Archives for the month of: April, 2012

It’s 5pm on Week 6 and the candidates are happily playing Wii Twat when LordAlan makes one of his increasingly predictable surprise visits and everyone plasters on their best surprised faces. The task is to travel to Edinburgh (no main feat on Virgin East Coast) and set up a mobile restaurant embracing the ethos of the “revolution” that is gourmet street food. After buying ingredients and making the food, the team that makes the most profit on sales will win.

Lord Alan chooses team leaders this week, and in an attempt to ensure that someone really useless goes, Adam is put in charge of Pheonix (Steve, Tom, Azhar, Jade & Katie) whereas Jenna is made manager of Sterling (Nick, Gabby, Laura, Ricky).

Adam feels he’s perfect for street selling, what with his barrer boy experience. He’s also not bad at stereotyping: “Scottish people eat deep fried mars bars, haggis…” he starts before a wincing Tom suggests Sushi. Adam’s having none of that weirdo foreign muck though; “Who eats raw fish?” he retches. Katie suggests pasta and Adam thinks it’s the best idea so far. Meekly Azhar suggests “chicken wrap”, but everyone pretends it was just the wind.

Jenna’s also confident (“I can’t cook, but I worked in a restaurant for ages, so I have an idea”). Gabby thinks a Scottish theme will still go down well amongst the many tourists in Edinburgh, but Laura wisely reminds everyone of the “quality” remit to the task, so they decide upon a casserole with a Scottish twist using Aberdeen Angus beef, which immediately sets Ricky worrying about the task.

“You’re a bit of a foody aren’t you Tom” bellows Adam aggressively, as though he’s outing a paedophile. “You know the score with that sort of thing” he adds suspiciously. Tom agrees and is co-opted as kitchen assistant.

Adam then bizarrely appoints Steve as manager of the market research/marketing team of Katie & Azhar (Jade seems to be given her own separate role which is also, erm marketing). You get the feeling Adam really wants to slap his team members on the arse as he self importantly gives them their roles. Especially Steve. Anyhow Steve and Katie go to check out a gourmet food fair and phone back brimming with more tales about scallops with celeriac purée than a whole afternoon’s worth of “Come Dine With Me”s. “I get it” he blusters impatiently. “High quality ingredients”.

On the train oop North, Nick calls a city centre hotel to suss out the best selling spots in Edinburgh, and although he’s tempted by the footfall of the derby match at Tynecastle, he reasons that the punters might not be best suited to gourmet stew. Katie however thinks it’s a bloody brilliant opportunity as there will be 40,000 people around (divide that by a few hundred maybe) and despite Steve’s warning that the average football fan won’t want more than a burger and a beer (or up North a beer and a beer) she’s adamant that she’ll take responsibility if it all goes tits up, so Steve’s eyes go “kerching” and they feed the idea back to Adam.

Both teams get top chefs to help them, so Adam is meanwhile dressed in chef’s white and hat and looking a lot like Pob as he tried to argue with top Italian chef Matteo that it would be cheaper to use dried rosemary (“It’s about profit, not taste”) whilst Tom insists that they should maintain at least a shred of “quality”. Whilst Adam looks chastened, an observing Nick Hewer complains that with Adam it’s all about “Cheap, cheap cheap!” Adam does manage to get Matteo to agree for them to use his name on the product, which would be nice and authentic sounding without going all Dolmio ad on everyone’s arse. However roving Marketing Manager Steve has other ideas. “We’ve gone for something very slick” he boasts, announcing, after a silent drum roll, “Utterly delicious” (did that little gem beat “Not bad” and “You can live on it but it tastes like shit”?). For some insane reason Adam allows Steve to go with this name, with the proviso they at least add the word meatballs to it, which would be kind of useful.

Jenna’s chef gives everyone a chuckle by saying “Well hung”, but of course he’s talking about the best Aberdeen Angus beef to stew away until there’s no flavour or texture left. He tells Jenna that a good casserole would cost about £2.50 to make, but when she phones the team Gabby is horrified. “You don’t get meals in actual restaurants that cost that much to make” she cries. I’m guessing Gabby needs to get out more. However she and Nick do come up with the fab name “Gourmet Scot Pot” and some nifty packaging.

The teams adjourn to the kitchens where Jenna worries after spending £200 at the butchers that they may have bought too much meat. Ricky points out that the other items in the casserole cost £68.82 and Jenna starts messing with the dreaded calculator with her mental number blindness before Ricky helpfully points out that comes to £268.82 which means each portion they make will have cost them £1.52. No pressure.

Over in the Pheonix kitchen, as Azhar squints at the shrinking meatballs which are starting to resemble mummified testes, Adam’s still convinced that “if we can sell these at £5.99 and make £5.80 a portion we’ll smash this!” Lovely. They set up outside Tynecastle the next morning and Azhar’s sent off draped with an Italian flag to drum up business (at this point it sounds like Adam mutters “Go fight a lion or something” and I’m still trying to work out if that’s just really crap racism. Adam just doesn’t seem the type does he?).

Sterling have apparently chosen Parliament Square for the post-Church punters, which almost seems as misguided as Pheonix’s footy location, as when the godly spill out on the square it soon becomes apparent that the ones who haven’t had their porridge this morning are full of the love of Christ and have no need of Scot Pot. Laura and Ricky lure a piper to play a jig or too besides the van with the promise of a free lunch, but if anything it possibly dissuades potential business.

Tom’s convinced that £5.99 might be too high a price for pasta and meatballs as he and Adam nervously eye the crowd of many bellied men clutching things in batter heading up the road to the match. However Katie calls saying that she and Steve think the price should be raised to £7.99, because rubbing out the price and adding a higher one in front of thousands of people could never be construed as taking the piss. Adam’s not budging (“There’s café’s round here doing full brekkies for 2.99”), an despite Azhar telling Katie to say “Don’t panic”, the gingery Yorkshire scrote lowers the price to £3.99 (“Three for a tenner”) and manages to sell a couple of portions before the early match kick-off time of 12.30pm . Surely they’d have been better off selling grub to punters leaving the footy when they’ve been stuck standing with no food for ages?

Steve comes up with the masterstroke of getting a spot on the Edinburgh city tour bus beguiling passengers with descriptions of meaty balls and directing them to Grassmarket, the second afternoon location he’s chosen for the van (I may be wrong but I think the market at Grassmarket finishes in the morning – oops). In practice this means Steve and his marketing team legging it up an insane amount of steps to get to the Royal Mail and catch the bus in order to confuse an handful of passive tourists (lets face it if they can’t be bothered exploring beyond sitting down and letting someone drive them around and tell them what to look at, they’re not likely to make it to Grassmarket). To make matters worse, Katie is dressed as a pizza. “Guess what food we’re selling?” she asks brightly. “Pizza” everyone chirrups. “No you’ll have to think outside the pizza box” she says and everyone glazes over as she adds “It’s meatballs!” After two stops, they have no takers (because it’s a stupid idea), and they then miss the next bus back to Grassmarket so Adam insists they “Sack off this bus tour now”.

