Week 2 and Luisa answers the 6am call for the candidates to assemble at The Old Bank on Fleet Street. Fortunately Jordan is standing nearby (trying to look urbane in stripy pjs and Morrissey specs) to explain that it’s a pub, prompting Luisa to leap around squawking in delight. Clearly Luisa doesn’t get out much?
Jason takes time out to give Neil a shaving pep talk about working together to defeat the girls. “It’s teamwork all the way now Jason” smirks Neil (Gary Barlow’s evil twin) into the mirror. “Maybe we should go with the tried and tested.. I’ll be PM and we’ll win you know” Jason persists, and everyone has to hide their grimacing faces.

Lord Sugar sets the teams the task of creating and selling flavoured beers and does some jiggery pokery, sending the strangely bouncy Tim over to Project Manage the girls on Evolve, supposedly because Tim shot his mouth off about proving himself at the end of the last BoardRoom, but more likely to knock some of that bloody enthusiasm out of the lad.
Sugar makes Scouse Kurt manage Endeavour due to his experience in the drinks business (OK health drinks, but Kurt fortunately admits he enjoys a bevvy or two) and the Scouse lad suggests chile and caramel beer (which I would try), but Alex screws up his little mouth so he even more closely resembles a cross eyed David Mitchell’s sex face and declares himself opposed to anything “too adventurous”. Cue Jordan going all BDSM in his support of nettle beer (“it’ s adventurous, exciting, daring, unusual I think ooh is that going to sting my mouth?”)
Tim decides to be a new man manager and explains to the girls that with Endeavour it was just a bunch of boys talking over each other. He wants to go round the circle gathering feedback. “I think we should target women with a healthy beer, do you agree?” he offers. “NO!” comes the unanimous circle feedback at once, and all the girls start shouting over each other whilst Tim looks like he wants to run away and hide somewhere. “Ok I’m going to overrule my own decision” he backtracks sheepishly and Uzma pulls a face fusion of disgust and confusion.
Zee believes his skills lie in marketing design, and as a teetotal muslim definitely not in tasting beer. So his nose is a little out of joint (“You will be held accountable for my performance”) as he is sent off to the flavoured beer factory, with Jordan as subteam leader and Alex, to stand around observing proceedings.
Tim tries to decide where to flog their ales. Francesca thinks the food festival will have less competition, but Leah and Rebecca suggest the “Kent beer festival” and Tim’s all for it. “That’s not our target market” Luisa slams, and it looks like it might be back to the drawing board.
Kurt calls the boys at the factory who are busy tasting beer flavours to tell them he’s decided to go for the Chocolate Orange infused bitter, without actually having tasted it and all he needs is the ingredients and description. Jordan suggests that that combo works better with stouts, having actually you know tasted it. “We’ve gone for the amber bitter” declares Colonel Kurt, “We ‘ad to make a decision. It’s done.” I wonder how Kurt’s going to come unstuck eventually…
Tim, Francesca and Leah represent Evolve at the beer factory, testing beer flavourings from blueberry to bacon (every man’s dream surely). The smirking beer expert points out that the flavourings are “very dangerous in their pure form”, but this doesn’t prevent the team from selecting nature’s paint stripper, rhubard as their key ingredient. Swigging down their sample, as their faces turn inside out they gasp “we need something sweet” before adding enough caramel to neutralise snake venom. Proudly they let Karren Brady take a sip. She survives. Uzma tries to think of names to sum up this heady concoction “Erm, rhubarb melt?” She decides that as “caramel is a luxury” that “Rhubarb and riches” is a perfectly valid drink line and doesn’t at all sound like a tacky extra verse to the song “Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows”.
Whilst Uzma works with David the hapless design professional on the label, Luisa decides to interrupt (“I don’t mean to interrupt”) and tell them the design is crap (“I don’t think it’s beery”) until they launch into a mini bitchscrap (Uzma “who’s the subleader?”, Luisa “Well lead then?”) over the greying head of the admirably dignified David.
Meanwhile for Endeavour Neil is single handedly rewriting the rule books on beer branding and getting no proper credit for it (“I think I’m doing most of the leading. We’re going with all my ideas”). “Behind every good project manager there’s a Neil Clough.” he declares happily (presumably jumping out to take any credit but zero responsibility).
There’s trouble at t’Evolve Mill when Francesca realises that working out volume of liquids required to make many bottles of flavoured beer involves a level of basic maths and logic that cannot be achieved by typing BOOBIES into an upside down calculator and she freezes, guessing randomly at quantities (“erm 75% rhubarb, 25 caramel”) like a tourettes version of Countdown. They make up a barrel using guesswork and the beer expert gets concerned (“At what dilute is this?” “Erm 1%? 100%?”), telling them “Guys this is not safe to drink”. After dumping a second 30 litre keg due to having a similar brain powercut, Francesca is close to despair (“This ship is sinking fast.. we just can’t get our heads round the logic of this.”), but they finally fix the mixture after wasting £100 on beer and flavourings. Tim looks on the bright side (“We’re not manufacturers or mathematicians. Sales is our forte.”)
