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The Apprentice (British series 11)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Apprentice
Season 11
Promo group shot of Alan Sugar, Karren Brady and Claude Littner standing before the candidates for series 11
Country of originUK
No. of episodes14
Original networkBBC One
Original release14 October (2015-10-14) –
20 December 2015 (2015-12-20)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 10
Next →
Series 12

The eleventh series of The Apprentice (UK), a British reality television series, began broadcasting in the UK during 2015, from 14 October to 20 December on BBC One; due to the 2015 General Election being held in Spring, which Alan Sugar had ties to, the BBC postponed the series' broadcast until the middle of Autumn. This series saw Claude Littner, an interviewer during the Interviews stage of a series, being announced as Lord Sugar's new aide, after Nick Hewer made his departure from the programme after the last series.[1] Alongside the standard twelve episodes, with the first two aired within a day of each other, the series was preceded by the mini online episode "Meet the Candidates" on 6 October, with two specials aired alongside the series – "The Final Five" on 9 December, and "Why I Fired Them" on 16 December.

One notable change brought into the series involved increasing the number of candidates taking part, with Sugar promising a more varied arrangement of older and "serious" participants for his investment.[2] As a result, eighteen candidates took part in the eleventh series, with Joseph Valente becoming the overall winner. Excluding the specials, the series averaged around 7.18 million viewers during its broadcast.

Series overview

Production staff found they could not hold episodes for the eleventh series during Spring 2015, as a general election, typically held by the British government during the Spring months, had been called for during 2014. As Alan Sugar had political ties due to his appointment within the House of Lords, and had previously highlighted potential problems for the BBC if they aired the programme during this key political event, both the production and broadcasting schedules had to be reworked to avoid potential problems. Due to Nick Hewer departing the programme following its tenth series, Sugar's search for his replacement led to him deciding to offer the role to Claude Littner. Discussions with production staff led to an agreement towards this decision, while allowing Littner to oversee interviews towards the penultimate stage of the process.[3] In addition to this, a fourth interviewer needed to be recruited to work alongside Littner, Mike Soutar, and Claudine Collins, leading to the role being offered by Sugar to Linda Plant.

To keep the programme fresh, production staff search for candidates saw two significant changes, after applications were made available towards the end of the tenth series' broadcast – they were made to focus on applicants who were older and more experienced in business, and those brought in for interviews and auditions during January – February 2015 were whittled down until around eighteen were finalised for the eleventh series. Filming took place from mid-Spring to early Summer, with the first task seeing them form into mixed gender teams – while one team named themselves "Versatile", the other named themselves "Connexus". This series is notable for being the first in which a project manager of the losing team was fired during their internal review, and the only series to date in which a candidate who was fired refused to appear on sister show You're Fired – due to criticism against her portrayal on the show, Selina Waterman-Smith refused to be involved in discussions over her performance in the series. The eleventh series also drew media attention over the departure of Scott Saunders – while not the first to quit the show despite having secured his place in the next stage of the process, media reports widely reported that his sudden decision to leave caught producers by surprise.[4]

Of those who took part, Joseph Valente would become the eventual winner, going on to use his prize to start up and expand a plumbing business called Impra-Gas.[5] He would work together with Sugar to develop the company's business model for two years, before announcing his intentions to go solo and assume full control of the company in early 2017, with both men parting on good terms.[6]


Candidate Background Age Result
Joseph Valente Plumbing business owner 25 Winner
Vana Koutsomitis Social media entrepreneur 27 Runner-up
Richard Woods Marketing agency director 31 Fired after Interviews stage
Gary Poulton Programme manager 34
Charleine Wain Hair and beauty salon owner 31
Brett Butler-Smythe Builder 28 Fired after tenth task
Selina Waterman-Smith Events agency owner 31 Fired after ninth task
Scott Saunders Senior account manager 27 Quit after ninth task
David Stevenson Marketing company owner 25 Fired after eighth task
Sam Curry Private tutor 23 Fired after seventh task
April Jackson Boutique owner 26 Fired after sixth task
Mergim Butaja Sales account manager 23
Elle Stevenson Operations executive 21
Natalie Dean Corporate account manager 25 Fired after fifth task
Ruth Whiteley Training consultancy owner 47 Fired after fourth task
Jenny Garbis Business management student 23 Fired after third task
Aisha Kasim Inventor and hair extensions specialist 30 Fired after second task
Dan Callaghan Fragrance retailer director 23 Fired after first task

