim worked at Amstrad for 2 years following his win before going on to set up his own social enterprise – The Bright Ideas Trust - which supports budding entrepreneurs from more disadvantaged backgrounds to set up their own business ventures. Ever the entrepreneur Tim specialises in risk-taking, coping with change, managing teams, and building self-confidence.
We will be keeping an eye out for the next Tim Campbell or Ruth Badger on this year’s show as Lord Sugar reveals his more ‘sugary’ side to the viewers. We will keep you updated...
Copyright Speakers Corner 2017