Jenna goes through lows (nobody selling, realising Gabby can speak fluent French to a Gallic customer when Jenna can’t even speak fluent English), then a brief high of a couple of customers and back to low in parliament square and eventually at 2pm, Ricky and Laura have a reccy of Princes Street and despite a potential threat in a stall selling cheap Aberdeen Angus burgers, Jenna’s convinced that the footfall will make it worth moving there. It’s the right decision and should have been made hours ago.

By 3pm, everyone’s desperate to sell, but Pheonix can afford to drop their price (Adam “We made the product for under £100, I don’t care as long as we shift it”). At this point a squirrel runs past and everyone makes like the dogs in “Up” and shouts “Squirrel” (I was kind of disappointed after the trailer that squirrel wasn’t on the menu). However, as things become more tense he gets redder and redder and wonders where “Kaytay” is.

Poor Jenna has to be cagier about dropping prices as it would eat into her margins, so Laura and Ricky are taunted into sales overdrive. Laura starts sounding like a flirtatious Ivor Cutler “Have you had your tea?” and Jenna ultimately thinks they’ve lost. Will there be an amazing surprise?

In the boardroom, Lord Sugar’s unimpressed by Adam’s insistence that pork is a nice cheap meat (“But also the key to quality meatballs!”). “Was you trying to keep the cost down?” scowls the wrinkly peer, “Where was the gourmet side”.Adam ropes Tom in to big up the product with his poncy food speak, and Tom points out that the meatballs were “made to an authentic Italian recipe using FRESH ROSEMARY”. Next the price is scrutinised “£5.99 a portion to Rangers fans… they don’t pay that for a striker now!” plus the fact they “missed a big trick” not going with the personalised chef’s name but instead going with the “not very Italian” sounding “Utterly Delicious Meatballs”. Given the selling location at first perhaps “Old, Firm Meatballs” would have worked better?

Sterling get away relatively unscathed with Jenna’s team all backing her, and Jenna pointing out that she’s a Northerner* so prefers traditional food. (*”I never noticed that” cracks Lord Sugar). However their choice of location and spend cause a few raised eyebrows.

Anyhow the scores come in.

Pheonix spent £90.25, sold £388.29 so made a profit of £298.04

Sterling spent £268.82 but sold £588.60 worth, so made a profit of £319.78

So Sterling won by £22, surprising even Lord Sugar (“You must have done well on the selling side”) and as punishment he sends them off to swan around on (and fall off) segues at a 5 star Country Club. That’s Country Club.

Meanwhile Pheonix are sent to Losers Café with a thoughtful “Hmm well you can’t cook the books…” so they can all sit around looking a lot less smug than they did five minutes ago when they heard Sterling’s spend.

Back in the boardroom and Adam gets stick for his cheapskate attitude and not listening to the market research feedback on quality (“I seen things like those meatballs on the floor of the elephant pen at the zoo”), but most fingers point at Katie for her crazy targeting of footy fans. She insists that she’s paid £6 for a burger at a football match. “Where do you go? Chelsea?” scoffs Lord Sugar.

Steve plays mind games with everyone over his contribution claiming that he took responsibility for calling it a day on the bus idea before deflecting attention elsewhere (“You’re missing a trick picking on people who contributed when Azhar is sitting there quiet as a mouse”). Tom picks up on Steve’s eagerness to claim responsibility for good ideas and deny bad ones such as the Grassmarket location (“Why do you lie so much at this table”), but Steve’s still chipping away at his chosen fallguy (“The contribution from Azhar was nil”). Even Azhar knows he’s deflecting the blame (“You make a mistake.. you pass it on to someone else”), and eventually he gets Steve to admit he was responsible for the second location fail. But Steve’s work is done and after some unconvincing dithering, the clueless Adam brings Katie and Azhar back into the boardroom.

Lord Sugar thinks 13 years running a market stall has limited Adam to thinking in terms of buying cheap and selling high, and as Adam denies this his forehead goes so red and blotchy he looks like an albino kamikaze pilot. Azhar puts the boot in (“He didn’t take control”), but Adam insists he isn’t out of his depth (“I kner wha I’m doin!”). “In Adam’s defence” Azhar points out “He passed all the responsibility to Steve to make the decisions”. Ooh nicely played.

Adam accuses Katie of disappearing on day two (Katie: “Oh god that is soooo untrue!”) and pleads with Lord Sugar “Keep me in this process. I’ll show you what I’ve got”. Lord Sugar retorts that we’ve already seen that (and it doesn’t look like much) in this task. “It was good of you to ask me to step up to the mark” Adam honks gracefully.

Azhar argues that he’s committed and driven having grown his own successful business which he funded from a redundancy package. Katie however moans that she feels scapegoated ever since she was first in the boardroom. Whinging won’t get you nowhere love and Lord Alan’s heard enuff. He compliments Azhar on having come out of his shell and made sense “compared to some other people” and tells Adam that he let other people drag him down, but gives him another chance (boo!). Katie is therefore toast, having been in the firing line three times Lord Sugar’s unconvinced and she’s packed off to the Taxi of Regret whence she moans that she was robbed, but seems relatively chirpy about her future prospects (if only she knew then that they included being almost leg humped by Gino D’Acampo on “You’ve Been Fired”).

Adam’s card is properly marked (“You borderline got away with it”) but he acts all humble (“I understand it Lord Sugar”) and he returns to the house where everybody’s face falls when he enters (Jade looks particularly miffed). Azhar gets a bit of revenge by letting everyone know that it was “touch and go” with Adam. “He also got a very stern warning” lies Adam, who really does seem to have a bit of a problem with Azhar.

Never mind Adam. Next week’s task involves selecting items that will sell on the street. You’ll be perfect for that.

Anyhow sorry I couldn’t make this week more interesting. They really are a dull lot this year.

