Two Sugars Please
16 candidates but just one winner: the familiar refrain to the millions that tuned in to watch The Apprentice each week since the beginning of May. This week the show reached its climax and the newly crowned winner Tom Pellereau, the geeky inventor who lost more tasks than he won, was a surprise choice for many. Nevertheless, the record audience was certainly captivated.
So, why the fascination? Well, the change of regulations – meaning that this year’s winner did not simply win a job with the Amstrad entrepreneur, but rather was provided with capital to become the mogul’s business partner – certainly helped. As did a range of quirky competitors who may not have impressed to the extent of last year’s victor Stella (remember Vincent’s infamously flat ‘App-le’ joke anyone?).
But the real reason viewers were on the edge of their seats was the boss himself. Lord Sugar was once again bursting with charisma; mixing withering put downs with heartfelt praise for exceptional performance. Additionally, he was unafraid to break his own rules – one week unexpectedly firing two candidates and another cancelling a planned trip to Goodwood because the winning team were sub-standard. Evidently his passion for the ‘process’ remains despite the programme spanning seven series.
While Lord Sugar may indeed see a bright future for Tom and perhaps even a profitable partnership with the inventor, you would not begrudge the magnate seeking something a little closer to home, one made in his own mould – a second Lord Sugar.
[Many thanks to Iddo Goldfarb, B-M's resident cartoonist on loan to be more... from the Technology practice. His excellent drawings may need to become a regular feature on the blog].