COULD it be that it’s just an illusion?
The Apprentice is a brilliant format, which began its new BBC1 series last week with five million viewers.
But don’t make the mistake of confusing reality TV with real life.
Most people will know by now that the boardroom and reception area are, in fact, a TV set.
Sir Alan Sugar’s real office is in Brentwood, Essex, miles away from the shiny London Docklands seen on screen in the series.
That means the fired apprentice’s walk to the taxi from Sir Alan’s Brentwood House HQ has to be filmed later.
And the secretary who sits in The Apprentice reception area works for the TV company, not the multi-millionaire boss.
Does it matter? Probably not, so long as you remember that this is, first and foremost, a television programme.
Of course, the ultimate winner of the series gets a real job with Sir Alan’s company paying a six figure salary.
But even that isn’t as straightforward as it seems.
Series two winner Michelle Dewberry lasted only a few months.
And now series one winner Tim Campbell has quit his £100,000 a year job, albeit with Sir Alan’s full backing.
The Apprentice does a good job in entertaining millions, while inspiring some to begin their own businesses.
It can also highlight the less attractive aspects of some of the more self-obsessed wannabes.
After last week’s coffee selling task, tomorrow’s edition is a dog-eat-dog adventure.
And don’t be too surprised if Sir Alan bites back with another twist.
The Apprentice official BBC site