Liking: Tom, Azhar, Jade

Meh: Nick, Gabby, Jenna

Disliking: Steve, Ricky, Laura

Sick of the sight of their stupid red face: Adam

Bye bye: Katie, Duane, Jane, Michael, Maria, Bilyana

Advertisements

Week 5 sees our be-suited buffoons called to York Hall (Ricky: “It’s your call” – ho HO!), which rather than being a Northern Whippet repository is a boxing gym in the East End that the voice-over says has “been keeping Cockneys fit for almost 100 years” (it took over from TB). It looks like the sort of gaff that the Krays chilled out in when they weren’t looking after their own, hence Lord Sugar looks utterly at home as he outlines the latest task: to design a new fitness trend and sell licenses to some of the “leading health club chains” (Fitness First, Virgin and Gym Box for those of you who like me didn’t know or care). He lists a few current trends to inspire the candidates: Zumba, Spinning, Body Pump, Insane Self Torture Bop…

Steve’s confident that his sector knowledge as a shiny suit wearing ex footballer will help him lead Pheonix to victory, and nobody disagrees, which leads him to worry that this task “could be a banana skin” for him.

Ricky suggests that as an ex-pro-wrestler (“They call me ‘the Fitness'” – I think he may have misheard that one) that he’s the best project manager for Sterling, and he’s voted in ahead of Jenna (who er rides horses and has realised that she’s done sod all yet in the series). Ricky wants to look at the current trends and add a new twist, suggesting that the “boot camp element” is currently big. (How about Guantanamobics – where to pumping metal music you lift weights fashioned to look like bits of dead suicide bombers?). Laura, who used to be a dancer but doesn’t like to talk about it, thinks street dancing is (annoyingly) very “now”. Whilst Ricky goes off to watch some kick dancers spar (and do a bit of fisting in the ring himself) and pick up moves; Duane, SilentAgainGabby and flopsyNick take notes at a street dance session. They come up with the intense sounding Beat Battle (tag line: fight to the music!) which incorporates the elbows and knees of martial arts into street dance routines into a fitness regime that enables you to flirtatiously combat would be sex attackers.

Sterling brainstorm ideas. Adam likes “Fit Skip”, which sadly just involves jumping rope rather than work-out moves inspired by rooting through bins. Katie rather scarily likes the idea of a fitness dating class (“OK now thrust that pelvis!”), but she’s also smitten with a retro 80s theme which is (shit) music to Steve’s ears and he drags Adam along to an 80s disco to get “really excited” about girls gyrating over a space-hopper to Flashdance (“Blimey!”). Adam copies the girls doing some of the moves to Thriller and manages to look like a brain damaged ballet dancer

Sterling demo Beat Battle to “fitness expert” Lindsey who asks if any of them have any fitness experience. “I danced when I was younger” squeals Laura, reluctantly. Although Lindsey likes the concept she thinks it could be a little bit too complicated.

I’m not sure if Pheonix really have a concept as such, and Jade points out that they have to at least pretend to care what effect doing “the funky lunge” and the “swingaling” will have on the human body. Tom’s concerned that gyms might not buy all the space hoppers as they have nowhere to put them, but everyone chooses to ignore him and Katie (who’s finally starting to annoy me) tells him they can “only win big by taking a risk”. Steve decides to call the package “Groove Train” and I have only just worked out that “train” could be interpreted as “training”. Oops! He bounces eagerly on Mr Hoppy in front of another fitness expert Stuart who stifles hysterical laughter and pretends to think it’s all an ok idea.

Jade recruits a weedy looking bloke in a headband for the promotional video for “Beat Battle” and asks Adam if he’ll lead the workout as he knows it. Adam goes a nice shade of plum, spluttering angrily “I don’t know it ALL!”, but nonetheless gets our retro waif lunging like a pro. His feet just can’t help themselves!

Ricky asks Duane to lead a video shoot with support from flopsyNick and Laura. “What if I need to make final decisions and can’t get hold of you? Can I make them?” asks Duane eagerly. Ricky gives him his blessing and as soon as they’re at the location Duane decides to re-make a few of his project manager’s initial decisions too and rewrites the script for the shoot. Oh dear. As is the curse of many men given a DV Cam in “The Apprentice”, the hitherto excellent Duane is doomed to act like a massive, dictatorial cock during this part of the “process”. As long as Laura teaches dance moves and flopsyTom wonders around looking a bit vague and ruffled in headphones like a proper media lacky, Duane is happy. As soon as anyone questions his ideas, he goes ballistic and they shut up (“These tasks always end up in a squabble” observes Nick Hewer sagely). Thus Duane manages to direct a video about a street dance:martial art fusion that contains hardly any martial arts moves. Maybe Laura should have rhythmically waved some nunchuks about. Even flopsyNick gets annoyed when Duane bombastically declares “I don’t feel like we’re working together to be honest” (translation: I don’t feel like you’re obeying me completely). In the car to the editing suite, Duane complains that “there was a disagreement at every single stage” of the shoot. “I agree” declares Nick with promising comic timing. Duane seems to think that his accepting leadership for this part of the task means that anyone else offering input at a later stage is a Johnny Come Lately out to steal his glory. Eventually Nick notes how killy this is making Laura and tries to encourage everyone to shake hands and be friends, but Duane’s still off on one, and Nick reverts to the last vestige of the sensible; looking out of the window and chuckling.

In the 80s nightclub, Adam is proving that even proximity to a DV Cam can turn some people into tools as he constantly reddens and grips at Jade’s directing skillz. As he’s clearly bottled leading the workout, Azhar has to take one for the team and prance about in little red shorts whilst Adam “motivates” from the sidelines. (“Er yeah do tha!”). Meanwhile Ricky has bizarrely given the calculator of deadly power to Jenna and Gabby so they can work out costings whilst he demos his ninja Beat Battle skillz at them (whilst mouthing off David Brentisms like “my team is really happy”). Has he not seen what damage Jenna and Gabby can do with a calculator?

In the edit suite, a now beetroot Adam slags off Jade’s lack of panning on the Groove Train dvd, rather than pointing out that the opening graphic looks like a 1980s video game. Jade chooses wisely to blithely ignore him (Adam: “She doesn’t shout me down ..no-one could do that – but she just doesn’t listen. Ah don’t know if she’s thick or deaf or what!” – no love she’s just normal).

After finishing his final tweak on “Beat Battle”, Duane sits back happy with his work and asks Laura and Nick if they have anything to say. Silence ensues.

It’s pitch time and after all the fuss, the Beat Battle video is just very dull, and so short! The pitch is fairly strong from Ricky, although the bloke from Virgin just thinks it looks like Boxersize. Costings are £45 per month for a class, with a 2 month discount for a year (I have no idea what it should cost so fall asleep a little bit here). Ricky wants to learn from the questions, but the main one seems to be about the video not demonstrating what Sterling say the regime is due to the lack of elbow moves in the video or something.

