Posts in: the apprentice

The Apprentice, Series 10 Episode 6: Playing the Game …

Lord Sugar’s intro voiceover continues to announce his roles as “Judge , jury and executioner”. Given that 11 contestants are still breathing, it feels like he’s been slacking. Pamela is practising her already advanced sarcasm skills, and Nick H and Karren are still wearing their oddly dated sunglasses. I half expect a few tunes from The Blues Brothers, but instead we get the shortest task briefing I can recall. Apart from the possibly dubious claim that HMS Belfast inspired the game Battleships, this consists of ‘you’re going to design, prototype and sell board games’. Bish bosh, job done, innit.

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The Apprentice Series 10 Episode 5: You’re Either on the Bus …

Was this episode entertaining? It depends what floats your boat, of course, but I think I cringed more at this than at any previous episode: I sincerely hope the BBC refunded the 45 tourists they were happy to film and broadcast having pretty dire days out. You can’t give someone 24 hours back, but surely they can stretch to £65? The candidates are fair game – they mostly earn any mockery that they attract – but in the wider world, where profit margins on foolish stunts are less important than dignity, the punters deserve more respect.

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The Apprentice Series 10 Episode 4: Vlogging a Dead Horse

Today, they’re off to the East End to see something over 150 years old that’s looking a little shabby. No, you heartless beasts - the building: Wilton’s Music Hall. In his Entrepreneur of the Opera capacity, Lord S appears on stage, waving a smartphone and explaining why he’s standing in what appears to be a festering heap: because eyeballs on YouTube channels sell advertising. Old toot for moolah, innit. People half his age do their best to look suddenly enlightened.

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The Apprentice Series 10 Episode 3: Can Chinese custard cut the mustard?

In the same way that burger-flippers become Nutritional Delivery Executives, it transpires that scented candles are now known as Designer Home Fragrance Products. And, would you Adam and Eve it, these things are “all abaht high margins”. Well, I never. Some wax, a bit of pong and three inches of thin rope for £40, you say? Bargain, innit.

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The Apprentice Series 10, Episode 1

Good old Auntie is giving us 125% this time around. For you, guv, not 16 shiny, bickering, self-aggrandising candidates, not 18, but 20. God help us. As if 16 were not treat enough. As they fill the boardroom with High Street tailoring, hubris and hair products, the camera and Lord Sugar try desperately to take stock of such bounty.

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Apprentice 2013, The Final: Never mind the botox …

The tension in my living room is electrifying. Well, it’s not every day you find out you have a bumblebee colony in your back-garden, is it? Only an hour to go, and I can go back to watch them woozily float in and out of their nest, paralytic on nectar, and quietly congratulating myself on allowing them to live in harmony with nature. A quick whizz through The Apprentice Final and I can go back to doing something positive about sustainability …

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Apprentice 2013, Episode 11: So, where do you see yourself in five minutes’ time?

Five green candidates, hanging on the phone ... Yes, it’s the favourite televisual moment of every misanthrope from Maidstone to Motherwell: The Apprentice Interviews, where we get to see someone deluded enough to buy their dreams off eBay proposing a business that consists of other people doing the same. Only with some very dodgy maths, some porky-pie revelations and a welcome return to our screens of Margaret Mountford. (Ma’am, you’re too classy for this, but thank you for dropping by.) If the series is a long canter round a rather predictable track, this episode is the unexpectedly massive water-jump 20 furlongs from the finishing line. And it’s surprising how wet some people can be.

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Apprentice 2013, Episode 10: You Can Take The Boy Out Of Monaco …

At 6.30am (ooh, a lie-in; are these people slacking), the candidates are shepherded to the sitting room, where Jordan is ‘rocking’ a sarong. OK, make that rocking slightly in a sarong, and possibly wittering a little. It’s the ‘smell what’s selling’ task, where they start with one load of tat and wind up with another. They’ll start with a stall and £150, and then open a pop-up shop on Day Two. (‘Pop-up’ is the new Brick Lane in Apprenticeworld, pop-pickers. It sounds so much trendier than ‘temporary’ or ‘in an old shipping container’, doesn’t it, even if the main thing that threatens to pop-up is my dinner. But we’ll have more of that story later …) Boys versus girls, to even up the numbers. Edited to stereotype, Luisa is already bitching about how hopeless the boys are.

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Apprentice 2013, Episode 9: Hard to Swallow

As 6am rolls around again, the novelty of the early starts is plainly no longer working. Alex is (thankfully) fully dressed as he answers the phone, and the residue … sorry, remaining candidates are chauffeured off to The Gherkin. En route, Luisa reveals a hitherto suppressed talent for comedy, as she complains about being called aggressive. Alex meanwhile frets about why no-one takes him seriously enough to make him PM. Answers on a postcard everyone … Quite why they have to stand in Searcey’s Restaurant to be told ready-meals are big business is beyond me: nor have the r’n’r shots of the Apprentice house shown a lot of chopping and dicing action going down. But Lord S has laid on three top retailers for them to pitch to, and Voiceover Man gets to spout some stomach-turning puns. Most orders placed wins (so price doesn’t matter, I assume?), but they have some ludicrously short amount of time to create a ready meal and – ooh, let me guess – branding. Never saw that coming.

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