Archives for the month of: October, 2016

It’s Week 4 and our feckless chancers are kicked out of bed at 5.45am to head to the Drapers Guild with none of them having a clue what a guild or a draper is. In the ornate environs of where London’s wool and cloth merchants gathered together to sell different fabrics (a bit like C&A used to be) Sugar tasks the candidates with running a department in the impossibly dinky Liberty of London, selling a new product line and offering a personal shopping service. Sugar’s clue lies in that customers expect “excellent customer services” unless they’re buying Southern Rail season tickets or Amstrad products. Most sales win as usual.

Sofiane, who reckons he can “PM all day long”, takes control of the Titans (followed this week by Karren) claiming that working in posho shops is “What I’ve been doing the last five years”with support from Dillon, Alana, Trishna, Jess, Samuel and Courtney. Sofiane wants a strong subteam leader and Dillon (who works on a fucking fashion magazine) politely suggests that he wants to “maximise my creative input” but he’s slapped down by Sofiane (“I don’t think you’re a very strong leader”). Courtney as usual waits till Sofiane’s out of earshot before griping that Sofiane will just act like a “one man band”.

Grainne, a make-up artist who clearly specialises in heroin chic is determined she’s “not going to that café again” and volunteers to lead Nebula as long as Frances (who to be fair has done fuck all since the show started) is subteam leader as she has store experience too. But there’s a bombshell as Aleksandra announces that she’s really sorry but she’s leaving the process (“I’m just not enjoying this”). Everyone thinks it’s a joke, except Mukai who’s just an utter prick (“It’s not exactly the ideal moment”), but Aleksandra is off to see her husband and kids and get away from all the stress (good on her), leaving them only with a shit team name and a vague sense of misplaced superiority (Grainne “She obviously didn’t think she was strong enough”). Well played Aleksandra on a full on decunting of your environment.

And like that, she was gone.

crab_nebula
So 9am the teams check out the stock at Liberty and Mukai’s very keen on handbags as he used to work in leather as a high-end gimp. Meanwhile Jess is amazed to learn that Liberty scarfs fetch £75 to £1200 (WHAT?!) . The Titans agree that Liberty scarfs are the key brand. On Nebula it’s split as Paul and Frances fancy scarfs but Mukai is all about the expensive allure of leather (as though having pricier items will make them easier to sell). They all vote with the majority wanting to go for scarfs but Mukai does weird jedi mind control on Grainne who sends the team to check out luggage and handbags for their key new product. The look on Paul’s face as a woman earnestly explains the creative concept (“inspired through architecture, travel and colour”) behind the bags Grainne ends up selecting is a particular joy.

Dillon takes a shine to some scarfs shaped like cats (“That’s an interesting twist on the pussy bow”) and he manages to convince Sofiane (Dillon: “They look so cool could be worn by either sex depending on how brave you are!” Sofiane “er yeah scarfs ok”).

The teams get a crash course in window dressing which of course is interactive at Liberty and the window dressing lady explains how customers expect a bit of theatre and that having a real live person in the window can uplift sales by up to 50%. Dillon embraces this idea wholeheartedly designing a set where Jess hangs out of a frame in the window (and therefore not being “mad me” on the shop floor – clever!) draping cat scarfs about with the emblem “Cool for Cats”. Samuel doesn’t get it (“That doesn’t make sense!”) and Dillon sings a snatch whilst Trishna and Alana harmonise along to a completely different tune. “It still doesn’t make sense!” bellow Samuel and Dillon explains it was a famous song in the “80s” as though he’s Simon fucking Schama explaining something from history and I feel very very old.

Mukai wants to put Rebecca in the Nebula window display as a live mannequin (actually scrap the “live” bit she’s not that convincing) but Grainne acts as though he is suggesting some sort of Amsterdam Red Light District lower middle management trafficking horror and gets all stroppy about Mukai taking over (which to be fair he is a bit).

Frances calls clients for the Personal Shopper service and does quite well at establishing rapport whilst getting essential details like budget and sizes, special occasions and favourite brands and looks (customer “I like to look a bit weird”) . Alana does the same job for the Titans and acts like she’s breaking news of a bereavement (“Erm anything you want, ok nice talking to you”).

At 7am Mukai’s concept window display is unveiled and it’s a load of bags on white pedestals which he claims represents New York and Spain. Poor Rebecca still doesn’t have a clue what she’s meant to do in the window (perhaps she could try to mime what it fricking allegedly means to passing customers including a singularly unimpressed Claude).

Sofiane is astounded by the sight of Jess in a frame pointing at scarfs (“That’s the best thing I’ve ever seen I swear” poor Sof, you haven’t lived mate). As a reward Sofiane sends Dillon to lead the personal shopping subteam and Dillon’s cheered up until Alana admits how little insight into the customers she has gleaned. He manages to get the client onside with some arty selections and canny questioning (“can you direct us in what way your budget is going”). Meanwhile Sofiane focuses on getting the least engaged members of his sales team Courtney and Samuel to get familiar with one section of their product. They look at him blankly.

Grainne decides she Paul and Mukai should lead on sale and sends Frances to run Personal Shopping with K as her “runner” with the strict instructions to “listen to Frances”. At first this doesn’t bode very well with K getting involved in selecting clothes (“dress, shoes.. headband”) and asking Frances questions like “wouldn’t this make her waist look big?” but bizarrely enough when the client has come in and rubbished Frances’ selections (“I hate that colour on me. Hideous. .. that might me look like a fat aunty..”) K is charm on a stick even getting the woman to accessorise (“You know what that needs?” “A necklace?” “Exactly madam”). Even Claude is impressed (“Suddenly he’s a fashion guru!”). “What is money compared to happiness?” K cajoles holding a posh handbag, “It’s a mere £1030”. She nearly fricking falls for it too. Bloody hell! His next challenge is a gaggle of teenage girls, but he’s unabashed (“The ability of a fish should not be judged by how it can climb a tree” Deep).

Mukai and Paul hassle Grainne to stick Rebecca in the window, but Grainne’s not prostituting her teammate out just yet (“This is a sales task. I’m OK if Mukai thinks it failed because I didn’t put someone in a window”. Oh dear). Fortunately Paul manages to sell a handbag despite having no knowledge of the product (“I like it cos it’s embossed as well”) and even gets the customer to sign up for the personal shopper service. In fact only Mukai the alleged bag expert is failing to sell.

On Sofiane’s team only he is failing to sell and it’s becoming obvious that his big store experience might be more Big Yellow Storage Unit than Selfridges (“Err yeah we do av black scarfs; there’s one exactly similar to wot you are wearing over there” . It needles him so much that every time Jess returns to the floor and flogs a pricey scarf he sends her packing back to the window. He holds a team tactics talk and Dillon pipes up that he would like Jess to come up and help him serve a female client as she has a clothing line and which point Trishna gets all arsey (“Not to be disrespectful, but me and Alana are here. What’s she gonna do we cant do?”). Sofiane decides not to rock the boat and Trishna and Alana sulk in the background whilst Dillon looks after the client by himself and JD lingers clumsily hoping to be sent on a tea run. Sofiane decides to drum up more footfall and sends Jess to the window but wants Samuel to go there too. “You go there!” Sam suggests helpfully. “I’m selling” Sof insists to Sam’s amusement. Fortunately Sofiane does get a pity sale before trading ends at 6pm.

