In a normal society, the sort of man who watched the European Women’s Championship and tweeted: “I am watching the women (sic) football and notice that ALL the comentators (sic) are women. I also note when mens football is on there is a symobilic (sic) female comentator (sic) to cover the broadcasters (sic) arse” wouldn’t be trusted with a two-person Greggs order, never mind handed his own television show. 

In that normal society, a television show that thrust Katie Hopkins into the limelight would be immediately cancelled, with the tapes burned in a ceremonial fire, any confirmation of its existence stricken from the record and all those involved in its production expelled from the industry in shame.

In Britain, meanwhile, The Apprentice is back.

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What’s The Apprentice?

A show where obnoxious people act obnoxiously in order to impress an obnoxious man with more money than them. 

If they win over the obnoxious billionaire, the contestant receives a £250,000 investment in their business idea.

If not, the obnoxious billionaire points at them and says ‘You’re Fired’. The contestant then insists ‘you’ve not seen the last of me’, in the last we see of them.

And people watch this?

Apparently so. The first episode of 2022’s edition attracted 4.6 million viewers.


Masochism? An opportunity to remind ourselves that rich people are generally terrible while we wait for season four of Succession? The ever-present possibility that a man with a reported net worth of £1.21 billion might try to plug his iPhone into a Pot Noodle?

Are you referring to Alan Sugar?

If Alan Sugar is the man referred to in the 2018 headline “Alan Sugar in race storm after tweet compared Senegal footballers to ‘beach salesman in Marbella’” then yes, I’m referring to Alan Sugar.

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What about the contestants?

Many of us went back to work this week after the festive break. Coming home and putting the telly on is supposed to be a break from spending time with incompetent arseholes in suits. 

Even the most objectionable reality shows will usually give viewers someone relatable to root for. The Apprentice, however, is comprised entirely of people who watched Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street and thought ‘this is a positive role model’. 

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When The Apprentice ends, what will it be remembered for?

The UK edition made a star of the vile Katie Hopkins, and its American counterpart paved the way for Donald Trump’s presidential run by positioning him as a savvy, successful leader.

So, should I watch it?

Make giving up Sugar your New Year’s resolution.