Five secrets to The Apprentice success revealed by Sheffield University experts

Sir Alan Sugar
Sir Alan Sugar
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The Apprentice. It’s the annual battle of the business brains that so often devolves into a brawl of entertaining in-fighting, but now Sheffield academics think they have cracked the secret to success on the show.

A statistician at the University of Sheffield has revealed the best strategy for winning TV show The Apprentice following in-depth analysis of the background and performance of 159 previous contestants across the previous 10 series of the hit BBC One show.

The checklist is:

1. Don’t volunteer to be a team leader just to look enthusiastic and active – even if you win the task, having been the leader adds nothing to your chance of actually winning the series.

2. Shine when on a losing team as well as when on a winning one – being on the losing team but avoiding being dragged into the boardroom is better than just winning!

3. For the same reasons, get on well with your teammates and team leader to increase your chances of dodging the boardroom when losing.

4. Be aged between 24 and 31 – all ten previous winners have been in this age range.

5. Have good academic qualifications – less qualified contestants used to do well but highly qualified professionals have dominated in recent years.

Royal Statistical Society Executive Director, Hetan Shah, said: “This is a good example of statistics being used in a fun way to analyse real-life situations.

“If you’re a budding apprentice hoping to impress Lord Sugar, statistics might just be as important to your chances of winning as your sales skills.”

The latest series of The Apprentice returned to our screens last night and is back again for a second helping at 9pm on BBC One and BBC One HD.