Archives for category: The Apprentice

Week 10 and I come in 30 minutes late thanks to a meeting that made Claude Littner look like a fabric conditioned kitten. I don’t have the time or energy to recap so will link you to the rather sweary blog my better half has assembled. Here.

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Opposite Experience to my evening before the Apprentice.

The interviewers are comprised of reliable rottweiler with a heart (human, ripped out) Claude Littner, faux dour Scot Mike Soutar, saucy media bitch Claudine Collins and melted plastic evil effigy Linda Plant.

Mike confronts Jo on her temperament and she’s pretty much contrite with him and every other interviewer. Bless her she shouldn’t have to apologise.  However when she explains her ethical business (giving share of profits from selling business wear to third world women to buy suitable clothes to get ahead in the workplace) he gives her brownie points and she skips away relatively unscathed.

She doesn’t get away so lightly with Claudine who confrontationally challenges her “HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CONFRONTATION?” before adding “You’ve argued with some of your team members”. She basically reduces Jo to tears before saying “Don’t get upset – why are you getting upset?” in the least concerned way possible. “I got it wrong at first but I’ve tried so hard and I’ve never been able to shake this perception of me” blubs poor Jo. Bless her! Claudine appears to show some empathy “Do you think you can rein it in?” “ Yes 100% I know I’m outspoken but it’s been my biggest battle to show people how I really am”. Claudine gives a wise look, but you just know she’s going to dob in Jo for crying. Like a massive twat would do.

Linda tells Sarah her sweetie gift set website is shit. Sarah explains she wants to change her business with the platform. “What have you been doing?” barks Linda. She has a point, Sarah’s been in the same business for over 7 years. She could have paid somebody’s child to set up a better website.

I love Liz in the lift, like a big mad Ripley from Alien “God it’s Claude – come on you got this!” Lucky lucky lucky lucky!

Back in the waiting room James smugs “He’s gonna ruin her!” “Yeah” agrees Michaela eagerly.

Claude starts and you know it can only go downhill: “I have to say you have a terrific work ethic, a “can do” attitude, you’ve been memorable but…” (and it’s a big BUT) “You are impossible to work with and so overbearingly bossy it’s been traumatic to watch you taking over any task”.

Liz nods sagely “I understand what you’re saying… it COULD be one of my weaknesses”.

Claude thinks Liz’s three florist shops barely make a profit, but Liz is keen to expand into the corporate gift sector. Claude wonders if she can, she thinks she can, he says “the numbers say different… bye!”. Unfortunately her foot goes to sleep on the way out which she of course reports out loud with a Liz twinkle. Claude winces (and tries NOT to smile).

James is greeted by Linda “In 18 months you’ll be turning over 3million is that FANTASY LAND?” who talks over his every attempt to respond and points out that all his achievements have been “under the umbrella of a multinational company”.

Actually she raises something that troubles me, as James was proud enough to say is his application that he “got his old boss demoted” which seems somewhat twatty (I guess he is young – but still!). He argues that’s not the case, but then it turns out he got fired for meeting with other investors on the side (he argues “they wanted to get rid of me it wasn’t just that” which I’m not sure is the best argument). James feels these episodes added to his character. Linda points out “It more puts a shadow over your trustworthiness”.

He limps back to the Waiting Room where Michaela spots his puffy eyes “Are you crying?” “Er..no I just got like bloodshot eyes”. Good old Liz doesn’t ask any questions and gives him a hug. “Let’s get out of here” insists James.

Next day in the cab Michaela confides the process “near killed me” and regrets she can’t get “Lord Sugar in a headlock… can I?”.

Firstly the evil interviewers spill the beans on Jo. Claude’s worried about her lack of experience. Claudine points out she’s young but then dobs her in for crying and laughs that Jo “didn’t accept she is argumentative and thinks she is wrongly labelled”. Perhaps Ms Sneery as a young black woman she’s as mardy as most of the people in the process but in the past has had to face some repetitive attitudes and has a point? At least Mike sticks up for the ethical part of her business plan.

Liz gets the treatment next as Mike thinks she doesn’t have a USP as there are online flower delivery services that businesses use. He likes how she says what’s on her mind although it’s “sometimes a bit fighty”. Claude loves her work ethic but think she’s not corporate enough. This sums up part of why I love her.

James is a “young man in a hurry” according to Claude. Mike thinks “his ambition leads him to rooky errors” such as saying on his website he had a certain accreditation that he doesn’t actually have. So lying basically. Rooky errors my arse! Claudine found James “very charming” and if he wins he will be despatched to her dungeon.

