West Midlands hopefuls Joy Stefanicki, Liz Locke and Laura Moore survived first task on the new series of The Apprentice last night.
Sales director Dan Harris, from Oxfordshire, became the first candidate to be voted off the latest BBC series and admitted having to watch most of the show from behind a pillow.
The 34-year-old ended up red-faced by upsetting Lord Sugar and his own team members with his failure to lead them to victory in the first challenge.
He said: “I spent most of the time watching that episode behind a pillow. Cringeworthy moments on it, certainly. I think I took quite a strong leadership style, I don’t know if you picked up on that.”
That “strong leadership style” did not go down well with his team, with fellow contestant Raleigh Addington describing him as being “like a bull in a china shop”.
The show started with the 16 hopefuls, including marketing director Joy, investment banker Liz, both from Birmingham, and development manager Laura, from Warwickhsire, divided into teams of men and women.
They were dispatched in the middle of the night to London’s Smithfield market to buy meat before making and selling sausages on the streets of the capital.
Team leader Dan found himself up in front of Lord Sugar, with two other members of his team, after the women’s team made a bigger profit.
He named team-mates Stuart Baggs, from the Isle of Man, and Alex Epstein, from Manchester, as his partners to potentially face the chop.
But Stuart never expected to lose, boasting: “I’m going to bring my suitcase today and I’m not to pack a single thing in it. It is going to be completely empty because I’m not going home today.”
It was Dan’s minimal contribution to the team’s sales efforts that really upset Lord Sugar.
Dan’s attempt to defend himself by saying his “focus” was on leading the team did not convince the Hackney-born businessman.
Lord Sugar told him: “The point is that the sub-team, of which you were the leader, sold naff all,” Lord Sugar told him: “You had your chance and you blew it. Dan, you’re fired.”