Strap yourself in, set your mobile phones to stun and fire yourself up like a field full of ponies for the first instalment of this year’s season of The Apprentice, as the latest hapless gang of power dressing shitclowns troop into Lord Sugar’s lair looking to win the chance to do his filing, cut his toenails and lick his testicles for £250K. Our favourite bollock headed barrow boy turned peer continues the equine theme by announcing he’s looking for “Red Rum, not some fairground donkey”. He’d be lucky to get a dead horse out of this lot.

“I walk the walk, I talk the talk, I dence the dence” announces square-headed humour vacuum Mark Wright, channelling Chris De Burgh.

“I am an Alpha male I can make women do what I want… and some men” boasts Daniel Lassman. Just reading his BBC profile made my twatometer explode. This is a man who runs pub quizzes in Essex and describes himself as ‘Lover of banter’. I describe him as a massive bell-end.

I’d really wanted to like Steven Ugoalah when he listed his occupation as “Social Worker”, but any hopes of him posessing a glimmer of humanity dissolved when I read the rest of his profile where he says things like “I think I’m perfect” and “I can deliver in Minus 50. I can deliver in Plus 10” (that just means you can deliver in Minus 40 then, fool). “I’m not arrogant” he smarms, arrogantly, before it transpires that when he says “social worker” he actually runs a “social company” whatever the fuck that is, and lived in the arctic, presumably dealing with bi-polar bears. However he does want to use the winnings to (rather laudably) start up a home for people with learning disabilities, and he turns out to be hilariously flouncy and passive aggressive throughout the episode, so he must stay in.

Robert Goodwin however is an irredeemable, and impossibly tall, delusional wannabe hipster snob (“My worst nightmare is getting to age 50 and only being on a 50 grand salary with a four year old Toyota”) with stupid hair and a coy merkin on his chin. “People look at me, 6 foot 7, a bit lanky wearing stupid colour clothes… I couldn’t give a shit!” he drawls. Oh Robert. You’re so cool! Your mum’s going to see you swearing on telly and cut off your pocket money, you overgrown cuntmonkey. Robert is a “global sports nutrition manager”. Maybe he sells lucozade from a van?

As a special 10th year surprise, Sugar mixes things up by calling in 4 extra idiots to the boardroom and making our heads collectively explode trying to remember which arsehole said which deadeningly stupid thing for the rest of the show. Sadly the extra 4 aren’t the PG Tips chimps, as all bets would be off. So now we have 20 fucking candidates, but Sugar reminds them that the process still lasts 12 weeks so he might just fire the lot of them and sod off on a Beano to Margate in week 9 or something.

Sugar picks on enthusiastic Northerner James Hill for listing his nickname as Del Boy (“You do realise he wasnt a success?”, before turning his beady eyes on Columbian Layer Felipe Alviar-Baquero. “You’ve done some terrible jobs.. it says here you advised Arsenal”. Poor Felipe hasn’t done his homework, “Is great football club” he insists. Spurs fan Sugar arches an eyebrow, “Really?”

Scott McCulloch who I also had on my potential twat list already, compounds this by describing himself as a “mix between Ghandi and the Wolf of Wall Street” (maybe he likes wearing sandals and snorting cocaine off prostitutes?). Nice but dull animal lover (did she say “80%” of her animals are “sheep”? Are they mutants?) Ella Jade Bitton wants to make “documentaries which will benefit the greater good”. Zzz.

The first task is to sell a selection of all the products teams have had to flog in the last ten years of the Apprentice; fish, sausages, coffee, T-shirts, flowers and a shitload of lemons -who have to pick up the products from Leadenhall Market (ho ho!). Sugar reminds the teams it’s about getting the highest price and “not a fire sale”, as though they’ll actually pay some attention.

It’s traditional “boys versus girls” and Mark whispers to Felipe that they should keep “sales people selling and get a manager to manage”. “You sell, I manage” Felipe repeats. Oops. Well volunteered Felipe. “We’re going to back you 100% ” Mark gushes. Felipe looks nervous and talks about himself in the third person.

I had Sarah Dales earmarked as an extreme irritant, someone I’d be about as likely to like as a UKIP voting Giant Spider with ebola, and she doesn’t disappoint. After wheeling out the tired cliche of being able to sell snow/ice to the eskimos, she totally ignores the boys sensible strategy of letting sellers sell by electing herself as Project Manager for the girls. She wins hearts and minds by declaring “We will sell because we are female and females are more attractive to look at”, before suggesting they all wear high heels and miniskirts for the tasks. Somewhere a Pankhurst’s coffin starts to creak.

