The Apprentice is a BAFTA award-winning British reality television series in which a group of aspiring young businessmen and women compete for the chance to win a £100,000-a-year job as an apprentice to the British business magnate Lord Sugar (previously known as "Sir Alan Sugar"). Winners have gone on to work at Amstrad, an electronics manufacturing company founded by Sugar (but since sold toBSkyB), or one of Sugar's other companies, Viglen, Amsprop or Amshold. The Apprentice, billed as a "job interview from hell", is very similar in format to the American series of the same name, which stars entrepreneur Donald Trump. Both American and British versions of The Apprentice are produced by Mark Burnett.
The first and second series aired on BBC Two in 2005 and 2006 respectively and the third series ran on BBC One in early 2007, the success of which led the BBC to commission two more series. The fourth series began in March 2008 and the fifth began in March 2009. A sixth series ran from October to December 2010. The programme has spawned three spin-offs, The Apprentice: You're Fired! (a studio-based programme which acts as a companion to the regular series), plus celebrity versions for Comic Relief and Sport Relief. Occasional 60-minute special episodes, often concentrating on particular candidates and their stories, also air.Apprentice-related merchandising includes a magazine, podcast, and official books. The programme has led other production companies to produce shows that follow a similar format, including Tycoon, Beat the Boss. and Election. It has also been compared to another BBC series, Dragons' Den