Celebrity Apprentice Australia hit our screens on Sunday night, seeing 14 Australian celebrities battle it out to the finish line. Instead of taking the prize money home for themselves, they’ll be raising money for their chosen charity. The aim is to avoid being fired by the CEO, Lord Alan Sugar, who has hosted the UK version of the same show for the past 14 years.
As with any reality-television show, it isn’t complete without a little drama. This time, however, it all happened off-camera, when the alleged salaries of each contestant was leaked. According to New Idea, the dispute was so severe that it threatened to derail the filming of the entire series.
Clothing designer Camilla Franks is rumoured to be the most underpaid, while Michelle Bridges and Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli are said to be the highest, earning $50,000 each. The Veronicas’ Lisa and Jess Origliasso are rumoured to have made a combined $60,000, while Anthony Callea, Ross Noble and Shaynna Blaze are believed to have made $30,000 each.
The insider also added that the cast “didn’t make as much coin as you would think”.
“Forget the million-dollar salary Warnie banked for I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. This show doesn’t go anywhere near those sorts of dollars. The production company Warner Bros. gets away with lower pay cheques because its charity focused.”
During Sunday night’s pilot episode, Sir Alan Sugar did not hold back in grilling the contestants. He even went so far as admitting that he had no idea who most of them were.
'I've done this in the UK for the past 15 years; normally I'm faced with a bunch of people that I don't know [or] ordinary civilians. Today, I'm faced with a bunch of celebrities that I don't know. I haven't got a bloody clue who any of you are apart from you, Ross [Noble].'
Celebrity Apprentice Australia continues Tuesday at 7:30pm on Channel Nine