March 26, 2009
Apprentice launch lands 8.3 Million viewers.
The fifth series of BBC One show, The Apprentice got off to a flying start last night with a record launch audience of 8.1 million viewers (peaking at 8.3 Million) tuning in to see Business Strategist, Anita Shah, become the first person to be fired by Sir Alan Sugar.
The Apprentice drew in a huge 33.3% share of the audience, winning it’s 9pm slot.
The Apprentice: You’re Fired, which followed on BBC Two at 10pm had 3 million viewers, up from 2.7 million last year.
Business strategist Anita Shah has become the first Apprentice hopeful to be fired by Sir Alan Sugar on the BBC One show.
The BBC reports that the 35-year-old was brought into the boardroom after her team failed to make the most money in a challenge which saw them start up a cleaning company.
Sir Alan said he fired her because she “showed no initiative in spotting that you were going for a disaster”.
Shah said she was “gutted” to be the first candidate to be sacked.
“I’m gutted to be out of the show, of course I am. But life goes on,” she said.
In the first episode of the new series, the 15 candidates split into two teams – with the women calling themselves Ignite and the men choosing Empire.
As Ignite lost the challenge, project manager Mona Lewis chose to bring Shah and senior sales consultant Debra Barr back into the boardroom to face the firing line with Sir Alan.
After pleading their cases, Sir Alan said while Lewis had not shown him any business acumen, she had shown him “some spirit”. But his “gut instinct” was to fire Shah.
After being fired, Shah, who is a qualified lawyer said: “I’m bitterly disappointed but I accept that I wasn’t a stellar performer and without appearing to have a chip on my shoulder, I just think that Sir Alan doesn’t particularly like lawyers.
“Let’s see in 10 years if he doesn’t sit and think: maybe I made the wrong decision.”