Archives for the month of: December, 2019

The final 5 finish off their business plans in crayons and head to the currently empty 70 St Marys Axe (basically a building site then) to be slowly grilled by Lord Sugar’s “trusted advisers”; CEO of the Evening Standard (and therefore used to dealing with chancers) Mike Soutar, media mogul and 1980s reject Claudine Collins, Northern Business Woman and Camilla Parker Bowles’s evil twin Linda Plant and of course cuddly Rottweiler and stomper of the poor Claude Lintner.

Lewis robotically insists he’s going to remain unfazed and hopes to survive the day “with no crying” even though he’s going in with a start-up luxury package tour to Croatia.  “Smell you later” he tells the girls on his way to see scary Linda (Pam “Did he just say that? He’s gone delirious”). Linda asks about his experience as a tour guide. He says he hasn’t any but has been a rep and argues his other skills should be enough. “You don’t need to say anymore” she stops him “my perception is what I have to replay to Lord Sugar” and she terminates the interview. Like that. It’s as good as “fuck off”. Lewis looks pale on his return to the foyer. But he doesn’t cry! It gets worse with Claude who describes his business plan as garbage. “Why Croatia?” he sneers. Lewis thinks the numbers stack up. They don’t. He wants to take 200 people away at once and pays 50% up front for flights and hotel. What could possibly go wrong. Mike tests Lewis’s knowledge of geography, as he’s never even been to Croatia, and asks him to point it out on a globe. “I use something called Google” protests Lewis. “I want you to use something called Globe” rejoins Mike. Lewis gets it about 600 miles away which on a tiny globe I would say is good going as Lewis has never even SEEN a globe before #MillenialProblems


The wonderfully named Carina La Pour, artisan bakery owner is confident “It’s no biggy; I just need to smash it”, but bit by bit she’s unpicked as Claude and Claudine both patronisingly describe her as having “a little family business” and question her scalability. Claudine goes all cuddly Hannibal Lector, quizzing Carina about her relationship with her family as she started the business when her Dad’s bakery burnt down and now employs him. Claudine sticks the knife in (“You’re obviously close to your dad”, Carina “now but her never said he was proud of me”) and brings up her little boy (“Do you feel you behave similarly to your son as your dad did to you?” Ooh low blow!) until Carina’s reduced to tears (“I just want to show him if you work hard your dreams can come true”, which Claudine exploits for maximum blub-inducing effect (“I think they will be proud of you!”). Poor Carina’s in bits (“I kept telling myself – no crying!). Next up is Linda (Carina in lift “I got this!” who thoroughly patronises Carina for not being a baker or having a USP (Carina: “Our USP is our personality, our customer services” Linda “Our interview is over – learn how to bake.” – OUCH!). Mike reveals he’s a massive stalker (“I was in your shop last week and they didn’t give me that customer feedback form you said everyone got in your business plan” Carina “Oh did you sit in?” Mike “Yes I had a cherry and almond slice and a cup of coffee” Carina “Er how was it” Mike “Fine”) and goads her on her scalability vision until she plucks 2-5000 shops out of thin air.  He’s not impressed but she still sweetly thanks him for coming to her shop. Bless her.


Much is made of the fact Lottie is only 19 (“Most of these were working whilst I was still in nappies” but that doesn’t spare her from Claude’s wrath. “Let me tell you Lottie, to some extent you are a remarkable woman..” he starts, “but that’s nicest thing I’m going to say to you all day”. He then proceeds to tear into her business plan (a country club for elite rural posh gels complete with shooting trips and posh nosh– amusingly she realises she spelt pheasant wrong in her business plan – presumably she meant peasant) which contains no costings whatsoever. “I have them in my head” she insists, but that’s not enough.

Lottie is most terrified of Linda’s power stare (“As a librarian I wish I could muster it”) but she psyches herself up gamely on her way to Linda’s lair. “She might be ‘last word Linda’ but I’m Last Word Lottie Lion”.  Carina thinks she’ll be OK (“Lottie loves debate, she loves rolling her eyes at you when you’re not looking), and Lottie starts well with some good old fashioned sucking up because they’re both wearing red dresses (“Clearly we both have similar tastes”), but last word Linda is unimpressed that Club Posh Countryside Alliance will only invite women who “speak the Queens English” having risen from humble origins (Leeds).