In the boardroom and Sugar makes light of Aleksandra’s departure (“If you can’t hack it, get out. On a positive front I’ve saved myself a cab fare”)

Sofiane’s still insisting he worked at a high end retail store, but Sugar’s not pleased with the low selling cat scarfs (“I’m used to dealing with fat cats not flat cats”) and Sof finally vaguely admits he might have been slightly out of his comfort zone (i.e bullshitting). It transpires that Jess was the highest seller on the team. Dillon gets flack for Alana’s failure on getting John the customers budget (Yes I have no idea why Dillon couldn’t have asked this either, maybe he would have had less to complain about in the boardroom), as it turns out that although Dillon sold over £1000 worth of posh shit John’s budget was actually £5000. Alana’s all proud that she sold stuff to John’s daughter until it’s revealed that for three hours of chatting she sold the girl an eyeshadow (definite pity sale – I bet that’s how Alana sells her cakes on her market stall). Poor JD gets stick for how he (as he admits) “struggled to find a place” but Karren at least points out he made “a mean cup of tea”.

It turns out that Grainne used to do shifts at Libertys so she gets a rightful bollocking for going with Mukai’s handbags. Mukai insists the handbag knowledge with him is strong as he worked in “Italy in leather goods” (maybe he provided entertainment at Berlusconi parties) and has been to other countries too (erm because that involves looking at bags going round on conveyer belts in airports). “So you know your Helmut Langs from your Vera Wangs” says Sugar just so he can crowbar Helmut and Wang into the same sentence and make the Finbarr Saunders in me snortle. Mukai is forced to admit his window display was a bit too “abstract” (posh talk for “shit”) and Sugar suggests it may be a Turner prize contender.

Frances brags that she got her personal shopper lady to spend twice her budget and K chips in (not for the first time) that he nearly sold her a £1000 clutch bag.

Anyhow it’s money time

Nebula’s personal shoppers sold £1200 and the shop floor took £3172.99 so the total is £4377.99

The Titans personal shoppers sold £1264.38 worth of cat scarfs and the shop floor made £3995 so their total is £5259.38 and the winners are sent to a house in the country to play croquet (Dillon “I feel very regal doing this… and slightly glamorous”).

So Grainne is sadly back at the Bridge café and everyone’s still telling her they should have had a window display but she insists it wasn’t worth taking someone off the shop floor to WHORE THEMSELVES and she blames Mukai for bigging up handbags despite her having final say and her team voting for scarfs.

Back in and Rebecca gets flack for not being in a window and selling the least. “I engaged a lot! I didn’t want to do the hard sell” she bleats until Sugar points out Liberty is “not a museum”

Grainne decides to bring back Mukai (who of course whines “I helped you throughout the two days”) and K (Grainne “I’m finding it hard to place you” well on the scrapheap by the look of things). “Is that what you’re saying” Sugar asks impatiently as she dithers and she actually changes her mind to bring back K and a mortified Rebecca. “Sorry, um” Grainne vacillates and changes her mind again to bring back Mukai and K whilst the entire viewing audience screams FUCKING SACK HER NOW! (Or was that just me?).

Back in and Sugar points out that Mukai is a perennial loser having been in the final three every week and we can’t just blame it on the dicky bow now, although let’s face it that was a warning sign. Grainne insists Mukai told us he was an expert in “visual merchandising” (which he denies) but has she ever just simply LOOKED at him?

K admits he “can’t cope with someone in a position of power above him” which explains a lot, but insists that he’s “flexible and lean” (“If you put water in a cup it becomes a cup” eh?) and if Lord Sugar lets him be a leader he will strap his jackboots on and by thunder everyone will listen to him then (Oh no they won’t). Sugar confides in K that the reason he got “shoved into a corner” is because “they don’t trust you”. Nope not a flicker of recognition.

Mukai is ultimately fired for “talking like a consultant” (best reason yet), but Grainne gets away with murder because Sugar thinks she “has potential” (to make a bigger tit of herself) and K’s card is well and truly marked (“I’ve got my eyes on you”).

In the taxi to Jobcentre Plus Mukai is typically arrogant (“Lord Sugar makes a mistake”) and the house generally rejoices, especially angry Paul, to learn that he is gone. He doesn’t even turn up to the You’re Fired show, letting Aleksandra take the rap because he’s moved to Japan having made himself unemployable in the UK.

Grainne wastes no time in bigging herself up (“He said I’m staying cos I have potential”).

Next week the teams run a crowdfunding campaign. There’s matching outfits and enforced jollity in the street. It looks horrible.

They Should Win: Sofiane

Liking: JD, Dillon (at least he knows “Cool for cats”)

Mate just chill: Angry Paul

Warming to: Frances, Jess (again!)

Bit of a ShitWeasel: Courtney

Losing Love for: Alana, Trishna, Samuel

Being of Beige: Rebecca

An utter nightmare but can’t help warming to him at times: K

Totally rubbish: Grainne

Bye Bye: Michelle, Natalie, Lovely Sausage Olly, Aleksandra (Conscientious Objector), Mukai (Utter Twat in a bow tie)

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It’s Week 3 and the candidates are summoned to the Drury Lane Theatre at 5.30am where Lord Sugar declares, in a slightly less than tenuous link, that as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is currently playing there that this weeks task is making, branding and selling sweets in Brighton. Before I start getting all Finbarr Saunders on the fudgepacking jokes, the bollock faced peer manages to wind me up by stating that “The lead character Willy Wonka was a creative risk taker” (Charlie was the lead character pal, the clues in the frigging title). Our favourite Nookie Bear faced Lord doesn’t want another scenario like last week’s disaster where he “thought I was talking to a bunch of braindeads”.

The teams are mixed up with Alana, Jess and Trishna joining JD, Mukai, Samuel, Sofiane and Courtney on Titan whereas Olly, Paul, K and Mukai join Aleksandra, Frances (whoever she is), Rebecca and Grainne on Nebula.

Alana’s under pressure when she’s appointed PM of Titan by Lord Sugar on account of her being a flaky cake baker (Alana “I went to pieces last week” Jess (looking innocent “Did you?”). “I’m a self taught chocolatier so I hope you all have confidence in me” Alana starts nervously and the team all look somewhere else shiftily. However she’s sussed that people in Brighton love “things to be different” so wants to go for cocktail flavours (fnar fnar etc). Sugar also insists Olly leads Nebula by virtue of his sausage empire.

Lovely Olly goes old school with a “Beside the Seaside” theme (bless him). Paul’s not convinced (“It’s up to you”). “Oh yes, especially in Brighton” Olly bumbles happily. He tries to give Paul the role of selling to trade, but Paul insists on staying with Olly to keep his eye on him in a not at all undermining move. Olly’s stuck with stutteringly giving Mukai the err “err manufacturing err obviously not manufacturing the pitching” role. Cos we all know how rad Mukai’s pitching is. Oh Olly – you’re too nice for this show.

