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Double jeopardy for Apprentice candidates as Jersey basks in prime-time TV spotlight

Double jeopardy for Apprentice candidates as Jersey basks in prime-time TV spotlight

Friday 23 February 2024

Double jeopardy for Apprentice candidates as Jersey basks in prime-time TV spotlight

Friday 23 February 2024


Jersey was thrust into the prime-time TV spotlight last night, a process that brought some positive publicity for the Island, but also a far more negative outcome for two budding entrepreneurs.

This week’s episode of BBC reality series The Apprentice involved a Jersey-based treasure hunt by 15 candidates vying to become the newest business partner for the show’s founder, the renowned magnate and billionaire Lord Alan Sugar.

Just 13 of the wannabe business partners will remain as contenders in next week’s episode after an abject performance by the losing team resulted in twin “you’re fired” verdicts from Lord Sugar.

While the candidates were packing their bags and/or licking their wounds, the outcome was a more positive affair for Jersey, which enjoyed an hour of prime-time coverage on BBC1 and was also featured in the BBC2 follow-on review 'You’re Fired'.

"Incredibly beneficial for the island"

Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel said: “Being on such a well-known TV show will be incredibly beneficial for the island, especially from a tourism perspective.

“We’ve also had local companies involved in the filming, including the use of drones, and the way that Jersey is depicted shows what an attractive destination we are for visitors.”

Deputy Morel added that he was hopeful other film and TV crews would be working in the Island in future.

Royals, Wonders and a bachîn bowl...

As filming for the episode commenced last May, a shopping list was given to the 15 candidates – who were split into two teams – on arrival.

The inventory included Jersey Royals, apple brandy, a surfboard, Jersey Wonders and a “mystery” (to the shoppers at least) item of a bachîn bowl used in the making of black butter.

Well-known landmarks such as Mont Orgueil Castle and Corbière Lighthouse featured prominently in the show, while a group of candidates was caught in a Jersey traffic jam at one stage, forced to wait behind a rope as a herd of cows crossed the road on the way back from milking.

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Pictured: Contestants in The Apprentice race across the causeway to the finish at Corbière Lighthouse (Fremantle Media)

The losing team failed to acquire two of the nine items from their shopping list, including Jersey Royals, as well as buying a sailing accessory in the wrong size and arriving late at the finish at Corbière Lighthouse. Racking up a total £669 in costs and fines, they were comfortably beaten by the winning team's tally of £427.

"I've never seen a mess like it"

After castigating the losing team for their "amateur" approach in negotiating and racking up costs over 50% higher than those of their opponents, the business magnate let rip during the boardroom post-mortem that follows each task.

"This is my favourite task, and I've never seen a mess like it in all these years," Lord Sugar said. "You're pretty much the worst team I have had."

Although the series format usually sees one candidate fired every week, the botched Jersey mission represented the end of the line for both project leader Jack Davies, a recruitment director, and Amina Khan, a pharmacist and owner of a skincare business.

CATCH UP...

The Apprentice is screened every Thursday on BBC1, and is also available via the iPlayer catch-up service.

Pictured - top: Two candidates were fired as a result of their team losing the Jersey-based task.

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