The 11th series of The Apprentice kicks off with a distinctly fishy task and a number of firsts for our new batch of candidates.

It is the first time Claude Littner will menacingly ascend the throne as Lord Sugar’s new aide, the first time that the boys and girls teams are mixed – and the first time someone has suggested ‘the Sugababes’ as a team name.

Fragrance retailer Dan Callaghan’s unusual suggestion set the tone for a madcap opening episode that introduced the 18 candidates vying for Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment on the hit BBC One show.

Claude Littner (BBC Pics)



Claude Littner (BBC Pics)

 

But ‘the sharpest brains in the business world’ found themselves floundering on their very first task: to haggle the best price for fish at Billingsgate Market and transform it into profitable lunchtime meals.

Team Versatile, led by Selina Waterman-Smith, scoured the market for cut-price, but not necessarily best quality, coley and squid, while Team Connexus, run with an iron fist by Jamaican beauty queen April Jackson, barely arrived before they’d begun spending heavily on pricey tuna and cod.

After eventful mornings in the kitchen for both teams, Versatile arrived in time for the lunchtime rush and to play Russian roulette with the tourists of Camden’s digestive systems after forgetting their calamari needed to be kept cold.

Peak business hours slipped through the net for Connexus as they tried to reel in City workers with high-end, high-priced tuna nicoise and Brett Butler-Smythe’s ‘jumbo’ fish cakes, meaning the team were forced to peddle their wares, to varying degrees of success, to London commuters.

The Apprentice (BBC Pics)



The Apprentice (BBC Pics)

 

But winning the award for this week’s biggest faux–pas was Mergim Butaja, whose clever plan to hawk Versatile’s fish fingers to a vegan restaurant went just as one would expect.

Back in the boardroom, Claude joined Karren Brady and Lord Sugar to jot up the profits and see if it went swimmingly for either team.

To find out who’ll be the first to hear Lord Sugar’s ‘You’re fired!’, tune in to BBC One at 9pm on October 14.

Episode two screens the following night, October 15, on BBC One at 9pm.