Claudine points out that Lord Sugar might not want to invest in Lottie because everyone hated working with her and found her patronising and Lottie’s clear she doesn’t want to make friends, just to win, before cracking a tiny bit and admitting she’s found it hard discovering some unlikeable aspects of herself during the process. You and me both love.

Mike does a big sigh “Lottie – you say your profit plans are vast and many” “Yes” “Where are they? Have you forgot to put them in” “Er yes” “It’s a bit ‘the dog ate my homework’”. Good start then. He asks how many events she plans to run and she blethers on about things being seasonal before settling on 20. “You’d need 96 to make the numbers work” he tells her (she should ask him to explain his workings I reckon). She is confident that with Lord Sugar’s dosh she could run all of them and more – all by herself because she’s already alienated the staff she hasn’t even hired yet.

Beauty brand owner Pam is hugely confident of her products (“they are bespoke – they come from my brain” ugh). Linda asks her about her claim of being a “beauty inventor” and produces identical products to Pam’s “Moxy Love” eye thingy. Pam can only say “Oh” and “Wow” as Linda basically accuses her of ripping off her competitors and THEN tells her to fuck off.  Mike asks her how long her mail order items take to reach the UK “About 4-5 days” she says. No Pam – he’s a stalker and he’s been at it again! “I ordered your eye shit 11 days ago – can you chase it up?” he asks. Weirdo.  By now Pam admits she feels “completely dishevelled”. Not a good time to see Claude again – and she begins to get weepy as he tears apart her dream of a global brand. “Why are you so emotional” he snaps. Pam admits she had her products discontinued and has had to bounce back. “This emotional thing doesn’t cut any ice” he says coldly. Claudine continues the deconstruction of Pam “You said you found being away from your mum intimidating”. Pam starts crying about missing her mammy and Claudine is a proper cow “That worries me as Lord Sugar wouldn’t want a 50:50 partnership with you if he thought he had your mum in the background”. “She’s just my sounding board honest!” wails Pam.

Finally Scarlett sees Mike, who’s a proper twat about her business plan “You make it sounds as though all your team speak 15 languages each” he picks. Oh shut up Soutar, that’s the way you’re reading it. He asks what she would advise candidates going to an interview. Don’t answer him Scarlett he’s a stalker. She says she’d say be open and honest and he pounces that she put an OU degree on her LinkedIn but not on her CV so she’s an evil lying minx. She just put it on LinkedIn when she was studying and she’s nearly finished it but that’s not enough for Stalky Soutar and he tells her off for being a fibber. Claude asks her how she feels she’s done and she thinks she’s been consistent. He says he’d agree but her Business Plan is “at best woeful” and it doesn’t matter how good a reputation she has NOBODY KNOWS HER and she will never be a success at her CEO headhunting business idea. He berates her for not putting cash flow in her business plan and she rallies politely “I’m sorry you feel that way” “You should be ashamed!” he spits. “I’m not ashamed of what I’ve achieved” (that’s the spirit”) she states and offers to elaborate for him “That’s very kind” says Claude “BUT TOO LATE”. More tears. Awww.

“Don’t you cry!” Lewis booms as she returns to the foyer “Or you’ll start me off!”

Scarlet admits to Claudine she has made lots of mistakes – mainly moving out of home too young, getting pregnant at 19 and having another baby has meant that life has been a struggle, but she likes to think “all those things are a testimony to my character” (Oh god pass the tissues I’ve gone too) “and show” (blub sniff) “how string focused and” (sob) “determined I am – apologies for being so emotional”. Claudine is at least nice to her as she stumbles out in floods – Claude would have been “that don’t cut no dice with me lady!”

Poor Scarlett felt “I looked weak”. I’m just wondering if the interviews were all THAT horrible or if all the women have synchronised periods just in time for this week.

Anyhow the candidates wait outside the boardroom as the interviewers troupe in to grass them up to Sugar. They’re fairly complimentary about Scarlett but Claude thinks she needs to recruit CEOs and just isn’t there yet. “More of a recruiter” agrees Mike.