Sofiane doesn’t want to be in kitchen because he’s not a woman or something so Alana makes him the subteam leader (“I think you’re a strong leader.. are you happy with that?” Sofiane (unconvinced) “Er ye-eahh”).

So it’s off to the confectioners where I discover that there is such a thing as “pillow sweets” (it’s worse than Bake Off for implied filth this episode). Jess reckons you get “a bigger profit margin from pillows”.

Olly announces that “I think we’re all agreed rock is the most desirable”. Grainne’s showing her edge (“It’s not what you like it’s what makes money”). They taste a variety of flavoured sweets with K picking ice cream for the rock and Olly somehow plumping for salt and vinegar fudge (“I’m getting quite a salty after-taste in my mouth” – oh for gods sake!).

Meanwhile Alana goes for cappuccino toffee which sounds delicious but it is fucking toffee which you don’t buy on a beach, and Dillon is smitten with strawberry and champagne flavour pillow sweets (although the sweet expert warns him not to get his fingers stuck in the pillow machine). Sofiane doesn’t give a monkeys (“Trust your gut feeling and go with it”) as long as he gets to be the big salesman and with that in mind he’s off with Trishna and Courtney to Brighton FC to promise them a load of team coloured blue and white sweeties. “We can only spend up to £300” the Seagulls rep says. Sofiane’s not having this (“We were looking at more the £400 mark”) and the Seagulls get fucked off (“I’m not sure if you’re hearing us”). Sofiane doesn’t give up and offers 160 units for £307. It’s a deal at 190 units but Sofiane takes this as a big result. Now it’s just down to the kitchen to deliver it. Oh.

In Olly’s dithery kitchen of delights, Grainne’s shooting her project manager evils as he gamely fails to roll rock (which who knew is harder to make than sausages). “It’s all a bit of a learning curve” gasps our sausage boy, but Grainne insists that they “don’t have time for learning curves” on her watch.

Over on team Titan JD’s bashing toffee which probably out-vies Olly’s fudge for saltiness the amount of chubby man sweat that’s dripped into it. Alana’s panic is displaying as mild passive aggressiveness as she moans at Jess and Dillon for faffing around (“We can’t lose cos we’ve got no sweets”). Sofiane’s deal comes in and Alana has to push the team harder, but she’s clearly close to breaking point already.

In Sussex, Rebecca is for some reason trying to sell broken sweets at the gift shop of a winery. “Which ones would your mind act prefer the idea of?” Rebecca asks in a random stream of banal lunacy. The shop say they’ll take £75 worth and Mukai leaps in like a twat in a bow tie to offer 50 bags for that paltry sum and close the “deal”. They fail spectacularly to communicate with the kitchen as Olly’s having a dithery meltdown on rock and Grainne dispatches him to fudge production whilst she takes over on the order.

Somehow Dillon has broken the pillow machine without fingering it, and under pressure Alana goes for a cry (Dillon and Jess stand around pulling embarrassed faces whilst JD and Samuel talk their PM back up). She gets herself together sharpish though (“We have an hour and a half and we need to go like the wind”) and soon they’re branding their sweets as pink packaged “Guiltees”.

Not to be outdone Olly’s sweets are proudly named “Suck it and Sea” and my inner Finbarr Saunders collapses in a fit of feeble wheezes. Paul’s getting angrier at Olly’s lackadaisical attitude towards pricing strategy (“Any thoughts on RRP for fudge err?” “WHY AREN’T YOU CONCENTRATING?!”)

Next morning they’re out on Brighton beach and Olly’s still trying to sort out rock prices. Is it “three for something, two for five, two for six” or six for two billion? Karren is “completely confused. What is your strategy?” Olly responds that he’s “just asking the guys to think on their own feet”.

K’s happy doing sales “I talk. I’m an extrovert. I don’t want to be labelled as disruptive” he announces disruptively. The “Suck it and Sea” sellers start flogging their wares on Brighton beach, although Frances just seems to wander around looking miserable. Maybe she’s a Goth. Unfortunately everyone in the team is selling at a different price, but they’re at least getting sales unlike Alana’s team.

Another Maverick is on his way back to Brighton and Hove Albion with completely different sweets than promised thanks to the machine breaking and the team being forced to roll sweets into blue and white half spheres. “Please don’t run them up the wrong way” Alana begs of Sofiane, who wants to take extra back up in case things get heavy. Courtney’s concerned Sofiane will try to get more money and come across as a “cheeky little bastard”. So as the Seagulls sweet inspector looks over the dodgy wares, Sofiane announces “we went the extra mile”. “Really?” asks the disappointed Seagull warily. “They’re half FOOTBALLS!” Sofiane informs him cheerily and when correctly told “there is no such thing as a half football” he insists “They’re quirky and fun!”. Impressed to a point by Sofiane’s chutzpah, the Seagulls man gives them the benefit of the doubt and pays the asking price, and despite getting away with it Sofiane cockily admits “I was THIS close to actually asking for your money”.

Back at the winery, Rebecca takes yummy samples and the shop’s keen on an extra 50 bags. Rebecca offers them £120 for the lot, but winery bloke argues this down to £107 which Mukai snaps up. Paul (who’s moved teams to escape from Olly being rubbish) does the maths outside gloomily and calculates they’ve just lost 40p per bag. He’s not amused and packs the car moodily (“Fucking SHAMBLES!”)

Alana loses it on Samuel who’s happily upselling her sweets at 2 for £7 rather than her suggestion of £6 (as though she fears she will have to appoint a customer services team to deal with the fallout of the Brighton Beach debacle). Poor Sam is crestfallen (I’m liking his charming sales work especially “those sweets go with your hair”. Meanwhile on her subteam Sofiane has an amazing plan to sell higher to trade (Courtney: “You got it all mixed up”, Sofiane “Trust me… just shut up”) which involves him getting outhaggled by a sweet shop owner who’s seen it all before. “How long you been in this business?” laughs the Sweet Shop Man. “All my life” Sofiane insists.. “well I’ve been selling all my life”. Sent packing with a small sale, he revises his advice to Courtney “Haggle… if it’s a big order Happy Days. If not, move on”. Truly the secret of success.

Aleksandra pitches to a posh shop (“We wanted to show you our sweeties”) whilst Paul sulks outside. Unfortunately she completely screws the prices and nearly ends up selling them a bunch of rock for £47 until Mukai corrects her (£100).

Mukai’s concerned that only the rock is selling. “Maybe we should concentrate on Fudge?”

Meanwhile K is proclaiming to the good folk of Brighton “WHO WANTS TO SUCK IT?”

I can’t cope. Olly’s trying to ride his candy trike down a cosmopolitan street but hits the bollards and can’t get round anyway because the street is too full of tables, chairs and people who don’t give a shit about The Apprentice or sweets.

Alana wants everyone selling on the beach but her trade team almost mutiny as there’s one last box of toffee stuck in the hotel.

Olly’s subteam all rush to try to sell the unpopular salt and vinegar fudge at the worlds’ least accessible fish and chip shop but fail and get left holding a massive box of fudge (no I’m not going there). Paul gets a massive sulk on and rows with Mukai who clearly cannot be arsed because he is so much better than everyone else.