Performance chart

Candidate Task Number
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12


  The candidate won this series of The Apprentice.
  The candidate was the runner-up.
  The candidate won as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
  The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
  The candidate was on the winning team for this task / they passed the Interviews stage.
  The candidate was on the losing team for this task.
  The candidate was brought to the final boardroom for this task.
  The candidate was fired in this task.
  The candidate lost as project manager for this task and was fired.
  The candidate left the competition after this task.


No. in
TitleOriginal air dateUK viewers
1411"Fish Food"[7]14 October 2015 (2015-10-14)8.03
Lord Sugar searches for a new business partner for 2015 amongst eighteen new candidates. For their first task, each team must purchase fish, before turning these into snacks to sell around London. Versatile opt for selling coley fish fingers and calamari, yet while the former makes good sales, the latter receives less customers for being low quality, with the team losing some of this due to a freezer malfunction. Connexus focus on selling salads and fishcakes, yet while they make reasonable sales, the team face issues manufacturing issues with the latter product, missing out lunchtime trade, and lacking an effective pricing strategy. Versatile win the task from making a healthy profit, after Connexus barely break even thanks to the flaws of their performance. Amongst the final three, Dan Callaghan becomes the first to be fired for contributing to the production issues and for failing to make any sales.
1422"Advertising – Cactus Shampoo"[8]15 October 2015 (2015-10-15)7.41
With a blank bottle of shampoo each, teams are tasked with creating a brand for it, complete with promotional campaign emphasising its key ingredient, before pitching their concept to industry experts. Versatile focus their brand towards men of their age group, receiving praise for their TV advert and bottle design, despite issues from a poor pitcher and the experts criticising their digital billboard. Connexus focus their brand toward the over-50s women market, but face serious issues from their team leader's poor decisions, effectively leading to the experts disliking their presentation, TV advert and brand logo, despite praising their digital billboard. Feedback to Lord Sugar leads him to declaring Versatile's concept the best, leaving Connexus to face questions over their performance. Of the final three, Aisha Kasim is dismissed for her dictatorial leadership and allocating members to the wrong jobs in the task.
1433"Cross-Channel Discount Buying"[9]21 October 2015 (2015-10-21)7.86
Lord Sugar gives each team a list of nine items he requires, yet teams must split in two to find bargains – half must locate purchases around Kent, while the other seek them out across the Channel in France. Versatile's England sub-team manage good negotiation with purchases thanks to strong members, yet their France sub-team fail to source bargains with their purchases, along with neither sub-team finding one of the required items. Connexus fail to source two items, with the England sub-team overspending on one purchase and having issues with an indecisive member, while their France sub-team have difficulties from in-fighting. Versatile secure victory thanks to strong negotiators, leaving Connexus to face scrutiny over their performance and lack of strategy. Amongst the final three, while Lord Sugar is critical of the final three he reviews, Jenny Garbis is fired for her lack of purchases, alongside her poor contributions within tasks.
1444"Pet Show"[10]28 October 2015 (2015-10-28)7.39
Teams head to the London Pet Show, each taking with them a selection of accessories and high-ticket items to sell to pet owners and visitors attending the event. Connexus opt for selling electronic cat toys, cat seat warmers, and large customisable cat beds, yet while they manage good sales on accessories thanks to focused sellers, their efforts are hampered by problematic members failing to sell their cat beds. Versatile opt for selling animal-themed balloons and T-shirts, and dog bed sofas, receiving favourable custom on their accessories, but face issues due to the team leader focusing on their less valuable accessory and the members handling sales of their dog beds struggling with the product. Versatile manage to achieve high sale figures due to an efficient performance, leaving Connexus to face an in-depth review over their weaker figures. Amongst the losing team, Ruth Whiteley is fired for her lack of sales and for demonstrating an unsuitable personality for Sugar's investment offer.
