The Apprentice: Fired candidate Sophie Wilding says she was 'doomed' from the start on 'restrictive' task

Virgin Radio

17 Feb 2022, 22:15

Credit: BBC

Credit: BBC

Another one bites the dust on The Apprentice, and for fired candidate Sophie Wilding, she believes it was done and dusted for her team from the get-go. 

During the episode, the candidates were tasked with designing and pitching their own electric driverless pod. They met with major corporate clients looking for such vehicles, but confused communications between Project Manager Sophie and her marketing team, made up of Akshay Thakrar and Kathryn Burn, led the team straight to disaster. 

Their choice of a party pod failed to grab the attention of buyers, but Sophie reckons the plan was ‘doomed’ from the very start. 

Speaking to and other press, the cocktail bar owner, who runs Imperial Haus in Cheltenham, admitted: “I do think no matter who picked the party pod would've gone. I think the decision was just doomed from the beginning, it was so hard to actually produce what you needed to in those circumstances.”

With only a few days to create, design and set up their driverless pod, Sophie instructed the marketing team to come up with a logo, name and design for the outside of the pod. The ‘Star Pod’ was pink and green on the outside, with a ‘star’ logo, and the inside was bright pink with a starry night covering the ceiling. It was this decision that Sophie believes was the fatal blow for the team. 

She continued: “Ultimately, I think my hands were very tied in regards to when I was producing the interior. When we were producing the inside I wanted to match and coincide with the outside, so then we could ultimately go and sell it

“We had a phone call and I was told pink, green, and the name ‘Star Pod’ so I was sat there trying to design the inside, and I felt like my hands were tied at that. I couldn't do exactly what I wanted to do, I wanted it to match, to feel hand-in-hand. 

Sophie, who was the only one on her team to make any sales, added: “When I was selling, I could've made more sales. People said to me ‘we cannot stand the logo, it looks like a warning sign, it looks like a disaster’. I know that prevented us from getting sales.”

When asked if she would’ve put her hand up to be PM again, she quickly replied: “No, I should’ve let Akshay do it.”

Disappointed at her Apprentice journey being cut short, Sophie admitted her experience on the show wasn’t what she expected. In fact, she thought the show would be run more like her real-life business.

Sophie explained: “My real life was more like what I thought The Apprentice was going to be than the actual Apprentice, because you don't have the restrictions. You have so many more hurdles, you do have to think so much on your feet, it's actual business. 

“From when I designed Imperial Haus, my cocktail bar, I literally started with a sketch book and I had to source everything. I had to design everything...there's nothing else like it around. 

“That's the kind of scope of creativity I wanted from the pod. Naively, I thought I would be open to all of these designs, these colours, these fabrics.

“You have a list of things you can pick from and you are restricted, so I was naive to think that I would be able to create something like I created in my real life.”

Sophie is still looking for investors for Imperial Haus, and insisted she went on the business show ‘for the correct reasons’ while also suggesting some of her fellow candidates might have had ulterior motives. 

Sophie elaborated: “I went in with one hundred percent the best vision but I don't know whether everyone was like myself.

“You do need a mix of individuals, maybe those individuals aren't actually in it for the correct reasons, they are in it for fame, or entertainment and that's why I guess you get fun, you get laughs and it is an entertainment show.”

The Apprentice airs this Thursday 17th February at 9pm on BBC One, followed by You’re Fired on BBC Two. Watch live and on-demand on BBC iPlayer.