Steve runs Groove Train past Fitness First who look a little bit stunned at Azhar’s mental yet jolly face beaming out as he does lunges and sit-ups in his little shorts, calling out instructions in his North Western accent. “It looks like you had amazing fun making that” sneers FF lady as Steve and Tom outline the pricing (£35 per course per month, but £1500 off per year if it goes to all their venues nationwide which doesn’t seem all that generous but again what do I know?). FF Lady asks what would happen to studio capacity if they bought all the space hoppers and hula hoops required. “You’d lose 8 people per class” says Steve confidently (as though he’s worked it out), but he then promises that they would supply all the space hoppers as part of the license (which proves he hasn’t worked things out). “Er where would we keep them all?” smirks FF Lady.

“These questions about stock are doing my head in!” moans Steve post-pitch. “It’s only £20 per course”. Tom does some quick math; “Erm 2000 space hoppers, made out of rubber?” Karen’s especially unimpressed at Steve “pulling prices out of the air”.

Next Sterling pitch to Gym Box, and there’s a live demo in which Laura skips around like something out of The Wicker Man. Duane demonstrates the campest “super punch” ever (Ricky: “You’re struggling there mate”), but the Gym Box bloke thinks the regime could have a “wide appeal” and there’s big matey hand shakes all round.

Pheonix meet Virgin and Steve hula hoops hopefully before them like Alan Partridge dancing for Tony Hayers. He claims that Groove Train is aimed at “the female market. All ages and abilities?” “Isn’t it just a kids class” asks Virgin bloke mockingly. “That would work” Steve brightly clutches at straws.

Ricky pitches to Fitness First and has clearly done his homework on the market and any potential competitors. If this is another typical predictable attempt at wrong footing the viewer as to which team win, then it’s going to be a massive shock.

Back in the Boardroom and a particularly grumpy Lord Sugar describes “Beat Battle” as “like a punch up in a disco”. Ricky thinks they got “good buying signals” from Fitness First and Virgin.

“That was myself!! Me me me!” yells a purple Adam as soon as Lord Sugar asks who choreographed Groove Train. Turns out he’s a bit premature but does want to make it seem as though he did something of import on the video shoot. Azhar cringes as there’s yet another dvd play and looks shiftily from left to right hoping to catch out the bastards who are snickering at his performance (everybody is). “Is that IN at the moment” gasps a genuinely gobsmacked Lord Sugar and Steve assures him that it is, although Steve does live in 1983.

Sugar’s less than impressed that Steve was offering Space Hoppers for £2, Hula Hoops for a quid and skipping ropes for 50p (Bargain!), suggesting the whole thing is a “flawed business model”, but Steve’s still convinced it could make a “very healthy profit”

Anyhow here’s the scores from each of the gyms:

 Fitness First

They hated Pheonix and didn’t order any licenses

They quite liked Sterling and offered a £5,000 “one off development fee”

 Gym Box

They hated Pheonix and didn’t order any licenses

They quite liked Sterling and ordered licenses on a 3 month trial basis totalling £2,970

Virgin

They didn’t order any licenses from Sterling

They didn’t really like Pheonix for the target market, but liked it for families (hence the kids question) so ordered licenses at £17.50 each (eh?) on a 6 month trial across 122 clubs totalling £12,810 – so there is your shock.

Sterling are hilariously stunned as the jammy gits of Pheonix waltz off for luxury spa treatments while they have to sweat in the steam of Losers Café. FlopsyNick points out that the gyms all suggested the product needed further development, but Duane refuses to accept that anyone did anything wrong. “We did though… we did lose” flopsyNick points out gently.

Back in the boardroom and Nick Hewer mentions that all the buyers felt the routine was very watered down, which is blamed on the blandly inoffensive video which apparently got negative comments from all the gyms. Ricky feels Laura is at fault as she took the sequences to the video shoot, but on the evidence of the finished dv clearly tried to show off her dance skills that she doesn’t really care to mention much. When even Jenna starts saying that Laura should have thrown “a few more kicks in” (eh?) Laura’s clear that she’s “not liking the way this is going at ALL”.

Duane starts digging by stating categorically that he takes FULL responsibility for the video. “Compare yours to Pheonix’s..” Karen suggests. “Yours is dull”.

“But theirs was cheesy” Ricky gapes. Apparently that’s the bladdy point and cheesy still sells.

It’s quietly pointed out that the licenses were also seen as too expensive but nobody points their finger at Jenna or NowMuteGabby for their already evidenced dodgy sums. Therefore Ricky stupidly brings Duane and Laura back into the boardroom and few lucky souls slink back to the house.

Lord Sugar points out that Ricky’s bought back the people who contributed the most, allowing the slackers to get away with it, but Ricky’s adamant that he wanted the job to be done correctly and that “the man who said he could do the job under-delivered” because he got too “emotionally involved” with the filming. As Lord Sugar turns to Laura, Duane leaps in to excavate a little more from his hole. “Laura shouldn’t be here.. she contributed lots” he insists, adding unconvincingly that Ricky “hid himself away” during previous tasks. It gets Laura on side at least, and she also thinks Ricky should go (“if he was so concerned about the video, he should have gone to the edit”), but there’s little chance of that and after reprimanding Ricky for his “bad management move” of bringing the wrong people back, Duane is fired, although there’s a slight card marking for Laura. So maybe not such a rubbish strategy for “The Fitness”.

In the taxi of doom Duane thinks we haven’t seen the best of him. I kind of think we’ve seen the worst, so as long as you stay away from cameras you’ll be fine Duane.

Laura meanwhile struggles to disguise her pique at Ricky daring to take her back into the boardroom in the first place. Ricky however just gives it all that when he gets back “Lord Sugar knows who I am! He knows what I got!”. Wow, for a pro Wrestler he sounds a lot like every cocky telesales team leader I’ve met. Weird that.

Next week the teams try to sell unhealthy meat options to the Scottish. That should really test them.

Liking: Azhar, Tom, Jade

Come on love, sort yourself out: Katie, Gabriella (was she on drugs for this episode?)

Warming to: FlopsyNick

Meh: Steve

Disliking: Ricky

Should go next: Adam or Jenna

Really disliking: Laura

Bye Bye: Duane, Jane, Michael, Maria, Bilyana

It’s Whiff Whaff morning in the Bayswater luxury pad as the candidates enjoy their morning off knocking balls about, only to be rudely and predictably interrupted by a request to meet Sir Alan at the Old Cinema in Chiswick pronto, sending them into a panicky blur of blusher and aftershave. The Old Cinema turns out to be a posh furniture warehouse, setting the scene for today’s task; buying a load of retro furniture tutt (furnitutt?) and flogging it to over-moneied headcases in two shop spaces on Brick Lane in two days team; biggest profit wins.