Linda shits on Pam for not inventing anything but Mike insists she’s backable as her products made 160k Euros last year.

Lewis gets laughed at by everyone. As does Carina’s off her head wish for 2-5000 bakeries. (Sugar “I’m only interested in 10,000”). Claude gets in on the patronising “She has been credible throughout the process, but she needs to understand baking” – cos I bet the manager of Greggs spends their evenings making sausage rolls.

Sugar is befuddled by Lottie’s Club Tweed Posho although Linda thinks it has legs (that’s the Camilla Parker Bowles connection coming out). Claude disses it all as nonsense with no numbers.

The candidates go in and get given enough rope to hand themselves. Lewis thinks he can change career as Richard Branson knew sod all about planes but Sugar points out he already had a huge brand in Virgin records and can’t understand why Lewis didn’t stick to what he knows.

Sugar thinks Pam’s Moxy Love “sounds like a Victorian disease”. Apparently her brand was terminated due to “EU regulations”. Bloody EU not letting you rub arsenic into rabbits eyeballs to test your beauty brand eh? Sugar also says she probably used the “same people in China” to make her product as her identical competitor did. Blimey!

Scarlett’s dissed for having an inarticulate business plan. She gives an articulate answer “I think on the back of the interview you and I had Claude that I should have given more detail – I was naïve”. Oh she’s smooth. She says there’s no point in trying to pretend she’s at the top level of recruitment yet but that’s where she wants to go.

Carina gets stick for being a flaky non-cake baker – but she is good at spinning plates she tells him and she thinks her shop stands out against the competition. She even offers costings to start up two shops. Claude dismisses them (“what about staff payment?”) but it’s more numbers than anyone else has had.

Finally Lottie is told her “Go Reactionary in the Country” events are too niche (“Like the Piers Morgan fan club” – hur hur) . Lottie likes being niche. Everyone laughs when she’s revealed to have had no costings, but ultimately Sugar doesn’t get it and “with regret” (yeah) fires her. She thanks him EVER so much for the opportunity and wishes the remaining candidates the best of luck before jaunting off to stab voodoo dollies of them all.

Next Lewis is dumped unceremoniously (no regrets just a sarcastic “yeah keep in touch”) and the final three are given a break whilst Claude and Karren bitch about them and it’s all surprisingly nice and civil when they’re back in – no bitch fighting for their lives. After some minor nitpicking Pam is fired on a gut feeling (i.e. she has NOTHING to sell) and with some regret. In the taxi of despair she’s chirpily onwards and upwards. HOW IS THIS TELEVISION?!!!

So our finalists are who I’ve been backing the past few weeks – I’d prefer Scarlett but honestly don’t mind who wins – next week they get to launch their new businesses. Expect Lottie to be left till last when they pick the teams in a traumatic reliving of her school netball (or lacrosse?) days.

Liking:   Scarlett, Carina

Bye bye: Shahin, Kenna, Souleyman, Lubna, Riyonn, Iasha, Jemelin, Ryan-Mark,Thomas, Marianne, Dean, Lottie, Lewis, Pam

The Great British Media have been pushing the poll results as showing that all Leave Voters are backing the Tories whereas Only two thirds of Remainers are backing Labour as those it’s positive to the Tories. That’s one interpretation, but it ignores the possibility that to stop a Tory majority it may be necessary to vote Lib Dem in certain seats (I identified 40 – see below)  which if that’s where the Lib Dem remain vote is being polled is a cause for extremely cautious optimism. Or maybe I need to lay off the wine.

My suggestions are shamelessly based on numbers but more so than any other election this is a numbers game. It’s also clear what we stand to lose. If you voted Remain – the ONLY chance to have a People’s Vote and stop this country self-harming and becoming more divisive, selfish and idiotic is to use your vote to stop Boris Johnson walking back into Number 10 on 13th December. If you are Green and panicking about the climate emergency – the ONLY way to have any sort of chance of policies addressing this is to vote to keep the Tories out. If you care deeply about the NHS, the homelessness and social care crises, the rise in child poverty – the ONLY way to address these is to use your vote to oust a Tory, even if you are not voting for your favourite party but for the best placed one to stop Boris in your area. You are not selling out your principles by doing this – you are reinforcing them as you are acting for the good of the country. In my opinion the best solution would be a coalition between Labour and other progressive parties as it may bring positives to government from all (plus perhaps a better shot at proportional representation that doesn’t get screwed up this time). That’s just me mind. But if you care deeply about the dark place we seem to be heading we have to be cold and bloody minded and stop Tories winning seats. Hold your nose and visualise Boris Johnson making his resignation speech, a broken man. We can all bicker afterwards.

