I missed the show when it was aired as it was my birthday and like an idiot I went out for drinks and food rather than camping in front of the telly. Anyhow via the magic of iplayer we’re back to the sweeping chrome and glass majesty of Canary Wharf where the BBC are determined to pretend Lord Sugar’s secret lair is, rather than at a Premier Inn in Brentwood.

“In a time of economic uncertainty” the Voiceover tells us, “bold players can win big”. Especially if they’re gambling on a No Deal Brexit plunging us into a dystopian nightmare where everyone is forced to burn old Amstrad computers for heat and eat chalk instead of camembert. Eh?

Our 16 clueless twats Entrepreneurs are filmed looking hungry, driven and a bit erm lost and confused like they’re waiting for the mothership to beam them up.

Looking Lost ep1

Above: Still from M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film: The Befuddled

Jesus Christ it’s a baby clone of Michael McIntyre. It is, as the prophecy foretold, the end of days.

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Above: Comply with my demands earth creatures or I will do the bit about spice racks again.

Baby Macintyre who is called Ryan-Mark, although I have it on my own authority that the first part of his hyphenated twatfest of a name is really NO, apparently has “Such expensive tastes” that he needs BILLIONS not millions. And that’s just to keep his man-drawer stocked.

Next we have self-styled ambitious Latina, Jemelin “You can actually cut me and ambition comes out of my blood”.

There’s an obligatory chubby barrow boy, Thomas, who’s made a “Thahhhsand mistakes in business already” – not least already quoting bloody Del Boy in his VT. Apples and fucking pears tosser.

Apples and Pears ep1

Above: One man, two guvnors, many pies.

Isn’t this that woman Boris Johnson gave all that public money to so he could learn about IT through the medium of pole dancing? Hasn’t she had ENOUGH of our hard-earned British readies.

Pamela

My mistake it is Pamela who is confident her established business (a beauty brand – natch) will make Sugar millions.

Events Manager Riyonn (no hyphen but his parents can’t spell) has a little black book he is very proud of. Guessing it’s not 50 shades.

There’s Shahin, “the falcon” (because his name means Falcon – bless) and Lottie, a librarian megabeeyatch femmebot from the future who states confidently that nothing in business is too far for her. That’s because it’s only in the B section love.

I’ve taken an early shine to Souleyman Bah, a Paralympian sprinter with tunnel vision, a big stick and a cool name.

Souleyman ep1

Above: Souleyman Bah. *Resists joke about letting him look at my tunnel anytime.

Anyhow everyone hands in their proposals to be shredded and enters the boardroom, the women somehow under the impression it’s a Quality Street theme party.

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Above; Effs sake Marianne you were meant to be the Purple One. The camera is gonna ignore you for the rest of the show!

Our favourite beardy bollock-headed peer warms them up with some topical material (“Back when we started Brexit sounded like another Kellogs Serial”) and reminisces how he’s had them all in the boardroom (ooer): “Chancers, posers, brown nosers, moaning minnies, halfpint Harrys..” (evil scheming tribunal happy blondes, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub), before explaining that they are there to win “a £250,000 investment in a joint business with him of which they will each own 50%” (in case nobody understood the word joint there).

Shahin the Falcon is mocked for suggesting a name for this joint business (the rather funny Shamstrad). “I’ve never fired anyone before the process before but you’re a contender” quips Sugar. “Yes, I am a contender” says Shahin cos he doesn’t do jokes.

There’s some Shakespearean bants with Lottie the Librarian (“Though she be but little she is fierce”, Sugar “Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 3, Scene 2, right?).

Iasha, an account manager has called herself a “Pocket Rocket”. So annoying shortarse then.

Michael McIntyre clone No-Mark (in Women’s Wear at Harrods, no really) even laughs at his own rubbish “jokes” (“You describe yourself as like a pig in business” “Yes HAHAHAH!”).

Anyhow the BBC blow their budget by sending them all to Capetown in that SarfEfrica for the First Task. Tourism is booming in Capetown and it’s down to the candidates to put a stop to that monopolise on that by running a bespoke tour in the surrounding countryside, most profit wins but refunds we are warned eat into profit. Claude oversees the girls and Karen the boys.