But not as good as K, who’s had a great day: “I may be an IT project manager but deep down I am the best salesman in universe.. No not in the world in the universe!”

Back in the boardroom and both Alana and Olly are looking haunted.

Grainne does all the talking for Olly now she’s finally become visible and mildly patronises her team leader. Bless Olly he’s just too nice, declaring even K a “pleasure to work with”.

“Was you Willy Wonka or an Oompa Loompa?” Sugar demands and Olly declares himself the latter (well that would be hard working and creative then). “He tried, to be fair” Grainne does a virtual head pat.

Paul’s still incensed by lots of things but firstly it’s Mukai’s downgrading of the price at the winery. “In hindsight it was a little bit of a mistake” Mukai smarms. Olly himself foolishly admits he doesn’t have the foggiest what his prices were and how much he sold. Big mistake that – taking responsibility for your mistakes. You never get ahead like that because the corporate world is a bit shit. “To be fair” smarms Grainne “he tried his best.. just in a different direction”.

The Titans are asked about their strategy and Jess starts doing sums at breakneck speed until Karren asks her to “take another breath”, calm down, start doing heroin just shut the fuck up! “Should have made gobstoppers” mutters Sugar.

It looks like Alana will get shit for slapping down Sam for raising the price but Sugar accepts she had a pricing strategy simply advising that she might have got away with it not being a nationwide chain store or anything. Let’s face it most of us will get charged different prices in a pub within the same evening and unless you’re mad you don’t make a thing out of it. If I was mad enough to buy toffee on a beach I’d feel ashamed to return and quibble about the prices.

Sofiane gets a slapdown for not listening to Alana when she wanted him to bring all the stock to the beach (Sugar “You weren’t PM ok!”) but on the whole her team back her.

So the Titans spent £429.43 but sold £1215.09 making a profit of £785.66

Meanwhile Nebula spent £207.75 sold £822.83 and made a profit of £615.08

The treat is a parkour workshop. Woo fucking hoo. I’d be wishing both teams lost again so I could get a nice cuppa. Alana is super happy though and Sofiane reveals to VC she just needs to be less worried and more confident. He’s got something there.

In Bridge Café Olly blinks like a startled fawn (“I was new to this”) but Grainne is brutal (“We need to work out who was the weakest link”). Mukai blames Aleksandra for messing up prices, not mentioning his own cock-ups. Paul joins in until Aleksandra cannily points out he made zero sales and psyches Olly out by claiming he’s scared of Paul (obviously he is).

Back in the boardroom and Olly admits yet again he had no pricing strategy so it’s a mere formality for him to be too much of a gent to bring back Aleksandra and instead bring back Mukai and Paul (for not selling anything and for getting angry. Paul points out he wasn’t personal during his rant at Mukai. “You did call him crap” Karren points out helpfully, but Paul’s main problem is that they ended up with all the fudge).

Paul thinks it “ludicrous” that he was brought back as although he didn’t make a sale “I produced my best fudge”. He also believes that even when he is moody he doesn’t disrupt the team, displaying a spectacular lack of awareness . Mukai still thinks he did a good job selling those extra units at a vastly reduced rate to the wine shop. Even Olly insists you should “never back down on price”.

Unfortunately despite Olly displaying some amazing transferable skills (“I was really hands on.. I was learning how to make fudge”) he’s fired (Sugar: “Your best hope for 250k is to buy yourself a scratchcard.” but like the sweety he is he positively skips to the taxi of doom declaring he’s had a lovely time and learned a lot “to put into practice in my sausage empire”. What a lovely chap!

I’m really hoping Mukai will go, but Sugar’s clearly setting the arrogant dickie bowed twat for a higher fall and sends them home where everyone tries to hide their sad faces at seeing Mukai return. K’s a but more open when Mukai asks why everyone is surprised (“Bad sales, bad decisions, bad business acumen etc”, Mukai smugly “I live to fight another day”)

Next week the candidates tit around in a posh shop.

Liking: Sofiane, Aleksandra, Samuel, Trishna, Alana, JD, Dillon
(I kind of want either Alana or Sofiane to win already, so they’re probably doomed)

Mate just chill: Angry Paul

Unimpressed by: Courtney, Frances

Patronising Snitch: Grainne

Twat in a Bow Tie: Mukai

Being of Beige: Rebecca

Jury Back Out on: Jess

Still very annoying:  K

Bye Bye: Michelle, Natalie, Lovely Sausage Olly

Apologies for the delay again – now www.colchestercomedyfestival.co.uk is over I should be able to concentrate on the important things in life, like thinking of amusing swearwords to describe this year’s crop of febrile, sharp suited wankclowns.

Week 2 and it’s already the infamous Advertising Task. Hurrah. The teams are summoned to fashion school Istituto Marangoli on London’s “Fashion Street” erm Fashion Street. I like the idea of naming streets after the things in them. Perhaps we could rebrand Downing Street as Shit Street?

We’re treated to a fashionable glimpse of builders cleavage from one of the boys and Karthig (for ease of typing, not that I’m a friend or fan he will be “K” to me from now on – like in Kafka novels but without the sympathy for the hero) demonstrates his fashion know-how (“You only wear black shoes to go to a funeral”).

Inside the fashion school we’re treated to a lot of shots of plastic dummies – but as well as the candidates there’s also a load of mannequins being shunted around on rails. Sugar sets them the challenge to brand and advertise (TV ad, bus shelter poster and digital billboard) jeans made from Japanese denim then pitch to “jeans leaders” and top advertising execs. The losers, Sugar promises will be “fired.. or hung out to dry” he indicates the dummies on the rails… “like one of those things over there” (thanks for explaining that Lord Sugar).

K declares he would be the best model for the advert and I don’t think he’s joking (“If I wanted to be like everyone else I would have plucked my monobrow… but I don’t want to be like everyone else.. everyone wants to be like me”).

Rebecca with her marketing skillz volunteers to lead the girls team, but Jess buts in citing her top Fashion Brand experience as the reason she should be PM. So there’s a vote. Amongst 8 of them. 8 hands go up, but someone tells Rebecca “You can’t vote for yourself”. “I suppose that’s stupid” Rebecca simpers and puts her hand down. Jess wins. It takes a while for Rebecca to do a massive “HANG ON!” and by then it’s too late. I really worry Trump is going to try this tactic.

Mukai is elected boys team leader because of his marketing experience and they’re already brainstorming names. JD likes “Itchi ban” which makes me think of some sort of jeans induced arse crack rash. I think it’s Courtney who goes for “Emo Jeans” (imagine the tagline: “Emo Jeans – they cut themselves”) and they all love it except Mukai who vetoes it and imposes “Day After Yesterday” (“Which is ALWAYS today!” he says smugly – the boys look blank) – shortened to D.A.Y. (I honestly think they might have been onto a better seller with “Generation After Yesterday”).