So if you don’t want the Tories or a No Deal Brexit and live in any of these places vote Lib Dem:
Bath; Brecon and Radnorshire; Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Carshalton and Wallington; Cheadle; Cheltenham; Chippenham; East Dunbartonshire;Eastbourne; Eastleigh; Edinburgh West; Guildford; Harrogate and Knaresborough; Hazel Grove;Kingston and Surbiton; Lewes; Mid Dorset and North Poole; Mole Valley; Montgomeryshire; Newbury; North Cornwall; North Devon; North Norfolk; Orkney and Shetland; Oxford West and Abingdon; Richmond Park; Romsey and Southampton North; Somerton and Frome; St Albans; St Ives; Sutton and Cheam; Taunton Deane; Thornbury and Yate; Torbay; Twickenham; Wells; West Dorset; Westmorland and Lonsdale; Winchester; Yeovil

Who do I vote for Election 2019-20

And finally a quick guide to 60 key marginals and how to vote there

North East Fife 2017 Election: SNP hold                Majority: 2          Suggestion: Vote SNP

As the teeniest marginal seat last time, this one’s a bit close to call and there’s suggestions the Lib Dems who were 2nd last time are making a bit of a surge. You may as well vote as you did last time and definitely switch from Labour to either SNP or Lib Dem as that should edge out the Tories.

Kensington         2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 20    Suggestion: Vote Labour
Definitely switch from Lib Dem or Green to Labour. Here’s the figures.

Perth and North Perthshire        2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 21      Suggestion: Vote SNP

Dudley North     2017 Election: Lab hold Majority: 22       Suggestion: Vote Labour

That UKIP vote will likely go to the Tories so a few none voters are needed as well as Libs and Greens switching to Labour so get active and encourage people to vote! Melanie Dudley is the Labour candidate so come on Dudley – vote Dudley!

Newcastle-Under-Lyme 2017 Election: Lab hold Majority: 30       Suggestion: Vote Labour

Should just take Lib Dems switching to Labour to hold off the Tory challenge here.

Southampton, Itchen     2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 31      Suggestion: Vote Labour

Over 1000 UKIP votes will probably move to the Tories so much of the combined nearly 2000 Lib Dem and Green vote needs to shore up Labour’s hold.

Richmond Park 2017 Election: Con hold                 Majority: 45       Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

I personally know a few Labour voters who will be doing the decent thing and switching to Lib Dem in this constituency to challenge that small Tory majority. There’s only 426 UKIP votes to be added to the Tory lead so this is do-able.

Crewe and Nantwich      2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 48    Suggestion: Vote Labour
Add over 1800 UKIP voters to the Tories and you need a few non voters to sign up and a switch to Labour from Lib Dems to keep the Tories out.

Glasgow South West      2017 Election: SNP hold                Majority: 60      Suggestion: Vote SNP

Glasgow East     2017 Election: SNP hold                                Majority: 75       Suggestion: Vote SNP

Arfon    2017 Election: PC hold   Majority:92        Suggestion: Vote Plaid Cymru
To be honest whatever happens here the Tories aren’t getting in – being around 7000 votes behind either Labour or Plaid Cymru. My attitude is if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – but don’t get complacent and do make sure you vote.

Ceredigion 2017 Election: PC gain from LD           Majority: 104     Suggestion: Vote Plaid Cymru
Again Plaid Cymru and Lib Dems are both 4000 ahead of the Tories so pick one and vote for them.

Stirling 2017 Election: Con gain from SNP            Majority: 148     Suggestion: Vote SNP

Canterbury         2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 187 Suggestion: Vote Labour
No Kipper vote from last time to worry about so switch to Labour to keep the Tories out.

