TV is Not Real

A nice reminder of how TV likes to slightly distort the truth.

As you’re watching the final of The Apprentice tonight, ask yourself where the boardroom where people are fired is actually located.

The establishing shots are all of Canary Wharf, so you’re obviously supposed to think that’s where it is. But when the person who has been fired is shown leaving the building and getting into a taxi, that’s filmed at Amstrad’s headquarters, Brentwood House, which is in Brentwood.

But that’s not the end of the deception. Apparently those shots were all filmed on the same day at the start of the series. The actual boardroom is in a film studio somewhere in West London.

Oh, and Alan Sugar is played by an actor.

I made that last bit up.

Update: I’ve just seen this on the BBC web site

The final face-off between 26-year-old Michelle Dewberry, a former checkout girl turned telecoms consultant, and 27-year-old sales manager Ruth Badger is expected to bring the series to a heated climax.

But the recent revelation in The Times that both women have been working for Sir Alan since September has seen the show criticised for its lack of realism.

The newspaper reported that their performances will be taken into account when Sir Alan makes his ultimate choice.

“His final decision is not based on the programme that people see,” says Saira Khan [the woman who was runner-up last year].

“His final decision is based on [the fact that] these two people have been working with him for the six months.”

Bah. Next they’ll be telling me that Doctor Who isn’t real.


  1. But since you know it’s such a staged pile of crap, why are you wasting time watching it? It’ll be Big Brother next, mark my words…

  2. Apparently the actual Amstrad boardroom is a horrible 70’s throwback, extremly careworn and is deemed insufficiently grand for the programme. I was chatting to one of the producers at an event the other day who claimed that they’ve actually shot two different endings to the programme and that they won’t decide who will actually win it until the day.

  3. And my wife was the film officer supervising the filming of the Tower Bridge event stuff for the final – which was obviously all done before we left the country some months ago.

  4. But its just a bit of fun.. My ass those people are at the top of ‘their business’. I watch it just to see the assholes make fools of themselves. Then again I am not on a 100k a year, so I guess I am the asshole.

  5. It all just seems so watered down from the US version. Sometimes the UK should stick to what they are good at. Another case in point is the totally useless ‘investors’ on “The Dragon’s Den”.I don’t watch either of course – I get enough reality at my own work.

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