The Apprentice (UK) 3.11 review

The penultimate episode of The Apprentice was going along its merry way and perfectly predictably. And then something happened...

Such is the depressing state of British television, that Katie Hopkins, a person who has risen in the public eye by being thoroughly unpleasant, backstabbing and being the kind of bully that you want the schools to sort out, will no doubt be a millionaire off the back of The Apprentice within a year or two.

Because she became, in the penultimate episode of the third series of The Apprentice, the first person to get to the final and then walk away.

It was a smashing end to an episode, not least because had she won – in spite of her obvious acumen – it’d leave you seriously considering whether you wanted to buy an Amstrad product ever again. And as a result of her performances over the past couple of months, she’s now been chased, we read, by numerous media outlets desperate to sign her up. Expect her as a judge on some reality TV show within a year. And expect her to make Ruth Badger look positively humble by comparison.

You knew fairly quickly something was up when Sralan told her she was in the final, given that the camera continued to linger on her long after she’d had the seemingly life-changing news that she’d been insistent she wanted. And as her face slowly changed colour, she had the look of a person – admittedly in a way that seemed part of the act – that’d been given the wrong news down the clap clinic rather than someone who’d made the final of a major reality TV show.

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Earlier in the episode, she’d been boasting of wrecking someone’s marriage because she wanted their husband, and offering promise that she could be even more ruthless. Comedy highlight was when she said in the board room that she didn’t believe she’s tramped everyone to get to the final five, whereupon every eyeball in the room seemed to leap out of its socket, and all the pictures on the walls started spinning.

The obvious beneficiary of Katie’s turnaround is Simon, who otherwise seemed doomed to failing at the penultimate hurdle.

It was unsurprising, given that this was the episode when three of Sralan’s buddies were interviewing the candidates, that Tre finally had to give up the ghost, although we did get the delight of his international conglomerate beforehand. Lohit was never going to be Sralan’s Apprentice, so it was no surprise when he went either. In fact, we can’t remember a single thing he said.

Which all seems to clear the path for Kristina, nemesis of Katie but one of the early frontrunners. Unless Simon – whose face was priceless when a list of complaints from one his tenants was read out – can do something we’ve simply not seen yet, you have to say that next week’s final is looking like a bit of a formality.

Our prediction? It’s Kristina time….