The PR expert will make his final appearance on 'The Apprentice' on Sunday.
It is, with regret, that we have to tell you Nick Hewer has resigned as Alan Sugar's confidante on British business competition show 'The Apprentice' after ten years by his side. It is unknown as yet as to who will replace him.
Nick Hewer bids farewell to 'The Apprentice'
Known for his quizzical eyebrows and cutting comments, Nick Hewer would be an ominous presence watching over the tasks of one of two teams on the show, before subsequently snitching on them to Lord Sugar when they were called to the boardroom. Now, however, the 70-year-old has decided to leave his post, admitting that he's no longer up to the task of following groups of young, enthusiastic, would-be entrepreneurs for twelve weeks as they rush to complete their assignments.
Continue reading: You're Retired! Nick Hewer To End His Ten Year Stint On 'The Apprentice'
Countdown host and Apprentice regular Nick Hewer has had his watch stolen and took to Twitter to voice his anger.
The right hand man of Lord Alan Sugar, Nick Hewer has hosted Countdown for the past two years, but he might be struggling to keep an eye on the time this week after he was the subject of a street robbery, losing his International Watch Company timepiece. The IWC are a high-end Swiss watch manufacturer with prices beginning at £3500 for a basic design, so it's no wonder Hewer wasn't too happy about the theft.
Hewer's attempt at helping out a tourist ended in disaster
Hewer was asked by tourists to take a photo of them, and when he went to hand back the camera phone, the opportunistic thieves swiped his watch, which is believed to be worth up to £10,000. Hewer was understandably annoyed by the incident, taking to his Twitter account where he posted "NEVER agree to take photo of stranger with their camera phone. They'll steal your watch so fast when you hand phone back Anyone seen my IWC?"
Continue reading: Countdown Host Nick Hewer's Watch Stolen by Tourist
The Everly Brothers singer died aged 74 earlier this week
Phil Everly sadly passed away on Friday, 3 January, leaving the entertainment world in shock at the sudden and unexpected passing of one half of the music world's most celebrated and influential musical duos. Phil died at Providence St. Joseph Medical Centre in Burbank, California, earlier this week, with his death being confirmed via a hospital spokesperson.
Phil Everly: 1939 - 2014
The reason behind his death was initially witheld from the press, however his wife, Patti, told the Los Angeles Times that he died from complications owing to lung disease, blaming a lifetime of cigarette smoking on his death.
Lowest viewership ever, again.
This year’s Apprentice winner has been chosen – Leah Totton is a doctor, who hopes to open a high street chain of clinics, offering cosmetic treatments at an affordable price. While Totton might want to beautify the world however, the number of viewers her victory attracted wasn’t exactly a sight for sore eyes. The show, airing between 8pm and 10pm, was watched by just 5.7 million viewers, matching the lowest viewer activity ever recorded for an Apprentice final. This is down significantly from the 6.1 million, who tuned into the eighth series finale and it also marks a seven-episode low for this season.
Fewer people than ever seem to care about Lord Sugar's latest business partner.
Still, the BBC is keeping the show alive and, unlike other reality formats (cough, The Voice, cough) The Apprentice won’t be going through any major changes in its format or lineup. The only other finale with stats this low is The Apprentice’s second series, won by Michelle Dewberry.The current motivational speaker was crowned as the winner in 2006, but apparently she simply couldn't motivate people to tune in.
Continue reading: Record Low Viewing Figures Haunt Leah Totton's Apprentice Victory
[WARNING: Spoilers] If you haven't watched last night's tension-filled episode of The Apprentice look away now as we digest the final episode where Lord Sugar offered one candidate the £250,000 investment.
It was the kind of edge-of your-seat TV that the BBC's The Apprentice provides so well - editing as clunky as ever - as the candidate who was set up to look like a winner suffered a crushing defeat. After weeks of squabbelling and drama, Lord Alan Sugar's pendulum-like sausage finger swung round to hire Dr. Leah Totton and her cosmetic surgery chain business plan.
The Apprentice Wraps Up For Another Year.
After the first few weeks of girl-on-girl bitchiness and constant catfights, it's a small marvel any girls prevailed at all. Hair was furiously tossed, spidery eyelashes were glared through and towering heels were stamped as the show saw some of its most aggressive power struggles in its nine series.
Continue reading: The Apprentice Winner Crowned, But Is It Leah Or Luisa?
SPOILER ALERT! This week's episode of BBC's The Apprentice saw Lord Sugar fire one hopeful candidate, meaning there may be a little less comedy in the show from now on...
