In week two of this series of The Apprentice blabbermouth waste of space James McQuillan revealed – a little too gleefully if you ask me – that he had done a nervous little wee in his pants when sitting in the boardroom facing the chop.

Now in week four and he’s been responsible for doing a big smell as well.

jamesmcquillan3Can this man not keep himself and his bodily functions under control, you may well ask.

Probably not, although to be fair this week’s noxious smells were very much a whole group effort as the hapless no-hopers attempted to create beauty products.

We had pretty much every ingredient we have come to expect from Sir Alan Sugar’s attempt to find a £100,000-a-year apprentice.

There were the petty squabbles, the shouty arguments, the general air of cluelessness and desperation, Nick scrunching up his face until it looked likely it would fold in on itself, Margaret arching her eyebrow so high it almost disappeared down the back of her neck, the teams singularly failing to work together and project leaders who probably couldn’t spell “managing” let alone understand the concept.

Needless to say their efforts in creating a fragrant aroma and a blossoming business idea fell flat.

They did not come close to playing the sort of blinder Sir Alan wanted, in fact they had a right old stinker of a time.


The team led by flame-haired HR diva Paula created the best product and sold plenty, but spent a small fortune on ingredients and so made a loss.

The team led by science teacher turned invisible man Noorul created a poor, gloopy soap and bubble bath that looked like old chip fat and sold enough to make a teeny-weeny profit.

So, like we’ve seen so many times before, the weakest links escaped to stumble through another task.

Noorul perfected his invisible man act to reach new heights this week, yet all the while he was supposed to be leading his team.

the-invisible-man1He did nothing, he hardly said anything, he sold a big fat zero and when he made a decision it was the wrong one.

But he was triumphant. The invisible man dressed as a bee-keeper as a pointless sales gimmick and will amazingly be back next week – the bee-keeper clobber did look more like a bio-hazard suit, possibly not the sort of look to go down well in a busy London tube station.

Paula, who gloriously brought the phrase “naff all” back into public consumption during her brief stay on the show, was suitably gutted. Her biggest mistake was trusting two of her team – Yasmina and Ben – with keeping control of the costs of the ingredients for the Rock Poole products.

Yasmina supposedly runs her own business and yet has already proved her major failings when leading one of the teams earlier on (albeit to another unlikely victory).

Ben, the trainee stockbroker, is a cock.

Ben, who got a scholarship to Sandhurst…but didn’t go. Ben, who is prepared to “bite his rival’s teeth off” (whatever that means) in a boardroom fight.

Trusting both of them sealed Paula’s fate in the boardroom once her team had lost.

We had some moments of high comedy, engineered brilliantly by Nick, as it was revealed that one ingredient hadn’t cost “about a fiver” after all but more like £700. The open mouth response from virtually every team member was priceless, but nowhere near as enjoyable as Nick’s pay-off line.

Once more both winners and losers displayed a staggering lack of business understanding which shouldn’t bode well for Sir Slan, yet doesn’t seem to matter.

The editing and the decisions on who gets fired are clearly designed to ramp up the entertainment value of the show.

That is why we can probably expect fireworks between Ben and James, Philip moaning and shouting a lot more, Yasmina bitching and Noorul doing nothing for a few more weeks.

But, for now, we wave bye-bye to Paula.


On the BBC’s website, Paula informs us: “I am the girl with a plan. I have great wit and strength of character, and I am resilient to the core.”

We finally saw some glimpses of that wit and character and there was the briefest spark of creativity, business nous and potential – a rare bird indeed on The Apprentice. And yet it wasn’t enough.

Alas her plan was to put her faith in a ruthless yet clueless woman and a trainee stockbroker who is also a fully qualified pillock.


2 responses »

  1. Philip John says:

    Even more enjoyable than the show itself yet again 🙂 I knew you’d mention Nick’s little sign off. You could tell he thoroughly enjoyed that!

  2. Mikki says:

    I am indebted to you for your insights of what we are missing by not having a TV (flap all, as far as I can tell).

    But there is one small (if recurring) point I think you’ve missed in your otherwise insightful blog – selling crap appears to turn a small profit; imagination and quality both cost more money than they make.

    Now I’m not up on Sir A’s current business empire but that sounds scarily to me like the secret of his success.

    Capitalism eh? I’m off to watch The IT Crowd, which seems like the same sort of thing but no one gets fired.

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