Bianca Miller and Lauren Riley look suitably unimpressed. I was worried Bianca might be a bit the TV equivalent of a soothing mug of Horlicks, as according to the BBC blurb she lives by the motto ‘it’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice’, and sees Oprah Winfrey as a role model, but I’m liking these early signs of insurrection in the face of Stepford Sarah’s nonsense. “I haven’t brought a mini skirt” Bianca insists firmly. Sarah looks at her like she’s an alien. “Well half can dress up as long as the other half look semi average” she offers, to more endearing “What the fuck faces” from Bianca and Lauren.

The teams coo over the magnolia hell hole they have to share for the next 12 weeks (“No shower curtain!” squeals one of the dismayed boys; my money’s on it being Steven or Robert being bitten by austerity in the bathroom).

The boys choose their team name. Robert likes “Dynamic”, Daniel likes “Viper” because it’s “short and sharp” and he can pretend he’s a fucking ninja or something. Daniel suggests “Summit”; Northern James is unimpressed (“It sounds like going to the shops for summit”), but Daniel is adamant. “Summit has never been done. Have you ever heard of a company called Summit?”, James: “There’s a reason for that”. For some(it) reason, Daniel gets his way. “There’s no “i” in team, but there are 5 “i”s in “individual brilliance” he crows. Idiot.

Nurun Ahmed, mother of two and carer for her father likes the team name “Decadence” (well I suppose it is a word often associated with capitalism), but asks the rest of the team for a definition. Another token Northerner, Katie Bulmer-Cooke, likes the name “Grafters”, but the very word makes Stepford Sarah think of dirt under fingernails and makes her vomit internally, so she declares that she prefers Decadence as it’s “so much more elegant and feminine”. Ugh!
The following market we get our first GPS (gratuitous pants shot, I think it’s James), whilst Stepford Sarah checks her team are wearing high heels. Oirish Pamela Uddin suggests that it might be better to focus on strategy. “That’s important too” cedes Sarah, “but bring some nice make-up”. For fuck’s sake.

Sarah’s strategy is to maximise profit on lemons by cutting them up “into small slices” and selling them like that to dainty city ladies with scurvy or something. Fortunately her team eventually shout down her mad obsession with chopped lemon. Unfortunately all the shouting is “really confusing” Sarah now, and she randomly divides the teams based on the height of their heels and hemlines rather than any skills they might have.

Felipe is a slightly more hardcore manager and insists the team put their hands up if they want to talk. Robert wants to appeal to cool Shoreditch twats by selling them poshed up hotdogs (“I’m very good with logistics”). Steven’s “very concerned” that Felipe has made the wrong choice. Dan asks if he can say something. Felipe he say no.

Robert drags Felipe off to the horrific sounding Planet Organic supermarket to waste valuable potential lunchtime sales by swanning around looking at tubs of guacamole made out of hyperlocally sourced mucus. “Do we have no cheese?” wails Felipe. Trust me mate, you’ve got plenty on your team.

The other Oirish woman, Roisin Hogan (a Gwnnie Paltrow-alikely who I decided might be evil from her BBC profile, but actually seems halfway competent) leads the girls breakaway team brainstorming T-shirt designs with Ella and Katie, who comes up with the design HashtagLondon (or is that #London? I’d prefer the former), whilst Sarah leads her part of the team selling flowers and coffee at the marker. Poor Lindsay Booth gets saddled making the coffee, presumably because Sarah has decided she isn’t fragrant enough to talk to punters without a burka on. Lindsay’s getting a tad pissed off and rebellious. “Are you going to make any coffee?” she harrumphs. “No” says Sarah firmly. “I’m project managing this whole task”. Unfortunately the very important project manager has royally screwed up by not giving any cash to Roisin to pay for the tea shirts. Give her credit, she takes full responsibility for messing up selling time in her apologetic call to Roisin, who doesn’t want to “put the boot in to Sarah” but promptly puts the boot in by, once she’s hung up, declaring her leadership to be “error after error”.

Whilst Robert is still fucking shopping for gourmet ingredients at Planet Hoxton Git, Chiles Cartwright leads the boys second team to get the T shirts printed and sell fish and potatoes. Oh come on, he’s called Chiles. He has to be a dick. Did his parents name him after Adrian? For someone who describes himself on the BBC profile as “the Golden Boy of his family”, I shudder to think what second rate, potato faced TV presenters his poor siblings have been christened after (“Holmes”?, “Turnbull”, “Clarkson”?) Or maybe his parents are Sarf Efrican and couldn’t spell Charles? Anyhow he and his team run manfully yet haplessly towards the printers (“Who’s got the address?”) before realising they’ve forgotten the T-shirts and having to run back, fish flying all over the shop. Back at the printers, the boys realise they haven’t an arsing clue what slogan to print on the T-shirts, so Chiles decides to try some inspirational brainstorming. “Right, you’ve got 30 seconds to think of one idea each then pitch it”. Tick tick tick. Silence. Oh Chiles. To make this gambit work you really have to pull an Uzi out. James eventually offers the lame “Buy this T-shirt”, and as nobody else has thought of anything better than a drawing of a phallus, they go for it. Steven’s all for staying in the same area and selling the potatoes to a local shop he says is “famous for selling mashed potatoes” (Probably Mr East End Stereotype’s Eel and Pie shop, where Pamela has already been haggled down to £7 a pack for spuds), but NotAdrian Chiles overrides him and insists that they all go miles away so it’s really difficult for them to come back later for the T-shirts.