Alex Mills was this week's latest boardroom casualty, after failing to impress Lord Sugar on this week's ready meals task. Fans of such classic moments "Will you shut up Jordan, you silly sh*t!", 'Bad-date' Herbert, and "I don't need Viagra - I'm from Wales" will collectively shed a mournful tear as the 22 year-old Welshman was the latest to fall victim to the Lord's pointy finger.
Hard-Faced Businessman Lord Sugar Decided Alex Mills Wasn't Up To Scratch.
At this stage in the game, after nine episodes, each remaining candidate has been put rigorously through their paces, with such challenging tasks as designing an office away day, creating a dating website, and selling caravans at a convention. This week the teams had to come up with a new ready meal brand to pitch to supermarkets, with Mills project managing team Endeavour against the formidable Neil Clough-headed team Evolve. Mills came up with an idea for children's "Poppity-Ping" meals, named after the Welsh slang for microwave. However, he conceded to dashing teammate Miles Mordaunt's "Deadly Dinners" suggestion, which excited the kids with its horror themed, skull-adorned packaging but parents, executives and Sugar's aide Nick Hewer weren't impressed, with Hewer remarking with his trademark wasp-chewing expression: "There's a skull in the middle of it. You find them on dangerous products like bleach and drain cleaner."
Continue reading: The Apprentice: After This Week's Firing The Show Gets Serious
Leah Totton is now the new favourite to win The Apprentice UK
Early signs pointed to Mexican food entrepreneur Tim Stillwell being a strong competitor in this year’s series of The Apprentice, but that shows how accurate early signs can be, and Stillwell has been given his marching orders by Lord Sugar with Leah Totton now moving into the favourites position.
Stillwell project managed Evolve to a loss in the challenge of creating a new beer, but – talking to the Mirror – he remained philosophical about the whole thing. "The best thing that I've learned is that there's a time when you don't need to talk. There's a time to speak up, and there's a time when you should just let it go” the businessman said.
He added of his insistence on having the last word in the room: "It's sort of like when you're having an argument with somebody and they cut you off, and even though the argument's over you still have so much to say about it. But usually you don't have eight cameras on you and loads of eyes, so you can calm down and think I'll just drop it. But I was unprepared to drop my argument with Lord Sugar." Carrying on he said: "You only get to see him in the boardroom, and he spoke to me for like 20 seconds and he said 'Are you just one of the guys who keep quiet?'. And that is so not me, I'm anything but that. But at that point he didn't give me a chance to answer. In reality I should have kept calm and just left it and thought I'll prove myself in the next task. But he put me in my place quite quickly."
Continue reading: Tim Stillwill Fired! The Apprentice Has A New Favourite
What is it that keeps viewers coming back to The Apprentice?
As The Apprentice returns, the effortlessly grumpy Lord Alan Sugar was at pains to avoid talking about his recent court case against a former Apprentice winner and keen to discuss exactly what it is that makes The Apprentice such a success. “The show provides a service,” he’s quoted as saying, in a report from The Independent. “It shows how you can start a business with £250,000 which is not a lot of money.” Really? A quarter of a million pounds isn’t a lot of money? Try telling that… well… pretty much everyone we’ve ever met.
Still, luckily for Alan Sugar, the kind of contestants that The Apprentice attracts aren’t exactly known for their humility, or for having a particularly strong connection with reality. “I take inspiration from Napoleon. I'm here to conquer,” states one contestant boldly, in the opening episode. Another goes for a two-pronged approach: “I have the sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit and the brain of Einstein.” Right. Of course you do. Sir Alan Sugar does a good job of pretending to be bored of “all these bloody clichés.” You know the ones. Those clichés that made the show popular in the first place; the ones that continue to keep the show propped up in the TV ratings and line his pockets year in, year out. Those ones. The selfish, petty bitching, the cringeworthy, hyperbolic business speak, the total lack of common sense, barely veiled by an over-priced education. Yep. Those clichés.
However, Sugar’s no fool. He knows what he wants but he also knows what the viewers expect. “You need a balance between credibility and entertainment,” he says. Essentially, you’ll always have a Stuart Baggs in with the Richard Bransons.
Continue reading: The Apprentice Returns: Is Alan Sugar Really Bored Of All Those Clichés?
Lord Sugar presses on with focus on new series
Ahead of the new series of The Apprentice on BBC One, Lord Alan Sugar has refused to be drawn into any debate regarding the court case that’s been brought against him by one of the previous winners of the show.
