Now into its 13th series, the first two episodes have seen the boys’ team somehow manage to lose money selling burgers to Londoners - a task so easy it’s basically like feeding chips to seagulls - and then both teams design such hideous hotel rooms that Lord Sugar was forced not to pick the team that won, but that had ‘lost less’. Brilliant.
The show’s return has also meant the return of a 13-year-old question - one that’s been bugging fans for yonks - how on earth do they all get ready so quickly in the morning?
You know the scene. It’s 5am, and the house is awoken by a phone call from Lord Sugar’s assistant (as if Big Shuggs would raise himself from his slumber at such an hour). She tells the candidate on the other end of the line that the cars will be outside to pick them up in 20 minutes, and to make sure everyone is ready.
Twenty minutes. That’s nothing. If I’m up at 5am, I need to spend 20 minutes just standing under the shower, staring blankly at the wall, and yet it’s seemingly long enough for these businessmen and women to get perfectly made up, do their hair, get their suits looking pristine and ready themselves for the big day ahead.
Well, as you may have expected, all is not quite as it seems - as revealed by one of last year’s contestants, Karthik Nagesan - The Big K.
Karthik, who has appeared on Big Brother since being fired by Lord Sugar, told The Mirror: “The cars are there in 20 minutes. I’m not going to say they leave in 20 minutes.
“So the cars will be there in 20 minutes, they may not leave in 20 minutes, they may leave two hours later. I’m not saying anything, just think about it.
“The other thing is if you noticed in last week’s episode they let slip a little bit in the edit. The person who came to pick up the phone was actually half-dressed. That shows you that not everybody wakes up when the phone rings and that kind of thing.”
So yeah, essentially the assistant isn’t lying when she says the cars will turn up in 20, but that doesn’t mean that’s when the candidates actually have to be in them. Sneaky. We always kinda suspected this, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.
Karthik said that while this part of the show is slightly scripted, once the task gets going, it’s all very much real. There are no retakes or second chances, and everything is filmed as it happens. So what you’re seeing is 100% the real deal.
Although he does have a suspicion that someone is writing Lord Sugar’s one-liners for him.
“Since it is a TV show at the end of the day, just as I have this image of being the guy with the funny one liner and quirky loud character, he is also a quirky loud character with one liners, he’s just like me but older,” Karthik said, maybe tongue-in-cheek, maybe not. “That’s why I think there is somebody there handing him the showmanship if you like.”
Next week’s task will see the candidates attempting to flog robots - because it’s 2017 now baby. We are expecting some serious malfunctions.
The Apprentice airs every Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One, and is also available on iPlayer.