1455"Children's Book"[11]4 November 2015 (2015-11-04)7.40
Each team is tasked with creating their own children's book, including a written and audio version, and selling their creations to retailers around London. Connexus create a story around a dragon character, but face issues from an indecisive leader, rushed production on the audio version, and poor salespeople, alongside concerns the literature of their creation is too complex for the task's specified age group. Versatile create a story around a bee character, managing efficient production of both versions, receiving good feedback on their creation and good sales from retailers, despite friction between some members of the team. In the boardroom, Versatile secure victory thanks to a last-minute sale, leaving Connexus to come under fire for the problems that weakened their sales. Amongst the final three, Natalie Dean is dismissed for demonstrating a lack of maturity, her poor pitching skills on the task, and her weak track record in the process.
1466"Handy Man"[12]11 November 2015 (2015-11-11)7.67
Each team is tasked with running their own DIY business, securing work around London alongside one of two contracts arranged by Lord Sugar. Versatile performance is ruined by problems faced by the team, including a weak leader, a problematic member compounding their efforts on their contract work, their sub-team doing poor quality work on other jobs, and a last-minute job providing little money for the work. Connexus make a good income, manage costs and handle their jobs efficiently, despite wasting time on flyers, renegotiating the terms of one job, and doing unnecessary work on their contract. Connexus manage a high profit that wins them the task, leaving Versatile to face criticism over their performance. Amongst the losing team, Elle Stevenson is fired for her non-existent leadership and dismal track record, Mergim Butaja is dismissed for his lack of maturity and experience, while April Jackson is ejected from the process for her poor pricing strategy and contributions on the task, and her lack of notable business skills.
1477"Discount Store"[13]18 November 2015 (2015-11-18)7.12
Both teams are tasked with running their own discount shop within a shopping mall in Manchester for two days, reinvesting in products that have potential and raising as much assets as possible. Versatile focus on selling a mixed range of products, managing good sales and investing in high value products, despite lacking a strategy and proper direction on the second day. Connexus focus on selling a variety of electronic items, making good sales on the first day, yet struggle to make more on the second day due to arguments amongst members, alongside concerns over their choice of products. Versatile are praised for their strategy securing them victory, while Connexus face questions around their performance. Amongst the final three, despite Lord Sugar being critical of the contributions made by two members, Sam Curry is fired for his lack of sales, his lack of presence in tasks, and demonstrating poor mathematical skills.
1488"Party Planning"[14]25 November 2015 (2015-11-25)6.92
Both teams become party planners, creating a fun-filled children's party for their respective client, using their £2,000 budget to arrange food, events and gifts for those attending. Versatile create an outdoor activity party, but their performance is hindered by miscommunication amongst the team and poor negotiators securing their chosen venues, while they offer both a poor service and gifts to their clients. Connexus create a mini-Olympian party, negotiating well on venues and providing a quality service, yet face issues from in-fighting delaying the food they provide, and gambling on party bags that their client refuses to take due to having no contact details for them. Versatile face criticism over their performance in the boardroom, after Connexus are praised for their well-received party. Amongst the losing team, David Stevenson is dismissed over his poor contributions on the task, alongside his lack of business tenacity and passion.
1499"Property Agents"[15]2 December 2015 (2015-12-02)6.98
