The Apprentice UK
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Brit business competition slightly edgier than U.S. version.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Money and profits are presented as the markers of success and happiness. The contestants are extremely competitive. The contestants are referred to as â€œboys and girlsâ€; both the host and the male competitors make subtle sexist references about the female contestants. Some contestants have extensive (and expensive) educations, while others are school drop-outs. Contestants are Caucasian and African-British.
Violence & Scariness
The contestants are constantly engaging in catty arguments, especially in the boardroom. Some of these arguments become shouting matches.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional references to using sex appeal to sell products.
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As is the case with many British shows, words and phrases like â€œwanker," â€œpiss off," and â€œass lickerâ€ and are prominently heard, while "f--k" is bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Sir Alan Sugarâ€™s former company, Amstad, is prominently featured. Various British products, services, and markets are discussed.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The contestants often strategize or relax over wine, beer, and mixed drinks.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this British adaptation of The Apprentice sends the same message as the original: that money is everything. Although millionaire mentor Sir Alan Sugar is more polite in his approach than Donald Trump is, the series includes tension-filled arguments between contestants. The language is stronger than most mainstream U.S. TV programming ("ass licker," "piss off," and "wanker" are audible; "f--k" is bleeped), and there's frequent social drinking, some gender stereotyping, and prominent placement of British companies and products.
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What's the Story?
Sticking close to the model set by the American reality show starring Donald Trump, APPRENTICE UK pits 14 of Britain's up-and-coming business people against each other for the chance to work with British tycoon Sir Alan Sugar. Divided into two teams, they must work together to successfully complete business-oriented projects while showing off their corporate savvy and making the most profit. In each episode, three members of the losing team must face off in the boardroom in front of Sir Alan and his advisors. After picking apart the team's strategy, Sugar fires the person he considers to be responsible for the loss -- and pushes the remaining competitors one step closer to their dream job.
Is It Any Good?
Like its American counterpart, Apprentice UK promotes a capitalist corporate culture that views profits and earning potential as the marker of true success. But while the British version successfully follows The Apprentice's original formula, it lacks some of its flair. Sugar is more polite than Trump, and the cultural nuances of the British contestants makes them seem a little less spirited than the contestants we're used to seeing stateside.
The energy may be different, but those who like the American series will probably also enjoy watching British contestants form alliances, participate in humiliating tasks, and defend themselves in tension-filled boardroom sessions. Still, one thing is clear: When it comes to firing people, no one does it like The Donald.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the success of The Apprentice in the United States and abroad. Why does this series resonate with viewers? Do you think people actually learn about business from watching it? Families can also discuss how American shows are adapted for other countries. Do you think the different versions are based on a country or community's specific culture, or are there other considerations? What U.S. TV shows are actually adaptations of shows that originally aired in other countries?
- Premiere date: May 5, 2009
- Cast: Margaret Mountford, Nick Hewer
- Network: BBC America
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
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