Dean reads the summons inviting the candidates to Battersea Depot (he pronounces it “De – POTT”) –

Ep 8 Dean reading.jpg

that arrives in a box of Hi Viz Vests (which confuse everyone – apart from Thomas – oh god my eyes!

Ep 8 Hi Viz

) where they are tasked with running corporate hospitality away days on steam trains with themes, catering, entertainment and (shudder) team-building exercises. They get to negotiate prices with corporate clients and most profit wins (although they could lose out through refunds if the clients are unsatisfied – as if).

Sugar plays Kingmaker and Lottie is made leader (ooh the power) of Unison (Dean, Scarlett, Carina) and Lewis is pulled over to join them.  Ryan Mark  is appointed PM of Empower ( Pam, Marianne and Thomas) . Ryan-Mark immediately decides this is all about luxury and as a man who sells posh knickers he knows about that. He wants to connect with the clients emotions via the theme of historical royals. Marianne argues that should be profit task (there she goes again – obsessed about profit), but Ryan-Mark haughtily reminds her that the client will have high expectations. It’s time to pick entertainment and it’s a toss-up between “String Sensation” ensemble and a contortionist called Claudia. Lewis has flashbacks to Titanic, sadly there wasn’t a contortionist scene (unless you count the cast swallowing their own artistic integrity) so the strings are in (Ryan Mark “that was MY thinking from the start” – of course it was, love). Thomas is well impressed gushing to camera that “Ryan Mark oozes luxury) but he’s still sent to be Pam’s number two in the catering subteam (although seeing as this involves food tasting it’s all luverly jubberly)whilst Ryan-Mark, Lewis and Marianne go off to the corporate client.

Lottie (basking in the glow of being Sugar’s “chosen one”) also thinks this task is “profit first and foremost”. Carina suggests a circus theme and Lottie amends it to 1920s jazzy greatest showman circus theme and plump for a juggling duo – could be fun on a train. Carina’s appointed sub team leader of the catering team due to her bakery knowhow. Scarlett is picked to join Lottie on the corporate team, and Dean’s nose is well out of joint (“I want to stress the importance of me being on the corporate team”). “I have full faith in you” Lottie soothes “Now GET IN THE KITCHEN CINDERS!” Dean looks wounded.

Off to the corporate clients. Ryan-Mark’s subteam visit STA travel who are holding a 40th anniversary and (surprise surprise) just want to get pissed (or a fun, exciting day). Marianne manages to gauge more information about their company which suggests they’re young and vibrant. Then Ryan-Mark hits them with his offer of a quintessentially British experience with musicians building the ambience and STA look a bit bored. We party all the time they say. There’s a stunned pause. STA argue down Lewis’s proposed £500 per person to £199.50, and get rid of the musicians, which is agreed far too easily (much to evil Claude’s chagrin). “This is a task about profit” he mutters grimly, before working a nurse to death for a pittance). Ryan Mark is dismayed that his splendid regal event will be reduced to a booze-choo choos (“This is meant to be luxury; this is the antithesis of luxury”).

Meanwhile Lottie and Scarlett meet Soft Drinks company Franklin and Sons and Lottie promises to personally provide Michelin Star service (I guess that’s a thing?). They suss out dietary requirements in advance and then talk money, offering £300 per head, which is argued down to £200 – the client suggest not bothering with the circus act and ask her to “pledge not to run out of drink”. Oh oh.

In the kitchens Thomas stuffs down pudding tasters like Greg Wallace on a sugar lower. Lottie phones and tells Carina alcohol is more important to the client and Carina worries she’s promised unlimited booze (which she sort of has). Lottie reckons a bottle per person should be enough. Lottie doesn’t know many real people. Carina worries they will expect unlimited alcohol and bless her orders 44 bottles to cover 15 people, plus the 4 bottles of prosecco Lottie demands for the reception. God love Carina she’s my sort of gal. Lottie also says the entertainment is cancelled. Carina’s not sure how having no jugglers would fit in with the circus theme and auditions them anyway spinning a sob story about the budget. Dean offers “no more than 100 125” – nice work fuckwit that’s 100 out of the question. They argue 145 then 135 and somehow end up shaking on 140 despite Dean screwing up haggling royally.

