Charles Burns, former head of branded jewellery and watches at Burns Jewellers and Retail Titan in WatchPro’s Hot 100, endured a torrid examination in episode one of BBC One’s The Apprentice.
Burns was part of the male team, which called itself Vitality. The opening task was to design, produce and sell burgers for a day and make as much profit as possible in the process.
Unfortunately, as the episode progressed, events descended into farce for Vitality. Incorrect labelling, wrong choice of location to sell the burgers, and pricing confusion were all used as excuses for the male team recording a loss in the boardroom and losing to their female counterparts.
However, the most important reason for the team’s loss was the fact that half of the team only got out to actually sell the burgers at 1.30pm, while the other half weren’t selling until closer to 4pm, oversights that beggar belief when one considers how powerful the London lunch market is between midday and 1.30pm.
Responsibility for this was placed squarely at Burns’ feet, as it was he who had delayed production for hours while the labelling debacle was resolved.
Burns knew the pressure was on during tense boardroom exchanges but, just as viewers thought that Lord Sugar was about to point the famous finger in his direction, Burns’ project manager, Danny Grant, received the chop instead.
An almost audible sigh of relief followed for Burns, who continues to fly the flag for the watch industry on national television, albeit by the skin of his teeth.