Teams become property agents, as each handle the sale of new, under development mid and high-end properties around London, making commissions on successful sales. Versatile represent properties being developed in Stratford and Lewisham, making efficient sales with their mid-range sub-team, yet their high-end team are hampered by a lack of information on their development. Connexus represent properties in Canary Wharf and Clapham, achieving good sales with their high-end team, but face issues from the mid-range team stumbling in sale pitches and demonstrating a lack of knowledge on their development. Although Connexus secure more commissions from their performance, the team are surprised when Scott Saunders chooses to leave over the heavy criticism of his overall performance. Amongst Versatile, who face scrutiny on their sales effort, Selina Waterman-Smith is ejected from the process for her lack of sales, her immature attitude and her poor track record in tasks.
15010"Health Snack"[16]9 December 2015 (2015-12-09)7.07
Healthy eating is the basis of the next task, as each team comes up with a brand new range of healthy snacks, pitching their creations to retailers. Versatile create a range of snack bars, but face poor feedback from consumer testing and retailers over the branding, the lack of nutritional information on the packaging, and the taste and texture of their snack. Connexus create a range of vegetable crisps made with dehydration, yet despite good feedback on the flavours they offer from consumer testing, the retailers criticise the lack of the product's USP on the packaging and the overuse of olive oil in their snack's production. Lord Sugar expresses disappointment in the boardroom when neither team secure orders, leaving them all to face scrutiny over their performance on the task. Amongst the candidates he questions, Brett Butler-Smythe is dismissed for his poor leadership of his team, his poor pitching, failing to acknowledge a team member's mistake, and demonstrating limited business skills.
151SP–1"The Final Five"[17]9 December 2015 (2015-12-09)N/A
As this year's series of The Apprentice draws closer to its finale, this special episode takes a look at profiling the true story behind the five remaining candidates. Discussing their backgrounds, experiences, personality, and strengths and weaknesses, are a selection of each candidate's friends, family and colleagues, as well as Lord Sugar's aides, Claude Littner and Karren Brady.
15211"Interviews"[18]16 December 2015 (2015-12-16)7.47
After facing ten tasks as teams, the five remaining candidates now compete as individuals in their next task – a series of tough, gruelling interviews with four of Lord Sugar's most trusted associates. Each member faces scrutiny over their backgrounds, work experience, track record, and business proposals when questioned by interviewers. Feedback to Lord Sugar, alongside observations by his aides, leads him to firing Charleine Wain for her inexperience and the concerns on her proposal, Gary Poulton for his flawed proposal and failure to amend his corporate image, and Richard Woods for his evasive answers in interviews and questionable proposal. Of the remaining two, Vana Koutsomitis presents a strong proposal despite some issues, while Joseph Valente is considered an ambitious business person with good expertise, despite financial concerns with his proposal.
153SP–2"Why I Fired Them"[19]16 December 2015 (2015-12-16)N/A
As the final looms, Lord Sugar takes a look back to the tasks he set for this year's series of The Apprentice. From an unexpected resignation and making disastrous health snacks, to shampoo branding and selling pet accessories, he relives all of the mistakes, doomed decisions, and other notable events that occurred during the process, and provides his reasons behind each firing he made amongst the candidates for the process, which ultimately whittle them down to the two finalists for this series.
15412"The Final"[20]20 December 2015 (2015-12-20)6.61
After facing a multitude of business tasks and a tough interview, the two finalists, aided by old friends, face the task of presenting their business proposal to an audience of business and industry experts, detailing key areas in it – its name, its goals, its target market, and its business structure. Joseph works to present his plan for a new gas plumbing service, receiving good feedback from experts on its strong video advert, despite it raising concerns over its name and logo design. Vana works to present her plan for a new dating app with gaming features, with its advertising and logo design being well-received during her pitch, yet faces serious concerns over its target market and its financial strength. Based on feedback from these presentations, Lord Sugar deems that Joseph Valente will be his new business partner for 2015 for providing a strongly founded proposal and demonstrating positive traits, leaving Vana Koutsomitis to finish as runner-up due to her plan being deemed too great a risk to invest in because of the serious concerns surrounding it.