Everyone mingles (Thomas: “I sell pillas (pillows) on the old lawnmower (Lawnmower Man-Van)”, No-Mark “That’s so interesting (I’d like to smother you with a pillow)”) and we meet a few more capitalist businesspigdogs. Scarlet deals “with multi-million pound clients on a daily basis” (she runs a recruitment company) and Dean (Sports Management) is “Here to win” and looks like every other dull male candidate from every series of this show. There’s also “Disgustingly ambitious” accountant Lubna.

The BBC doing their own bit for Capetown tourism, I mean I’ve never been to SarfEfrica having been too heavily influenced by Spitting Image as a child but it looks stunning (my brother is going to Capetown soon and don’t tell him but I’m jealous).

capetown ep1

Above: Table Mountain. My favourite geographical bit of household kit. Followed by Chertsey, Bedrock & Sex-Dungeon Lake.

The teams choose a glorious leader. Girls “er has anyone been to SarfEfrica before?” “No” “Does anyone want to volunteer to be PM” (tumbleweed), Scarlet: “Something profit and loss”, Rest of Girls “Lead us! Lead us!”

Digital Marketer Lewis confesses he once ran events and the boys elect him PM immediately – even though he later confesses they were only booze cruises for his mates. Never open your mouth in the first meeting.  They turn to their black co-competitors for the sweet and lowdown on Africa like they are ethnic oracles. Actually, Souleyman has African heritage and confidently states that all the tourists go there for safari animal action.  Kenna (who sounds like he actually has a bit more South African knowledge) mentions the famous wine trade, but Thomas aint listening, he’s seen Madagascar and you can see a cheeky vino anywhere in the world but not some animal ass safari action.

The girls of course go for a wine tour. They know fuck all about SarfEfrica but they fricking love wine.

Scarlet works out that tickets normally cost 2000 rand (about 107 quid) but Lottie suggests they brand it as a luxury and ask for 2500 rand as it sounds more “elite”.  Claude’s worried they’re setting expectations too high. Not ours. Pamela, Scarlet, Iasha and Marianne (another identikit blonde lady who we see hardly anything of this week). Lottie’s determined to lead the tour team as she “once worked in the UK’s best wine” and she knows SarfEfrica “has a population of 51 million” and after a tense credential-off she pulls hacky faces when Jemelin is chosen instead to lead her, Lubna and Carina (a rough diamond type baker). “Do we get to test the wine” Jemelin asks hopefully. “Remember ladies, spit, don’t swallow. We need to stay sharp” Lottie warns and Carina cackles. Filth.

The boys decide to ask for 1850 rand for their safari (90 quid) – sounds a bloomin bargain. Lewis takes barrer boy Thomas (“We’re gonna SMASH this – if we lose I’ll eat my hat”), Dean and erm Shahin to sell tickets with him (Thomas: “We’ll sell all the tickets then ave a nice bit of dinna!” Oh shut up).

Riyonn’s subteam meet the nice lady running the game reserve half boys – and promptly piss her off by offering 450 rand per ticket when she’s advertising at 995 rand (“we can’t do business on those terms”). Kenna tries to salvage things by clawing her back to around 850 and Riyonn shakes hands on 800 but only 700 each if they sell all 16 tickets. She warns them not to promise they will see the “big 5” (not The Jacksons or Take That but rhino, lion, elephant, leopard and buffalo) as these are animals in the wild. Cue clips of the sales team promising tourists they won’t just see the big five but get to take selfies, get autographs and make sweet lurve to them. Riyonn calls and says they need full capacity and whatever you do “Don’t offer the big five as a definite”. Everyone looks sheepish “No we won’t”.

Big five ep1

At the vineyard Jemelin asks the lowest price and they agree on a 30% discount if they sell all 16 seats. They don’t even work out what the cost is but go ahead and shake on it. At the waterfront the sales team are trying to sell at 2500 per person but nobody’s buying. Scarlet wants to hold it at the highest price but nobody seems to communicate with the tour team as to what their deal is. Pamela finds some Irish people. “Do you like wine? You’re Irish of course you like wine! Hahaha get me and my hilarious stereotyping! Top of the lucky charms to you!” etc.

irish ep1

Above: It’s definitely bonking Bozza’s Technological Adviser though.

