'I knew him!' - The Apprentice's Paul B on not being the only pie-man competing for £250,000

Virgin Radio

9 Feb 2024, 12:16

Paul Bowen and Phil Turner on The Apprentice 2024

Credit: BBC

The Apprentice’s Paul Bowen has opened up about the bizarre experience of finding out he was not the only pie business owner competing in the 2024 series.

Spoilers for The Apprentice episode two below!

Speaking exclusively with virginradio.co.uk after being well and truly ‘pied off’ by Lord Sugar, the Bowen Pies owner revealed the “crazy” story of how he immediately recognised his fellow candidate, Turner Pies owner Phil Turner.

“Obviously at Bowen Pies, you know, we all check out our competition,” Paul explained. “So I’d seen Phil before, [but] never met him personally.

“As soon as I walked in the boardroom I thought ‘I know him!’, and I think Phil was exactly the same,” he continued. 

Explaining his and Phil’s business rivalry, the entrepreneur - who was proudly wearing a pie themed tie for our exclusive chat (see above!) - light-heartedly suggested: “I think people would probably expect us to sort of squabble… I consider it almost like a Cola and Pepsi kind of war. You know, both good products, both sort of had digs at each other.

“But you know what, we’re a very small industry. And I really do respect Phil,” he continued. “So you know, he was almost kind of a friend really, and I really did get his logic and I think he did a good job.”

Both Paul and Phil were in the firing line in episode two when the men’s team, led by Phil as project manager and Paul as sub-project manager failed to succeed in the mini cheesecake challenge as effectively as the women’s team, despite their food industry experience.

On the subject of his downfall in the difficult competition, Paul - who genuinely thought he might win the 2024 edition of the show - said: “Obviously, a higher price point [for the men’s team's mini cheesecakes] would have been nice in hindsight, but again, I’ve never ripped anyone off in business. I just thought six pounds was a fair price. And at the end of the day, I did make a profit…

“Obviously it does look like we made a lot of mistakes,” he reflected. “But did we make money? Yes, we did. So you know, there was that.”

The Apprentice continues on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Thursdays at 9pm.