So now we know that in Sir Alan’s world bribery and deviousness gets you fired, hoodied yoofs are the bane of his life and yet he’s happy to live with bullying and lies.

Ahead of the most recent installment of The Apprentice we learned that the bearded Sir hates yobbishness and anti-social behaviour, as long as it isn’t the mindless morons that appear on the prime-time BBC show he fronts.

He doesn’t want to hug a hoodie, he wants to sort them out like they did down his manor when he was a nipper. All hoodies are evil, aren’t they?

Or something.

Anyway, in SirA’s world anti-social yoofs in hoodies = bad. I mean look at that one up there in his striped hoodie, kicking his heels and looking all menacing and feckless.

But loud, boorish, obnoxious, clueless Apprentice candidates = ratings winner. Come on, you can’t get rid of the bad lads and lasses until it gets down to the nitty gritty and then they can be ditched quicker than Margaret can arch an eyebrow.

Thank Frances the Fake PA that’s all cleared up.

Now we can get down to the week’s burning issue. Who got fired?

Yes, The Apprentice beamed into my living room again last night and as ever I found myself guffawing at the ineptitude and berating the arrogance.

I felt certain after last week’s show of yob-like triumphalism that Michael would get the boot this time. It was a close call, but amazingly he survived.

He fibbed his way through the show and displayed a general ignorance that was mind-blowing. This from a bright lad who studied Classics at Edinburgh – although, as Margaret pithily observed, maybe Edinburgh “isn’t what it used to be”.

But, instead, we saw the firing of two other candidates – for the aforementioned spot of bribery and a general bout of deviousness.

We bid a farewell to the two Jennys – the Chin and the bestsalespersoninEurope. The Chin for bribery and being a snake, the bestsalespersoninEurope for deviousness and being just too one dimensional.


Good riddance to bad businesspeople, that’s what I think.

Did they deserve to go? Obviously they did. They didn’t deserve the 15 seconds of fame that this reality TV show afforded them, let alone a high-profile (sic) £100,000-a-year job sitting at the right hand (sic) of a self-made multi-millionaire so that he could teach them all he knows (sic).

I’m getting sick of these sics.

But then nothing rings true with this latest series of The Apprentice.

The first series was good, but that pesky little law of diminishing marginal returns has well and truly kicked in by now.

The show has gone downhill faster than Conrad Bartelski on super-slick skies (what has happened to Ski Sunday, by the way, when did it become an hour-long lifestyle show with 5 minutes of skiing crammed in?).

The Apprentice is not even parody of itself anymore. Its just plain old rubbish, but in an entertaining way that the producers probably never originally envisaged.

At least we haven’t seen the return of that blasted drop dead shrew from last year’s Apprentice.

But we have seen some of the most arrogant, misguided, useless people to parade in front of a TV camera – and given the typical daily schedules of the myriad channels out there nowadays that really is saying something.

There was something of a departure for the Apprentice this week, through passport control. I quite liked the fact that they decamped to Morocco for the traditional haggling test – if you want to be the best, you gotta get stung by the best.

I must admit I feared for Raef’shair in all that dry, unrelenting heat. It was a frizzy, fluffy hair disaster waiting to happen.

But his hair survived and so did Raef. He’ll be able to dazzle us with the words that are his tool again next week. That is a relief on so many levels.

The scene where he gave the other lads a few tips on what to pack for Morocco showed a touch of class sadly lacking in this series so far. Remember, don’t forget the toiletries.

Alex mooned about looking all Lynx-modelly and clearly not happy at pretending to be overly-smug Claire’s boyfriend during the bargaining. Helene was largely anonymous. Sara and Lucinda equipped themselves well after being subjected to relentless bullying over recent weeks.

We also had another priceless performance from Lee “Bullitt” McQueen, who was elevated to the role of project leader this week and roared his way around Moroccan markets like a maniac.

As Lee himself so succinctly put it, his team won the task because they “totally f***ing nailed the blue cactus, man”.

I guess that is how Lee and his crew roll.


4 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    You know, Paul, the only reason I can forgive myself for watching this rubbish is that I don’t watch any other soaps. Plus Felix gives a hilarious running commentary – most of which I can’t relate in public since un-pc.

    What got me in this particular episode is- and let’s not forget what the apprentice is about – that they were not sensitive enough to tune into the mentality of the good people of Marrakesh selling their wares. You don’t hop about like raving lunatics on a mission when trying to barter.

    As to the kosher part – I had to bite my own forearm to bear the inanity; and how legitimate is that?


  2. I’d love to see Lucinda win. She’s my type of woman, so I’m probably biased. As for Lee, he must be “on” something – no one can be like that naturally can they?

  3. Paul Groves says:

    Ursula: Sensitivity and Apprentice candidates have never been happy bedfellows. Ignorance is bliss.

    aj: Lee is on a natural high courtesy of the sap of the blue cactus that he so eloquently nailed – probably.

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