THE Apprentice is the most extreme hiring process out there.
Every year, potential candidates are ridiculed by their potential new business partner, Lord Sugar, and forced to compete in huge money-making tasks, while under the watchful eye of Claude Littner and Baroness Karren Brady.
But there’s much more to the show than meets the eye – and rules are put in place to keep things as professional as possible.
For the upcoming series, producers have been forced to put in a sex ban, after 2019 saw Lottie Lion bedding fellow contestant Lewis Ellis.
And, in 2016, Jessica Cunningham hooked up with Courtney Wood, while Grainne McCoy snogged Paul Sullivan.
But that won’t be happening this year, as chaperones are going to be watching contestants to make sure there’s not even a hint of flirting.
A source told us: “Lord Sugar has always hated the idea that some of the contestants might be getting together behind the scenes while filming.
“This isn’t Love Island. To him, the process should be solely about business. The latest batch of contestants face stricter monitoring than any past group.
“Staff have been tasked with ensuring contestants keep their eyes on the prize and not on each other.”
And there are many more ways that the producers of The Apprentice manage to make the show as entertaining for viewers as possible…
Cut off from the world
The Apprentice candidates live in a huge house together for the entire series – which is why all the bed-hopping happens – but they’re not allowed to leave unchaperoned at all.
This means when they’re on tasks, they can’t talk to members of the public without a chaperone on hand.
They can’t even go to the toilet on their own!
Candidates also have no access to their phones or technology, and are only allowed one five-minute phone call a day with someone who’s signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in advance.
They are also not allowed to know anything that’s happening in the news.
In a TikTok video, 2019 contestant Lottie Lion said: “When I was on my series, I didn’t know Theresa May had resigned as prime minister and didn’t know Meghan Markle had had a baby.”
They are, however, allowed to be contacted by letters from their loved ones – although these are also looked at first.
“My nana used to write me letters and there would be large sections blanked out,” Lottie explained. “The BBC would read them first and anything in there I wasn’t allowed to know, they wouldn’t let me read it.”
Lord Sugar’s jokes written for him
Lord Sugar is very well-known for his quick wit in the boardroom, mocking the candidates mercilessly.
Just one of his one-liners is: “Fair? The only fair you’re gonna get is your bloody train fare home.”
But it turns out the boss doesn’t just come up with them on the spot.
In fact, according to former candidate Lottie, he has his insults written down in front of him.
She revealed: “He marks each one off as he says it!”
Off-camera sales not counted
Lottie also claims that one of The Apprentice producers’ rules is “If it didn’t happen on camera, it didn’t happen at all.”
This means that even if a candidate sold £100,000 worth of goods, it wouldn’t count towards their team’s winnings or personal efforts if it wasn’t filmed.
How very harsh!
Karren and Claude’s roles
The Apprentice makes it seem as though Karren and Claude are watching the candidates’ every move, like hawks.
But they aren’t actually there the majority of the time.
Lottie claims the pair only follow the contestants around “about 30 per cent of the time”.
She adds: “It’s always when you mess up, because the pressure of them being there puts you on edge.”
The wakeup times are real
Do not apply for The Apprentice if you like your lie-ins, as the calls they get to wake them up early are real.
And the candidates really do only have about 20 minutes to get ready for work.
Lottie said: “Yes, you do only have 20 minutes to get ready in the morning.
“And yes, you do have to get up at four or five in the morning every single morning.”
The boardroom is fake
Every year, viewers see the back of a receptionist telling the candidates, “Lord Sugar will see you now.”
And it turns out she’s not a receptionist at all, but actually an actress called Charlie.
Lottie revealed: “She gave me a chocolate bar when I fainted in the first episode, which wasn’t aired.
“She was lovely.”
To top that off, the boardroom isn’t in an office, but in a studio within a warehouse in the outskirts of London.
We feel like we’ve been lied to!
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