The Apprentice 2012 kicks off tonight, and the batch of sixteen new candidates are immediately set to work by Lord Sugar.
In the first boardroom meeting, he wastes no time in informing his 16 possible partners of his high expectations: “This is not about a job anymore and I’m not looking for a friend, if I wanted a friend I’d get a dog.
"I’m looking for a partner, the ‘Marks’ to my ‘Spencer’, the ‘Lennon’ to my ‘McCartney’. This is about me investing £250,000 into a business with one of you and I’m expecting you, as the so called entrepreneurs, to make the money for me.”
The boss gives both teams - split into Boys and Girls - £500 to kick start their own print business. They have to buy blank stock, create and print designs by midnight, and then sell them the next day.
On the girls' team...
After the girls opt for the team name Sterling, Gabrielle volunteers herself as Project Manager due to her experience in the field, as she has recently opened up her own print and design store.
However the artistic Gabrielle is keen to come up with a quirky and unique design and is reluctant to listen to Jane’s imploring “hold on a second, how much is this going to cost us? At the end of the day it’s about the margin.”
With the team splitting in half, the design sub team agrees to target families with their products, deciding on an animal theme designed to appeal to kids, with cartoon zoo animals sketched by Jade.
However over at the warehouse, the other sub team feels that they have no indication of how much to spend on products and no direction from team leader Gabrielle, with Maria voicing her concerns, “she’s an architect, she can draw. That’s it. She can draw buildings.”
Despite still not having made a decision on the figures, the girls crack on printing on to their products, with Gabrielle’s expertise showing through. Nick Hewer is less than impressed with Katie’s involvement however, “the one that’s disappointed me is Katie, she’s keeping very quiet. She better start getting involved or they’ll sense weakness and turn on her.”
On the boys' team
Over on the boys’ team, with a team name of Phoenix selected, all members are reluctant to put themselves forward, with Nick eventually being thrust into the role which he seems less than confident about, “I’ll put myself forward if nobody wants to do it. I don’t really want to do the first week’s task but I will do it.”
The boys immediately set about working out their costs and margins however they are less interested in their branding, with Nick stating, “the design comes second”. After shopping for blank items on a tight budget they eventually make a split second decision to target tourists, creating teddies wearing Union Jack t-shirts and bags branded with red buses.
Overlooking the situation, Karren Brady is less than impressed with Phoenix’s branding, “the boys have thought about the cost of the printing and the margin and have kept the design really simple, but what’s different about it? Nothing is different about it. The red London bus? Come on! There’s got to be more imagination used in this process than that. ”
The next morning the boys set out to sell their goods at high prices with a stall at the Southbank and a sub team based at St Pancras train station. After finding a trade sale opportunity, the boys attempt to shift the imperfect bags, but will they get away with the dodgy deal or will they be left shame faced by the shopkeeper?
The Apprentice 2012 airs tonight at 9PM on BBC One.
Browse pictures from the first episode below...