Apprentice 2010 scandals: The round-up

First up, entrepreneur Joanna Riley has been found to possess a conviction for racial abuse. Riley, who runs her own cleaning business, pleaded guilty to 'causing racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence' and was given a two-year conditional discharge in 2005. Darn it. We liked Riley. The story is not entirely clean cut, however. The business owner swore at cab drivers after a night out on the town, but her victims allegedly made sexually explicit comments to her before the incident. No doubt the Daily Mail will have more on this story shortly.

And then there's the Apprentice sniper. As if his "shoot to kill" past wasn't scary enough, ex commando Christopher Farrell also has a criminal record for possessing illegal weapons. An extendable baton and a knuckleduster were found in his Mercedes by police last year.

Farrell served under the Royal Marines in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Perhaps the weapons were nostalgic reminders of his time in service. Souvenirs, even?

Talkback Thamas defended its oversight, releasing a statement saying: "We carry out police checks on all candidates during the Apprentice application process, in common with standard television industry practice. The checks, which were concluded in late August 2009, revealed no irregularities for any of the candidates for the upcoming series. Candidates are asked to disclose any criminal convictions as part of their application."

But that's not all. Farrell's nefarious deeds extend into the business realm. He has been fired from his last two jobs: the first, for watching nasty pornography at work. The second dismissal was even more serious. Farrell was escorted off the premises of mortgage brokers Mortgages4Plymouth pending a serious fraud investigation a mere two months ago. BBC chiefs have hit back at claims that the show is rapidly falling into disrepute by complaining he did not disclose information regarding the fraud probe at interview.

Because fraudsters always tell the truth, eh?

And there's another Apprentice candidate in the naughty corner this week. Shibby Robati, surgeon and wannabe Apprentice winner, is a bit of a dodgy doctor. Robati has a formal warning for 'unprofessional behaviour' on his record, as well as a string of complaints from fellow medical staff during his time working at St George's Healthcare NHS Trust.

Filming has completed on the show, so all the above candidates will appear in the show. But Smarta will be keeping its eyes peeled for underhand dealings, racial slurs and a bad bedside manner.

Tune in to the Smarta blog on Thursday to read our special guest blog from Apprentice winner Lee McQueen!







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