Series Four of The Apprentice was a British reality television series, which was won by Lee McQueen. The series began on BBC One on 26 March 2008, and ran for twelve weekly episodes. Auditions and interviews are reported to have taken place during the first two weeks of July 2007 in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol. A record 20,000 applications were received. Sir Alan Sugar reprised his role as the boss, and Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford again served as his advisers. 'Frances', Sir Alan's boardroom 'receptionist', also returned. The show's spin-off, The Apprentice: You're Fired!, was again hosted by Adrian Chiles. Filming of the first episode of The Apprentice: You're Fired! took place on 25 March 2008. TV presenter Jennifer Maguire also participated in this series.
To start of the new season, Sir Alan sets the task in which two teams, separating into the girls and the boys, have to sell fish out on the streets of London. There was much talk of the boys' team splitting into two factions: the first of these contained Alex, Simon, Lee and Ian while the second consisted of Raef, Michael and Nicholas. Coverage was shown of all members of the boys' team; however, some members of the girls' team (notably Shazia, Lucinda and Jenny) had almost no coverage in this week's episode.
Sir Alan Sugar puts 16 applicants through the job interview from hell. After an exhausting first task, the applicants are challenged to set up an overnight laundry business. They persuade customers to part with their washing (including hundreds of sheets from a hotel chain) then clean into the early hours. The following morning, following Sir Alan's warning not to lose a single sock, they return the clothes. Sir Alan's aides Nick and Margaret watch, and a second applicant will be fired.
The teams must take over a pub and turn it into a themed restaurant - however, the pub kitchens in which the teams will be based, have never served food before.
Four weeks into his search for an apprentice, Sir Alan challenges the teams to set up their own photography business at a busy shopping centre on the outskirts of London. Charged with taking and selling photos, the teams must work together to rake in the money. But with tempers flaring and the pressure rising, will the candidates come unstuck at the first hurdle?
It's down to the farm for our Apprentice wannabes, as the teams take on an ice cream making challenge. Alpha and Renaissance must make three new flavours, and then launch two of those products into the untapped London market. The team which secures the most orders, by value, will win.
This week the two teams have to create a range of greetings cards for a new occasion. Three members of the loosing team end up in the board room with Sir Alan where one of them will be fired.
The candidates set off on a two-day business trip to Marrakesh, where they are challenged to find the best deals possible when buying 10 items in the city's markets. The budding entrepreneurs race against time and tempers flare as the deadline approaches. Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer report back to Alan Sugar, who will cross-examine the two teams before dismissing another contestant
It's all about satin and sequins as Sir Alan Sugar sets both teams the challenge of selling wedding dresses at a wedding show at the Birmingham NEC. The candidates have just one day to visit specialist bridal businesses and select gowns that will be popular with brides-to-be at the show. Success in this task will depend on choosing the right products to sell - and with more than 300 exhibitors at the show, the competition is tougher than it's ever been before.
The candidates must design their own brand of tissues, and create both a TV commercial and printed advertisement in order to promote the product.
Sir Alan gives the teams a choice of supercars and challenges them to rent them out to members of the public. It's not hard to turn heads with such high-end merchandise, but interest soon dries up when the teams reveal the price tag to passers-by.
The five remaining candidates undergo a sequence of intense interviews by four of Sir Alan Sugar's business colleagues. The interviewers then report their impressions of the candidates back to Sir Alan to help him choose the finalists. The four interviewers were Paul Kemsley, a property developer; Claude Litner, Sir Alan’s former “global trouble-shooter”; Karren Brady, the managing director of Birmingham City Football Club; and Bordan Tkachuk, the chief executive of the computer and IT firm Viglen, one of Sir Alan’s companies.
The remaining four candidates are split into two teams to develop and present a new type of fragrance. The teams are joined by former candidates, and with only the winning team able to get the chance to work with Sir Alan, they must overcome this final hurdle in a bid to become the next Apprentice.