Hever Castle appeared on popular BBC One television show The Apprentice last night and there were plenty of fireworks to be had!
The task involved putting together a Coach Day Trip from London and saw the candidates select a top attraction around which they could create a package for tourists. Hever Castle & Gardens, best known as the ‘Childhood Home of Anne Boleyn’, was chosen by Team Summit for its proximity to London and combination of colourful history, award-winning gardens and attractions. Team Tenacity chose Blenheim Palace. It was then up to the candidates to negotiate group discounts in a bid to maximise their own profit.
Filming took place over two glorious sunny days in May. Day 1 saw contestants James, Sanjay and Jemma arrive at Hever Castle with the film crew in tow to recce the attraction and negotiate a group price while their team members had to select a lunch option and sell their daytrip to tourists back in London.
On arrival, the three candidates met with Hever spokesperson Sarah Cole who escorted them to the Castle forecourt where they wanted to discuss prices for their group. “It was a difficult task given that group travel organisers usually plan and book their coach trip well ahead,” said Sarah. “Sadly I felt the candidates wasted too much time trying to negotiate entry prices when it was apparent that I wasn’t going to go any lower and James’ suggested price per person was simply farcical!”
Castle coordinator Anna Spender then gave them a guided tour of the Castle. “Having taken James, Sanjay and Jemma on a whistle-stop tour of the Castle I was concerned that the short amount of time allocated was not enough for them to learn the key facts. It was a big undertaking for them to remember it all for their own tour the following day. Jemma managed her group reasonably well but gave an ‘interesting’ tour of the Castle. She pointed out the ‘photo’ of Henry VIII, and failed to explain that Anne Boleyn was beheaded suggesting that Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn simply grew apart.”
On Day 2, the coach arrived much later than expected, leaving less time for the group to enjoy their visit. Although the film crew captured the highlights of the trip perfectly as shown on the programme, the gardens, lake and attractions remained undiscovered to all but a few visitors, as the contestants sprinted from the Castle grounds in true Apprentice fashion.
Team Summit lost the challenge and sparks flew in the Boardroom where Jemma was for the chop, while James – who subjected the passengers to an excruciating sing-along on the coach – narrowly avoided the axe.
You can see The Apprentice at Hever Castle on BBC iPlayer.
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