(don't read if you don't want her recap of what will happen tomorrow night, however, cut and pasted so you don't have to check, there is the following)
Speaking of news, I have some of my own: this will be my last series on The Apprentice.
I have really enjoyed making the series and it will be a real wrench to say goodbye. But making The Apprentice takes up a large chunk of time each year, and that’s time I could, indeed should, be spending on my studies: I am working on a PhD in papyrology at University College London, studying documents found in Egypt and written in ancient Greek. I have not made nearly as much progress as I would like over the last few years – and I want to finish my degree before I need a Zimmer frame to get up on the platform to receive it. Unfortunately The Apprentice is just too much of a distraction: I must get on! So I decided a while ago that I would not do another series.
When we made the first series of The Apprentice for BBC Two in 2004/5, we had no idea how popular it would be or how long it would run. I thought it would just be a one-off… Yet here we are five series later, and the show just seems to get better and more popular in its new home on BBC One. It has been a great experience, including meeting the people whose expertise contributes to the weekly tasks, from architects to fishmongers.
I never had any desire for fame or TV stardom, but I’ve enjoyed discovering the world of making television, and all the very hard-working people in it – the runners, cameramen and sound guys work incredibly long hours and are always patient and cheerful. In particular, I’d like to thank three of the senior production team – Michele Kurland, Colm Martin and Andy Devonshire – for making it such a pleasure. I mustn’t forget the long-suffering make-up artist, Mandy Furlonger – unfortunately, I do tend to squeal when someone else tries to put make-up on me. And I will miss being part of the Nick ’n’ Margaret combination (he likens it to fruit and nut!).
And finally, of course, there’s Sir Alan. Working with him over the years in a variety of business contexts, and latterly on The Apprentice, has been a fantastic experience. Sir Alan has known for a long time that this series would be my last, and this hasn’t affected our friendship in the slightest. I shall miss working with him, and I would like to wish him – and his new apprentice, whoever she may be – all the very best.