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Apprentice candidate fired after ‘banging on about chocolate’ to smoothie maker

A Lancashire pie company director who kept “banging on about chocolate” to a health conscious food company has been the latest candidate on The Apprentice to be fired.

Paul Bowen, who claimed he would turn Lord Alan Sugar into the “Lord of the Pies” and boasted he sold his wares to Manchester City Football Club, was told to leave the process.

His team failed the second week challenge after making cheesecakes for the public and corporate clients in Thursday’s episode on BBC One.

In the boardroom, Lord Sugar told him “Paul, I admire you for admitting your mistakes but there were simply too many mistakes and so it is with regret, Paul, you’re fired.”

Paul B in taxi home. (Freemantle Media Ltd/BBC)
Paul Bowen in the taxi home (Freemantle Media Ltd/BBC/PA)

The leaders of the female and male groups were chosen as Manchester project manager Foluso Falade and Bognor Regis pie company owner Phil Turner.

The male team had confrontation from the outset with a disagreement over whether to opt for chocolate or fruit, with the former ultimately being chosen and Paul becoming sub-team leader.

He was sent along to pitch the decadent chocolate cheesecake to the drinks-maker Innocent, who sell fruit and vegetable-based smoothies and juices.

The client responded saying their “focus” was plant-based drinks and they “want to celebrate fruit and veg”.

Paul thought the meeting had gone well but Bristol recruitment director Jack Davies told him it was “an absolute car crash” and added: “I think we started off by insulting the client.”

Jack was also disappointed that the price point had fallen from £9 per unit to £6.50, which then dropped further when they returned to the corporate client after some kitchen mishaps.

The Apprentice,08-02-2024,2,Lord Sugar,Lord Suagr with the boys' cheesecake,Freemantle Media Ltd,n/a
Lord Sugar with the boys’ cheesecake (Freemantle Media/BBC/PA)

The kitchen team went with dragon fruit, apricot and avocado filling for the cheesecake and Paul also appeared not to pat down the crunchy base of the product, making the presentation less than perfect.

When they delivered them to the corporate client, the feedback was not positive, with the avocado being called “a bit odd” and the base described as “like something a primary school class could have made”.

They then had to give the goods for a lower price and ultimately the male team failed the task.

Paul admitted he made a “mistake” with the corporate client but failed to defend himself against accusations from Phil or Sheffield wellness brand owner Asif Munaf.

Failing to get Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment, Paul said in the taxi: “The biggest regret is obviously banging on about chocolate but, hey, it’s time to go back and make some pies.”

The Apprentice series 18 continues on BBC One on Thursdays.