Just as Thomas and Pam agree the beef pie for £30 per head (what?!) Ryan mark phones and says the client want a lower cost experience and no musicians. Thomas is sad, he was looking forward to pretending to be in showbiz. “If I get the band to play for free can I have them?” he asks wistfully and he takes Pam to audition the Stringies anyhow, promptly falling in love and acting the big showbiz empresario – all he needed was a cigar and an entry on the sex offenders register. He tries to play the sob story and they offer him £20 off £250. He phones Ryan Mark and insists they need to book this band, admitting the cost. Ryan Mark agrees happily – handing up and declaring “Luxury is BACK in the business!”.

Next day 6am – Lottie grills Dean and Carina on the wine situation and Carina admits they bought 44 bottles. Lottie freaks out (“You went completely against what I communicated”) and then finds out about Carina booking the entertainment and has a little evil WHY CAN’T I CONTROL PEOPLE meltdown.

Ep 8 Lottie shocked

Dean begs Lottie not to put him in the kitchen again so she whisks him into her car like the white witch in Narnia, to plie him with Turkish Delight and get the dirt on Carina and whether she made the decision to “disregard” Lottie. Dean is only too happy to dob his teammate in.

ep8 lottie dean car

Carina’s phone rings. It’s Lottie. Demoting Carina as sub team leader. “Seeing as you are incapable of having any position of leadership”. Ooh”. Scarlett (with a bemused face) is put in charge of the kitchen

ep8 scarlet carina

as Lottie hangs up with a breezy “Have a really lovely day and I will speak you later bye”. Passive aggressive masterclass there.

Ryan Mark decides to bring Thomas onto Front of House for Hi-Energy and send Marianne to the kitchen with Pam because women like kitchens don’t they?

Marianne does a business burn suggesting Ryan-Mark is old and out of touch: “Do you think your disconnect with our target demographic is a problem?” (oof sick!).Ryan-Mark insists that however stretchy things might seem he’s not forcing a stretch or something.

Marianne suddenly wonders about vegans and calls the food supplier who says he can put on 2 vegan risottos for £50 (WTF? It’s rice and veggies! Go to a corner shop now!). Pam worries they will be in an awkward position if anyone has allergies. Lewis yells around to find out if there are any dietary needs (bit late). On a positive note the Incredible String Band goes down a storm. Even Evil Claude thinks it’s buzzing. And Ryan Mark is happy. He has his trusty knight.

ep8 king and knight

The receptions begin with Lottie promising STA “There will be no dry glasses today” before some alcy from Finance asks for a top up of Prosecco when it’s not even 12pm and the rest of the hobos from IT have sunk the lot already. Oh dear. Lottie offers orange juice as an alternative. Strangely it’s not snapped up.

We only get one shot of the jugglers who appear to be juggling children. Yewtree!

ep8 juggler

Lottie poshwomansplains how to do super-duper Michelin Star service to a nonplussed Dean who you sense doesn’t give a shit which glass is which and where the napkin should go (answers on a napkin please).

ep8 lottie dean train

Thomas  has the right idea bouncing in “who wants a drink? hands up” and bouncing out and back to hand out beers like he’s hosting a BBQ.

Lottie’s STILL trying to sort drinks out and bosses Dean to find some wine before running out to find said wine and, being incapable of opening it (“Oh bloody hell where’s Dean? DEAN!!!”) stalking off to find Dean (“Where the FUCK has Dean gone”) before bawling him out in front of the punters. Comedy gold.

Empower are behind on service (Ryan Mark “I’m getting more updates from the royal chef”) and rushes off to beast the kitchen skivvies (“Come on! We’ll be in London soon”).

ep8 king skivvies

A punter asks where the food is and he blames Marianne and Pam, although he fails to lend them a single hand. Anyhow despite Marianne’s best precautions one guest has a gluten intolerance – the ONE intolerance Marianne hadn’t prepared for (Actually there must be more, STA seem a very nice non-Brexity bunch). With the aid of an allergen list from the caterer they work out the only gluten free thing they have is a fruit salad which they decide to share as a main (A – isn’t that a fruit salad that either the gluten intolerant or someone else ordered for dessert? B – why not wash off some of the veggies from other meals sides and make a soup?) . Ryan Mark suggests they make the fruit salad look “as pretty as possible” and goes to talk to Jenna, the lactose intolerant, who’s very reasonable about it all (probably just weak and hallucinating by now). By the time her food arrives it gets a sarcastic round of applause from all assembled. Apparently she gets a bottle of wine compensation. At £200 a head make that 4!

