I may well be mistaken, but there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for this latest series of The Apprentice.

Of course, there is still plenty of time for it to all go hideously wrong but the omens are looking good at the moment.

We may finally have a worthy candidate on our hands in the shape of Helen, the quietly determined executive assistant who has been responsible – partly or solely – for three of the biggest and genuine triumphs in the history of The Apprentice.

Helen - a professional and dignified Apprentice candidate. Surely some mistake?

What’s more she has done it in a thoroughly professional and dignified way.

I know, crazy innit? An Apprentice candidate giving corporate UK a good name seems as likely as Lord Sugar failing to mention he started his multi-million pound business empire when he was a penniless ragamuffin on ye olde streets of London town whilst berating some hapless wannabe in the boardroom.

But, whisper it for now, Helen might actually be the future corporate superstar his lordship has been struggling to find ever since the first series of The Apprentice aired.

She is yet to throw a tantrum, has so far failed to launch into any sort of tirade against a fellow candidate and actually listens to teammates. More importantly, she seems to absorb what each task is actually about and presents a polished and professional image when dealing with prospective buyers and any members of the public unfortunate enough to find themselves caught up in the filming of the series.

There have been a few hic-cups and Helen, as project manager of last night’s task to create a new biscuit, could have come a cropper by failing to act on some misleading branding.

How many Apprentice candidates does it take to make a decent biscuit?

But, thankfully for her and Lord Sugar, her opponents were a lot more crap (again). Thanks to the bullshitting of Jedi Jim, Helen’s team secured a massive exclusive order – although his wild claims and promises for their new biscuit product Special Stars could just as easily have backfired.

Hopefully Jedi Jim believes he is once again invincible and will come a cropper in the next couple of weeks, paving the way for Helen to secure the victory she (so far) richly deserves.

Of course, there is still time for Helen to fall by the wayside and undo all the weeks of hard work. There’s no such thing as a safe bet in business or on The Apprentice.

But at moment Helen does represent a few crumbs of comfort for Lord Sugar.

She might just prove worthy of a £250,000 investment in a new business venture. Unlike most of her other competitors who have thus far survived the competition.

Apart from nerdy inventor Tom, who shows plenty of potential but has so far failed to display the kind of backbone he’ll need when going into business with his lordship, those who are left are as ever providing more comedy value than corporate credentials.

Tiny little Susan seems bewildered by everything 95% of the time, then shows some fight and fire in rare and fleeting moments of maturity.

Natasha, yeah, is just completely out of her depth, yeah. She’s been really lucky so far, yeah and is hanging on for grim death, yeah.

The force is not strong with Jedi Jim either, even if he clearly thinks it is. He got lucky this week and I can’t help thinking what worked with biscuits will fail horribly on a future task.

And that leaves Melody, who has taken on the Stuart Baggs role for this series. She has become something of a cherished little pet for Lord Sugar, as with The Brand in the last series his lordship clearly seems something positive in what the rest of us regard as loathsome.

Her business at present is apparently mentoring young people. Gawd help the yoof is all I can say. Does Melody really represent a positive role model?

She’s supremely arrogant, she is unable to work productively as part of a team and she has an air of superiority that is rarely matched by her ability – all this in spite of the fact that she learned at the feet of the Dalai Lama (or something). Melody seems to have a permanent sneer on her face that is made even more unattractive when she opens her mouth to speak.

So far, his lordship has forgiven Melody for these failings (even though other candidates have been fired for much less) and has indulged the sneering brat.

Hopefully, she’ll get the Baggs treatment sooner or later and hear those immortal words: “You’re full of shit. You’re fired.”


2 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    Little to add, Paul. You said it. Helen is a Lady in the boardroom, and probably in the kitchen too. I don’t like Susan. If I had to work with that “face” and those round astonished eyes every day you might soon have to care for me too. I abhore violence, verbal or physical, yet there are people in this world you feel like punching. If I envy his Lordship one thing it’s that he can say, in public, on TV: “You are full of shit.” I recently did so (in writing) – and it was true – only to feel compelled later to apologize for my choice language. Other than that you’d have to pay me a lot of money in the first place to make a complete ass of myself on “The Apprentice”. Naturally, one could lead a revolt instead of meakly mouthing “Good Morning, Lord Sugar”, “Yes, Lord Sugar”. Thanking him for being fired. If that finger was pointed at me another expression might come to mind (what’s there to lose since you are already down the drain?): “F… U 2, Alan. Thanks anyway.”


  2. […] knew I shouldn’t have broken cover and praised Helen so effusively last week – well, effusive in the context that this is still The Apprentice […]

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