I stuck with it and enjoyed this year’s series of The Apprentice a lot, but mainly because I treated it as a parody rather than a serious search for a corporate high-flyer.
As I stated half-way through the series, I found it far easier to view The Apprentice as an Office-style mocumentary than a reality programme.
Let’s face it, with contenders like Stuart “The Brand” Baggs and Melissa Cohen and her wonderfully idiotic turns of phrase and misplaced arrogance, those taking part seemed a lot more like caricatures of corporate UK rather than actual business people.
The final lacked the drama and tension of previous years too. I think that’s mainly down to the fact that the two finalists themselves – Chris Bates and Stella English – were not exactly sparkling personalities.
Stella deservedly triumphed in a fairly uninspiring “safe pair of hands” kind of way over the undoubtedly bright but ruthlessly dim Chris.
The 2010 series was all a bit “meh”. So I think Lord Sugar got what he deserved out of this crop of wannabes.
She’ll more than likely do a solid job for the self-made millionaire in one of his many companies and in 10 years time, if The Apprentice survives that long, we could well see her interviewing that year’s crop hopefuls in the penultimate episode (probably replacing the blessed Margaret).
But Stella would need to work on her facial expressions first. I’m sure she could perfect a rather steely gaze and intimidating purse of the lips if she tried really hard.
Or she could just go the way of other Apprentice winners – wherever that is.
So in the search for the best young business brain of Britain and a test of corporate UK in the grips of a recession what was my highlight of this series?
It has to be Lord Sugar telling The Brand: “You’re full of shit…you are fired.”
That probably says a lot for the series itself and for the state of corporate UK.