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The Apprentice: 8 cringeworthy candidates we'll never forget

Tuesday 23rd October 2018

Another year, another series of The Apprentice. As Lord Alan Sugar tries to find the next brilliant business brain, the BBC continues to scrape the barrel and find more candidates ready to sell their soul for a quick buck.

For every Ruth Badger, Tom Pellereau, and Luisa Zissman, there have been another hundred wheeler-dealers who are little more than a TV sound bite.

Let’s look back at the past 13 years of The Apprentice and remember the most cringeworthy candidates we wish we could forget...

Ben Clarke — Series 5

Boasting about his army scholarship to Sandhurst, the hamster-faced Ben Clarke wasn’t a hit with Lord Sugar, the other contestants, or the viewing public. Citing Hugh Hefner as his business idol, it's clear to see where Ben kept his brains.

Ben finally came a cropper during a baby fair task where the teams had to sell items at a profit. Picking a rocking horse with an eye-watering £2,000 price tag and failing to make a sale, Lord Sugar happily gave ben the boot.

Once claiming that making money is better than sex, Ben might be alone on that one.

Katie Hopkins — Series 3

Reaching a whole new level of notoriety thanks to her outspoken comments on everything from obesity to immigration, no one would’ve expected Katie Hopkins to become so big off the back of The Apprentice.

Hopkins was a runaway success of series three and actually made it to the final three. Back when the winner landed a job with Lord Sugar, Hopkins quickly decided she didn’t want to work with the business giant and promptly decided to walk — talk about quitting while you're ahead.

Lucinda Ledgerwood — Series 4

Remembered for her *erm* interesting fashion sense, Lucinda was a candy-coated candidate who grabbed the attention of the viewers by simply wearing a beret. Sadly, Lucinda seemed to spend more time on her wardrobe than actually focussing on the tasks.

While Lucinda earned the record for the most tasks ever won, it didn’t stop Margaret Mountford branding her as nothing more than "hats and cleavage".

Philip Taylor — Series 5

Earning the name Pants Man, let’s not pretend that Philip Taylor’s time on the show was anything less than ‘pants’. As the candidates tried to come up with a healthy breakfast cereal, Philip took on the role of singing the Pants Man jingle.

Although Lord Sugar failed to see the funny side and tore Philip a new one, he managed to survive until Week 7. Despite Pants Man, Geordie Philip hooked up with runner-up Kate Walsh and the pair are still together.

Jackie Fast — Series 14

Turning to the current run of The Apprentice, Series 14 seems to have already found its token villain. Jackie Fast has no problem throwing others under the bus and even nominated the first project manager when she refused to take the job herself.

Week 1 evictee Sarah Byrne should’ve won over Lord Sugar with her northern charm, but instead, Jackie quickly set her up as the task’s scapegoat. Don’t worry though viewers, Jackie’s card has already been marked!

Karthik Nagesan — Series 12

Citing his role model as Alexander the Great, Series 12’s Karthik Nagesan raised a few ‘eyebrows’ during his time on The Apprentice. “Big K” said that he got the nickname because he repeated it so many times it simply stuck.

 He didn't win Lord Sugar’s investment, but that hasn't stopped Karthik dabbling in the reality TV scene and appearing on Series 20 of Celebrity Big Brother.

 Away from The Apprentice, Karthik has become something of a whistleblower and revealed the show’s behind-the-scenes secrets.

Selina Waterman-Smith — Series 11

Forget Jackie or even Hopkins, the biggest villain to ever grace The Apprentice was Series 11’s Selina Waterman-Smith. Not since Big Brother’s Nasty Nick has a reality contestant managed to turn so many people against them.

Given a warning for shoving candidate Charleine Wain on the way out of the boardroom, Selina also branded her rival a "scumbag" and spectacularly claimed that the whole show is a fix.

Waterman-Smith later feared that she would be deported from Dubai after social media users called her a stripper when her previous work as a ‘podium dancer’ came to light.

Stuart Baggs — Series 6

No list of The Apprentice clangers would be complete without Stuart Baggs (the brand). A self-confessed blowhard, Stuart was a fiery meme machine known for quotes like “I’m not a one-trick pony, I’m not a 10-trick pony...I’m a whole field of ponies.”

Leaving The Apprentice mid-series, Baggs went on to run a successful Telecoms company on the Isle of Man.

Sadly, Stuart was found dead at the age of just 27 after suffering a fatal asthma attack in 2015.

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