One of Britain’s most popular reality TV programmes has returned to our screens for a fifth series. The Apprentice sees 16 ambitious individuals competing for a job with electronics tycoon Sir Alan Sugar.
With endless talk of credit-crunches, redundancies and cut-backs, it may come as no surprise that thousands of plucky hopefuls applied for the show. The chosen 16 will compete in a series of business tasks and do their best to escape elimination. Not one of them wants to hear the fateful words: you’re fired.
It should also be noted that this year’s budding apprentices are not going to be allowed to forget the grim economic climate quite so easily. At the launch of this year’s TV show, Sir Alan announced that some episodes have been "specifically made towards recognition of what difficult times we are in".
The tasks will as usual be gruelling tests of business acumen, team-working and leadership skill. They will also make for some hilarious viewing. British viewers will be shaking their heads in disbelief at the crazy decisions of the wannabe apprentices.
But perhaps the most entertaining feature of the show will be watching the hopefuls squirm and squabble in the boardroom. It is here they will have to explain just why they have failed each task so badly.
What drives people to take part in the show is difficult to say. Some are clearly motivated by the promise of a six-figure salary and some claim they want the experience of working with a successful businessman such as Sir Alan. One thing is for sure, the contestants will all gain some level of celebrity. The show is a regular ratings winner.
To date, there has been one big winner and that is the show’s creator, Mark Burnett. Originating in the US, The Apprentice’s winning format has been copied all over the world and with the hype surrounding this latest series, it looks as though the show will have success for many years to come.