Hocus Pocus Episode of BBC’s Apprentice


The Apprentice is compulsory viewing in the studio and at home: a cracking family-friendly show where we all hone our commercial and fashion skills way beyond what’s possible with your Stanford MBA or sojourn in Milan. If you don’t like it, you don’t get it – so there.

So just IMAGINE how beside myself with hysterical self-fanning when the email dropped asking if Hocus Pocus might be interested in being the animation studio to pair with a mysterious BBC prime-time business show. The only possible answer was YES SIRALUN SORRY I MEAN LORD SUGAR.

The episode task was for the teams to devise, design and make a sample animation for a new kids TV show. In a day. Would that be possible? Normally would take us several months and a liberal dose of fairy dust to do this for ourselves, so a pretty tall order for a gang of suited rookies.

The heavy lifting for the task was done in conjunction with the show producers, divvying up the punters into story team, animation team. Lots of time working on the details, a quick test run and then YES: we might just be able to do it.

The big challenge for us was getting some of our best talent to work on the job (Katy, Rob, Tom & Chris) but them not being able to actually direct the teams. The role of the artist in this type of show is simply to execute the wishes of the candidates, and must remain silent on typos, colour schemes or even including hands and feet on the characters!

How did they get on? If you didn’t watch it live on BBC One, then have a watch on iPlayer, see what you think. It was such fun to work on & celebrate this piece of history with the BBC. Along the way managing to work with – deep breath – David Jason, Jessie Wallace, Craig Revel Horwood, Karen Brady, Tim Campbell and even the king of bad jokes Lord Sugar himself.


James Murphy Hocus Pocus
Judge James with standard industry response