One asks “Is there lunch?” “That’s a great question” she stalls, looking at her team for help. “Er yes!” they all say. “We will feed you. We’re not gonna let you starve!” Finally Jemelin calls. The sales team confirm they’ve only shifted 4 tickets at 2300 and Jemelin pulls a horror face.

horrorface1 ep1

Above: Why is this happening to me? Why?

Scarlet asks if there will be any food and Jemelin says no and it’s Scarlet’s turn to pull a horror face as she pleads, lip a trembling “we promised food”.

horrorface2 ep1

Above: Oh God. They’re all gonna STARVE!

Lottie is hardcore “Do NO give false promises! DO NOT OFFER FOOD” before bitching to camera, “This is a massive inconvenience these girls caused”. She is loving this.

To the plain where the scat man guide finds leopard tracks and a carcass, explaining “leopards always disembowel their prey as they eat the inside first” and No-Mark goes “mmmmm!”

Mmm ep1

Above: “MMmmm”

The guide finds some springbok poo and gets all nostalgic about a game they used to play where they spat the poo out of their mouth, demonstrating. Souleyman’s having some of that action and duly spits out the poo much to Karen’s DisgustFace. Of course due to his tunnel vision Souleyman probably didn’t spot the guide replacing the poo with a chocolate raisin before he put it in his mouth.

It’s time for wine tasting at the Vineyard and Lottie is ever so excited as she worked in the UK’s best wine bar but never mentions it. She goes into megaponce overdrive (“I absolutely LOVE pinotage!”). The rest of the team ask the woman from the vineyard (presumably an expert) how long wine can be left open. She starts explaining that it shouldn’t be left overnight (oops) and Lottie’s already butting in “Pinotage you might get away with”. The wine expert lady looks annoyed and Claude smirks. Lottie carries on blithely patronising everybody. Everyone looks sad. Jemelin hopes that having sabotaged their chance to learn something from the wine expert that Lottie does a shit hot wine tasting demo for the tour.

Time to plan the tours in the evening. Kennan notes that facts and figures don’t matter – it’s how you make people feel. This is how Brexit happened.

Lubna is tasked with giving a tour of the wine cellar. Lottie agrees to run the tasting but demands they pour the wine “neatly and nicely” for her. Lubna’s starting to crack “It’s pouring liquid in a glass how hard can it be?” Lottie gives her evils. “It’s a luxury experience – no offence!” Miaow! Later Lottie’s talking over Jemelin and Lubna asks her nicely to stop interrupting. “I’m CONTRIBUTING..” Lottie corrects her “And you’ve just disrupted the ENTIRE group! So don’t be so rude!” Oooh. We’re a few episodes from a full on cat fight in jelly already and everyone looks at their pens to try to ignore the toxic atmosphere.

Scarlet’s been forced to drop ticket prices to 600 each (from 2300!) and they manage to shift their last 4 tickets to some alcoholics. Of course they have to admit that they sold most of them for 1700 less so there’s going to be some pissed off punters if any discuss what they paid.

The boys also have four tickets to sell and it’s time for the Falcon to swoop! In his creamy suit he smoozes up to a likely group. “Erm it’s a safari. Erm it’s gonna be really good. Erm. Gonna see the big erm five” Oh dear the Falcon has been on the pesticides again. Thomas senses weakness and pulls him aside in a “mate you’ve had enough” style whilst Thomas looks close to tears and turns away as Thomas turns on his barrer bar bluster (“How abaht yourself will you buy a ticket for 1200”).

shaheen ep1

Above: “But I can handle it” “Yeah right son!”

I wouldn’t mind but even Thomas fails to sell in this situation so he gets a sulk on (“Not putting neg on but I think we should have sold the 16”) and Lewis looks haunted. Team Riyonn call and ask how many customers they have but nobody wants to admit. Eventually it comes out and TeamRiyonn attempt to be upbeat and focus on avoiding refunds.

To the coaches where Pamela wows the captive audience with facts for their journey. “South Africa has three capital cities…is this thing on?” [high pitched feedback], @tumbleweed@. “There are 3000 shipwrecks off the coast” (and one on this coach) [mic screams, passengers wince].

Meanwhile the boys lead a singalonga Lion Sleeps Tonight and the passengers love it – a wimba waying all over the shop.

AWimbaWay ep1

Above: A coach full of happy idiots

And there’s a nice cutback to Pamela’s punters contemplating suicide. Ha.