Jess suggests Unclaimed and Rebecca gets all excited (“It’s like taking a selfy… claiming your own look” – she doesn’t appear to understand what the prefix “Un” does to the meaning of a word), but she’s still cruelly dispatched by Jess to cover packaging (Rebecca “not branding which I do every day”?). Jessica’s losing it already and declares she wants quality from her branding “I don’t want any dog masks or anything like that!” (I am sure she said this but WTF? Does she think the task is related to dogging?). In the car she confides to Alana and Aleksandra that she has no faith in Rebecca as a subteam leader but they both stress that sacking Rebecca at this stage would “completely destabilise the team” (as though it’s stable now). They all go and get feedback from “luxury shoppers” (or some women) who say they would be motivated to by jeans if the model looked good in them and the fabric felt nice (whereas I would be motivated to buy jeans if they were made out of something stretchy and fluffy that doesn’t make your stomach look like an action man if you’ve been wearing it all day.

The boys have the great idea of unisex jeans and scour the streets for their chosen yoof market rejecting hipsters over the age of 20 for being “too old” like they’re the ruling elite in Logan’s Run. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that if it’s hard finding their key demographic on the high street either they’re in the wrong place or focussing on the wrong demographic.

Dillon shows his artistic flare by taking about six hours to declare yellow a unisex colour and designs a yellow label “DAY Denim” to K’s chagrin (“Why do you have to say denim?” “You need to think about straplines?” “Give me attention Waaaah!”). “Can you talk quieter” Dillon the artiste asks tetchily “I can’t be interrupted in my thinking process”. Finally Dillon’s ready to run his design past the PM but Mukai’s not interested (“STOP STOP STOP!”) and hangs up. Even Claude’s shocked.

Rebecca has come up with a strapline (once they figure out this isn’t part of the actual jeans!) for UNclaimed and triumphantly writes “Claim YOUR fit” on the whiteboard to the annoyance of me and any other friends of grammar. She chooses grey for her design (“A nice neutral colour”) as it matches her personality.

Jess takes her team to the photo shoot in Bloomsbury where there’s just one teensy problem – they’ve lost the jeans. “I want a clean image” Jess says. Invisible jeans would be pretty damn clean. “So you’re doing photos for your jeans campaign without jeans” Karren remarks acidly and Jess suffers a meltdown so spectacular that even for her you can tell she’s having a bad time. Karren sends her out to gulp down some fresh air and calm down so that everyone else can raise their eyebrows and shrug at each other. Finally the jeans show up and for some reason Aleksandra and Trishna model them wearing unmatching shoes. Alana’s wearing a “We’re doomed face” (“We’re going to lose again and it’s just embarrassing”) and tries to encourage Jess to come up with a clear concept that runs through all the marketing strands, but Jess is having none of it (“You’re coming up with problems to our solutions!”). “OK” Alana concedes glumly.

At the boys photoshoot Mukai also doesn’t have any jeans but when he calls the subteam no-one answers because Dillon’s too busy testing out his gaydar on the series of young buff models he’s auditioning. “Imagine you’re flirting with somebody” he tells buff boy whilst sidling up to him and giggling. In the end he only sends one model to the photoshoot as he’s locked all the others in a cupboard somewhere.

Whilst the girls record a jingle for their interactive bus shelter display (as though bus shelters weren’t hellish enough already), for some strange reason Dillon records himself making phone noises and random sounds like he’s a fricking starling or something. After all the dicking about they miss the deadline for the digital display and Paul looks like he wants to force feed him that bloody bow tie. JD cheers them up by reeling off a cavalcade of chirpy clichés (“It’s ok we knock out a video win the challenge win the treat bish bosh bash punch Lord Sugar in the bollocks job done!” etc). When K eagerly positions himself to win Dillon’s throne as sub team leader, Mukai himself moves to lead that team causing K’s monobrow to furrow in scuppered rage.

Jess is determined on day two that there will be no repeat of yesterday’s “comedy of errors” and decides that silencing her colleagues will improve her chances of success (“People keep chippin in an cloudin mah vision”). She moves Rebecca to the B team and keeps Aleksandra (“I loved your input” i.e. Aleksandra did not question her, unlike Alana who’s dispatched to the other team as far away from Jess as possible. Lucky Alana).

Both teams work on their packaging with Rebecca selecting what looks like a cross between a giant coffee cup and toilet roll tube to bring that luxury feel (Jess: “Ah think that’s really luxurious”) whereas the boys go for broke on the Japanese theme with quite pleasant cherry blossom lining bearing the legend “Made in Japan”. They extol the virtues of a “nice box” (not in a Donald Trump locker room way) and Olly rather sweetly declares he “kept a fragrant box for 15 years.. it now stores mini disks” much to Claude’s amusement.

The girls appear to have set their TV ad in an empty Tiger Tiger which supposedly represents a Japanese restaurant. Jess yammers at Grainne to do make-up and Natalie to erm.. oh she’s forgotten what Natalie is meant to do. Not sure if Natalie knows to be honest. They’ve obviously brain stormed Japan and the only thing they could think of was sushi (I suppose I should be grateful they haven’t got slightly more brain cells or we may have ended up with Hara Kiri jeans or something). “The next best thing to Japanese food” simpers the actress “is the jeans they make” (well it’s what we were all thinking isn’t it?). “Fierce!” yells Jess. The next scene is viewed creepily from the gap under the loo door where the model is turning up the jean hems supposedly to claim her look but you worry she might have just got some wee on them or something. Things take a turn for the worse when the girls select Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off to accompany this imagery.

In Brixton Dillon’s direction of the yoof epic “The Skateboard Jeans Massacre” is reminiscent of Roger De Bris from “The Producers” (“Clear the set please SOfiane!”) . K sits on the skatepark wall telling everyone how great he is (“God it’s so hot.. I feel like stripping but I don’t want it to be a meat market with all the chicks looking at me”). Dillon edits, but K wants to play with the editing suite. “No” warns Mukai. “Why not? Are you scared?” K challenges. Mukai asks for feedback on the rough cut “Does that make sense?”. “No it doesn’t” whines K “I want to spend 5 minutes with it” and he descends into a flailing tantrum when they all try to pretend he’s not actually there. JD eventually can take it no longer “Please! For the love of god stop talking” he pleads.

The bus shelters are unveiled on Oxford Street and UNCLAIMED is barely visible so pale is Rebecca’s chosen grey. The #ClaimYourFit digital display allowing people to upload their own selfies onto it is possible, the only possible flaw being the selfies show their faces and not their fecking jeans. I suppose at least it’s a display as the boys bus shelter simply sounds like a slightly muted Klunk from Dastardly and Muttley is hiding behind it. At least it gives the advertising execs a good giggle when they go to check it out.

It’s nearly pitch o clock and Jess is keeping calm and shouting agitatedly at everyone. “Will you be comfortable being calm.. calm is key here” Aleksandra soothes. “Thanks” snaps Jess cattily “I didn’t realise that!” As the other girls are forced to sit in their own bus shelter, Jess delivers the pitch (a jumble of buzzwords) at breakneck speed and Rebecca wanly spouts branding bollocks (“It encapsulates the feeling of owning your own look and claiming that look” WHAT?!) as the rest of Nebulous coo dreamily “ooh isn’t she doing well”. Everyone looks suitably baffled at the advert, which would make more sense if it had the dancing dwarf from Twin Peaks turn up in it. Aleksandra gamely tries to sell that cardboard tube packaging as “luxury” (“It has some weight to it like a beautiful diamond would if you held it”) but the execs think their messages are mixed as the packaging is more suited to older consumers whereas the advert targets younger people.