Lord Sugar mixes up the teams like a fruit machine addict looking for a perfect grouping of lemons. Ricky joins Nick, Duane, Laura, Jenna, silentGabrielle and Jane on Sterling. Meanwhile Jade is assigned to the ranks of Pheonix with Katie, Azhar, Adam, Steve and Tom.

Duane wants to Project Manage yet again as he’s convinced that the lowly beings on planet Sterling have come to view him as a GOD. However Laura also volunteers and everyone votes for her, even the boys. “Thanks guys” laughs Duane at his vote of non confidence. Over on Pheonix, nobody bothers challenging Tom, who feels that his experience flogging wine despite him being “only 23” makes him a “well rounded individual” and therefore ideal for the task of flogging furniture.

Tom does seem to be treating this task just like selling wine. He knows that there aren’t enough tramps actually in Brick Lane to get away with any cheap crap, so aims for a stylish, classic feel to the store. The rest of the team are tasked with selectively buying treasures that only Tom would approve of, with Katie, Adam and Steve sent to an auction house in Greenwich with only £200 to spend whilst Tom keeps his beady eyes on Jade and Aznar at a car boot sale, poopooing almost everything the others present to him (Team: “We won’t have enough stuff!”; Tom: “I don’t really like it”) and absently mindedly rolling his fixated eyes when Jade accidentally smashes something vaguely valuable. It’s how I imagine the French do micro-management. I kind of warm to Tom’s jib. He’s clearly an annoyingly stubborn obsessive young man who knows what he likes and won’t be swayed by any other pleb. And he still looks like a young Stewart Lee. The rest of the team are understandably going spare though, although as Nick points out they didn’t argue hard enough with their mild mannered yet surprisingly steely manager. The auction team only manage to win three items thanks to Adam making wanker signs whilst talking about Tom’s strategy and how empty the shop’s going to look. Nick sneers and hides behind sunglasses as Adam rummages happily in the skip behind the auction house on the way out coming out with a broken metal wine rack/do it yourself abortion kit.

Sterling seem to be on a mission to recreate Reggie Perrin’s “Grot” shop, with Ricky enthusing about “buying crap” and “upcycling” (ugh) it into stylish products. Ricky’s been watching too much “60 Minute Makeover” – the reality is that if you buy crap, in two days you might be able to make it into shit. Laura takes an opportunity to offload a massive amount of responsibility by telling silentGabby that she is the creative team. Gabby silently assents, but she still looks tired and confused after her meltdown in the boardroom three weeks ago. Giving her creative control could lead to wonky chairs with little tampon tassels attached if we’re lucky. In Tooting Laura allows Ricky to run amok in junk shops (“we’ll take the broken table”) like a coked up womble. They leave the shop with enough gear to generously refurbish a Premier Inn and even Laura stammers “Um we’ve bought a hell of a lot of stuff haven’t we?”

Sterling seem to be confused as to whether they’re “upcycling” (arrgh!) or doing “Shabby chic” (giving things a good rough sandpapering). Somehow the latter sounds cheaper and more promising to me, but without any remit or budget restrictions from Laura, Gabby’s got a reupholstery catalogue from somewhere and is mentally shouting out things for Jenna to order. Shit loads of things. Oh creativenotsilentGabby! Just because your purchasing team has come home with a load of turds does not mean you have to personally polish and “brand” every single one. Especially not with numbers in big blobby letters. It’s just weird. Although I am liking the suitcase with legs as it reminds me of the weird creepy hybrid toys in Sid’s bedroom in “Toy Story”.

Looking at the tiny circle of furniture in the huge warehouse-like Pheonix pop-up shop I wonder if Tom’s brilliant strategy is to get arts council funding, as it certainly looks like something that would. Adam and Steve go off on a mission to find some more stock and find a secret room full of treasure too special to try to sell to customers at the back of a junk shop. It’s even got a wonky wine rack in it, and Adam can’t get enough of those bad boys. I love the fact that Junk Shop Bloke even haggles with the boys just for fun, shoutily forcing them up from £25 to £30 and making Steve think he’s done a Jedi mind trick in closing the deal with the slightly odd “£30 from a North Londoner to a South Londoner” (surely the only true response to that one is “Fark off from a Sarf Londoner to a Wanker!”). As they leave, the Junk shop bloke chuckles “They picked all the rubbish stuff”. Maybe they should have politely asked his advice. I bet he’d still have been a bastard mind.

Sterling muscle in on a house clearance for a dead person and flounce around respectfully taking anything that isn’t nailed into a coffin. Although Duane can’t imagine buying any of this stuff, at least it’s free. How’s that old saying go Duane? Oh yeah “Don’t look a gift horse in the eye”.

With a little bit of jiggery pokery and some pensive lip fingering Tom has transformed the empty space of Pheonix’s Vintage shop into a Hoxton twat’s idea of a Bond Villain’s lair. There’s even a brilliant round leather chair – and an ash tray shaped like a rocket. If I was a privileged child I would have liked a place like this as my den.

Sterling are still murdering stock, but on the plus side Nick and Duane look cute in dungarees. Karen wonders if the “upcycling” is actually detracting from the rubbish items value as Gabby insists on painting union jacks onto perfectly acceptable chairs as though she’s anticipated the interior design branch of the EDF having a rally in the vicinity (silly girl – they’re all at Homebase where ironically they are buying furniture produced by the Muslim Defence Front – that is what MDF stands for isn’t it?). Ricky and Duane are endearingly unconvinced by the patriotic furniture – mind you most of us have a mad nan who’d love this stuff – especially if you pretended you painted it yourself as they still think you’re five. Laura gets wind of this and manages to stress Gabby out about it. Just paint all the chairs different colours (one red, one white, one blue if you must) and if you really want to get wacky paint some Cath Kidston style dots onto them – the Yummy Mummies will go wild women of wonga for stuff like that.

Despite Tom’s efforts, on the Harry Enfield “I saw you coming” scale Sterling are winning so far.

It’s selling day, and aware of the achingly cool aspirations of Pheonix’s shop, Steve has put on his coolest grey cardigan. Sizzle! Already the annoying beautiful people with silly hair are loving the shop, with one customer declaring “Not too cluttered but all pretty special”. As more things sell, Nick points out “there’s a difference between minimalism and emptiness” (Maybe they’re going for nihilism?) and Katie timidly asks if they should get more stock. “Stock” mumbles Tom, a man controlled by forces beyond our ken. “Stock.. stock” he rubs his fingers through his hair blankly. I really hope he’s just putting this on for the clientèle.