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Above: A coach load of miserable idiots.

Thomas feels like he’s made friends with the guess “if they’re not happy with the tour I will personally feed the other team to the lions”. Nice.

Ranger Riyonn springs into showbiz action “Unfortunately you’ve got me not David Attenborough. We’re going to have a magical safari!” This man is pure Butlins. They love him. However it all sours when he confesses “Obviously we can’t guarantee the big five” but a mutiny is averted by No-Mark deploying his Macintyre skillz “The big five are like the team on the bus. You can’t predict what they’re going to do”. Everyone laughs inexplicably. Just like the real Macintyre. “Let’s go forward it will be amazing so er” he doesn’t know what to do next so does a high pitched “Wooooh”.

Er Wooh

Where did that fucking come from!? Everyone tries to pretend it didn’t happen. Still when you’re in showbiz I guess you have to do all the noises.

The wine tram stops at the Sculpture Garden where Carina gives them everything she knows about the sculptures which is the name of the sculptor and what the sculptures are made of. And er that’s it. “So feel free – er enjoy” she waves her arms about. Lottie seems to turn up at the scene of everyone screwing up looking indignant and embarrassed in the background. Like a ghost smelling a fart. She’s also there when Lubna loses the cellar and the guests and they have a Benny Hill style race around the vineyard getting more and more lost (“There is a way er going the other way” – Jemelin “This is so bad Jesus Christ!”) until she just has to do the cellar talk in the fermentation room and then forgets all her great cellar facts (“I’m having a little bit of a fog”) whilst Lottie throws massive eye shade. “Who fancies wine tasting?” Everyone nearly stampedes in their rush to get their lips round some sweet sweet alcoholic juice.

“Breath that African air” sighs No_Mark and sadly they’re not next to a mound of poo. They’re watching Hippos which are apparently not Big Five, despite being fricking awesome and horribly dangerous. Someone asks how old they are. Riyonn squints and bullshits “I think they have a life span of 70 years but I could be wrong”. “Do they get many children?” someone else asks. Souleyman grins. “Yes I think they are one of the animals that do enjoy mating”. It sounds like he has previous and Karen advises, “If I were you, I’d move on”. They even see zebra and giraffes. Are they not happy?! This is such a bargain for £90.  Riyonn even finds them some elephants which turn out to be rhinos (“I do apologise – I haven’t got my glasses on”). Next they get some lions. “How does a lion like it’s steak?” Souleyman asks. “Raw” (geddit roar). Groans all round. I still like him. Despite that.

The girls negotiate 30% commission from shop sales. This may well win them the task as Thomas barges into the safari shop like an angry gangster demanding commission. The take-no-shit shop lady says 3%. “I may as well put them back on the bus” Thomas threatens. “5%” she demurs. “40%?” “5%”. “OK give us 25%”. She gives him an icy stare. Shahin steps in, dismayed at Thomas’s aggression and offers 22.5% which Thomas shakes on (“I thought she was gonna go for 25 but has to be your offer now” – all this said in front of the shop woman) – but she gives Shahin a sneaky sympathetic look and shakes his hand too. Shahin the falcon is at least polite despite the fact he disembowels pigeons in his spare time. Thomas is a wanker.

shopwoman ep1

Above: I’d have given you 40% love. Not him though.

Lottie leads wine tasting and her bullshit about getting to know the wine’s personality works because everybody expects someone who leads wine tasting to sound like a bit of a twat. She gushes that she personally has saved this task as everyone is now “really enthusiastic” (pissed). It still rankles that she wasn’t chosen as subteam leader tough. Thankfully someone has also rustled up cheeseboards for the guests to try to soak up the booze.

Riyonn’s determined to see elephants but worried they need to finish the safari to start rock painting (what idiot tacks that on AFTER a safari. It’s like getting Keane to headline after The Pixies. For young people that means it is putting something dull on after something great. I am so old). He throws caution to the world, puts his specs on and takes them in search of elephants whilst the rest of the team wait at the rock painting station. “We’re gonna lose money in the gift shop” Thomas worries.

The group find elephants (so three of the top five) and everyone is happy, apart from perhaps the elephants.

The girls are already in the shop and Lottie’s nicked a customer from Carina cos she knows “a lot more about wine than you”. Oooh!

