BBC The Apprentice branded a 'joke' as Dragons' Den business owner slams format for budding entrepreneurs: 'Complete wallies!'

BBC The Apprentice branded a 'joke' as Dragons' Den business owner slams format for budding entrepreneurs: 'Complete wallies!'

Dragons' Den star admitted if she could go back she would be more confident

GB News
Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 18/04/2024

- 17:56

The UpCircle founder felt that the Apprentice had nothing on Dragons’ Den

Anna Brightman has made her feelings clear when it comes to the competition between Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice after she branded the latter a “mockery”.

Brightman and her brother William appeared on Dragons’ Den back in 2019 when they pitched their skincare company UpCircle – formerly known as Opitat.

Giving their pitch, the brother and sister duo explained that they were looking for an investment of £50,000 in return for just two per cent of the business but noted their desire to be mentored.

After a gruelling day of negotiations, the Brightman's ended up shaking hands with Touker Souleyman and Tej Lalvani – but it wasn’t until they got off camera they decided against the investment.

Brightman recently opened up on whether shows such as Dragons’ Den were actually helping small and upcoming businesses, slamming “mockery” shows such as The Apprentice.

Speaking to GB News, she explained: “Ultimately there have been some incredible Dragons’ Den stories, and I have absolutely no regrets going on there, it was brilliant for us.

Anna Brightman

Anna is the founder of UpCircle beauty along with her brother William


“I think that it just goes back to being a TV show first and foremost. We are both coming at it with different objectives, Dragons are self-promoting, brands are self-promoting, and we all have our own agenda as we go in.

“I think so long as you go into it, as a brand specifically, knowing first and foremost I am going on this for XYZ reason and that it is a TV show then I don’t think it needs to be retired.

“I think it is very good entertainment, I would always recommend brands go on it. I don’t think it needs to be retired, I think it’s still got legs, and it is still a great opportunity.

“A better one to be honest than something like The Apprentice which does feel like a joke, making young business people do ridiculous tasks where they are made out to be complete wallies.

Phil Turner

The Apprentice viewers were left stunned that Phil Turner made it to the final


“I was asked to do this a couple of times and I just thought there was no way. Dragon’s Den is less than a mockery out of the two of them.”

Tonight, the final of The Apprentice season 18 will see the finalists take on their last challenge to win a £250,000 investment, with contestants ejected earlier in the series returning to aid them in their endeavours.

The last two must launch their business, create a new brand for their company, produce a digital billboard and direct and edit a television advertisement before pitching to Lord Sugar and industry experts at a black-tie event.

During the penultimate episode last week, viewers were left furious and claimed the final had been fixed due to Phil Turner making it through.

Anna Brightman and Lord Alan Sugar

Anna claimed Dragon's Den was better than The Apprentice


Despite making mistakes week after week, Turner and his pie shop business plan seemed to sail through unhinged.

Lord Sugar decided Turner should face boutique fitness studio owner Rachel Woolford in tonight's finale – with fans at home unable to share the joy.

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