BBC The Apprentice star slaps down claim boardroom grillings are 'too brutal': 'I'd ask tough questions'

BBC The Apprentice star slaps down claim boardroom grillings are 'too brutal': 'I'd ask tough questions'

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Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 09/04/2024

- 21:05

Updated: 10/04/2024

- 07:51

Lord Sugar's adviser knows only too well what it's like to take part in the gruelling process

The Apprentice star Tim Campbell has shared his thoughts about claims the show is too “brutal,” specifically during the interview stage.

The show’s first winner-turned adviser to Lord Alan Sugar knows better than most how it feels to be scrutinised in the boardroom.

Campbell, 46, won the very first series of The Apprentice back in 2005. He’s now on the show as one of Sugar’s aides, along with Karren Brady.

When asked about the interview round, which the final five contestants face each year, Campbell slapped down claims it’s “too brutal”.

Speaking to Radio Times, he replied: “I don’t think it’s brutal at all – it’s thorough.

“If I was going to give somebody £250,000 I’d ask them some tough questions about what they’re going to do with that money.”

Alan Sugar and Tim Campbell

The interview stage has been deemed 'too brutal'


He continued: “Are they going to sit on a throne made out of pound coins or are they going to invest and make me some pound coins?

“People also have to understand the interviews are at the end of an intense process and sometimes emotions do get the better of the candidates.

“They’re one stage away from an investment that will change their lives.”

The infamous interviews see the finalists face a gruelling series of interrogations by some of the top business experts, who don’t hold back in their feedback of the candidates’ business plans.

The Apprentice

The finalists have now been decided


The process often sees tears over the savage remarks made at the final hurdle before the two finalists are selected.

The show often comes under fire by fans for its brutal boardroom discussions and firings, with the latest episode seeing viewers accuse the programme of being "fixed".

It came as Phil Turner made the final five despite suffering nine losses and just a single win throughout the competition.

The latest episode saw him on the victorious team for the first time, but with Sugar allowing him to remain in the process, some have theorised the business magnate is basing his choice on the contestants' business plans.

The Apprentice

The interview stage often sees the candidates becoming emotional


Turner's saving came despite Sugar opting to go with another double firing. The victims were Foluso Falade and Steve Darken, who tried in vain to fight for their place in the competition during the dreaded boardroom.

Thanks to his luck, Turner has made it through to the all-important final.

This week's episode will see the remaining candidates face the daunting interviews, with experts such as former star Claude Littner often returning to scrutinise business plans and call out the contestants on their fibs.

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