At 8am the next day the boys sample a bottle or two of their problem free 100 litres of Chocolate Orange beer, with a ludicrously proud Neil declaring the annoyingly titled “A Bitter This” (transl “A Bit of a tit”) bottles “collectors items”. The boys send the subteam of Jason, Alex and Zee off to sell to trade with nary a sample bottle between them, only one of Neil’s empty “collectors item” bottles.
“I think this has turned out quite well” chirps Jason. Zee rounds on him “Just clarify for me, you’re not on sales, you’re on logistics”. “Are you overruling me?” asks a visibly hurt Jason prompting Zee to rant on about “the king” being “toppled from his throne” and Alex to snap “Jason will you be quiet you silly little shit”. Wow the boys have issues with Jason. I can see it going all Lord of the Flies quite soon.
Kurt, Neil, Myles and Jordan flog overpriced (£4 a pint!) chocolate orange beer at St Albans beer festival. “I’m the master Brewer” Myles smarms. “Look at the callouses on these hands” (you’re the master something mate). Jordan suggests a price drop, and a nearby woman gets all excited (“Ooh you’re dropping the prices. Excellent!”) but Jordan points out he needs to convince Kurt. Myles wants to go to the South Bank Food festival (actually a good idea) but is persuaded to stay on ripping off the yokels as the South Bank is 2 hours away.
Meanwhile the Kent Beer Festival turns out to be a pub garden in Putney where Tim manages to flog a few pints to a stray band of Morris Men by shouting maniacally. At least one mad posh rugby boy is seen enjoying the beer whilst slowly going blind (“Yah..I’ll definitely buy it again… I CAN’T SEE!!!”). “We will saturate this market and then we’ll move on” Tim says confidentally waving at the Morris Troupe. There must be at least 6 of them. Eventually they leave, with Luisa pointing out that it was a shame “nobody picked up on the fact it was a pub”. They call Rebecca’s team, telling them they’ve sold a whole 1.5 casks. “Oh excelleeeent” Rebecca drawls disappointedly, having already sold more than twice that for breakfast.
Evolve’s trade team go to a specialist beer pub, where Rebecca does a decent pitch selling 4 casks for £78, but still manages to annoy Uzma for sticking a finger in her face to prevent her interrupting the pitch. This niggle isn’t going to go away, with Uzma moaning at Rebecca for asking another business where their premises are over the phone. “Why are you undermining me?” Rebecca moans. “You’re obviously offended for the wrong reasons” Uzma retorts, an unspoken “Girlfriend!” hanging awkwardly in the air.
Alex pitches to a specialist pub, but with only the empty “limited edition” bottle to show, the pub manager isn’t impressed “I don’t sell anything I haven’t tasted – I’m surprised you have even turned up. ” Cue Alex stomping off in a huff whilst Jason looks brazenly smug. Alex insists he asked Kurt for a sample, but Kurt uses his Scouse Derren Brown skills to deflect this obvious bullshit and sends 6 bottles to the roving sales team. That’ll cheer them up. Oh. Buoyed by the arrival of samples, Zee pitches to a gastropub chain, claiming they can sell barrels for £95. The gastropub people seem close to biting, but Jason chimes in “I am sure we can make it lower”. After Alex and Zee scrape up their chins and try to persuade the gastropub man that Jason is their poor mad cousin who they take out of the home occasionally, they are forced to close the deal on £75 per barrel. As soon as they leave the pub, Alex understandably rounds on Jason “You dosy pleb. What are you doing?”. “You have lost us money” adds Zee. Jason is unrepentent “They are the most moronic people I have come across in a long time”. At the next in the chain Zee is now forced to start at £75. The manager refuses to go for it without pump clips (are those just the little pictures you get on the pumps? If so what a ponce!”) Jason butts in suggesting that they could “go back to their Project manager and get some pump clips” What? The Project Manager in St Albans?). Zee shrugs this off an manages to close a deal fo £70 without a pump clip, which Nick points out is useless seeing as the beer cost £53 per barrel to make. Again Zee begs Jason not to “get involved with negotiation when you’re not involved” and Jason nods blankly like a badly trained dog who doesn’t understand English.

FINALLY Myles persuades Kurt to go to the South Bank food festival with two hours to go and 300 pints to sell. They immediately sell low, starting at £2.50 a pint and ending at £1 per pint. Oh I wish I had been there. Not so much to drink the beer, but to watch the local alcohol addicts keep rejoining that £1 queue and develop a taste for speciality beer. “Even for £4 a pint I’d enjoy that mate, nice one” opines a balding Cockney who’s probably still talking about the fabled cheap beer stall at the back of the festival hall.
Evolve have decided to go to a wine bar in Richmond to offer samples to wine drinkers. (Sophie: “Can you taste the rhubarb?” Punter “No.” Sophie “Oh”). Luisa chats up boys and sells them 8 bottles. Meanwhile Leah manages to convince a stoned looking bloke in a bar to buy the last 2 barrels at £90 each.
