The Apprentice: the best feuds

Everyone loves a good feud, and the BBC’s Apprentice has had more than its fair share of on and off-screen tension. It’s almost living with people for weeks on end, competing for a lucrative business opportunity and regularly being made to blame other team members for group failures isn’t a recipe for perfect harmony?

Here are some of the show’s most memorable spats from The Telegraph.

Season 11 – Selina Waterman-Smith and Charleine Wain

Selina Waterman-Smith and Charleine Wain
Selina Waterman-Smith and Charleine Wain

Boardroom tension allegedly led to a physical altercation between salon owner Charleine and events manager Selina during last year’s The Apprentice, when the two candidates fell out during a buying task.

The two women, both of whom are 31, offered differering accounts of the fight (which was not broadcast), with Selina claiming that she pushed Charleine in retaliation, after the latter hit her in the back when they exited the boardroom.

But a show insider told The Sunday Mirror: “Selina pushed Charleine after they argued. It was a quick, single push which was witnessed by several people including members of the show team. At no point did Charleine initiate physical contact or respond to Selina’s push.”

Both women opted to remain in the process, although Selina was reportedly given a verbal warning.

Season 11 – Richard Woods and everyone

Richard Woods in season 11 of The Apprentice
Richard Woods in season 11 of The Apprentice

In his Apprentice audition video, Richard described himself as “a Swiss army knife of bouncy skills, business skills, enthusiasm.” But the unfortunate Swiss army knife swiftly found himself blunted by the disapproval of his teammates. Whether he was showing off his non-existent French while simultaneously getting swindled by a French cheesemaker, or over-delegating when managing the shampoo design task, he seemed to have the ability to put everybody’s backs up.

So why exactly did everyone hate Richard? It was partly his managerial style: in the real world, delegating might be the sign of a strong manager, but in the strange netherworld of The Apprentice, it can easily look like an attempt to selfishly avoid responsibility and piggyback off the work of others.

“Richard is all about me myself and I,” noted fellow contestant and series winner Joseph Valente in week two of the competition, after the boys’ team won the Cross-Channel Discount Buying task and were were treated to a luxury wine tasting session. In fact, during the wine tasting iself, it looked as if Richard had been sidelined: awkwardly standing apart from the group, alone and unloved.

Season 10 – Mark Wright and Daniel Lassman

The simmering animosity between Mark Wright (who went on to win the series) and Daniel Lassman was one of the highlights of Season 10. The two candidates’ mutual dislike first flared up during the coach trip task, during which Mark called Daniel’s sales technique “horrendous”, adding: “The best thing that boy’s sold all day is himself to us as project manager and then nothing since.”

They went on to engage in a fierce boardroom battle after the soft drinks task, during which Lord Sugar described the pair as “oil and water”.

Season 10 – Bianca Miller and James Hill

During the board game episode, a heated row erupted between Bianca Miller, who went on to make it to the series final, and James Hill. Afterwards, Bianca said: “As the saying goes, a wise man speaks because he has something to say, a fool speaks because he has to say something.” Just in case we hadn’t got the point, she then added: “I’m not saying he’s a fool, but he likes speaking a lot.”

Season Nine – Luisa Zissman and Jason Leech

It was perhaps inevitable that mild-mannered, bumbling toff Jason, and brash, to-the-point Luisa (who went on to appear on Celebrity Big Brother) would rub each other up the wrong way. While Luisa managed to fall out with a fair few of her fellow contestants – one, Rebecca Slater, later described her as having a “a big ego” – it was her frustration at Jason’s chronic indecisiveness that eventually led to the first-ever Apprentice coup. During one task, Luisa ended up ousting poor Jason, and taking over as project manager.

Season Seven – Katie Hopkins and Adam Hosker

If Katie Hopkins Ruled the Worl
Katie Hopkins, in a promotional image for If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World CREDIT: DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

Katie’s boardroom rant against Adam – “at a business level, you have one speed setting, and that speed setting is slow, slow, slow! Someone put the wrong speed dial in when they created you, sweetie” – was one of season seven’s most memorable moments. Katie later went on to clash with almost everyone in the UK, writing a column for The Sun and appearing on shows such as This Morning to air her increasingly controversial opinions.

Season Seven – Jim Eastwood and Nick Hewer

With his ability to charm the other contestants and repeatedly talk himself out of trouble (see the clip below for a particularly breathtaking example of the latter), season seven candidate Jim became famous for his Machiavellian ways. One man who wasn’t taken in was Lord Sugar’s advisor, Nick Hewer, who developed a strong aversion to Jim, and memorably described the candidate as “creepy”.

“What a handful! I do not find him as charming as he thinks he is and I wish he would stop talking about his Irish charm because I’m finding it a bit spooky,” Hewer said. “The incident with Leon in the boardroom showed me that he is a pretty manipulative character”.

Season Six – Liz Locke and Stella English

Liz Locke and Stella English
Liz Locke and Stella English

After Stella criticised Liz’s performance as project manager, Liz made her dislike clear via a number of perfectly pitched passive aggressive barbs. “It’s a shame that Laura’s gone. She’ll be missed,” she said, after another candidate was fired instead of Stella. Stella, who ended up as the eventual series winner, later went on to clash with someone much scarier than Liz, suing Lord Sugar for unfair treatment after her role at one of his companies didn’t work out. She lost the case.

Season One – Paul Torrisi and Saira Khan

Season One candidate Paul became notorious for his expletive-laden outbursts. His excuse? He “had an Italian background”. Margaret Mountford, advisor to Lord Sugar (or “Suralan” as he was back then) wasn’t impressed, telling him: “That’s no excuse for having a temper.” His fellow contestant Saira wasn’t impressed either, eventually walking out of the room after a particularly nasty row. Sensitive readers should be aware: the clip below contains swearing. Lots of swearing.

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