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The Apprentice Insider meets Leon

Ben Rawson-Jones, Blog Editor | 12:45 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011

 "Knowing Lucky Fish was trending worldwide on Twitter is incredible, because I actually did think it had legs - certainly no pun intended there!" There's no doubt that Leon left his mark on The Apprentice and its fans, although his critical failure to create an impression in the Paris task proved to be his downfall. We caught up with the self-proclaimed 'Leon-trepreneur' to chat about his time on The Apprentice…

"It clearly went wrong with the products that we chose," Leon stated about the doomed attempts to sell cress and teapots to the French. "Had we taken the rucksack to the pitch we'd have been up a quarter of a million quid". What about the market research he was tasked with alongside Melody that led to the rucksack rejection? "It felt somewhat biased – we were in a tube station casting the research. Had we ventured onto the street it may have given a different outcome."

Leon, who described his time on the show as "brilliant", said that he felt "Melody had pretty much the whole task under her control. It was irrelevant whether we had Tom as the Project Manager – Melody was running the show". He also joked about who he felt should have been fired instead of him: "I think Natasha yeah, perhaps, yeah, needed to go, yeah, in that specific task. Yeah."

The non-French speaking candidate wasn't a Yeah Man when it came to Glenn's product idea in the pet food task. Leon unsuccessfully plumped for his own suggestion of Lucky Fish – "a concept that I dreamt up out of the focus group and I really did think it could take over. But Glenn put his foot down and came up with Catsize."

Glenn also invented Slangatang, the app that propelled Team Logic to a second successive defeat under the guidance of Project Manager Leon. Nonetheless, the experience was one of his highlights: "Watching them go live on the internet was incredible – and running around Earls Court dressed as a leprechaun, or whatever it was that I was dressed up as, was hilarious for me."

"I think I've still got strong views on wearing man make-up," said Leon, referring to his meterosexual experiences on the Beauty Treatments task. "I don't think that's ever going to be for me. With regards to the spray tan, it's no big deal. I think I was just worried about how I would look on TV". On the subject of orange glows, Vincent was Leon's roommate inside the Apprentice house from the start. "We got on really well throughout until he left," he revealed.

Leon signed off with the following farewell, which showed just how much of a learning curve The Apprentice has been – especially in linguistic terms: "As you know Ben, je ne parle pas français, so it's au revoir from me!


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  • Comment number 1.

    So His Grace The Duke of Sugarshire (trust me, it's only a matter of time) regails the unfortunate Leon with tails of his extraordinary skill at the age of 12 or so to be able to deal direct with suppliers from Korea and Japan (and perhaps China, or could that have been a reference to an old cockney mate?), despite him having no command of oriental languages and neither party having a reasonable grasp of English. Now, ordinary mortals in such a situation might consider employing the services of a translator or bilingual middle-man but nothing so mundane for his lordship. So how did he do it? Surely we deserve to know more so that we can all benefit from his experience in our own dealings with fellow monoglots? Heaven forbid he was exaggerating the actuality for personal effect in much the same way the contestants are encouraged to do? In defence of sales-sharks the world over, however, the whole sorry truth could be viewed as a barrier to persuading the gullible from parting with their money in exchange for a load of old tutt. Have I missed the episode where the contestants reveal, in the event of them "winning", their proposals for a joint business venture prior to embarking on a round of amusing but largely irrelevant parlour games?

  • Comment number 2.

    Just watched the show and it looks like mr. sugar is going to have to go into business with people who don't know that caracas is the capital of venezuela and think christopher colombus was british! well good luck to him!


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