It’s the DAY of the denim and Mukai stumbles incoherently before admitting he’s “completely fluffed it” and handing over to JD who delivers his branding summary in a pseudo pally manner (“After a couple of cheesy conversations we thought this is a good name yes.. DAY jeans”). Way to come across as professional and reliable – it’s akin to saying “You can trust us – we’re a bit shit”.

I do love their advert which probably does capture the spirit of today’s yoof in that when the boy in it falls off his skateboard the woman is more concerned over whether he’s torn his jeans. It ends with her breathing “Always Japanese” and him responding “Definitely cool” like they’re speaking Pokemon or something.

They come unstuck when asked to explain the unisex idea by stating that they would obviously have different cuts and designs for girls and boys which undermines the whole idea of “unisex”. Outside Paul’s getting very Hulk Smashy at how badly the once Mighty Titans are going to lose.

The experts grass up the teams to Sugar and it’s time for the boardroom. Whilst Dillon is getting flack for being too much of a perfectionist, K chips in continuously before Sugar gently suggests its wise to leave the expert to do their thing and “shut up” if you don’t have anything constructive to say. Like that’s going to stop K – he’s on a mission to be HEARD.

Courtney blames lack of communication with the other team for the missing digital display. Mukai blames Dillon’s team for not contacting him, until Claude points out that they did try but he hung up like a dickie bowed twankard.

DAY’s advert is played and Natalie does a Billy Idol-esque sneery face. Mukai has to admit that his pitch was “unfortunately not perfect” (or even existent). “Was he a good team leader?” Sugar asks. Of course K has the answer immediately “No from my side in my humble opinion”.

Rebecca reveals Jess’s vote gerrymandering and Jess is off with her trademark breathless high speed train crash trying to defend herself over little details like losing the jeans. “I hear you were a little bit flustered” Sugar understates. “She fell apart” Aleksandra corrects him helpfully and Jess turns on her (“The reason ah got so teary and upset is cos everyone was undermining me”).

Natalie gets stick for doing SFA except the models hair and cleaning up (Karren slam: “Not skills Lord Sugar’s looking for”) and Sugar sees Olly as a hanger on too despite the fact he wrote down at least 5 whole market research questions. #GoOlly

It turns out both teams fell for the clever “Japanese” red herring in the original task as it was all meant to be about the jeans (Sugar: “Do you think the customer gives a damn where the denim comes from?”) – naughty! He’s therefore apoplectic about Rebecca’s digital display (Rebecca “It’s about getting the ideal customer to interact with the brand”) which fails to mention or even show jeans. Still at least he gets to deliver the clunky scripted groaner “You wait ages for a terrible bus shelter ad and two come along at the same time”.

Furious that “not one of you geniuses”(Jeaniuses – I see what he did there) managed to run the project properly (“Never mind mad men more like demented dimwits”) Sugar has both teams despatched to cafés of doom and there’s a welcome return for the Bridge Café where Paul is getting very Kray twin (whichever the angrier shoutier one was) at Mukai whereas K just blames anybody who isn’t him.

The girls are having a screaming catfight in the corrugated café of incompetence where Jess thinks they should have all respected her (“who listened to me? NO ONE!”) as she has “a LUXURIOUS womens fashion brand”. “Stop shouting at us” Rebecca pleads meekly. “OH SHUT UP” shouts Jess, bringing Aleksandra into her firing line “I had you two yipping at me ear none stop”. “I thought you said I worked well” Aleksandra retorts. “I just didn’t want to bring your confidence down”. Natalie joins in calling Aleksandra patronising and Trishna looks like she wants to scream (“We’re meant to be grown up women! We’re acting like little schoolgirls”).

Mukai chooses to bring K back in for being disruptive and JD because Mukai is an idiot and didn’t listen when Sugar clearly pointed out Olly as being a bit of a passenger.

Jess brings in Alana who gives her best hacky look for “bringing problems to solutions” (clue -it’s not a solution if there are applicable problems) and Natalie (who gives a deadly revenge stare reminiscent of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill ).

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JD predictably fights his corner strong, bringing up Mukai’s pitch not so perfect and slamming K when he tries to interrupt (“I’m talking at the moment you can av your moment …I know you want it”). K still needs Lord Sugar to know that he did all the good things in the task and everyone else was a useless arsehat but Mukai points out that everyone found K disruptive. “Not everyone” K insists disruptively, turning to our bollock headed billionaire peer and pleading “Just give me 10 seconds Lord Sugar”. “You’re not very subtle are you” Sugar observes. K moves from blaming JD for the fail to declaring that it was impossible working for Mukai as he didn’t listen to K’s great ideas.

Jess gets stick for cracking up, so cracks up some more until her train of thought derails. She blames Alana for having a face on (something anyone spending time with Jess should surely sympathise with). Alana calls it correctly as a “personality clash” (I think Alana, despite being a little flimsy, has a “personality” whereas Jess has an “eruption”) but Sugar turns on Alana asking her to justify her existence until she gets quite teary, whereupon Natalie behaves like a true sister and kicks her when she’s down (“I will not fold like a deck of cards I’ll give you 100% Lord Sugar”).

Apparently Natalie put “creative” on her CV. “I done the best I can” she mutters, blaming Rebecca for taking control of design until Karren points out she didn’t exactly bring anything to the table other than perhaps a j-cloth and some pledge. “I tried!” Natalie insists. “I was there” Karren cuts her off.

The girls defend their position by bragging about how much they work (Jess “16,17,18 hour days”; Natalie: “100 hours a week with passion” (?) ) as though that’s a good thing – they might be spending all that time trying to find the right place to stick a stamp on an envelope for all we know.

K’s condemned as a “loose cannon” but he pledges to learn quickly and lead the next task (that will be fun won’t it?).

JD gets the benefit of the doubt and is staying and it looks like K’s on his way out but Natalie’s fired for being boring and only having one facial expression. She sneers and flounces out to the taxi of doom where she has a little Begby-esque rant about how she don’t need Sugar’s steenking cash anyway.

Meanwhile Sugar’s still fucking with poor Alana’s head (“You’re struggling..”) and almost raises the finger of doom at K, but is reminded that keeping him in will keep us shouting at our tellies for a few weeks more and relents. In the car on the way back K’s still offering his theory whilst JD looks quietly murderous (“It’s been a long day and a lot of people are talking a lot of nonsense”).

Next week the contestants launch their own sweet ranges. Is there a gobstopper big enough to stop K?

