The Apprentice (UK)

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The Apprentice (UK) is a business reality television show. Like its US counterpart, the show follows a group of men and women as they engage in a number of challenges that test a variety of business skills: teamwork, leadership, communication, creativity, resourcefulness, salesmanship, product pitching, stock purchasing, project management and entrepreneurship. The prize of the series is a well-paid job working for the host. The UK version is hosted by Lord Alan Sugar, the multimillionaire entrepreneur behind the Amstrad brand of personal computers and electronic devices. (The US version is hosted by property tycoon Donald Trump.) The show is now in its sixth series and is aired on BBC One.

These challenges are done in two teams with a team leader, chosen by election of the team. They are supervised by one of Sugar's assistants. Each week, after the challenge, the teams return to the boardroom, where the profit (or revenue, or orders as appropriate) is calculated. The team which has made the most money is rewarded with some form of bonus (usually some kind of recreational experience) while one member – chosen from the team leader, and two people he nominates – must plead their case with Sugar, who then fires one of them.

Participants in the show are described as being some of the brightest and best young businessmen and women in the country, and are mostly drawn from sales, marketing, product management and other management-track positions. They must live together in a shared house, much as in other reality shows like Big Brother. As with other reality shows, a certain amount of behind-the-back gossip and rumour-spreading is engaged in, and participants often resort to backhanded tactics to get ahead, while attempting to keep the appearance of professionalism.