It’s 1.45pm, and Shoreditch is greeted by Dan in a hotdog outfit asking people if they’re hungry. The people of Shoreditch check their internal “Post-ironic or shit or Dom Joly” sensors and walk past Dan as though he’s a wanking tramp (“What do you mean you didn’t notice me? I’m wearing a hotdog outfit!”). Meanwhil Roisin just flogs all the girls sausages to a cafe for £178. Easy.

At 2.30pm – Mark tries to flog balloons to a kids party company, but insists his team members “don’t talk over the top of me” as it proper twists his selling melon. “We often use other companies” the company bloke says. James interjects helpfully “You probably have to pay a premium”. Mark’s incensed “James! James! James! I’ll do the talking”. James’s puppyish enthusiasm for trying to make more money surfaces at their other pitches, and Chiles apologises as patronisingly as possible (“He’s a Northerner… he’s a bit confused. He’d sell his own grandmother”). “We want to make a profit, don’t we?” witters James as Chiles locks him into the boot of the hire car.

Poor Lindsay is still brewing up and going increasingly mental at being “The Grafter” of the team. “Was that your sale?” she asks an increasingly smug Sarah, “Then you come and help with the coffees”. Sarah pulls a face like a lipsticked cat’s arse. “I’m project manager I’m afraid” she wafts, dishing out spending money to the returning satellite team so they can finally go across time and collect their T-shirts. But guess what, they won’t be able to get back and sell them, so Roisin tries to get the printer to buy them at £4 a pop. The wily printer offers £50 for the lot. “We were going to sell them for a tenner each” whines Ella Jade. “Yeah, but you didn’t though” smirks the printer. Ella Jade manages to up the price to £60 by including the coat hangers. Wooh.

Chiles phones Felipe and offers a choice. The T-shirts are 1.5 hours away, but Chiles has an appointment to sell the spuds. Felipe is all about the T-shirts, but somehow Chiles ends up heading to his potato rendevous. Steven is getting very twitchy (“If I was you I would turn around and get the T-Shirts”; Chiles “You’re not helping”; Steven *throws a hissy fit*). “Get a grip!” snaps Chiles, but Steven is incapable. “Ooh no problem” he flounces, “I’m being very supportive”. I feel bad for how much Steven is making me laugh.

Bizarrely Sarah dragging girls to Penguin Beach at London Zoo to try and sell cleaning products for £250 to bemused Zoo Staff, by modelling the marigolds and banging the cleaning brush against a bucket to demonstrate sturdiness. “Excuse me but why the actual fuck are you doing this?” they ask politely (I paraphrase). “Because I love the zoo” Sarah gushes. “Erm are they environmentally friendly?” Zoo man asks warily. Sarah tries to look thoughtful by blinking a bit, “Er I think so” before helpfully adding “They are plastic so I wouldn’t like to see them near penguins.”

“Do you think you did a great pitch” Pamela asks, amused, as they trudge off still carrying unsold buckets and mops. “I thought I did” Sarah simpers.

If only the boys had a supply of Mace and rape alarms to flog whilst Felipe (“Hello ladies!”) and Dan (“Do you have a boyfriend? Do you want one?”) try to thrust flowers on unlucky passing women. The other boys are exploited as cheap labour by a restaurant they demonstrate the cleaning products to by cleaning their windows for free (not at all taking the piss shop bloke: “You missed a spot over here guys”).

At the all important potato pitch, James pitches for Summit (“These are Paris Miper” *hurried whispers* “Erm Maris Piper. And I want £150 for the lot”, Chef: “Erm what?!!”. Steven tries to help with the worlds shittest Jedi mind trick (holding up a spud and declaring “this is not just a potato, it’s an experience”), but the chef is still only prepared to pay £75 “final offer”. Mark offers to throw in the wheelbarrow and James shakes on £75, at which point Mark is convinced it’s his sale as it’s all about the wheelbarrow.

Trading ends at 7pm, and all the girls agree that Sarah was a Disastrous Project Manager.