Selina Waterman-Smith

During and after filming of a series of The Apprentice, production staff are required to ensure that candidates partaking in that year's contest behave appropriately off-camera. The involvement off Selina Waterman-Smith in the eleventh series caused controversy after several media articles received leaked informatin that she had been involved in an altercation with Charleine Wain. While she was given a warning over her behaviour from the producers, Waterman-Smith accused them on Twitter during the series' broadcast that they were unfairly treating her as a "pantomime villain", and refused to take any part with the sister show You're Fired following the episode featuring her dismissal because of this accusation.[21][22] A year later, when the twelfth series was being broadcast, Waterman-Smith accused the BBC of treating the candidates harshly when they took part in the show, but this was rebuked by Oliver Nohl-Oser, one of the candidates on the new series, as being unfounded, as he stated that those applying for the programme know it is "always going to be tough".[23]

Richard Woods' health

As a rule for those making applications to be a part of The Apprentice, all medical information pertaining to themselves must be made available to production staff to assess if they can be involved in a new series. Following his involvement in the eleventh series, Richard Woods revealed in an interview that he had not disclosed this information, allowing him to perform in the contest despite the fact he had suffered three mini-strokes and had delayed a procedure to preserve his sight in his left eye. His revelation raised questions over the work of the programme's researchers, though it was later stated that despite his non-disclosure, production staff ensure all candidates have access to good healthcare, and that the show's doctor had seen no issues for Woods to take part in the series.[24][25]


Official episode viewing figures are from BARB.[26]

Airdate 7-day viewers
28-day viewers
weekly ranking
1 14 October 2015 7.93 8.03 3
2 15 October 2015 7.22 7.41 7
3 21 October 2015 7.70 7.86 3
4 28 October 2015 7.25 7.39 3
5 4 November 2015 7.23 7.40 5
6 11 November 2015 7.57 7.67 4
7 18 November 2015 6.97 7.12 6
8 25 November 2015 6.65 6.92 6
9 2 December 2015 6.77 6.98 6
10 9 December 2015 6.91 7.07 5
11 16 December 2015 7.39 7.47 3
12 20 December 2015 6.52 6.61 10


  1. ^ Adam Sherwin (27 April 2015). "Apprentice series 11: Claude Littner to replace Nick Hewer as Lord Sugar's aide". The Independent.
  2. ^ Emma Daly. "The Apprentice 2015 to be more serious: it's not Geordie Shore". Radio Times.
  3. ^ "Claude Littner replaces Nick Hewer on The Apprentice". BBC News. 27 April 2015.
  4. ^ Daniel Welsh (30 November 2015). "'The Apprentice': Scott Saunders 'Quits Series, After Taking A Battering From Lord Sugar'". The Huffington Post UK.
  5. ^ Walker, Danny (21 December 2015). "The Apprentice winner Joseph Valente is a generous boss reveal staff, although they haven't seen him since win". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Apprentice winners return to boardroom but Joseph Valente is missing after shock split from Lord Sugar". Daily Mirror. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Fish Food, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  8. ^ "Advertising – Cactus Shampoo, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  9. ^ "Cross-Channel Discount Buying, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  10. ^ "Pet Show, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  11. ^ "Children's Book, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  12. ^ "Handy Man, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  13. ^ "Discount Store, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  14. ^ "Party Planning, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  15. ^ "Property Agents, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  16. ^ "Health Snack, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  17. ^ "The Final Five, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  18. ^ "Interviews, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  19. ^ "Why I Fired Them, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  20. ^ "The Final, Series 11, The Apprentice – BBC One".
  21. ^ "Apprentice candidate Selina Waterman-Smith lashes out at the show – and says she won't go on You're Fired".
  22. ^ Danny Walker (29 October 2015). "'Hated' The Apprentice contestant Selina Waterman-Smith SLAMS the show saying that she's 'broken her contract' with the BBC". mirror.
  23. ^ "The Apprentice 2016: Oliver Nohl-Oser hits back at contestant's claims candidates are "starved"". Daily Express. 20 October 2016.
  24. ^ "Richard Admits Medical Deception". NME. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  25. ^ "Richard's Medical Lie". HuffPost. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  26. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 23 October 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 November 2020, at 21:07
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