Sarah gets stick for being unoriginal and not having sorted her website out since 2009. Claude sees her as “honest and credible”. Which I hope he means as a good thing.

Claudine is confused by Michaela saying she lacks confidence and not making eye contact whilst having run shit loads of businesses. That’s cos it’s bollocks. Claude quotes Michaela as having “built from nothing to 3m, but doesn’t know how to build to 30m”. Mike points out she can’t remember how many businesses she’s launched in the last 7 years, and given her idea is to have a Planning Database for contractors (the local council should be putting that online mate) he doesn’t know how it would compete against more respected databases. He adds “she is a natural entrepreneur and you shouldn’t underestimate her”.

They’re dismissed and the candidates come in for slaps on the back and in the face as they’re honed down to two for the final.

Sarah gets stick from Karren for being “Calm but cautious”. Sugar’s shit gag is she’s like “a bubble gum that lost its flavour”. “Oh that is SO frustrating to hear” interjects Sarah mildly because she must have better gum jokes.

Sugar accuses Jo of having no fashion experience. She appears to be wearing clothes that look er fashionable but whatever. She’s got lots of experience in optimising marketing websites though. Or do transferable skills no long exist unless it’s from barrow boy to scraping the barrel? Actually I’m surprising myself by getting so angry on Jo’s behalf but I’ve warmed to how hard she has been prepared to work. Sugar asks her lots of questions about quantities and returns and she has actually researched reasonable outsourcing companies. I am impressed. Sugar ain’t. It’s Claude’s go next and he describes the women’s fashion industry as a minefield. Jo points out there would be no business if that attitude was prevalent. It doesn’t work. Sugar almost pats her on the head telling her to “Go get a job in that industry and then build your business”. Yes because Jo wants to be an UNPAID INTERN as that’s all she’d be likely to get with her experience. He fires her – regretfully. Tit. I hope she starts up a fashion blog with a fundme site and goes from strength to strength with her idea. I wish there was a similar thing for school uniforms funding uniforms in poorer countries.

“Don’t give up your dream” Sugar calls sadly after Jo. Even though he crushed it

Liz admits she’s learned a lot and Karren is a proper snidy cow (“I’m SURE you have.. I’m pleased for you”). She deals with questions about scaling reasonably well.

Michaela is asked why people would use her database and admits she’d be targeting small companies as a cheaper option. Oops. Karren asks “Are you a serial entrepreneur or bored easily?” Michaela says she don’t know what an “entrepreneur” is. It’s someone in between hairdos love. Like from when this was filmed and “You’re Fired” was.

James claims he made 900k in IT recruitment last year. Sugar points out that was the company he was working for – and they may not want to work with James when he’s on his Lord Sugar assisted tod.

After all this arsetwaddle the divine Liz is eventually fired (also with regret) because of scalability (and I reckon Sugar thinks flowers are girly). “THANK YOU ALL ITS BEEN MY HONOUR AND MY PLEASURE” Liz croons on the way out. She’s ace.

So the last three step outside for Karren to bitch about them and then are dragged back in to say why they should win.

Sarah reckons her product has huge scalability and growth. Amongst fat kids.

Michaela is after a fresh start. “Ah don’t know about sweeties or recruitment – if you want them then crack on”. Oh I just warmed to her. Damn!

James thinks IT Recruitment makes money and he has energy and passion “no disrespect to Sarah” (Sarah “WTF???!” James adds “I also can give 100% unlike Michaela”. “Spoken like a true salesman” deadpans Karren.

Michaela argues like a spouse caught in flagrante “All those other companies I’m just a shareholder with –  nothing serious.. you’ll be the real thing” etc. But surprisingly Lord Sugar fires her. “When I need a building next I’ll go on your site” he adds. “Yeah it’ll be 4 grand though no mates rates” Michaela retorts. Oh I do like her. In the taxi of doom she admits she’s off for a “Bath of wine to celebrate getting through this shitstorm. Lord Sugar just lost £50 million. Bad business move!”. Never mind Liz, this lady is proper bonkers.

So the final is a choice between bland or fibby. Sarah suggests “Sugar’s going sweet”. James says something that isn’t as good. Next week they have to present their business plan to over 200 people. I tried a poll in our house: – which wins IT recruitment or sweets? Our panel says ouch our teeth hurt and we love it!

