Forget careers advisors and parents – these days television shows such as The Apprentice and celebrity chefs have more impact over the type of jobs we choose according to research by a major recruitment company.

Lord Alan Sugar’s BBC1 reality show, in which he whittles down budding businessmen and women to find his next protege, came top of the most influential programmes in inspiring Brits to be entrepreneurs.



BBC crime drama Silent Witness, starring Amanda Burton as female pathologist Professor Sam Ryan, took second place in spurring people on to take up a career as a pathologist, with MasterChef and Art Attack also highly rated influences.

Only Fools And Horses stars Buster Merryfield, Nicholas Lyndhurst and David Jason

Only Fools And Horses stars Buster Merryfield, Nicholas Lyndhurst and David Jason (PA)


Other shows which made the top 10 include DIY/SOS, Only Fools And Horses, The X-Files and Are You Being Served?, with The X Factor and Absolutely Fabulous appearing in the top 25.

Chefs were named the most inspirational TV personalities when it came to career choice.

Michel Roux Jr

Michel Roux Jr (Dominic Lipinski/PA)


Michel Roux Jr took the top honour, with many considering a career in hospitality and catering after watching him in BBC Two cooking shows MasterChef: The Professionals and Michel Roux’s Service.

He was followed by queen of cakes Mary Berry, who has inspired many amateur bakers to turn their hobby into a profession after tuning into The Great British Bake Off, in the study of 2,408 job seekers by recruitment company Reed.

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny star in The X-Files

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)


And despite being fictional characters, The X-Files’ forensic scientists Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, played by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, as well as Sex And The City columnist Carrie Bradshaw – portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker – and Jon Hamm’s alter-ego Don Draper from Mad Men have inspired people to pursue certain professions.

Some 35 per cent of under 18s admit television has influenced their career choices.

Lynn Cahillane from said: “Whilst TV programmes may not always portray an industry or role in the most realistic of lights, our research shows they play an important role in influencing the next generation of chefs, entrepreneurs and pathologists.”