In America, billionaire Donald Trump stars in the reality television programme “The Apprentice”. Attractive and devilishly ambitious business rookies compete in tasks that help Donald distinguish the winners from the losers. “You’re fired,” he says at least once every week, until the season ends, and one lucky winner gets placed in a senior position at one of Trump’s many companies, like a cherry on top of a cream puff.
The UK has its own version of the show and has recently cast Virgin mega-billionaire Richard Branson as the new role model for the ambitious to imitate. (Correction: Alan Sugar hosts the UK version, Richard Branson stars in version of the show on competing network Fox)
As soon as US household empress Martha Stewart is released from prison, she will host her own Apprentice show too. They've already held auditions. I couldn’t help noticing that the wealthy host for the Danish version of the show, Klaus Riskær Pedersen, has also been in serious trouble with the law in France and in Denmark.
I called NBC and asked them to send me a list of countries that are airing local versions of the Apprentice. They sent me a list of television networks in 35 different countries (click on the link below to see the list). I’d really like to know how many of these hosts have police records.
The show is being broadcast on all continents, including Namibia, Slovenia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Israel, and Korea. Who knew?
I know it’s a show that encourages wanton greed and cut-throat ambition, but I’m still surprised there aren’t more people commenting on the irony of the fact that if you make enough money your character (or at least suitability as youth role model) isn’t questioned. But I guess there's nothing new about that.
If you’ve got the digs on a host in your home country, let me know.
Here's a list of the countries that broadcast local versions of NBC's "The Apprentice":
Netherlands & Luxembourg
Latin America (Mexico, South America)