WANT TO WIN:  Sarah (head girl)

Liking a tiny, tiny little bit less: James

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan, Andrew, Anisa, Charles,  Bushra, Harrison, Jade, Joanna, Elizabeth, Michaela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Week 10 and 7 contestants remain. I don’t think I can cope with more 5am men in their pants. Fortunately it’s Liz in a dressing gown looking much like I would at that time of day. Poor woman. They’re all summoned to Somerset House, like now and nobody knows what it is. Jo and Jade bitch about Liz in the taxi there (Jo “I hope it’s not antiques cos that’s probably another module Liz studied”. Jade “What cos it is an antique”).

This week’s tenuous link from Sugar is that Somerset House has hosted fashion shows. The teams have to choose a designer, choose a magazine cover and sell to the industry. And someone loses for no tangible reason.

Jo and Michaela move to Graphene  (with Liz and James) who get men’s fashion – Jo wants to PM as her business plan is about clothing. They all say yes. Michaela and Liz get sent as a subteam to meet male models. There is much rejoicing and Liz goes a bit Father Ted judging the “Lovely Girls” competition.  Jo and James go to meet designers.

Sarah is moved to Vitality who get women’s fashion. Harrison does not put himself forward as he knows sod all about ladies fashion. Sarah likewise so Jade is PM by default. Jade isn’t sure what is reasonable commission – Sarah says just talk to them. Sarah is apparently an expert on negotiating but lets Jade go off to meet the designers by herself. Harrison and Sarah interview models. Much ding donging ensures.

The designs range from top end (Think “Cousin it” or tinfoil hats) to more “mainstream”. They all look mental (types the woman wearing an M&S sale dress).

Jade meets Helen from “Helluva Girl” (“This was inspired by post apocalyptic regal rock and roll I won designer of the year last year”) Jade says “Ooh” and shakes on it, after negotiating commission of 10% and not asking about discounts Jade (“they are higher price so we can push on commission”). She phones her subteam (“Think Henry VIII meets darkness and rock and roll”). The highest price dress costs £1045 but Sarah’s unconvinced by how much Jade squeezed for commission. “Well” Harrison surmises “It looks like were going for a deathy gothic sort of theme which is er nice”. He and Sarah pick their models based on the new theme (Harrison: “I quite liked Ella Jess and the Ginger one”). Jade takes pictures of the model “Give us a Grrrr” and is looking for a “Dark and sinister rock and roll regal tudoresque bold statement”. The model leans back slightly, “YES! I love it!”.

Jo meets Zara Mia who makes cheaper clothes with an ethical messages made out of coconut and bamboo and guilt.  I bet they chafe like fuck. She gets 17% commission and a 10% discount if the whole range is bought.  They phone the subteam designing the front page and James suggests “Fashion Conscious with a Conscience”. Michaela gets confused by how to spell Conscious and Conscience and everybody facepalms.

Jo and James go to the photoshoot and Jo decides she wants two models. James is all “Well I could do it” because HE WANTS THIS MORE THAN ANYTHING EVER. (“I can go into photoshoot .. I’ve never done anything like that but I can do it.. I am the target market .. the magazine will love it”). Yes James. Ironically he is much prettier than the selected model, who Jo asks to act as James’s conscience in the photos. Whilst wearing crap urban clothes. Michaela and Liz pick up the ensuing pictures and Michaela mentions that a shot featuring James holding his hands as in prayer signals “ethical to her”. Liz adds a bamboo background. They actually work together really well.

Next day it’s fashion show time. Sarah’s all about discounts until Jade reveals she didn’t negotiate any. She was on her own FFS.

Jo we remember negotiated 17% commission and 10% discount – but she reminds her team she doesn’t want it offered straight off – just used as an incentive.

Sarah likes the magazine cover and Jade is determined to “pitch the hell out of this”.

Graphene like their cover but Liz points out that she only did the bamboo and Michaela did all the better than bamboo stuff (which is nice unless she thinks bamboo is somehow a sure fire winner).

Michaela and Liz set up (Michaela: “Try that outfit” [Liz appears in Kevin & Perry style get-up] “… yeah better than what you come in”).

Sarah and Harrison set up (Harrison “It’s like a gold ghost –ones’ a cape, the other’s a space raider; one’s like something out of Dawn of the Dead”).

Jade pitches to Stylist Magazine using Helen Woollens’ name. They ask is that her brand and she bluffs “yes”. They get a bit kickass on her arse as a result and when they ask if she means “Helluva Girl” she lies that it’s the new brand going forward. Erm.

