The hunt for a new apprentice is on

Starck’s new series, Design for Life, begins on BBC2 tonight. It will follow the fortunes of 12 young British designers as they attempt to create designs to rival his own iconic orange juicer or Louis XV-style plastic chair.

In a similar format to Sir Alan’s Apprentice, each week Starck will set the wannabe apprentices certain challenges and eliminate the weakest. He even has two advisers, a la Nick and Margaret, to help him through his decision-making. But there Design For Life’s similarity with The Apprentice ends.

Unlike Sir Alan, Phillipe Starck’s management style tends toward the overblown, flamboyant hyperbole. He describes himself as "type of new bottle opener" and "a sort of door", and tells the crop of designers: "You don’t make good design if you think about design. You make good design if you speak about life, sex, flesh, sweat. I shall open the zip of myself and say ‘Now take what you want’."

Can you imagine Sir Alan uttering such a sentence?

In a breakaway from The Apprentice format, the candidate selection for Design For Life was entirely undertaken by Starck himself, not the series producers. He reviewed sketches submitted by prospective designers, refusing to look at personal detals, gender or background when making his decision.

Will the gamble pay off? Only one way to find out. Tune in to Design For Life tonight at 9pm.

If you watch the show, why not let Real Business know your views? Add a comment below or email us at

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