TV preview: The Apprentice

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Another year, another set of hapless souls who have experienced the revolving door which is Lord Alan Sugar’s boardroom.

For the last 12 weeks we’ve watched as the original 20 candidates have been unceremoniously culled and in the process they have created some TV gems.

Who can forget nice guy lawyer Felipe Baquero, who always addressed himself in the third person, trying to get one over on Lord Sugar with that do-it-yourself paper skeleton? But the Foot in Mouth Award for this series has to go to Sarah Dales.

The statuesque blonde worked as an executive assistant for a top financial firm, while also running her own hypnotherapy and match-making businesses. Unfortunately, she had embraced the old adage “sex sells” a little too enthusiastically, telling the girls on their first task they should all roll up their skirts, put makeup on and “just look pretty”.

Over the last three months we’ve watched the contestants fail to come up with a successful online video channel, we’ve seen them create a bafflingly sexist board game and perhaps best of all, in week five, one half emerged as the world’s worst tour guides.

Some were destined never to make it to the final five – we’re thinking the hopelessly deluded Daniel - but as the “process” wore on even firm favourites wobbled.

Australian sales manager Mark Wright has been a safe pair of hands until he pitched the group’s premium pudding to a group of retailers. To be fair A Trifle Different... looked anything but luxury, but when Mark choked, he pretty much guaranteed his team would be heading for a cup of builders’ tea in the Bridge Cafe.

At the time of writing the final five still had to face the gruelling interview episode with rottweilers Claude Littner, Mike Soutar, Claudine Collins, and the winner of series eight, Ricky Martin poised to pull apart their CVs and business plans and cast a little doubt on their wildly optimistic predictions of just how much money they will make Lord Sugar in return for his winning investment of £250,000.

Tonight will see the two remaining candidates create an advertising video for their company and give a speech about it at an evening party, with Lord Sugar present.

Given it’s the final, there should be less of the usual eye-rolling from Lord Sugar, although right hand woman Karren Brady says there is a very different side to the man.

“They say that his bark is worse than his bite, but his bark is pretty bad,” she said. “But actually, away from the business, he’s very close to his family, often brings his grandchildren into the boardroom and he has a wicked sense of humour.”

The Apprentice, BBC1, 9pm

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