Sterling open up shop late and are still figuring out the pricing. Nick can’t help with pricing as “I don’t buy this shit”, so touts for trade by the door, scaring businessmen away. Duane does a better job by telling customers that he doesn’t get the items in the shop (“You’d have to be really cool to get that… clearly you are.”). Jane meanwhile shows them how it’s done; slapping on her fake beatific smile as another potential victim approaches before swooping on them like a snarling banshee demanding “What about a chair then?!!” Laura must have picked up on this as she sends Jane out to do flyering (which she can barely disguise her contempt for), mind you Laura sends the competent Duane out to flyer as well. He does better at giving pieces of paper away than Jane too. Laura thinks she will be pleasantly surprised when everything’s totted up. That’ll be until you see the bill from Hobbycraft, love.

Finally Tom agrees that that Steve Jade and Adam can buy more tutt at a car boot sale in Battersea (they’re half way there in the car when they ask) – relinquishing briefly the control of his personal aesthetic vision. Actually they do quite well, annoying one car boot lady into giving them a load of cheap chintz (“You can have it for a pound…as long as you promise you will go away…”). Sales continue apace despite Steve dropping one customer’s bagged purchase (“Shit!”), and even Nick apologises for sneering at what he thought was poor product selection (“What do I know?”).

With one hour left everyone’s dropping prices to get a sale, apart from Jenna who engages in a pointlessly annoying Mexican stand-off with a foppish boy (“£9.50”, “£9.25!”, “£9.50”, “£9.25!”, “£9.40”, “£9.25!”, “£9.30”, “£9.25!”, “Er £9.25”). The Union Jack stuff doesn’t sell well with one customer saying it’s just cheap and tacky to buy things with flags on. She’s not American or German sadly. Gabby has an almost scary mental moment at a couple buying a table, but somehow gets a pity sale. Appropriately, as Sterling’s shop closes – the woman who bought the scary suitcase with legs realises that the legs have a tendency to fall off in the middle of the road.

So it’s boardroom time and Laura claims that Gabrielle was her team’s advantage (cue Gabby looking utterly defeated). Lord Sugar’s confused by some of the high faluting concepts being flung around such as “Shabby chic” and the difference between Vintage and Retro (Sterling were apparently aiming for the latter). Let me sort it out for you Al. If a shop scatters leaves around the floor (“Like Oxfam in a hurricane”) and they aren’t selling squirrels then they’re likely to be crap and overpriced. Lord Sugar asks Laura who most impressed her with their sales. “I was quite impressed by myself to be honest” she smugs endearingly.

Tom is open and clear about his strategy and states he doesn’t have a bad word to say about anyone in his team (as they all did his bidding). Bless him.

Anyhow the scores on the doors are:

Pheonix sold £1423.50 worth and spent £360.10 making a profit of £1063.40

Sterling sold £1444.42 worth and spent (surprise surprise) £660.76 making a £783 profit

So it’s a 1940s style vintage party for Pheonix, who get taught how to swing by Sam and Nicky before getting drunk, turning all the lights out and getting pregnant.

Meanwhile violin music accompanies Sterling on their well worn way back into Losers Café (soon we’ll have a clip of the café manager saying “Same again?”). Nick, graduate of University of the Bleeding Obvious, hits it on the head “The problem was costs – but with higher sales that wouldn’t have been an issue”. Ricky scents blood and blames Gabrielle’s design, but she sticks up for herself claiming that maybe some of the other items bought were too expensive. Sadly that doesn’t explain why the arts and craft gumph cost a third of the total spend.

Anyhow back in the boardroom, Laura’s very keen to blame the upgrading and creative team (i.e. Gabrielle), despite not having to anyone’s knowledge having given Gabby a budget. Karen clarifies the situation (“None of you knew how much you spent”). Laura starts making screeching Scottish mountain lion noises as Jenna chips in and things inevitably descend into an incomprehensible bitch scrap.

It transpires that Laura, Ricky and Duane bought over 200 items from the junk “dealers”, but Laura still tries to offload the blame onto Gabby with her “concern” over the Union Jack stuff. Gabby finally comes out fighting and makes some sense, holding her hands up to having had a lot of responsibility, but asking Laura “if I am taking responsibility for a lot of this stuff then what are you taking responsibility for?”

We discover that Gabby actually sold the most for the team (£414 worth) with Jenna the next highest (people bought things to make her and her voice go away). Jane’s people skills got her £10 worth of sales, with Karen describing our favourite evil Nolan’s sales technique as “desperate”.

Laura brings back Gabby and Jane, only for Lord Sugar to reiterate Gabby’s question to Laura, “What did you do?”

Ever modest our favourite evil Clare Grogan points out that “I did a good job” and “I did manage the team well” on top of which “I motivated the sales people” and also “They sold well… apart from Jane obviously.. oops!” (Too late, Jane’s eyes have gone Hulk Smash and she sides with Gabby against their rubbish Project Manager).

Sugar asks Laura why she didn’t set a £50 budget for upcycling gubbins, and she sneers in response “I was hoping a small amount of common sense would prevail”. “Some of that should come from you” comes the righteous Sugar slam.

Gabby’s having another moment and starts unnecessarily echoing Lord Sugar echoing her… “OK you gave good speech now and again” she slurs ironically, “but what DID you do?”

Laura retaliates in full on blank cat faced patronising mode, like an infant school teacher talking to children (who we already know she doesn’t really like). “THAT was a very good speech. That’s commendable. Thank you very much. Yes you put masking tape on a window. Well done you!”

Imagine this bitch selling you a wedding dress. Ouch!

“The point is, you have to delegate” Laura adds, conveniently missing the “everything” off the end of her sentence.

Jane gets picked on for her sales performance, but she points out that despite not being a “market trader” she was “out in the street for most of the day”. Blimey that’s dedication. Both Jane and Gabby think Laura should go. Laura thinks that everyone who isn’t Laura should go. “I have been successful in everything I have ever done” she gloats. “Not this week you ain’t” Sugar shoots into the open goal.

Sugar does his summing up and goes all noble, allowing Gabby to stay as she’s been picked on and blamed too much this week. Laura tries to interrupt but gets shut up, but sadly Sugar’s attention turns to Jane, who Karen’s been telling him ain’t all that despite the CV and fires her (gasp!) for being on the losing team three times, even though she was on Duane’s winning team last week and every other woman in Sterling has the same fantastic record.

