Episode 8

Street Art

Lord Sugar set the teams the task of selecting two urban artists, exhibiting their work and earning as much commission as possible. Ultimately the fine margin between success and failure hinged on who was able to seduce Pure Evil.

Tom stepped up as project manager for Phoenix, being the one team member with any understanding of street art. Although that was a little like being the tallest dwarf, given that the extent of Adam’s comprehension was to compare Banksy to the Stig because they’re both anonymous.

However, a little knowledge proved to a dangerous thing when Tom met with Pure Evil, the most commercially viable of the five artists on offer, and the one with the best greeting ever: “Hi, I am the artist known as Pure Evil.” His attempts to demonstrate his knowledge and establish credibility only served to alienate the artist, however. Instead he opted for Gabrielle’s rather more basic seduction technique, which fundamentally involved a lot of smiling and fawning sycophancy but was nonetheless successful in sealing a deal with the devil.

(Sadly, we were never told whether Pure Evil is in any way related to Dr Evil, and whether he has a miniature sidekick named Slightly Mischievous.)

Tom was forced to opt for a high risk/high return option, hoping to land one big sale which would all but guarantee victory. Unfortunately, despite coming close to shifting a painting called The Big Green Monster, he came up with a Big Fat Zero as his risky strategy looked like becoming a Big Heavy Albatross around his neck.

When sales were totted up in the boardroom, the loss of Pure Evil condemned Tom to the damnation of defeat. However, Sugar looked favourably on him for the calculated risk he took, which could so easily have paid handsome dividends, and for personally achieving a good level of sales regardless. Instead it was Laura who was cast out of the Apprenti-Mansion for being the team’s least successful seller.

In the press:
  • 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
    Forbes
    16th Jul 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
  • 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
  • Entrepreneur, wine connoisseur, heartthrob and TV star. The traits of Tom Gearing make the 23-year-old sound more James Bond than Apprentice...
    Mike
    smarta
    27th Jun 2012
  • Tom Gearing consistently speaks up with common sense in a non-threatening manner. He is one of my favourites.
    Claire Young
    smarta
    26th Apr 2012
  • Is this man, Tom Gearing really a candidate? He belongs on the pages of omg! He's got that sultry stare perfected already.
    Rebecca
    OMG from Yahoo!
    13th Mar 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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