Who left the Apprentice? Why Harry Mahmood was fired, his Instagram reaction - and comments about Tim Campbell

The West Midlands entrepreneur was named in the Queen’s honours list for service to the community

Lord Sugar was back on our screens on Thursday night (6 January), as he kicked off the latest series of The Apprentice, seeking out new entrepreneurs to support.

A dozen eager contestants met him in the boardroom, with the show ending with one being told by the billionaire, “You’re fired!”

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It was self-proclaimed ‘AK47’ Harry Mahmood who was axed from the show first, following comparisons of the boys’ team logo to a turd.

So, who is Harry, what’s his business idea - and why was he the first to be fired?

Who is Harry Mahmood?

West Midlands businessman Harry Mahmood is a Children’s bath bomb entrepreneur who previously worked as a pharmacy manager in Darlaston.

It was for his role in healthcare for which he won a Citizen Award for Services to Healthcare after setting up a community health network, and was named by the Queen in her New Years’ honours list in 2021.

Prior to appearing on the hit BBC One show, he described himself as ‘the Asian version of Lord Sugar’, and said if Lord Sugar got onboard with his bath bomb business, they would be “the bad boys of the bath bomb world together”.

Are you cringing yet? No, just wait.

Mahmood also said his friends refer to him as ‘AK47’ as he is a “killer salesman”.

Why was he fired from The Apprentice?

The bath bomb salesman was led by Digital Marketing Agency owner Akshay Thakrar as they competed against the girls in a luxury cruise promotion task.

His team designed a logo which was supposed to represent a decaying banana, but was instead compared to a turd by Lord Sugar and his aides.

The ‘turd’ banana logo

And if that didn’t create enough of a stench around their promotion, their advert was described by Baroness Karren Brady as more like an advert for a care home than a luxury holiday.

Lord Sugar sent the losing team off to the infamous bridge cafe to discuss the three who would return to the line of fire.

When Thakhar, Mahmood and keem Bundu Kamara returned to plead their case, they continued bickering in the lobby outside the boardroom.

It was then that Tim Campbell, Lord Sugar’s new aide who replaced Claude Littner, that Campbell described Harry as “disruptive”.

Lord Sugar ultimately agreed with Campbell and fired the bath bomb entrepeneur.

How did Harry react to being fired?

Harry said Tim Campbell’s comments were unfounded, as he reacted to being fired while being driven from the boardroom in a taxi.

“Tim wasn’t actually there, he called me a disrupter but Tim, you weren’t actually there,” he complained.

“What you won’t see is when the boys piped up about being disruptive, Karren actually hit Akeem down and said, ‘actually that’s not right, he’s being slightly annoying but not disruptive’.

“We’ve got Karren saying I’m not disruptive and then suddenly Lord Sugar saying I’m disruptive.

‘I don’t know why Tim is saying everyone thinks I’m a disrupter, I’m a challenger because when I see things aren’t going the way they need to be I challenge them back into the right direction. That’s just me being passionate as a person, I’m passionate and creative but the fact they can’t distinguish between the two is a downfall on their part.

Harry was driven from the boardroom in a taxi, following being axed from the show (Picture: BBC)

‘I think it’s very unfair for Tim to say I’ve been disruptive, he said that the majority of people think I’m being disruptive but when you break it down what am I being disruptive about? It was challenging them to make them see sense.’

He also said of being given an honour by the queen, “Does a disrupter get an award from the Queen? If you look at the major disruptors in the world past and present, they are Nelson Mandela or Elon Musk. I am my own brand too.”

He then shared on Instagram the design he wanted to pursue as the logo, tagging the photo ‘#bringbackHarry’ and ‘#nevergotachance’.

The Apprentice returns next Thursday, 13 January at 9pm on BBC One.