Airdrie and Shotts           2017 Election: SNP hold  Majority: 195   Suggestion: Vote SNP

Barrow and Furness       2017 Election: Lab hold Majority: 209    Suggestion: Vote Labour
There’s nearly 1000 UKIP votes from last time round to add to the Tories vote so you have to avoid splitting the vote and getting behind Labour to stop the Tories getting in.

Keighley 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 239 Suggestion: Vote Labour
If Greens and Lib Dems switch to Labour you keep out the Tories bolstered by UKIP voters. Just.

Glasgow North East 2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 242        Suggestion: Vote Labour

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 259 Suggestion: Vote Labour
Not least as the SNP candidate was suspended recently for anti-semitism.

Rutherglen and Hamilton West
2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 265 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Lanark and Hamilton East 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 266 Suggestion: Vote SNP

St Ives   2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 312    Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem
The South West used to be happy hunting grounds for the Lib Dems so it would be nice to see a map of the UK with some yellow on its socks again. There’s no UKIP vote from last time – so a swing from Labour to the Lib Dems would be enough to unseat the Tories.


Preseli Pembrokeshire 2017 Election: Con hold  Majority: 314   Suggestion: Vote Labour
Add 850 UKIP votes to that Tory lead and you need a switch from Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru to boost Labour – the next best placed party here. Hold your nose and vote.

Motherwell and Wishaw 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 318 Suggestion: Vote SNP

Pudsey 2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 331    Suggestion: Vote Labour
Last election Labour were second with 25,219 votes whereas Lib Dem only had 1761 votes. There wasn’t a UKIP vote but this will still take an organised swing from the Lib Dems to steal this seat from the Tories. Think of Children in Need Pudsey and get swinging.

Hastings and Rye 2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 346 Suggestion: Vote Labour
As a Lib Dem voter you have to switch for best placed Labour (on over 20k more votes) to knock out the Tories.


Chipping Barnet               2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 353   Suggestion: Vote Labour

Inverclyde 2017 Election: SNP hold         Majority: 384    Suggestion: Vote SNP

Ashfield 2017 Election: Lab hold               Majority: 441     Suggestion: Vote Labour

Bishop Auckland 2017 Election: Lab hold              Majority: 502     Suggestion: Vote Labour

Norwich North  2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 507    Suggestion: Vote Labour
It don’t mean a thing if the Lib Dems don’t swing.

Peterborough   2019 By Election: Lab hold Majority: 683 Suggestion: Vote Labour
There will be a big Brexit surge for the Tories here – and their combined votes along with UKIP in 2019 were 6960 ahead of Labour’s vote. To save the seat everyone vaguely progressive has to switch to Labour.

Peterborough 2019

Calder Valley     2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 609    Suggestion: Vote Labour

Aberconwy         2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 635    Suggestion: Vote Labour

Stroud  2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 687 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Telford 2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 720    Suggestion: Vote Labour
It would be pleasing to Telford, chosen as the launch location for the Tory Manifesto, fall and it’s do-able just courtesy of Green voters going for the Labour Green deal here as there were almost 1000 Green voters last time round.


Westmorland and Lonsdale        LD hold Majority: 777    Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

Bedford               2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 789 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Oxford West and Abingdon        LD gain from Con Majority: 816 Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

Ipswich 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 836 Suggestion: Vote Labour
It’s going to take Greens and Lib Dems backing Labour to resist the Tory challenge here, backed by 1372 UKIP votes.


Dunfermline and West Fife 2017 Election: SNP hold  Majority: 844           Suggestion: Vote SNP

Midlothian         2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 885 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Stockton South 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 888 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Colne Valley      2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 915 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Na h-Eileanan An Iar 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 1007       Suggestion: Vote SNP

Glasgow North  2017 Election: SNP hold Majority 1060   Suggestion: Vote SNP

Edinburgh South West  2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 1097  Suggestion: Vote SNP

Warwick and Leamington
2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 1206 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Wowzers! Not only am I impressed Labour managed to win back this seat in 2017 (pre-1997 it was staunchly Tory) but also I think Labour can probably hold this seat without swing voting as the UKIP vote is pleasingly small – although every little helps.

