Company director Chiles Cartwright admitted he was ‘gutted’ as he became the first candidate to be fired from this year’s The Apprentice after Lord Sugar failed to buy into his sales tactics.
Shropshire businessman Chiles, 35, fell foul of The Apprentice boss after contestants were split into male and female teams and asked to take on all of the sales challenges featured from the previous nine series in a bid to grab the largest profit.
The girls came out on top in the task which saw them selling an array of items from a choice of hot dogs, T-shirts and coffee, leaving the boys to face a grilling in the boardroom. Chiles carried the can for not selling the T-shirts his sub team had printed.
He said: “I’m absolutely gutted about coming out first, I would have loved to have been in longer, but I don’t really look back on things. If I woke up in the morning and someone said to me, ‘You can be on The Apprentice for one episode,’ I’d still take it.
“I was concerned about going out in the first week because it’s not enough time to get to know people, if I could have stayed for a couple of weeks my ability would have shone through. I still feel I would have been the most credible candidate in the process, had I survived after week one.”
He explained that he had been shocked by the chaos of the first week, which this year welcomed 20 candidates instead of 16.
Chiles said: “I’ve been doing this a long time, but when you’re put under that pressure with such a short period of time to work out how to win, it is quite daunting. It takes you back to when you were first starting out and the raw skills you needed.
“When you’re watching the TV and shouting, ‘Why didn’t you do that?’ it’s so obvious, but when you’re actually in it and there are all these headless chickens running around and you’re trying to gather them up into a group, it’s completely different.”
The sub team took on tasks which included having a batch of T-shirts printed, but they wasted time trying to choose a suitable slogan – and then running out of time to even pick them up from the printers.
Chiles said of his fellow candidates: “On the boys team we backed each other a lot which is quite tricky, especially in the boardroom, to make sure no one gets pushed out. I felt I had backing from everyone, but Mark (Wright) saw I was in trouble and thought he’d give me a bit more of a push.”
He said landing the role of sub-team leader that cost him his place. “When you’re a team leader, you find a lot of other people come out of their shell. When you’re choosing a leader they’re all a bit quiet, and then all of a sudden they think they could do a better job of winning the task.
“As soon as we’d lost the task, I thought it would be either me or Felipe going. It puts you right in the firing line. I’d quite like not to have been in that position I guess, but I did everything I thought was right at the time. I would have done everything differently looking back, but at the time you have to make decisions and you can’t regret them.”
Chiles, who was seen leading his sub team in a sprint down the street in a belated effort to also collect their T-shirts, also revealed what his business proposition for backing from Lord Sugar had been if he had won.
He said: “Ironically, it’s a luxury running brand called Run GB. We did a lot of running that day, and also it would involve printing T-shirts.”
The Apprentice continues tonight on BBC One at 9pm.