Stella English won the competition back in 2010 but has just had a claim against constructive dismissal at the hands of Sugar thrown out, following on from allegations on her part that he effectively used her as “an overpaid lackey”. As The Guardian reports, Sugar quickly nipped any questions in the bud when it came to the official press conference ahead of the new series’ beginning, commenting "Here we go. We are here to talk about the new series and that's what we are going to talk about today."
He did, however, address how long he thought the show could go on for, commenting "I think the Apprentice has got longevity in it as long as we can continue to find interesting and different characters. I know it's difficult with tasks – they are either selling or buying or negotiating or manufacturing something, of course that is never going to change.” Continuing, he added"We try to make it a little bit more interesting but at the end of the day it is down to the candidates if it is interesting TV. I am sure the BBC will continue to commission it."
Former TV contest winner loses courtroom battle with Lord Alan Sugar
Stella English, the 2010 winner of The Apprentice has lost her claim for constructive dismissal against Lord Alan Sugar and has been branded a “serial liar” and “desperate for money” in the process, according to a report from The Guardian. Stella, 34, claimed that she had been patronised by Sugar’s employees and demeaned. When she left one job and took a new role at another of Sugar’s companies, she was told “there is no job,” apparently reinforcing her idea that the job she supposedly won at the end of the TV show was little more than a sham.
Alan Sugar was ferocious in his defence and said “I have been cleared of a derisory attempt to smear my name and extract money from me. The allegations were without substance, and I believe this case was brought with one intention in mind: the presumption that I would not attend the tribunal, that I would not testify and that I would settle out of court, sending Ms English on her way with a tidy settlement. I'm afraid she underestimated me and her reputation is now in tatters. I have principles and I am not going to be forced to compromise them, no matter how much time and money they might cost me."
During the tribunal, English, from Whitstable in Kent described the job at Viglen as a “PR construct” and explained that she was given a phone and a desk but was not given any specific job duties. During the trial, it was revealed that the sixth series of the Apprentice, which she won, finished filming in November 2009. However, it was not until 3 days before the finale was broadcast, 13 months later, that she found out she had won.
Stella English gets a dressing down for "running to the teacher"
Former Apprentice winner, Stella English was accused of “running to the teacher” by Bordan Tkachuk, chief executive of Alan Sugar’s IT division, today, the Telegraph report.
English was handed a £100k-a-year job at Viglen, where Tkachuk is the chief exec, after winning The Apprentice. But when she spotted that that £1.4 million worth of projects had not been invoiced, and that the company only made an annual profit of £800,000 despite having a £60 million turnover, she tried to get some answers. This was a mistake. "Stella didn't understand this was work in progress, so to come out and say there is missing money, then that is ridiculous without discussing it with me first,” Tkachuk told a hearing for her constructive dismissal. "Numbers are all over the place, and it is normal there are outstanding amounts of money. It is not a revelation. After the claimant went to Lord Sugar it was like she had set false alarm bells ringing.” Perhaps that’s where the crux of the issue lies; Mr Tkachuk’s hurt sense of pride when English went above his head. "It's like running to a school teacher claiming something that isn't true," he added.
Continue reading: Former Apprentice Winner Tells on Alan Sugar’s Colleague
Stella English is one of the first Apprentice contestants to speak out against Lord Sugar.
Stella English, 34, the winner of TV show The Apprentice, has taken Lord Sugar to a tribunal for constructive dismissal, describing her £100,000 a year role as that of an "overpaid lackey." English beat 15 other apprentices to win the sixth series of the hit BBC1 show, though Sugar told her he did not "give a shit" when she resigned, according to The Guardian.
The 34-year-old was rewarded with a role in Sugar's Viglen division, supplying IT equipment to academy schools, though when she was told her contract would not be renewed she was given no choice but to resign. She told the hearing at East London Employment Tribunal Service that on her first day at Viglen, its chief executive Bordan Tkachuk looked at her with "contempt" and told her "There is no job." She fought back the tears after describing being "ostracised" by her colleagues, who told her she had taken over another woman's job that had a salary of £35,000. English was relegated to carrying out basic administration.
"My reasons for going on to The Apprentice was to be an apprentice and to be mentored by Lord Sugar," she said. "I didn't believe that they would pay me £100,000 a year to do anything less than £100,000 worth of work." Mr Sugar only saw her five times during her 13-month employment.
Continue reading: "Overpaid Lackey," Apprentice Winner Slams Lord Sugar At Tribunal