Poor Jane. I’m going to miss hating her. She has a blub in the taxi of despair, but assures us all that she will rise again and destroy us all (or that Lord Sugar will be sorry he fired her). Most of the girls back at the house seem to have expected Jane to go (although Nick reassuringly thinks Laura should go) so there is much faux rejoicing on the return of Laura and Gabby (who now looks completely frazzled – someone slip her some Kalms please!).

Next week I’m hoping it’s TV selling of gym equipment, but to be frank I couldn’t figure out what they were doing. It certainly looked ahem interesting though.

Liking lots: Duane

Liking: Tom, Jade, Katie, Azhar

Feeling sorry for, but annoyed by: Gabrielle

Still not sure about: Steve and Steve’s cardigan, Nick

Disliking: Adam, Jenna, Ricky

Loathing: Laura

Bye Bye: Jane, Michael, Maria, Bilyana

 

This Week’s Favourite Gratuitous Man with No Shirt On: Azhar

Week three dawns and Duane looks at his alarm in disbelief as the candidates are summoned to St Katharine’s Dock, home of posh yachts and overpriced pubs, and as Sir Alan explains, where he played as a lad as cutter ships sailed in laden with spice. That’s the tenuous link to today’s task, which is to create and sell a new condiment.

The ailing girls of Sterling are given a hot testosterone injection with the addition of Duane and erm Nick, whilst Katie is given some respite from the coven and forced to sit with the Pheonix boys, who do their best not to behave like the Anchorman news team upon the arrival of . Adam “officially” welcomes Katie, “We do things a bit differently here… like winning”. Katie smiles slyly “Um thanks for being such winners”.

The Sterling girls are broken from their celebratory “Katie’s gone!” reverie by Duane putting himself forward as Project Manager in order to add “structure” to their team. Whilst Laura and Jane look suitably horrified and oppressed, Duane wins the vote and hopes to bring “creativity and positive energy” to the mix. Good luck there.

Katie volunteers to lead Pheonix, causing Stephen to go all “careful now.. it is a very complicated job for a lady”… “I think I’d do a good job” she insists, slightly wounded, and wins the vote over Stephen who looks a tad miffed. Ricky’s straight in there asking if he can be “Second in charge on the subteam” (Katie agrees) whilst telling the camera he thinks she’s nowhere near the strongest candidate.

Pheonix brainstorm a “table sauce” (Katie) with a “spicy kick” (Michael – who I forgot existed in last week’s summing up), and Stephen channels memories of the Dolmio advert to come up with the name “Belissimo” to sum up all those sexy Mediterranean qualities that this will entail. Katie suggests they name-check “Belissimo” (“It would be awful if it was like ‘crap’ in Italian”), but Steve’s adamant he’s an “Ideas Man” (i.e. he never shuts up) and it will win the task for them.

Duane at Sterling are all about the chutney, and Jane’s not happy as from her food marketing experience she thinks the market is so “ridiculously saturated it’s impossible to differentiate yourselves”. She adds that food nowadays is all about the “health and well being line”, Duane ‘agrees’ “Let’s go for quality and luxury”. Jane calls up the travelling subteam of Nick, Jade and Gabby with her suggestions of brand names “Natural Fusion, Simple Goodness, I Have a Baby”, and everyone agrees on the suitably ambiguous and just wanky enough “Infusion”. Nick likes infusion too. Jade looks ecstatic “This might be the best subteam I’ve ever been on” she rasps happily. What a difference a flopsy bit of cock makes.

The subteams are dispatched to the Victorian splendour of Tiptree jam factory just down the road from me to knock up sample condiments. Both sets need to get samples to London within the hour in order to pitch to a poncy deli. Ricky proves he’s not just a simple recruitment manager by day/ pro wrestler by night by revealing he also used to be a biochemist a skill he can easily turn to creating new life.. sorry spicy ketchup whilst Tom stands around looking a bit surly but confused like Stewart Lee and working out the costings on ingredients.

Meanwhile Duane’s leading the Sterling production line on pineapplea chilli chutney (I made some for Xmas – it’s very nice since you asked), but needs Jane to work out what they can afford to make before he commits the team to following the recipe. Yes that’s right – Jane’s on finance again. “I need a definite answer Jane” Duane finally snaps after half an hour of her umming and ahhing about margins and percentages. She just looks all flaky and hurt after all she’s “not an accountant” or anything. Just someone who started this show by barking at all the other girls about margins.

Katie’s subteam work on packaging “Belissimo” and she’s keen on a holiday vibe – cue a condom packet style “sunset” label. Eventually they end up with a plain red pepper on a white background (which misleadingly would make me think “Yum. Pepper sauce”).

Pheonix come up with a tasteful blend of browns and yellows and an explanation of what the product actually is on the “Infusion” label. Those crazy mavericks.

It’s taste test time, and Duane bravely volunteers to test the evil looking chilli based gel that lurks in the first batch of “Infusion”. “It’s perfect” he starts before being propelled around the room Exorcist style by an unholy coughing fit which eventually casts him retching into the corner. Nick concludes the chutney current contains “too much chilli by a factor of three”.

Once Duane has been safely hosed down he declares “I’m going to take charge” (well you are project manager mate). Jane’s immediately on the defensive “I didn’t do that”. “I know you didn’t” says Duane (leaving “you mad bitch” unsaid).

“Ricky!” bellows Adam like a Northern Frank Butcher as he peers into the unseasonably dark batch of Belissimo. “Something’s not right. It’s boiling like an omelette” he frets. Something tells me Adam’s mum does all his meals for him. Having failed to figure out the mystery shit tasting ingredient the boys dump the whole batch and start again, but somehow they manage to produce a sample for the posh deli. All goes swimmingly until deli man points out to a crestfallen Steve that there’s actually two Ls in Bellissimo if you want to use the real world.

As Sterling have to start the chutney again from scratch, Nick, Jade and (silent) Gabby have to pitch without a product to the bemused posh deli men (“It’s the first time in history someone has turned up without a product”). Cue much squirming.

Back at the factory, Duane runs around like superman, but this time he hasn’t had another taste of the chutney, but is working hard co-ordinating the rest of the team (the increasingly sour faced Jane is of course given stirring duties). They manage to jar up shed loads of the stuff and it actually looks quite yummy.

Ricky’s subteam have realised that Belissimo coagulates as it cools so they can’t get it into the bottles. Rather than keep it over a very low heat they rush to pour as much as possible of the rubbery liquid into bottles, wasting loads in the process. Ricky has the smart idea of adding water to save some more of the product. That’s what a biochemistry degree will do for you. The boys still seem to end up wearing more of their product than the bottles contain, their white lab coats splattered with more red than malpracticing surgeons.

