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The Apprentice 2012

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Blank Canvas

 

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Episode 1 of 12, Series 8

Duration: 1 hour

 

Sixteen candidates begin their fight for one-life changing opportunity - a quarter of a million pounds to start up a business with Lord Sugar as their partner.

 

In the first task, the boys compete against the girls. Each team must buy blank goods, add value by printing a design onto them and then sell them from stalls on the streets of London. It is a test of the candidates' creativity, marketing and salesmanship.

 

First stop is a warehouse full of blank products, where the teams can purchase anything from tee-shirts and toys to bags and baby grows. Next, they must come up with money-spinning designs. One team gets creative with cute kids' clothes, while the other plays it safe with Union Jacks on teddies for tourists.

 

Having to hand-print hundreds of products by midnight piles on the pressure, resulting in messed-up merchandise, and figuring out the financials is almost forgotten. Punters are put off by poorly-printed products and overzealous selling, and the *****ing, backbiting and blaming begins.

 

In the boardroom, one candidate's dream of going into business with Lord Sugar comes to an abrupt end when they are the first to hear the words "You're fired".

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Household Gadget

 

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Episode 2 of 12, Series 8

Duration: 1 hour

 

Lord Sugar calls the teams to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Their task is to invent a new household gadget, create a prototype and pitch for orders to some of the country's biggest retailers.

 

The teams go window shopping in the world of homeware, looking for gaps in the market. The girls become focussed on the bathroom, while the boys stay firmly in the kitchen. Both teams are torn between two competing ideas, and to help reach a decision test their concepts with consumers.

 

Next stop is to brief designers, who will build the gadgets overnight, but a last minute change of mind causes confusion and consternation. The next day it is red faces all round. When it comes to pitching to retailers, the boys fight over who should present the product and the girls get their figures in twist.

 

Back in the boardroom the candidates get grilled on their gadgets, and team performance is so dismal that Lord Sugar takes his time to decide who should be the next candidate to hear the words 'You're fired'.

 

 

What did you guys think of the first episode?

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Is it me or does anyone else think that these women don't know what they're doing...?

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Condiments

 

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Episode 3 of 12, Series 8

Duration: 1 hour

 

Lord Sugar decides to mix up the teams for the third task, which is to come up with a new condiment; one team goes for a Mediterranean-style ketchup, and the other a chilli chutney. Half of each team head to a condiment factory in Essex to make their product while the others stay in London to design brands and set up sales appointments.

 

Before producing in bulk, both teams have to produce samples for pitching to a high-end deli. Ketchup is bottled and swiftly despatched, but too much chilli in the chutney means that one team have to pitch to bemused buyers without a product. In the factory there's pressure to produce enough jars to sell and a spanner in the works means an entire batch of sauce must be binned, leaving one team with less product than planned.

 

Selling to the public, the ketchup goes down a treat but the chutney is a slow mover. With shopkeepers, one team wins a big order but poor negotiations on the other team results in leftover stock.

 

In the boardroom Lord Sugar relishes assessing what went wrong, the blame is spread and someone turns to jelly when they become the third candidate to hear the words "You're fired".

 

 

Junk Shops

 

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Episode 4 of 12, Series 8

Duration: 1 hour

 

Lord Sugar asks the teams to set up second-hand shops in London's fashionable East End, home to a thriving market in retro and refurbished household goods. The teams must source second-hand stock from auctions, junk shops and car boot sales, and resell at a profit during a one-day-sale from their respective shops.

 

One team goes for quality, seeking just a few choice items, but even then one team member cannot curb his basic instincts and rifles through rubbish bins in a frantic bid for bargains. The other team go for quantity, filling their shop with bric-a-brac which they plan to upgrade with a lick of paint and a spot of upholstering.

 

Day two sees the shops open to the public, and as one team's goods are snapped up their stock levels plummet and it looks increasingly unlikely that they will have enough to sell. In the other shop there is plenty to choose from, but customers do not buy into the team's creative efforts and sales take a desperate turn.

 

Everybody ducks responsibility in the boardroom, but for one candidate there is no hiding from the finger of blame and the dreaded words "You're fired".

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