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The Apprentice: the new season

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28 September 2010

And so to the launch of the sixth series of The Apprentice where a screening of the first episode, in which contestants had to make and sell sausages, reveals that the show and its format have sensibly not been changed by one little jot.

Nick Hewer’s back still tutting from the sidelines, Margaret, of course, is off studying parchments but Karren Brady looks like a worthy replacement despite being yet to develop a shtick to rival Margaret’s raised eyebrows. And, of course, there’s Surallan, who’s now morphed into Lord Sugar, a name that sounds more suited to a Mr Big character from a 70s Blaxploitation movie than a businessman and Labour peer.

The 16 contestants are the usual bunch of shy, retiring wallflowers describing themselves variously as “supremely intelligent”, “charismatic” “fantastic” and claiming that “everything I touch turns to sold” and that “my first word wasn’t mummy, it was money.”

To reflect straitened economic times, the line up includes those who’ve been hit by recession including people made redundant, or who’ve gone bankrupt and graduates who can’t find a job to “prove it’s possible to come through and be a winner,” said Lord Sugar at the post screening Q&A.

When asked about the danger of ending up with a group of candidates more interested in getting on telly than working for him, he said the show had “overcome that a long time ago. Occasionally one slips through the net” but “generally I can spot them a mile off.” He said that this series he’d “insisted on some credible people that had achieved something” and that he was “very conscious of having contenders who are potentially good business people.”

The series TXs on BBC1 on Wednesday 6th October at 9pm with The Apprentice: You're Fired, now hosted by comedian Dara O'Briain, on BBC2 after the main show

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