Episode 3


For their third task, the candidates were challenged with creating a new condiment. Both teams attacked this with relish but soon ended up in a pickle as production problems left them playing ketchup.

In the end it was Phoenix who bottled it, and in the boardroom Lord Sugar quickly concluded that furniture retailer Michael didn’t cut the mustard. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Duane moved over to join the girls’ team Sterling and led them to victory despite ongoing friction with food manufacturer Jane, which raised temperatures within the team – but not by as much as their first production batch, which contained too many chili peppers and left Duane’s throat burning. Nonetheless, despite early hitches, clear pricing and distribution strategy comfortably won the day for them.

Phoenix opted for a mass-market Mediterranean-style ketchup, misspelled Belissimo. Their packaging design – a red pepper on a plain white background – was uninspired. And their production process, led by Ricky, was ineffective and wasteful. Which was hardly surprising from a team which included Adam, who declared it was “like boiling an omelette”.

Having been an innocent member of the manufacturing team, Tom was left stewing under Michael’s uninspiring leadership as their trade sales sub-team generated barely any revenue. In the boardroom Tom showed his clarity of thinking as he clinically dissected where the team had gone wrong, correctly identifying production losses, poor branding inconsistent with a premium positioning and Michael’s failure in leading the trade team as the key causes of the team’s defeat. Sugar agreed, and Michael was fired.

In the press:
  • Is this man, Tom Gearing really a candidate? He belongs on the pages of omg! He's got that sultry stare perfected already.
    OMG from Yahoo!
    13th Mar 2012
  • Tom Gearing consistently speaks up with common sense in a non-threatening manner. He is one of my favourites.
    Claire Young
    26th Apr 2012
  • What an enigmatic bloke! He is very quietly spoken with remarkable composure, which means that when he does talk people listen to him. And he is bright, a strategist, thoughtful.
    Nick Hewer
    The Radio Times
    19th May 2012
  • Tom was in control and implemented a risky strategy of quality and desirability of product over quantity. This proved to be a winning strategy and his experience shone through...Tom understood the task and remained confident with the risks he took. Demonstrating drive and determinism as well as competitiveness and knowledge
    Phil Sheridan
    The Telegraph
    12th Apr 2012
  • Entrepreneur, wine connoisseur, heartthrob and TV star. The traits of Tom Gearing make the 23-year-old sound more James Bond than Apprentice...
    27th Jun 2012
  • Tom shot to stardom for being the best dressed man on television (pretty much single handedly bringing back the tie clip in the process), but more poignantly for showing business wisdom and entrepreneurial nous way beyond his years.
    Christopher Warren-Gash
    16th Jul 2012

Latest news:

Tom chats to Joe Forrester

Monday 11 Jun 2012

In this interview, Apprentice 2012 runner-up Tom Gearing chats to Joe Forrester about his time on the hit business show.

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