Belfast Telegraph

First candidate fired from The Apprentice after failing to make a single sale

Chartered engineer Shahin Hassan fell at the first hurdle during the bumper launch episode in South Africa.

Karren Brady, Lord Sugar and Claude Littner (BBC/PA)
Karren Brady, Lord Sugar and Claude Littner (BBC/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Shahin Hassan has said that he feels “really gutted and disappointed” after becoming the first candidate to be fired from The Apprentice.

The chartered engineer, 36, from Birmingham, failed to make a single sale during the bumper launch episode of the BBC One show’s 15th series.

Hassan said he felt “out of control” during the first task, which saw Lord Sugar’s 16 new entrepreneurs fly to South Africa to create and run bespoke safari and vineyard tours.

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Shahin Hassan was the first candidate to be fired (BBC/PA)

He told the PA news agency: “I was really gutted and disappointed in myself because I have always strived to do the best I can.

“And in this situation it was almost like I felt out of control. I wasn’t in control – normally I am the project manager in anything I do.

“I should have taken on that task, to lead it and win it.”

With the group split by gender, Elon Musk-fan Hassan was charged with selling safari tours to holiday-makers, but clashed with project manager Lewis Ellis, 28.

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The boys struggled during the first task (BBC/PA)

When the pair found themselves amongst those called into the boardroom to face Lord Sugar, as well as his aides Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner, they clashed angrily.

But when Lord Sugar announced he was firing Hassan for failing to sell – “simple as that” – he kept quiet.

“Maybe I should have argued back but I think at that point we had all had a bit of a bickering session,” he said.

“I think he had had enough.”

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Shahin Hassan faced Lord Sugar and his aides in the boardroom (BBC/PA)

He added: “It’s surreal seeing him in person. It’s quite overwhelming and quite intimidating as well, especially when he has got his aides next to him.

“It was an experience and he will see right through you. Best to be straight and honest with him.”

Wednesday’s series debut was five minutes longer than usual, with the BBC pushing back the News At Ten to make way for the 64-minute series premiere.

It saw the candidates – including a para athlete, a beauty brand owner, an artisan baker, a librarian and a luxury womenswear consultant – compete for a £250,000 investment in their business.

The Apprentice continues on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One, followed by You’re Fired on BBC Two.

PA

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