The Apprentice makes a welcome return to our screens in a week’s time.
So at least I know what I’ll be doing with my Wednesday nights for the next couple of months.
And at first glance, it looks like we won’t be disappointed. We will be exposed to the now familiar selection of caricatures, lined up to entertain and infuriate in equal measure.
There’s even a wealth-obsessed trainee stockbroker described as a “former Gavin Henson lookalike” who hero-worships Hugh Heffner. The mind boggles.
It must be bad enough being a Gavin Henson lookalike, but surely being a former lookalike is quite shaming? Then again, someone who hero worships a pornographer and is driven by amassing as much money as possible – plus is prepared to go on a reality TV programme – probably has no shame.
There is also an estate agent who thinks business is the new rock ‘n roll and he’s Elvis Presley.
Err, yes. Of course you are.
(That’s not him, by the way. That is Aussie Elvis impersonator Nick Savas doing his thing)
What will be interesting to see is whether this time around The Apprentice makes any sort of allowance to the recessionary times we are currently living in.
The focus on money has always veered violently towards the distasteful in previous series – from the win at all costs mentality adopted to secure the £100,000 prize of working for Sir Alan Sugar, to the squeals of delight at the palatial surroundings the wannabes find themselves billeted in and the dubious treats they are rewarded with for winning a task.
At a time when such pursuit of all things shallow and largely worthless is frowned upon, how will The Apprentice cope with an economic downturn?
One thing is for certain, Sir Alan will be in his element and be able to step up onto his soapbox – not just so that he’s at the same height as everyone else, but so that he can read out his report cards from the school of hard knocks.
Did you know he was a self-made multi-millionaire from Dickensian London who started out selling jellied whelks to his fellow schoolkids, moved on to become an arch Cockerknee wheeler and dealer (the character of Del-Boy was based on him, although Sir Alan was literally a million times more successful) and then he invented the home computer and became the richest bloke in his street?
Or something like that.
He never went to no posh, poncey FE college or anything either.
Sir Alan has been the public face of the Government’s latest campaign to promote apprenticeships. He’s been turning up on TV ads telling us how impressed he is with the personal qualities of young apprentices and why they’re such a business asset.
Funny how such qualities have been strangely absent from most of the candidates in each of the series of The Apprentice so far.
Hopefully we’ll also get an update on last year’s winner – Mr Shouty aka Lee McQueen. That is, of course, if he’s managed to outdo most of the previous winners and lasted longer than 12 months.
So, much to ponder on over the next week while we await for the first installment. Or not, if you have something better to do.
Early indications are The Apprentice will continue to showcase the unacceptable face of capitalism.
And I’ll still be hypocritical enough to decry reality TV in all its forms and yet sit glued to Sir Alan’s quest to find a no-hoper unworthy of a six-figure salary.