is the apprentice scripted

Is The Apprentice scripted? Here’s all the evidence we have

I NEED to know whether Lord Sugar’s jokes are real

Scripted or not, The Apprentice blessed our screens once again last Thursday (6th January) in an explosive(ly bad) first episode. In true boardroom fashion, Lord Alan Sugar opened the series with his recreation of a 10 minute standup set. The teams then went on to create their own cruise lines, leaving us with the exquisite meme material that is Boujie Cruises and THAT “turd” logo. A truly strong start.

Episode one seemed to feature an unending string of disasters – ranging from Kathryn refusing to listen to anyone, Sophie’s green dress blending into (you guessed it) a green screen and Navid’s hilarious explainer on the iconic muddy brown tidal wave. It seemed as if it was all a bit too good to be true, which led fans to question – is The Apprentice scripted? Let’s have a look at what we know:

Lord Alan’s opening jokes are apparently pre-written

is the apprentice scripted aaron

Photo via BBC

In a shocking twist to no-one, former contestants have admitted that Lord Sugar’s one-liners are fully scripted. Series 15 candidate Lottie Lion claimed in a revealing TikTok that “Lord Sugar’s jokes – yeah he doesn’t write any of them. They’re all scripted and he has a piece of paper and he marks them off as he says them”.

That being said, Claude Littner himself (miss you hun) has stated that each of Lord Sugar’s side-comments throughout the series are completely made up on the spot. According to the BBC: “He does not wear an earpiece, so the production team cannot interrupt him or feed things to him in the boardroom. Everything he says and all the decisions he makes are his own”.

Some of these character take-downs didn’t land very well during the first episode of series 16. Lord Sugar’s opening joke, “some of you have three A*s. It makes you sound like a bed-and-breakfast” earned a courtesy smile from American Amy, while we were left questioning where the punchline was in his dig about Aaron’s milk round.

Each firing is filmed in advance

boys team

Photo via BBC

In true Drag Race style, each candidate’s exit scene is filmed before the process even begins. No wonder Harry didn’t sound too phased when he was in that cab home. According to Claude, “all the firings are done before the show starts. [The candidates] are wrapped up for ‘continuity’ not to show that the clothes are not those worn when fired”.

Every series also records an alternate ending in order to avoid any leaks or spoilers. The winning candidate only ever finds out the day before the final airs.

Production insiders insist everything else is real

the apprentice scripted or not

Photo via BBC

2014 contestant Sanjay Sood-Smith debunked the myth that the phone calls were fake and planned with candidates in advance. “When the phone goes off in the morning, it genuinely is a surprise”, he told Cosmopolitan. “[Who picks up the phone first] is not a decision – it’s who wakes up first to get it”.

Series 15’s Ryan-Mark Parsons backed up Claude’s point that Lord Alan’s spontaneous comments were totally unscripted. “Being at the receiving end of many of Lord Sugar’s jokes,” he said, “I can assure you they’re not ‘scripted”.

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Featured image by BBC before edits.