Poor Shahin has to lead the rock painting in the dusk to tired and bored punters and make it snappy so they can be forced into the shop. In the future those painted rocks will be used as evidence of how unevolved we were in the 2010s.

It’s 7pm and they all finish and bitch about each other. Somehow they’re back in the boardroom the next morning –who the hell did they fly with?

Riyonn gets flack for annoying Safari woman with his derisory offer and there’s a contretemps as Kennan claimed to have salvaged the situation by offering 800 (not entirely true). Dean’s pulled up for saying he’d sell all 16 tickets as Karen grasses them up for selling only 12. Sugar’s annoyed the punters got a good safari and less time forced through a gift shop (“Even zebras come with a bar code”).

Scarlet’s dissed for her stupid high price and not reducing it a little bit earlier on when there were more people to sell it. Lubna criticises Jemelin’s lack of negotiation skillz whereupon Claude grasses her up on her lack of cellar location skillz and it descends into a bitch fight which the boys love.

Carina insists she gave the guests “every fact I had on the sculpture garden” (2). Luba graciously says Lottie did a good job and Lottie decides not to kill her. Yet.

It’s numbers time. After expenses and refunds the girls only made £520.93 profit (confusingly we’re back in quids not rands). The boys spent more but there were no refunds – BUT they only shifted £5 worth of shop tat so they only made £476.19 profit losing by £44. Thomas is given some jellied eels and liquor to eat his hat with.

The girls rejoice and are sent to drink champers in the shared house (Scarlet: “My whole house could fit in this room!” – and it’s the toilet!). Oh yes it’s all hugs now. “Is this like your house Lottie?” asks someone. “It’s a lot less modern” bullshits Lottie.

The boys are sent to brood in our old friend the Bridge Café.

Bridge Cafe

Above: Yeah mate we serve hats here.

Dean blames Shahin for crap sales. Shahin blames Riyonn for not getting the group in the gift shop (“If all our customers spent £5 each in the gift shop we would have won” – oh dear he hasn’t understood how commission works has he?).

Back in the boardroom and whilst Dean says its all Shahin’s fault Sugar points out there were 4 people on the sales team. Thomas admits “It was a lot harder than wot I thought. I gave it my best shot and I did bring in 4200 rand and LOOK AT ME! ME I’m GREAT!”

Shahin’s also dissed for arguing the commission down in the shop although Sugar points out it doesn’t matter as nothing was sold. Lewis goes a bit weird having blamed Riyonn’s team has an epiphany that at least they gave a good experience so Dean and Shahin are brought back in. Karen reveals that Lewis’s business plan is a travel company. None of them can understand why Shahin argued the commission down (by 2.5 fucking percent!) and Karen throws him under the bus stating he “cut across Thomas” when I saw him stopping Thomas loudly haranguing the shop woman. Maybe business is just evil. Oh yeah.

Shahin blames Lewis’s planning (“How can you put me in selling when No-Mark sells in Harrods for a living” – good point if slightly self-deprecating.

Everyone starts yammering at Lewis who loses it, shouting “GUYS ONE AT A TIME” and Sugar gives him a funny look. “Let’s calm down and try to have a professional discussion” urges Lord Sugz and straight away Lewis is all mad and fighty and rocking to and fro in his chair.

Lewis ep1

Above: Meltdown begins.

It’s firing time and Lewis is in line for losing control of his sales team (and sanity) but ultimately Shahin goes (with regret) for not selling. The falcon has flown. Repeat; the falcon has flown.

Lewis gets a warning that he’s out the door if there’s any more temper tantrums and he looks a bit broken but at least he gives Shahin a goodbye hug. Dean doesn’t bother. Boo.

In the Taxi of regrets Shahin is sad (“It should have been Lewis”).

Next week they have to create and manufacture ice lollies. Fab! (see what I did there. I am so old)

 

Liking: Souleyman, Riyonn, Lubna, Jemelin

Meh: Iasha, Kenna, Carina, Pamela, Scarlett

Who?: Marianne

Disliking: Thomas, Dean,

Disturbed by: Ryan-Mark

Anger Management Issues: Lewis (they’re all going to be needling him from now on)

Mistress of all Evil: Lottie

Bye bye: Shahin