Just one slip is enough for Lord Sugar to boot you off The Apprentice

Incurring the wrath of Lord Sugar always seems easier the further into a series of The Apprentice you go. But should wrongly calling a guy ‘Derek’ by mistake really get you fired?

“We can’t get it right all the time,” we hear you cry. “Everyone gets someone’s name wrong. It happens, doesn’t it?”

Yes… That’s exactly what James Hill said as his final boardroom meeting with Lord Sugar descended into predictable mud-slinging.

James Hill, Apprentice contestant
James Hill in more hopeful times (Jim Marks/BBC)

The thing is, James didn’t just refer to Anthony the hot tub salesman by the wrong name – it cost team Summit the chance to sell these lucrative items during this week’s country-fair task.

To top it all, he had put himself up for project manager. Surely that’s a perfect storm right there as far as Lord Sugar’s concerned?

The Apprentice contestants and Lord Sugar
(Jim Marks/BBC)

But that wasn’t where the drama ended. James also chose not to reveal to his team that he’d even made the slip – which resulted in them only taking £4,757 compared to their rivals Tenacity, who managed £30,615.

The game-changing error was only revealed in the boardroom, where the team really imploded.

In fairness to James, he didn’t try to pass the buck. ”It was my fault that we lost that task. I called the guy Derek when his name was Anthony, so I was the reason why we failed that task,” said the Chesterfield-based candidate.


So why did you lie, James?

Alan Sugar
They don’t know why you lied, James (Jim Marks/BBC)

“I wanted my team to still believe in me and believe I’d made the decision for the right reason. If I had called him the right name, we might have won.”


Any hard feelings?

Alan Sugar
Guess what? (Jim Marks/BBC)

“I am who I am and we can’t get it right all the time, so I’m sure I’ll call people the wrong name again. It would be nice if he’d just pulled me up on it instead when it happened, but it is what it is and it was my time to go.”

Of course Lord Sugar and his able sidekicks had long ago pegged James as a hopeless joker. Remember that dire viral cooking video he ‘starred’ in?

Never mind though. As far as James was concerned, everything he was criticised for was actually an asset – something Lord Sugar and all the other contestants had obviously missed. Now where have we heard that before?

Steven Ugoalah
“I felt members of the group ignored my ideas. I did have good ideas” (BBC)

“I think people sometimes don’t take me seriously because I like a joke and a laugh, but I’m only human,” said James.

“I love people, I love to chat, and I think that’s a quality. I’m a nice person, I love to talk and people don’t talk enough now, with emails and things. This country was built on relationships and communication.”

Sadly, James shouldn’t be expecting Lord Sugar to communicate with him any time in the near future.


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