Central Ayrshire 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 1267                Suggestion: Vote SNP

Pendle 2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 1279   Suggestion: Vote Labour

Penistone and Stocksbridge 2017 Election: Lab hold        Majority:1322    Suggestion: Vote Labour

Argyll and Bute 2017 Election: SNP hold                Majority: 1328  Suggestion: Vote SNP

Carshalton and Wallington 2017 Election: LD hold Majority: 1369 Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

Lincoln 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con  Majority: 1538 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Portsmouth South 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 1554 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Putney 2017 Election: Con hold  Majority: 1554 Suggestion: Vote Labour
Lib Dems and Greens can’t win this seat. Labour can – with their help.


Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill
2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 1586 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Eastbourne 2017 Election: LD gain from Con Majority: 1609         Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

Edinburgh North and Leith 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 1625 Suggestion: Vote SNP

Wrexham 2017 Election: Lab hold  Majority: 1832 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Firstly apologies for failing to blog Week 9 due to a mixture of illness and too much stuff to do. A quick recap. The teams were asked to select artists songs and mix them to create ad-friendly jingles. Empower were asked to do a football tune but somehow Thomas picked a love song that sounded a bit like the Laughing Gnome but with Marianne wailing over the top of it. He then alienated all the clients by aggressively asking for too much money. Unison (lead by talent manager Dean despite Lottie’s 15 years’ experience playing the tambourine) did a bland poppy number which sold more so somehow Dean not only survived but won the task. Amazingly Thomas got the (regretful) boot. Not so amazingly Marianne got a non je regretted boot.

So in Week 10 our remaining six wannabes are therefore summoned to Burlington House where they have to break the smelly market by creating and branding a new perfume and pitching it to two major retailers.

Dean’s moved over to Empower with Lewis and Pam who has to lead the task and as a beauty brand owner no pressure love. She asks the boys to suggest markets and Lewis is very excited about Unisex, but Pam wants to go for the female market (with two blokes on your team what could go wrong?). Even Dean backs Lewis (“Unisex is on trend”) but that’s because he has no creative thoughts of his own, but Pam sticks with girly pongs as the market. Pam picks “degree in marketing” Lewis to do the packaging and puts Dean on the perfume as she wants to work with Lewis on design. Lewis is worried about leaving Dean unattended, and to be fair Pam is too so she agrees to go with Dean and trust Lewis to create her vision. He asks for her vision and she waffles about “Simplicity” and “breaking the mould”. “Are we happy we know this woman?” she asks. They all mumble yeah and Lewis starts sketching ideas on his way to the design studio.

Over on Unison, Lottie yet again thinks she’d be perfect to lead as she’s passionate about perfume and likes classy, classic looks and scents. Carina is like “no fucking way” as she thinks Lottie can’t lead for toffe (she has a point) and puts herself forward too. Lottie lays her top experience on the table “I helped three friends pick their wedding perfumes” (probably because they didn’t want you as a bridesmaid Lottie), but Scarlet votes for Carina and Lottie pulls her TM Hacky Face.

Ep10 Lottie

Scarlet suggests going unisex and Carina envisions a lady in a suit. Lottie says it should be androgynous. “What’s that?” asks Carina. “Imagine Cara Delevingne in a suit”. Carina is all “That is literally what I just said less poncily”. Scarlet’s happy to do all the packaging by herself whilst Lottie and Carina go make the perfume and poster.

To the Hampstead Perfume Laboratory where the perfume boffin tells everyone about base, middle and top notes, advising the perfume makers to “be instinctive and know when to stop”. Pam’s keen o citrus. Dean just smiles and nods and holds out numerous swatches of scents admitting finally he can’t smell anything anymore.

Carina is after a “power smell”. I’m thinking kebab fart, but they mix up Jasmine and vanilla and every aroma known to unisex-kind eventually settling on a heady mix of coconut rhubarb, lavender sandalwood, basil, etc etc.

In the design studio Scarlet simply gets on with things deciding on a hexagonal shaped bottle and leather effect box with black and rose gold colourings with minimal wordiness and it all looks quite nice. She comes up with “Captivation” as the brand name and “Feel the power” or some such shit as the tag line. She’s happy to sign off and her design assistant looks cheerful too.