Liking: Sofiane, Aleksandra, Samuel, Trishna
Useless but Sweet:  Olly
Warming To: JD, Dillon, Alana, Angry Paul
Unimpressed by: Courtney, Frances, Grainne
Twat in a Bow Tie: Mukai
Being of Beige: Rebecca
Bringing out the Killy Rage: Jess, K
Bye Bye: Michelle, Natalie

Sorry it’s late – small matter of running www.colchestercomedyfestival.co.uk until 16th October. (p.s. [shameless plug]please come along to it – it’s great![/])

Anyhow it’s Week 1 of the Apprentice and the voiceover reminds us grimly that “In times of economic turmoil one man stands firm”, yes it’s our favourite beardy bollock-faced barrow boy billionaire Lord Alan Sugar who yet again is offering £250k and the chance to lick envelopes in a freezing cold warehouse as his “business partner” to one from another veritable cavalcade (18 of them for fucksake) of shiny haired snappy suited vacuous corpobots.

Why here they come bounded up escalators and looking serious and thoughtful on moving floors. There’s 12 weeks of some of them to put up with and the worst that will happen to them is they get to sit in a corrugated Café and look sad or go away in a cab wearing a different outfit to the one they appears to have on in the edit only minutes ago.

There’s Karthik (which also works as an easy way to remember what Jeremy Clarkson likes and is), a monobrowed IT Consultant with a nice line in polite and slightly nerdy megalomania which smacks of way too many role playing games in his youth. “I will be an emperor, the world is not enough!” he proclaims, later stating that he WILL be Prime Minister but first he will be a billionaire (which looking at the government seems to be how it works nowadays).

Courtney looks about 12 and apparently has a weird obsession with Leonardo di Caprio, but insists that “behind my boyish” (i.e. spotty) “good looks there’s a very shrewd businessman”. At least we know it’s not Savile.

There’s even a twat in a bow tie. Sorry he’s probably lovely but that’s just an automatic response isn’t it?

I quite like slightly bonkers business consultant Aleksandra who is starting to remind me of a power dressing Amy from the Big Bang theory what with her references to her sheer energy mimicking “that of a nuclear explosion” and her managing to convince the girls to select the most geeky team name ever, one that would get you beaten up in any self-respecting playground.

Nebula” splutters Lord Sugar when it’s broken to him. “Isn’t that toxic gas in space?” “It’s an interstellar collection of dust and clouds” Aleksandra insists proudly (still WTF?). “You could have called yourself SMOG” Sugar retorts to her bewilderment. Alana reckons nebula sounds “like a disease”. Maybe she’s thinking of crabs.

The candidates hand in their business plans at the boardroom and Sugar declares he has no time for moaners who should either buy themselves “a scratchcard” or email him at lordsugar idontcare dot com (sadly Karthik doesn’t point out that this won’t work as there’s no “@” symbol, but he DOES point out that he likes to be known as “Big K” (“to my friends and fans, but you can call me K if you like..” I’m sure Lord Sugar will remember to use the “Wan” suffix and “Er” prefix as well!).

Alana’s CV states that she “reacts badly to being shouted at” (worrying that this would happen to a woman who makes cakes) and she looks a bit wobbly when Sugar suggests she might have a problem with him then.

Lovely smilie posh Olly owns a Cumberland Sausage business and looks very jolly when Lord Sugar declares he loves the sausage.

JD looks like Jack Dee and Larry Hagman pressed together into a too-tight suit (he owns a beach wear company which gives me a horrifying thought of him in a mankini). He looks like someone who would call himself “No nonsense” and his CV states he has “gumption and balls” (“like Olly’s sausages” quips Sugar). JD’s good value for his need to be as MANLY as possible in every situation, which in reality renders him camper than the entire cast of 300 Rahhing in unison. It’s he who coins the boys’ team name TITAN (rahh!) rather than “Assassin” (This from Dillon St Paul, art director in a fashion magazine and not apparently some Keith Lemon character who declares “I’m king of the truth bomb” (yeah preach it!) like it means something. I think Dillon should launch a men’s cologne after he’s fired “Assassin… By Dillon St Paul.. King of the Truth Bomb” has a certain ring to it, but no Titan wins. “Cos we’re Titans of industry- leaders of MEN” JD explains to the bemused faces around him.

The name reminds me immediately of giant sized condoms, rather than motherfuckin “mythological Greek badasses” (JD) – and what do you know?

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Oh hello here’s a “character”, it’s digital marketer Jessica “I’m mad me!” Cunningham. “You’re very excited” Karen says sniffily as Jess twitches and gurns and shrieks with delight at things giddily. “I’m rrreaallly nervous” Jess blusters merrily. Karen’s not impressed “Take a breath” she orders (and keep holding it she thinks). Jess reckons people say she’s the “female Jim Carrey” as though she’s blithely unaware that they’re calling her annoying.

She reminds me of Nina Conti doing an impression of Peggy from HidiHi – just look at her being mad!

Anyhow the task is to go to Lord Sugar’s secret lock up garages full of tut nicked off which he explains also contain some collectables and “diamonds” (whatever!) and tidy them out for him identify things to sell to public and trade. Most sales win and the very important message is “SUSS OUT WHAT’S VALUABLE AND WHAT ISN’T. DON’T RUSH OUT BUT THINK WHERE THE VALUE IS”. Hmm I wonder if this may prove to be key advice.

Claude follows the girls with a sneer of his face like they all smell. Karen follows the boys.

In the girls car the more mature mortgage company owner Michelle thinks the girls will “work well together” and all the other girls give her “yea sure!” hacky looks.

First stop is the Argos decorated flat where Jess bounces joyously on the bed and everyone looks at her and thinks “twelve frickin weeks” and K falls in love with the mirror (“I love you”).

The boys pick a Project Manager. Whilst slightly geezerish Sofiane says he started work on street markets, and even sausage boy Olly has friends with antique shops they choose Paul because he watches Bargain Hunt. Right you are.

The girls compete wildly to avoid being leader. Feisty Frances who’s just bragged about being a karate champ and up for a fight declares herself out. Madforit Jess admits to some car boot sale experience but says she still hasn’t “got the foggiest”, so it falls to the rather dour Michelle who reckons she has been chosen because she’s “strongest. They think I’m a threat” and not because the women’s teams have been getting so rubbish in the last few series that it’s highly likely that she’ll be first out. Michelle aims to maximise on sales but doesn’t mention value. Oh no Michelle… remember what the wise old bearded bollock told you.

Over on the Titans (giggle) Sofiane immediately identifies that this task is all about getting decent prices and sticking to a pricing strategy so Paul sensibly appoints him subteam leader to head up their Wimbledon market operations. Nebula look like they might have a ringer too with cake girl Alana stating that she does markets “Yeaah” she says uncertainly “I’m a market trader”.

What sort of tie do you wear at 3am to go to Lord Sugar’s dodgy garage of knock-off auction reject tut. Why if you’re K one with evil looking alien santas on it!

Jess is still horrendously lively at 3am (“GAME FACE!” *shudder*). Michelle wants to make sure the team is not too excitable. Good luck with that with Jess insisting that if she find the (obviously nonexistent) diamonds they’re going straight down her bra, finding several pairs of jugs just so she can say “What a nice pair of jugs” (OK I admit that was funny the first time) and pretending to hilariously drop things.

The boys just get all practical and lug the lot of it out into their van.

Dahhn the market and Sofiane is bloody brilliant at making sure the boys don’t undervalue anything (“Start high yeah and work dahhn”) and he has a pretty good idea of how much the stuff’s worth (clocking a leather chair as worth easily £200 – later the expert Paul gets to speedily check their stock early on in the day says they could sell it for up to £300). Even Karen’s impressed.