With 10 hours to sell they call Katie to inform her that a fifth of the product has been lost (actually a third has if you count the other wasted batch), so the cost price has to go up. Katie calculates that they will have to increase the cost price to £3.99 so takes most of Pheonix to Westfields shopping centre in Stratford to flog jars at £3.99 or 3 for a tenner to gullible members of the public, whilst Michael leads Tom and Azhar in the relatively simple task of selling only 80 bottles to trade.

Nick, Gabby and Jade try to flog Infusion at another Deli, but unfortunately, explains the beardy in-house chutney maker, it’s one of those places that prides itself on selling only British ingredients and the totally tropical taste of Infusion would look out of place next to the Pontefract Cakes and golliwogs. “The Chutney maker has spoken” apologises the owner.

Duane leads Jenna and Jade to pull faces and growl at people in a supermarket at lunchtime, but gets less interest than he expected for some reason.

Pheonix meanwhile are doing a roaring trade at Westfields, but the trade team call to ask the bottom price. Katie suggests £1.99, so Michael manages to throw away a potential sale to a woman in a café who actually likes the product but doesn’t want to go above £1.95. Rightly Tom and Azhar rebel and demand the chance to negotiate and Michael sulks and sweats like a suicidal clown while his subteammates manage to flog a few bottles to an Italian café owner, despite him pointing out the spelling mistake (presumably they found a few howlers on his menu in return). Michael moans that the boys are “jumping in with loads of ideas and that” but decides “as long as we sell that’s the main thing”. Just figured that one out then.

Finally Sterling return to the posh café with the long awaited chutney and manage to sell 300 jars of the stuff, but slightly cheaper than they wanted to at £1.70 a jar. However Duane has lead his subteam to a posh foody shop in Marylebone and managed to sell loads of jars at £2.15 each.

Katie’s rather more desperate and her subteam flog their last 48 bottles of Belissimo to a bloke in a corner shop for £40 (Katie has to Shhh one of the blokes who pipes up “Can you meet us halfway?” when the deal is actually done). However they discover that Michael’s team still have 23 bottles left.

Meanwhile Duane’s subteam (well Duane) have sold all their jars for an average of £2, but the other subteam still have 72 units left.

Time for the boardroom, and Lord Alan points out that Katie said in her application that “Men can be manipulated”. The boys don’t like that, but they still back her when she giggles, tosses her hair and says “Don’t say anything nasty”. Adam bigs up his “major role in operations” (I think he retrieved a spoon from one batch they chucked). But it boils down to the fact that production screwed up and Katie had to increase her margins by selling to the public.

Sterling all back Duane’s leadership, apart from Jane, who’s pulled up on whether she’ll give Duane any credit by Lord Sugar and says something suitably non committal. There’s a good chuckle over the first batch, which Nick describes as a “dangerous and poisonous concoction.. to be in same room was certain danger.”, and Sugar bemoans the fact Sterling didn’t think of taking at least an empty jar to the first pitch, and then it’s score time and there’s no surprises.

Pheonix sold 305 bottles and took £585.56 profit

Sterling sold 607 bottles and made £1028 profit

So basically had Pheonix made enough, they’d have walked this, but has Katie introduced a world of lose to the boys or (more likely) has Duane taken away a world of win with him. No matter as Sterling are sent off to race cars, where Jane manages yet again to be a miserable cow about Duane (who notes his disappointment with her to camera).

There’s a lovely arty shot of the losers in the bridge café half framed by a plastic ketchup bottle. Katie’s convinced that she wasn’t the weakest link, but Ricky’s equally assured that “all the good things that happened were down to me – the bad things were the other guys” (he really said that! Wow!). Everyone’s underwhelmed by Michael’s selling.

Back in the boardroom, and Lord Sugar yet again points out that production “was all screwed up”, undermining Ricky’s claims of having masterminded “the best recovery since Dunkirk” by saving 21 bottles worth. However when it’s pointed out that Katie’s subteam sold 253 bottles to the public and Michael’s only managed to sell 53 to trade, everyone starts blaming trade sales too – even though they were already completely doomed by not having enough bottles to sell. Tom quickly points out that it was all Michael’s fault as he was in charge and Tom has no autonomy, being the pretty boy of this year’s series.

Katie brings back Ricky as he was subteam manager (despite admitting that “he sold his heart out”) and Michael. I wouldn’t have bought back Ricky as he’s the sort of person who will keep on arguing his corner until everybody else caves in, and he comes out fighting with the excuse that Katie didn’t make it clear what the target market was. Michael joins in “Katie should have said – get as many made as possible”. Katie rightly argues that this is a “none point” as selling units depended on a good amount of units (within budget) being made.

Karren suggests that Ricky mismanaged the production line (“There were too many people cooking and not enough filling”) and Ricky admits that it was an “oversight” due to his lack of experience (you volunteered, sharkboy). Michael plays the boardroom all wrong and clearly expects Ricky to join him in trying to savage Kate, but Ricky’s not stupid and turns on Michael “Why didn’t you phone Katie and say you weren’t selling or make a decision and drop the price. I’d be embarrassed with those figures”.

Michael’s an excuse man and next claims that Katie’s subteam made it easier for themselves (by stopping random shoppers as opposed to following up leads?). He proves to be a bitter little man by bemoaning the fact he wasn’t “born with a silver spoon in my mouth” (but he does have the FA Cup for ears) like some of the other people here who are “highly educated” (what?!) “and all that stuff.” Sugar’s unimpressed and asks Michael if he’s not out of his depth. Michael clearly thinks his anti-intellectual cockney geezer spiel is working and launches into an apples and pears bedecked tirade about how “some people can talk the talk” (but can’t do the Lambeth walk). So despite the failure all being at the factory, Lord Sugar fires Michael for being rubbish, grey and looking like a junky Mr Potato Head. Michael reflects on his personal successes in the taxi of doom, as the manager of a kitchen and bedroom furniture store. Am I the only person who finds that combination odd?

All the girls hope Katie’s gone, but Adam annoys them by giving her some credit for trying to deal with the Belissimo fiasco. Ricky returns and admits that Lord Sugar “had me for a minute, but then I realised Michael was there”.

Next week the teams are selling scrap and rubbish to people. Pheonix must win this one.

Loving: Duane

Liking: Katie, Azhar, Jade

Meh: Tom, Nick, Gabrielle

Irritated by: Steve

Disliking: Laura, Ricky, Jenna

Itching to slap: Adam

Loathing with a twitchy fury: Jane

Bye Bye: Michael, Maria, Bilyana