Lewis (and his poor design studio assistant) go through a long dark afternoon of the soul however as he twats about self-brainstorming himself down a rabbit hole. At first he’s on brief with a plain simple label but then he argues himself into a “bold image” suggesting “independence…someone breaking norms… freedom…outdoors” with all the logical reasoning of the Bat Computer before ending up with a label showing someone mountain climbing. WHAT? He calls Pam to tell her and she puts him right “Most perfume bottles wouldn’t have a photo on the label” (unless you shop at Savers and only from their bargain bin). “Help me not see that tomorrow” she insists. It’s all too subtle for Lewis though as he mindfarts brand names (“Independence… Horizon”..) plumping for “Determined” which goes on the box in a stupidly non-determined girly font. He has “Eau de Parfum” correct on the bottle and then changes the spelling to “PARFAM”. Classy! Claude winces at Lewis’s creative block and the design bloke looks practically suicidal as he waits for Lewis to decide on a slogan which after much painful word soup ends up as “Break boundaries, move mountains”. “What’s a mountain smell like?” muses Lewis. Depends what it’s made of.

In a Luxury west London hotel Lottie manages the photoshoot getting Carina to pose as some high powered business bitch on the phone whilst her micromanaging male boss leans over her shoulder and reaches for the same bottle of perfume as her. So not that empowering then. Carina’s not sure the message is clear but Lottie insists Carina trust her (“Can you raise one eyebrow Carina?” “Can’t!”). The packaging design comes through and Lottie’s pissed off and says it looks “appalling” (“Captivation is an uneasy word. Grammatically it doesn’t make much sense” – then it’s an IDEAL perfume name – never heard of Obsession? Eternity? Joop? Even fucking Tramp (by Lentheric)). Carina however thinks it looks strong.

Somehow Pam has ended up at a beach bar for their location shoot which is awkward as she doesn’t want any beach in the picture. Dean spots some flowers against a brick wall and gets the poor model to squat by them. Job done! “When I saw the flowers a little flick went off in my brain and I thought wow this is my time to shine” gushes Dean completely inappropriately. They’re still waiting for a logo until at the 11th hour in crawls Lewis’s label with a short short wearing free spirit looking at a mountain. Pam and Lewis facepalm. Dean is not so secretly delighted at how shit it is as it takes pressure off him. Pam is fuming (“My god it’s SO bad!”).

It is shit though:

Ep10 Determination

The next morning the teams whiff their fragrances. Scarlet nearly chokes. Lottie gets revenge by moaning that Scarlet’s perfectly good packaging isn’t bold  enough (“I can’t read it from here” – then you will pick it up for a closer look won’t you – you picky bitch). Carina thinks Scarlet “delivered really well” and Lottie looks daggers at them.  Scarlet gets her own back on Lottie’s poster as she also picks up on the whiff of sexism (“The woman holding the phone looks like a receptionist” Lottie: “No it says POWER IS CALLING” ha!).

Lewis likes Pam and Dean’s scent, but it’s not reciprocated for his packaging and his misspelling of Parfum and Independent are pointed out. “I worked my arse off” whinges Lewis (should have used your brain mate). Pam doesn’t know why a woman going up a mountain would even need fragrance. “She’s breaking the mould” insists an increasingly emotional Lewis. “No she’s not” says Pam sadly “She’s walking through rocks”.  The poster is unveiled and Lewis realises just how off their brand he is, but Pam chivvies them up to prepare to sell it, whatever it takes.

Unison pitch to Debenhams who fan the perfume onto their nostrils. And then gag a bit. Actually they like the smell but find it feminine. Oh and pungent. Carina unveils the poster claiming the message is about the power stance, but the token woke bloke on the Debenhams panel finds it all a bit 1980s and wonders if they get the difference between power and “empowerment”.