Chiles has to admit he failed to sell (or even collect) the T-shirts, but when James asks Felipe how much he made, their PM hangs up.

So in the morning it’s boardroom time and finally we hear from Solomon Akhtar (he liked Felipe as a project manager). That’s it from Solomon for this week!

The girls look smug when they hear the boys failed to sell any T-shirts, although the boys laugh at the girls for paying £150 for printing the T-shirts then selling them to the printers to £60.

Lovely Nick Hewer points out that the word “Decadence” is associated with “Decay, decline moral turpitude” (Sarah “It wasn’t just my idea!”, Nurun “I was just playing with the word “Decade” (what?)) and Lord Sugar decides they come up with a less shit name with a “logical meaning” like Infidel, Douche or Weiners.

Sarah explains how she brainstormed ideas with the team and gauged their individual personalities before splitting the teams whilst the girls cause a mini tornado with their tutting and head shaking. “I was Project Manager” she insists, “That was my duty. I said to erm…” she looks blankly at Jemma Bird, although I suppose given the amount of Bird action we saw tonight, Sarah could be forgiven for forgetting her.

Anyhow here’s the scores:-

Summit
Felipe’s team made £366.70
Chiles’ team made £340
Total 696.70

The Team Formerly known as Decadence
Roisin’s team made £312
Sarah’s team made £441.50
Total £735.50

So Sarah has a flukey escape and the girls are sent to a “VIP capsule” on the London Eye (Austerity bites again) because nothing says “treat” like forcing jollity and holding in farts for 25 minutes whilst going around in a perspex pod. Sarah declares a “toast to winning”. Lindsay looks like she’s imagining snapping Sarah’s neck.

It’s back to the lovely Bridge cafe back, and due to the massive team size the boys are on polystrene cups rather than mugs (Austerity bites part 3). Chiles slags Steven off for being negative and Felipe rather gullibly takes this back to the Boardroom, claiming that the entire task failed as Steven was “disruptive”. Steven is wonderfully outraged in a camp, passive aggressive, Canadian way. Robert also gets flack for poncing about with the sausages (so to speak) when they would have sold plain.

Scott has done sod all tonight and it’s duly noted (Sugar: “More poodle of Petticoat Lane than Wolf of Wall Street”).

Daniel says Steven’s responsible for the task failure and Steven launches another megaflounce (“Do NOT say I am responsible. I’m a scapegoat” etc etc). Sugar looks on (“He is an irritant, no question of it”), before “respectfully” requesting Steven to “SHUT UP – you’re your own worse enemy”. Hilariously, although Steven has shut up, he still has the gift of interpretive mime, and shakes his head dramatically when Sugar refers to allegations he is disruptive.

Felipe is warned about not bringing people for the wrong reason so rather cannily brings back Chiles and Robert (although to be honest, bringing back Steven might have been even cannier after all that). It turns out Chiles sold arse all. Robert goes on about being “edgy” and according to Sugar is all about “Shorefitch yuppy, arty, farty bollocks” (as Tony Cowards pointed out, THAT would make a sellable T-shirt in Shoreditch!).

Felipe blames Chiles over TShirtGate and Rob for telling him to buy dickheady ingredients (cue big girly sighs from Rob “We DISCUSSED it!”). Sugar says he’s disapponted by Chiles as he thought he was a man with business experience but he made fundamental errors (here’s a clue Lord Sugar – he was called CHILES), and although he tries to milk the firing bit, ultimately Chiles and his shit forename have to go home.

However Sugar raises the spectre of a double firing, although you know it’s a bluff and both of them get “the benefit of the doubt” (at which Robert melodramtically throws his head into his hands, something that definitely looks sillier the taller the person doing it, but at least it distracts from the fact he’s pooed his pants).

In the Taxi of Here’s What You Could’ve Won, Chiles is gutted, but stands by his decisions (to not listen to the annoying man who was actually right then), and Robert and Felipe return to the house, to limited rejoicing.
Next week the teams have to come up with wearable technology and hissy fits ensue (surprise surprise). I’m voting for those exploding Battle Royale II Death Collars.

Anyhow here is the ridiculously long list of candidates:
Liking:
Linsday
James
Nurun
Bianca
Felipe

Tolerating:
Katie
Roisin (I still think she’s evil though, which means she will probably win)
Ella

Who are they again?
Lauren
Solomon
Pamela

Laughing at (but not with, sorry):
Steven

Bit of a Dick:
Daniel
Scott
Mark

Really Massive Gobshites
Stepford Sarah
“Edgy” Robert

Unforgettable:-
Jemma Bird

Um does he actually exist?:
Sanjay Sood-Smith

Bye Bye:-
Chiles

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