Nom nom!

ep8 nom nom

Whilst Scarlett and Carina manage the food quite well, Lottie is so keen to assert her dominion over Dean (“take two plates at a time – well I can take three plates – would you know how to do that?”) ultimately having a mini meltdown forcing Carina to run from the kitchen and repeatedly beg for service.

There’s barely time for the teambuilding exercises – a fairly standard drawing challenge from Scarlet and Carina, and with seconds to spare some bizarre mime game with Lewis, and the 4 hours are up and they’re back at Victoria. Lottie’s already sharpening the knives for Carina.

In the Boardroom Lord Sugar describes Lottie and Ryan Mark as highly educated and eloquent. Hmmm. Lottie goes first talking about the circus theme and making sure NOT to mention Carina’s input. Her team take turns to give her a kicking for not understanding the client and giving the impression the booze would be bottomless. Carina states that Lottie demoting her could have affected team morale and Dean just thinks he was charming. Silly boy. Turns out Karren liked their grub though so it’s looking good for Unison.

Ryan Mark gets slammed for his obsession with luxury and utter failure to understand the company and to deal with food intolerances. He claims it was Marianne’s job to ask “company questions” and she failed. Bit of a broad remit there. He also gets called sexist for putting two women in the kitchen whilst the men did FOH (although it’s the same on Unison – a woman did front of house there too).

Sugar definitely has the hots for Thomas teasing him about loving the food tasting like he loved the lollies and toys (“Did you love the train?” “Yeah!”) and fell in love with the violinists.

Any scores are in: Empower spent £985 but had to refund gluten intolerant woman £200 despite her free wine so their profit was £1812.

Unison spent £871 and had to refund the alcoholics at STA 10% because their prosecco glass was dry for a millisecond. So profit was £1828. “Bloody hell!” gasps Lottie, as well she might – it’s just over £15 difference.

Winners are sent to learn the art of Sabbrage (?) which is opening a bottle of champagne with a sword. You could put someone’s eye out like that. She gets pissed and after slagging Carina all day says sorry and tells everyone they’ve been wonderful. Aww.

The losers play the blame game in the sad café with Ryan Mark STILL trying to blame Marianne for not asking about dietary issues when it transpires he has a fricking nut allergy.

Back in and Sugar quips their theme should have been the Hunger Games. Ho ho.

Thomas is reprimanded for booking the entertainers but he points out he consulted Ryan Mark, so no good whinging that Thomas went against his instructions. As Sugar points out “he phoned and you agreed”. Ryan Mark decides to bring Pam and Marianne back having stuck them in the kitchen for most of the task because they’re easy to blame and Marianne asked him awkward questions which he dislikes, and Thomas goes all Tarzan in his defence of Pam (who says she saved this task – er when? You LOST!). “I’m not avving it” he insists – wearing that knight in shining armour gear has clearly gone to his head (and he fancies Pam).

ep8 hero tom

Eventually Thomas goes all noble sacrifice and offers to take Pam’s place as he’s NOT having it. Ryan Mark’s all “OK if you want to so desperately – nudge nudge this will get rid of Marianne a bit quicker eh boys?” but makes the classic schoolboy error of attacking Thom again for his negotiation with the string band. Thomas points out he said the price and Ryan Mark now claims Thomas “bulldozed” him down the phone. Oh do me a favour. Marianne points out after Thom got the band Ryan Mark was dancing and shouting “I got my luxury”. Sugar tries to tease Thomas into thinking he’s getting fired but it’s no surprise it’s Ryan Mark – I’m just shocked he got a “with regret”. He flounces out to the Taxi of Doom announcing imperiously he’s going home to have a bath, some champagne and he’s never getting on a train with poor people again.

Thomas returns to a heroes welcome from Pam. “I’m like John Gotty (!)” he announces, “they can’t get me”.

Next time – the candidates have to mix a track into the “next big thing” and  what the actual fuck does most of this have to do with business?!

 

Liking:   Scarlett (just let her win already)

Meh:, Lewis, Carina, Marianne, Pamela

Finding almost endearing a small amount of the time: Thomas

Awful in almost complementary ways: Lottie, Dean

Bye bye: Shahin, Kenna, Souleyman, Lubna, Riyonn, Iasha, Jemelin, Ryan-Mark (It feels like Sugar’s finished the ethnic cleansing and is starting on the gays)