I think it looks like one of those “erotic” Mills and Boon covers I’ve er heard so much about:

Ep10 Captivation

Lottie does a defensive tackle claiming she wanted to “capture a classic image and keep it timeless – but we could develop ideas with you alongside us”. They don’t look convinced. Deciding that the issue was the poster, Carina makes the call of not taking it to the next pitch with Boots. On your head be it Lottie says. Boots actually think the bottle and packaging are “unique” but ask to see a poster so they can understand the “story” (er it makes you smell nice”. Scarlet stalls “We are developing an ad campaign with a smartly dressed man and woman reaching for captivation” but Boots suggest it’s a “bit of a miss” not seeing the posters.

Pam preps Dean to talk about the scent. “Does he know what he’s doing?” Lewis worries. Dean is all “um er yeah”. He then goes on to drop the bottle in front of the Boots panel before wibbling on about the “smell that is oriented towards citrus…erm” and it just hurts to watch him limply waving paper scent swatches under their wrinkled up noses. Pam steps in to add more detail on ingredients and it’s down to Lewis to justify the packaging “it’s about someone who lives life on their own terms”. Boots think the bottle and imagery don’t match. They’re sharp.

Dean ups his game with Debenhams – losing the bottle in his pockets before spraying and wafting and describing the perfume as having (drum roll) “a variety of ingredients”. Jesus wept. The token woke bloke points out that despite Pam’s claims for the packaging not being sexualised images of women those shorts are very damn short – and then he spots the spelling howlers on the box. “Do you want to answer that Lewis [you twat]” Pam asks. He holds his hands up and admits he was pushed for time. Dean is practically ejaculating in glee (“Lewis messed this up! They HATED it!”).

Boardroom time and Sugar jokes that usually he says “smell what sells” (except he doesn’t) but now it’s the other way round and oh my aching sides, nurse the curtains etc. He thinks Determination’s packaging looks like a constipation cure and the bottle like alpine air freshener he’d keep in the downstairs loo – and Lewis gets a bit of a bashing (apparently there were THREE spelling mistakes on the box – I do like Sugar’s suggestion that PARFAM is cockney for Perfume though). Dean proudly states he was “instrumental in the smell” (of bullshit) but it quickly emerges that nobody trusted him to work alone. “It was like they were booking a babysitter for you” Sugar suggests.

Lottie takes responsibility for her poster (well she did it) but still considers it a classic and stands by it.

Numbers time. Boots ordered 8000 units of Determination for some ungodly reason, but Debenhams hated it.

Debenhams didn’t like Captivation but Boots, whilst concerned about not seeing the poster and thinking it needed some tweaks still went for 9000 units (SO NOT SEEING LOTTIE’S POSTER WON IT).

The girls are sent to get pissed on a speedboat whilst Empower skulk off to the sad café where Lewis looks on the verge of either tears or a Hulk smash.

Back in the boardroom and Pam is pulled up for not having any control over the team, meaning the product was disjointed. She points out that Lewis should have realised it doesn’t literally need to tell the story on the packaging. Lewis moans that Scarlet had more experience in girls products than him, but Karren snarks that he’s got the marketing degree whereas Scarlet works in recruitment and he concedes “she blew me out of the water”

Sugar turns to Dean “You’re so invisible I might ‘ave to start talking to you via a Ouija board!” (sick burn Sugz). Dean insists his business is ready to go. “The only person who thinks you contribute is you” rejoins Sugar. Lewis maintains that “at least I try (even if I fail)” and gets all emotional again. Sugar pretends he’s going to fire Pam “This was your opportunity to shine” but it’s no shocker when Dean is fired. The gormless twat launches into a speech after his “thanks for the opportunity” and Sugar dismisses him with a “Keep in touch” which Dean clearly thinks is serious “Will do!” Hahaha!

Dean has no regrets in the Taxi of Regret and says Sugar has missed out on him as a “young, fiery creative” (what?) and promises to stalk Sugar for ever as he “said stay in touch”.

Next week it’s interviews. Expect bollocks to be spoken, tears to be wept and ludicrous decisions to be made. If Scarlet doesn’t get to the final then I may well be out.


Liking:   Scarlett, Carina

Meh:, Lewis, Pamela

A Career in Twattery beckons for: Lottie

Bye bye: Shahin, Kenna, Souleyman, Lubna, Riyonn, Iasha, Jemelin, Ryan-Mark,Thomas, Marianne, Dean