Boardroom blitz! Sir Alan raises the bar as The Apprentice moves to BBC One – starting Wednesday 28 March 2007, 9pm
Multi-award-winning series The Apprentice is back for a 12-week run, now on BBC One, from Wednesday 28 March at 9pm.
The critically-acclaimed show returns for a third series to challenge a new group of 16 high-fliers to test their skills in this unique business series.
The standard of applicants was higher than ever with over 10,000 ambitious hopefuls applying for the coveted, six-figure salaried job in tough-talking tycoon Sir Alan Sugar's business empire.
Aged between 22 and 36, the CVs of the shortlisted candidates include; a quantum physicist, a car salesman, an ex-Army officer, three high-flying single mothers, a global brand consultant, a former air traffic controller, a financial adviser, a medal-winning martial arts expert and a bankrupted entrepreneur.
Sir Alan is firing on all cylinders and has set the two teams some of the toughest assignments ever seen on the hit show – including two international tasks.
The punishing weekly programme of challenges will see the teams having to sell British farm produce at a French farmers' market, design accessories for dogs, create a new brand of trainers, sell art photography at a trendy gallery, produce sweets to sell at London Zoo and compete with the likes of Starbucks and Costa to sell the most coffee on a busy high street.
This is the job interview that nightmares are made of...
The eight men and eight women have all left their jobs, each believing he or she has got what it takes to survive the gruelling 12-week interview and win the apprenticeship of their dreams. All will stop at nothing to get it.
The group is divided into two teams and each week the team that wins the task is rewarded with a luxury treat, while the losers must report to the boardroom for a showdown with Sir Alan Sugar and his two trusted assistants, Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer.
Each week an apprentice from the losing team is sent packing with Sir Alan's lethal catchprase "you're fired!" ringing in their ears.
In the first episode Sir Alan makes it quite clear who's in charge and what he's looking for: "I am looking for someone who is drop dead shrewd ... but this is the job interview from hell."
He cautions the candidates: "The worst kind of schmooze that I can't stand is 'Sir Alan I'm just like you – I came from a humble background and worked my way up.' Well don't lay all that rubbish on me."
Sir Alan warns them: "This is no gameshow; there won't be some busty blonde waiting outside to hug you so that you can sob into her bosoms. What there will be is a black cab waiting to take you to the station."
Throughout the series, the candidates will become neighbours to billionaires and movie stars as they live together in a luxurious multi-million pound mansion in London's Notting Hill, experiencing a taste of the high life they all aspire to.
Peter Fincham, Controller of BBC One, said: "The Apprentice returned in style last week with an incredibly successful Comic Relief special and I'm delighted that BBC One is the new home for one of the most compelling formats of recent years and the redoubtable Sir Alan Sugar."
The third series also marks the move of sister show, The Apprentice: You're Fired, presented by Adrian Chiles, to BBC Two.
The show will again give the fired candidate the chance to reveal all on their back-stabbing colleagues and provide their exclusive reactions to the boardroom showdown.
The final episode of You're Fired will become You're Hired – focusing on the winner.
Adrian Chiles said: "Each week I'll come face-to-face with the freshly-fired candidate who'll be spilling the beans on what it's really like trying to impress Sir Alan and, more importantly, what it's like to be on the receiving end of a boardroom showdown, and to hear the dreaded words 'You're fired!'"
The Apprentice online is back and will see a hive of activity designed, developed and managed by FremantleMedia's Interactive division to give a truly cross-platform experience.
The site will provide a full service delivering fans the opportunity to keep up and delve deeper in to the show with news and images, plus exclusive behind-the-scenes video clips, delivered both online and on mobile.
And, for the first time, The Apprentice will have its own weekly podcast.
Each week bbc.co.uk/apprentice will offer breaking news, video interviews, previews, teaser and highlight clips from the show coupled with the chance to view exclusive behind-the-scenes content and extended footage that producers couldn't fit into the BBC One show, keeping fans completely up to date.
There will also be an exclusive weekly column from one of last year's most memorable candidates, Jo Cameron, who will be commenting on the tasks, new candidates and her recollections of the Boardroom.
The Apprentice is a talkbackTHAMES production for BBC One. The Executive Producer is Michele Kurland and Series Producer is Kelly Webb-Lamb.