You’re Wired! BBC’s The Apprentice Meets Zip World in Tourism Task
Get the low down of what happened when BBC’s The Apprentice met Zip World to film an episode for their new series! The hit show, BBC’s The Apprentice, is back – and the contestants are more competitive than ever! Our lucky team got to take a sneak peek at what goes on behind the scenes of the hit programme when they visited our very own Zip World Llechwedd to film a task for one of their new episodes.
After being approached by the team from the show in May last year, we agreed our unique historical site at Blaenau Ffestiniog would be the perfect location to host a tourism task in an episode due to air on Thursday 10th February 2022.
The task involved three contestants using our exciting activities to create a bespoke adventure package and to sell them to as many thrill-seekers and corporates as possible. The remaining candidates then put together a cheese-tasting masterclass to follow the adventures, showcasing the famous Llechwedd cheese matured in one of the sixteen mine levels. The groups were competing to achieve the highest profit margin against the rival team who hosted their task at Snowdonia Mountain Railway.
We met Lord Alan Sugar’s right-hand woman, the formidable Karren Brady, and the three lovely and determined candidates who would be hosting the task: Akeem Bundu-Kamara, Harpreet Kaur, and Kathryn Louise Burn. The candidates were given strict instructions not to ask any of our Zip World staff questions that could give them an unfair advantage in the task, so interaction with them was limited on the day.
We saw first-hand how hard the contestants worked and how they came together as a team to deliver a fun and exciting experience for the public. What struck us all is that the entire process is very much real and is exactly how it appears to people watching from home on TV with no editing or retakes. The contestants only have 24 hours to get to grips with everything they needed to know about the task and, on this occasion, our experiences on offer, before hosting the package to members of the public. We saw the candidates getting their heads down in between takes, desperately trying to recite the information given to them.
While filming with us, both the contestants and Karren got to enjoy a go on some of our activities. The contestants were very eager to try out Titan 2, one of Europe’s largest zip lines, which saw them flying across the spectacular slate-mining landscape at around 70mph.
The team also gave a breath-taking tour of the historical Llechwedd Deep Mine, taking on Europe’s steepest cable railway to travel 500 feet into the depths of the quarry. Candidates even got the chance to experience the interactive elements, such as the real explosion sounds that are released when a volunteer pulls the detonation lever.
We had first-hand experience of what it’s like to witness the tense negotiation table where contestants try to wrangle the best deal. The first time that our owner and president, Sean Taylor, met the candidates, was for the negotiations on camera. You will see that Sean did not hold back when contestant Kathryn battled for a competitive ticket price before coming to a figure that Sean would agree on. Having spoken to Sean after the scene, he revealed he would have gone even lower on the price, had they pushed further, meaning the candidates could have made a higher profit.
Behind the showbiz scenes, it was all-hands-on-deck to ensure the huge production team had everything they needed to make the episode happen. Our pizza emporium was transformed into a canteen and hair and makeup base, while our 4x4 trucks helped ferry 40-50 cast and crew along the vast Llechwedd quarry against the filming schedule, in line with our COVID-19 safety measures.
All in all, it was an amazing experience! It was terrific to be a part of such a successful show and to get a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes, from the concept to creation to the filming itself! We hope you all loved seeing the historical Llechwedd site on the big screen and enjoyed watching the candidates and Karren taking pleasure in all that our adventures have to offer.
If you’d like to book Titan 2 or the Deep Mine Tour for yourselves (we do offer longer versions than the bespoke package you saw on-screen!), you can book here. When you’re on-site, don’t forget to pick up some of the famous Llechwedd cheese in our gift shop to try for yourself too!