Leon Doyle has become the latest Apprentice 2011 candidate to be fired by Lord Sugar, in a task which took the teams to France to export British goods. In a challenge where not only hopeful's language skills were shown to be woefully embarrassing, Leon's team found themselves comprehensively beaten.
The task started with the candidates being called to St Pancras station and the business brains quickly guessed they’d be heading across the channel, with Melody showing off how she could speak six languages – including French.
At the station and Lord Sugar explained how the teams would be representing UK designers and their “unique” products. The boss moved Helen to Venture, telling them to decide amongst themselves a project manager, a role which eventually went to Susan “I know nothing” Ma. On Team Logic and it was Tom’s chance to take charge, having not led a single project until now.
The candidates were then all given their own order books with Lord Sugar warning there’d be “no excuses” for people who failed to sell.
The teams then split, with Susan sending Helen and Jim to France while she and Zoe stayed in England to select the products. On Logic, Tom and Natasha stayed on home ground as Melody and Leon were sent off on the Eurostar.
Project managers Tom and Susan then had to decide their two products, with the help of market research carried out by their teammates in Paris. Tom decided on a popup postcard and a teapot lamp, while Susan opted for a ‘universal’ travel holder and a child car seat which also doubled as a rucksack.
The teams then reunited in France to pitch to the retailers lined up the previous day, as well as one of France’s biggest retailers in an appointment set up by Lord Sugar.
After a tough day of selling which saw Melody pile in the sales while Tom failed to make a single one, it was time for the results. Despite a lack of sales from their own appointments, Team Venture walked home with more than £200,000 worth of sales from the large French retailer to set a new boardroom record.
Project manager Tom brought Melody and Leon back into the boardroom to face the firing line from Lord Sugar and it was quite clear immediately that Leon was looking likely to lose out, having by his own admission contributed nothing to the task bar a picture of a teapot.
Failing to make Lord Sugar change his mind, the Apprentice boss told Leon: “I don’t know what you were doing on this task. All I’ve heard is that you couldn’t speak French and let Melody do everything.
”Leon, you’re fired.”
The Apprentice 2011 continues next Wednesday on BBC One.