The Apprentice is back on our screens for its 17th series and now new research has revealed which winners from previous years were the most, and least, deserving of Lord Sugar's investment.
Here at Motive we are huge fans of the hit BBC business reality programme so we decided to delve deep into the history of the show to discover which previous winners won the most tasks on their way to be chosen as Lord Sugar’s Apprentice.
When the programme began in 2005 candidates competed for a job with Lord Sugar and a salary of £100,000 but the format changed in 2011 when the winner walked away with a business partnership and an investment of £250,000.
Despite there being 16 previous series the Apprentice has had 17 winners with a dead heat resulting in two winners back in 2017.
So we tracked the progress of all the previous 17 Apprentices to find out exactly how many tasks each of them won on their way to the coveted title.
We also looked at how many times each of them had been brought back into the boardroom to face a grilling from Lord Sugar after screwing up a task.
We found Carina Lepore, winner in 2019, is the Ultimate Apprentice, winning nine out of ten tasks on her way to becoming Lord Sugar's business partner - including a hat trick of wins as project manager.
Last year's winner Harpreet Kaur also bossed the show on a weekly basis, being part of the winning team on eight out of ten occasions.
In terms of male winners, Lee McQueen is the most successful. He won series 4 back in 2008 in some style, winning seven out of ten tasks and never being brought back into the boardroom. He's the only male winner to do better than Tim Campbell, who won the first ever series and is now back on the show as Lord Sugar's aide.
At the other end of the success scale Tom Pellereau is the luckiest ever winner, becoming Lord Sugar’s business partner back in 2011, despite only winning three tasks from a possible 11.
Aussie entrepreneur Mark Wright was almost as bad as inventor Tom, also winning just three tasks but from a possible total of ten when he won back in 2014.
Motive’s resident reality TV expert Jack Proverbs said the research revealed that flunking tasks wasn’t a barrier to winning the show.
Jack said: "Carina Lepore is the Ultimate Apprentice. Her stats on the show prove what a formidable candidate she was. Harpreet Kaur also did incredibly well. These two women are far ahead of the rest and whoever wins the show this year has some big shoes to fill.
“You’d expect the winner to have performed strongly across the entire series and while that has been the case over the past couple of years it certainly hasn’t always been true.
“Our research shows that if Lord Sugar likes the cut of someone’s jib, and is a fan of their business plan perhaps, then losing task after task, week in week out, doesn’t prevent them from walking away with the investment.
“We’ve concluded that there really is no winning formula when it comes to being named Lord Sugar’s apprentice, although if contestants can avoid the boardroom at least until Lord Sugar has gotten to know them, then that’s probably a good idea.”