The girls however bung everything on a rail with a sign saying £15 each then knocking things down to £7 at the first hint of a haggle. It’s embarrassing for me to watch and Claude can barely look as salon owner Natalie flogs some pricy looking glass vases for £15 (“I think I’m doing well but we might be undervaluing things – there’s no pricing strategy just guesswork” she admits). And you know that leather chair. Frances haggles some woman up to sell it for erm £17.50 (and is chuffed with how badass her haggling was – oh dear).

Michelle visits antique experts for their opinions after her market team have given away most of her valuable stuff for peanuts and after spending ages there completely ignores his advice, the key one being “Take all your stock to Portobello – they love antiques and shit there”). She decides to “go with her gut” to Camden (because the expert didn’t say “don’t go to Camden” – he also didn’t say “Get in the sea”). Unfortunately she decides to take a detour to a dealer on the way and fails to inform the van driver with all their dodgy gear so he trundles on to Camden. Claude does a BIG facepalm!

Sofiane who is bossing this task suggests that the market team should move to Portobello as they can flog antiques there at higher prices. Paul wisely agrees. He continues sticking to his prices at Portobello and Karen pretends to be concerned he won’t get the sales like there’s any remote competition here.

At Camden where all the girls market team have also arrived start flogging everything three for a quid. Classy! Rebecca who’s like a dithery female Rodney out of only Fools and Horses asks what prices they can drop. Alana thinks they should “Stick at what’s written down but go lower if needed”. Rebecca’s confused “What’s lower?” Alana: “Up to 50%” Rebecca (happy) “OK so cut to 50%” Alana: “Noooooo!”.

Paul’s trade subteam isn’t doing as well as he drags the chair and an Abigail’s Party drinks party round top end Chelsea antiques dealers of the “I Saw You Coming” variety so they can all pull Brian Sewell faces and sneer at the boys. Samuel worries about Paul’s lack of leadership and “Sausage supremo” Olly isn’t happy being ordered to polish the sodding chair but Paul insists that they trust him yeah.

Olly just wants to sell sell sell though and sell sell sell he does, unfortunately to Dave some mate the real antique shop lets sit in his chair but who is definitely NOT allowed to spend money so his £300 deal turns out to be 30 minutes wasted as Karen points out if they don’t get cash on the day the item isn’t sold. Both she and Samuel point out you should check beforehand that a bloke in a shop has authority to purchase things and is not just a “Dave”. Paul phones Sofiane and starts to relate this unhappy tale, but Sofiane is completely unruffled (“You don’t need to explain”). I’m feeling the Sofiane love already.

The trade team girls flail around Camden Lock trying to find their market team with Jess offering typically lunatic directions (“We’re by two huge titanium statues.. do you know the robots in the stables). Michelle takes her last remaining silverware into a shop selling t-shirts and bongs and they get completely fleeced by a dodgy bloke (“It’s worth £180” “I’ll give you £75 tops” “Can we get £85” “£80” “Done”) who convinces them that their hallmarked silver isn’t real and is probably going to buy a gold plated caravan thanks to the profit he’s making out of this team. Trishna (who actually seems quite sensible and also wanted Michelle to go to Portobello) is outraged when Jess pops up mid her sale for over £50 and offers £25 which the bloke gladly accepts. Jess admits her error “right – he did bite my hand off sorry” before going back to gamely holding up jugs and gurning some more. Alana’s reduced to flogging off the rest of her stock for £55 in a shop whilst Aleksandra does some more Nebula style haggling up from £30 (“You say £33 and you got a deal” “OK £33” **Alana looks smug**).

Paul pops up as Sofiane is desperately trying to motivate his sale failing teammates Courtney (“It feels like I’m flogging a load of shit”) and bow tie twat (who is actually called Mukai) who is quite posh and wearing a bow tie but still not capable of selling antiques FFS. Paul finally slashes Sofianes prices. I just love the sound of money K purrs. It’s also the sound of toilet paper mate.

Michelle looks fairly hatchet faced and unrepentant of what I’d call a bad day (“It’s my job to remain calm, if I’d crumbled or had no strategy at all wewould have done badly” – erm).

Back in the boardroom and Alana’s bragging about how quickly she sold all her crap. “Did you value it first?” Sugar asks. Alana looks crestfallen. Jess manages to get in a comment about finding “nice jugs” for the billionth time and Michelle gets bollocked for not listening to the expert and managing to turn up to a dealer without any stock. Still Michelle reckonds her team were 100% behind her, until Rebecca (who is desperate to distant herself from failure) slags off her lack of a pricing strategy and Michelle shoots her evils (“Everyone else on the team knew the strategy” – ooh you lying cow Michelle!).

Sofiane gets kudos for selling a “garden erm porcelain thing” (“A vase?” Courtney offers helpfully) for £175 when it only cost £7. Unfortunately for the girls Natalie managed to sell two vases worth £300 for £15. “Erm sorry” she mumbles nonapologetically.

Courtney tries to weasel his way into Sofiane’s glory by claiming his sales approach was different and “subtle” (in that it didn’t involve selling).

Anyhow the boys only sold £371 worth to Trade whereas the girls made £540.

The non-surprise of the night is that whilst the girls made £419 on the market and made £959 in total, Sofiane’s market team smashed it with £1057.10 on the market making £1428.10 for the Titans in total. There’s understandable fistipumps and they get the treat of a “vintage” dance class, whereas a doomed looking Michelle takes the girls for bitching and decaf in the corrugated cafe of Despair.

Back in the boardroom everyone blames Michelle except Michelle who thought her sub team were big enough & ugly enough to think up pricing strategy with ZERO input from their leader. It turns into yet another traditional massively unedifying catfight (go SISTERS!) and Michelle brings in Alana and Rebeccca who looks mortally wounded and starts pleading pathetically (“How am I responsible for the loss of a task” and gets so teary and whingy I start praying for a double firing. “This is NOT what I do, I build relationships with people” Rebecca insists gulping back tears like she’s trying to stop someone dumping here (yeah nice job with relationship building there!). Michelle insists she shouldn’t have to “babysit” anyone, but ultimately she took on the role of PM and has to take the rap and it’s her who’s dismissed by Sugar’s finger of scorn. “THANK you VERY much for the opportunity “ she sneers in what has to be one of the most wonderfully graceless boardroom exits. Even in the taxi of defeat she is unapologetically nasty (when a person boasts about being “SO straight talking” you know they’re going to be a bit of a dick) and clearly has it in for Alana (“It won’t be too long before she gets fired).

Next week the teams advertise jeans and somehow manage to do so without any actual jeans. There will be tears and there WILL be twattishness.

Got the love for: Sofiane

Liking: Olly, K (he’s hilarious!), Aleksandra, Samuel, Trishna

Amused by: JD

Unimpressed by: Paul, Courtney, Natalie, Frances, Dillon, Alana, Grainne

She’s Mad She Is and the Jury is Out On: Jess

Twat in a Bow Tie: Mukai

Sort Yourself Out: Rebecca

Bye Bye: Michelle