I turned 19 this week. I’m officially in my last year of being a teenager which is a gross thought. Despite a three and a half hour train journey (that was only meant to be a 90 minutes long), I had an incredible birthday which involved being surrounded by family, friends, alcohol and being an audience member.
I applied on a whim for tickets for The Apprentice: You’re Fired with my wicked cool uni friend, Katie. We bonded over our mutual love for TheApprentice (and alcohol) and have weekly catch-up dates so being audience members just seemed fitting for our friendship. I got emailed standard tickets for the 6th November with the terms and conditions stating that they send out more tickets than they have space to compensate for no-shows.
Just for the folks who don’t know what The Apprentice is: The Apprentice is a British reality television game programme in which candidates, all of whom are aspiring business entrepreneurs, compete to win a £250,000 investment towards their business creation with Lord Alan Sugar as a business partner
We left Surbiton two and a half hours before the studio doors were opened to the public with the intention of getting a coffee when we arrived at Waterloo. With the studios being just outside the station, we were stunned to see a queue already bigger than our future prospects. Whilst waiting to see whether we were too late to be seated or not, a chap came over to us telling us that we’ll be sat on the front row despite having just standard tickets, not even premium.
It was genuinely one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had in my life. We were sat so close to the guest panel, Rhod Gilbert and the fired candidate that we were literally within touching distance. I could have touched Claude Littner’s face.
The filming process started with all the audience members watching this week’s episode of The Apprentice on screens which were dotted around the makeshift studio. It baffled me how the studios were set up. Loose Women was being filmed in the room next door which seemed to be separated by black curtains and metal constructions.
We were encouraged to ‘laugh out loud’ if we see or hear anything that’s relatively funny and with Elizabeth on the show, a laugh was never far away. Disclaimer: she is my favourite candidate. Ever. I can see traits of me in her. After watching the episode, we were vowed to secrecy as the episode was due to be aired on BBC two days after. I honestly felt a sense of superiority being able to walk the streets of London knowing that I knew who was leaving the upcoming episode of The Apprentice. Imagine having that much power that you could upset a handful of people on the Tube if you were to shout that spoiler. I’m extremely proud of myself for not spilling the beans.
The Apprentice: You’re Fired is the comedic chat show that features a guest panel, presenter Rhod Gilbert and the fired candidate. Our guest panel saw the comedian Nish Kumar, Lord Sugar’s sidekick Claude Littner and business-lady Allyson Stewart Allen. I love Claude Littner so it was such a treat to see him in the flesh… and he smiled, a lot! That was bizarre.
I’ve realised that I’m not destined for a career in acting. The audience were filmed whilst laughing on cue, clapping, cheering and gasping. None of which I managed to grasp without a full-on laughing fit.
It was incredibly interesting to see the process of filming a TV show. There was a video running the script for the parts of the show (such as the introduction) where Rhod Gilbert was reading from. The rest of the show is entirely improvised following prompts from Rhod’s cards. Once the show had been recorded, Rhod’s earpiece gave him instructions to redo parts of the show where he either stumbled over his words or sound was compromised. In the words of Nish Kamar: “it was like watching Rhod Gilbert have a mental breakdown.”