Alex manages to sell a barrel for £69.99 to a man with exotic facial hair who doesn’t “buy anything for £80” (so that’s the Philshave SensoTouch out of the question).
Back in the Boardroom, Lord Sugar has obviously been picking up some educational tips from the dear departed Jaz as he berates Alex for not sitting up straight (“You got backache or something?”, No he has eyebrow strain).
Neil’s very quick to claim credit for the product name and flavour. I have it on good authority that Neil is an OK bloke, but he’s trying WAY too hard to be seen to be recognised as doing things. It’s going to backfire seriously on him at some point.
Jason raises his concerns about Zee being on the manufacturing team when his religious beliefs prevent him from drinking, or, as Lord Sugar puts it “E’s as dry as a cream cracker in the bleedin Sahara”.
Alex again tries to blame Kurt for having no samples, but the scouser calls him a liar. Kurt gets some stick for being a crazy maverick and charging London prices in St Albans and 1978 prices in London.
“How was Jason” Lord Sugar asks loadedly. “I’ll answer that” Alex squeaks righteously, dobbing Jason in for ruining their pitch. “I didn’t” Jason claims, adding “I felt they disgraced you. They were swearing at me”. “At you then, not the public” Lord Sugar points out reasonably, disappointingly failing to add “You cunt” at the end. “They used deceptive tactics” whines Jason. That will be business I suppose. “Are you from the office of fair trading?” Sugar fires back.
Evolve are under scrutiny next, with Uzma claiming they knew they “wanted to be unique, wanted to use rhubarb”. Fran’s lack of maths skills get some stick (“I’m not a mathematician. I have GCSE maths”. As does the Kent beer festival debacle. Despite this all the women claim Tim was a good Project Manager. Presumably because they all hate each other much much more.
Anyhow it’s time for scores
Evolve spent £648 and sold £492 to trade and £55 to the public making a profit of £399
Endeavour spent £601 and sold only £284 to trade, but a stonking £1147 to the public making a profit of £831.
The boys get sent to Belgium where Neil channels David Brent in a white jacket and Alex appears to be dressed like a 1970s Man at C&A advert.
Poor Tim has to sit surrounded by infighting harpies at the Bridge Cafe. Rebecca firmly believes it’s Tim’s fault for going to the Kent Beer Festival”. “You can’t blame Tim, it’s not fair” Uzma and Luisa wail, because they really really can’t stand Rebecca, who has in turn picked up on the “alliance” united against her (unfortunately mentioning it makes her look like a paranoid loonie).
Back in the Boardroom and a chastened Tim is very quiet. Sugar’s annoyed by his inability to claim personal responsibility “Can we stop with this ‘we’?” “I like to say ‘we’ instead of ‘I'” Tim states brightly.
Lord Sugar looks for a moment like he might fire the lot of them for sitting there “dumbfounded, looking at me with dumb expressions on you. I’m not gonna waste my time talking to a load of dummies”.
It’s agreed that their main fail was on location, which Tim now tries to blame on Rebecca. Brave, stupid Tim. “You’re aving a laugh” she hisses, “I pointed at the name and you nodded… is that what passes for responsibility?”
Uzma jumps in to protect Tim and silly Rebecca brings up their personal issues (“This has been brewing for some time and has nothing to do with this task”) and both Karen and Lord Sugar turn against her for saying anything against a fellow woman and doing it in a mental way (“I know you’re all in cahoots”).
Adamant he’s never seen such a “bladdy mess” in the 2nd week and despairing of the team’s inability to manage the “basics” of counting and locations, Lord Sugar prompts Tim to choose his final boardroom buddies. It’s Rebecca (who outsold everybody on both teams in this task) and Francesca (who can’t do maths because she’s too busy squinting). The now subdued Rebecca is seen as an evil troublemaker as yet again it seems Lord Sugar has never heard the phrase “It takes two to tango.. and up to eight to mudwrestle”. “When you bring strong women together you do get opinions” Karren offers diplomatically (somehow I don’t think “stop pointing in my face” or yesterday’s offering from Luisa to Leah “I run 3 businesses no offence you’re a doctor” constitute strong women’s opinions. It’s hardly Oprah meets Hilary).
Tim still insists he led the team (“We did come to team decisions”) and bigs himself up for working with “people I didn’t know” (transl “women”). He tried to blame Francesca’s bad sums, claiming he thought he had delegated successfully. She gives him evil and gangs together with Rebecca to blame Tim.
Eventually it gets a bit boring and Lord Sugar clearly feels it, congratulating Tim on his enthusiasm, before firing him for being rubbish on a drinks task when his business plan was apparently to do with drinks.
The girls return to the flat where Uzma and Luisa have been busily rubbishing Rebecca. My they look happy to see her back. Next week the teams assemble flat pack furniture. I cannot wait.
Liking a little bit despite my better judgement: Zee, Jordan
Wanting to like: Sophie, Francesca, Kurt, Leah
Disliking Mildly:- Natalie, Rebecca, Uzma, Myles, Alex
Strangely Fascinated by: Neil
Getting Ready to Hate on:- Luisa, Jason
Bye Bye: Jaz, Tim

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