Jo meets her magazine guys and nobody is impressed when she identifies James as one of the models (Magazine Guy to James: “Your pose is more amateur magician”). They hate that the picture has 2 people and that the background is bland. Jo blames her subteam. James looks on the bright side now all his dreams have come true “It’s still a good brand – we have to sell it”).

Jade gets the cover! She meets her subteam putting up “Helen Woollens” balloons at the Oxo tower and lets slip the designer goes by her brand name (“I said were moving forward with her as a designer”. Helen turns up and looks angry as she wants people to know her brand so Sarah hides all the balloons in the cupboard”.

Jo insanely appoints Liz as director of the Graphene catwalk. As you know by now I love Jo but if she gets a role she’s passionate to the point of inflexibility about it. Sure enough Jo wants to run the models through their moves and Liz won’t let her (“If you want me to direct” etc). Oh Liz – directors still have to see what they have to work with. Jo was right there.

Harrison’s taking a break on this task from now on (“ I don’t have a business plan that has anything to do with catwalking”). Bye bye Harrison.

Buyers arrive for the pictures and Jo invites them to “feel the love and the eco friendly contemporary fashion”.  She basically lists prices of the outfits on display which makes sense. Even James does a star turn as extra model and if anything he’s better than the professional ones as he takes his time (naturally) on the catwalk, giving buyers a proper look (I suspect that’s not how catwalks are meant to work and it’s all deliberately quick because rich arseholes will buy anything). But whatever THIS IS JAMES’ MOMENT IN TIME. He does Blue Steel and Magnum bless him!

James Blue Steel

Vitality next and the room appears to have had no attempt made to make it look special, which was Harrison and Sarah’s job. Jade stutters in her opening gambit and then talks absolute fashion wank without mentioning prices (let’s face it – at this end it’s probably gauche to do so).  Industry people look bored and not even Jade stuttering “When you put this on you become queen of mars” can improve things.  Harrison thinks Jade was “awesome”. Oh bless him.

In the post catwalk mingle Jade has to admit she has no discounts  and Karren notes that Harrison in his eager but not quite confident way morphs into Sarah’s sales assistant. Meaning Sarah gets more sales (although most people there think the brand is too expensive – oops).

Graphene sell like bitches although Michaela gets carried away harassing non-takers (“Surely you want something diff to what H&M do?!” Fashion retail lady runs away).

Boardroom Time and Sugar’s full of larfs, describing Vitality’s brand as “bacofoil is the new black”.  Karren gets away with more sexism “You enjoyed auditing models didn’t you Harrison?” because it went over his head a bit “”Yeah I thought I’d take one for the team”.

Sarah disses Jade about only getting 10% commission but Sugar points out that could be a lot of money on a high end item.

Sugar suggests that Liz on Graphene could be “Hugo Bossy”. Oh ha ha ha. Michaela get stick for her aggressive sales technique.

And it’s points mean prizes time or something:-

Vitality got 10% on £11015sales giving  £1101.50 commission

Graphene took orders of  £25663 giving 4 grand commissions

So Graphene are sent to some sort of free fall contraption – and it’s so sweet to see Liz’s cheeks jigging in zero gravity whilst the other team languish in the Sad Café.

Jade admits she got everything wrong. In retrospect, Sarah suggests she should have gone to meet designers with Jade.

Harrison goes on about how determined and passionate he is – cos he’s toast.

Back In: Harrison says he knows nothing about ladies fashion (To Jo “I think you’ve worn more women’s dresses than I have” – erm) but Sugar points out he needed to demonstrate the ability to adapt quickly.

Jo complains “I had to take on lot of responsibility” because that’s being Project Manager, silly.

Sugar faux “worries” as to whether Sarah  has staying power, but then Jade admitted all the errors.. but Harrison did sod all so” with regret” he’s fired..

Sugar then sets Jade up to say something stupid and fires her too. Madness!

Sarah’s set back to the house like the last survivor of a massacre.

In the taxi of doom, Jade feels robbed (“ I deserved to be in the final 5”) whereas Harrison anticipates greatness (“I will become a Household Name – So Close!”).

Next the final 5 face interview!!! Bring it!

LIKING:  Elizabeth, James

Liking a little bit less: Michaela, Sarah, Joanna

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan, Andrew, Anisa, Charles,  Bushra, Harrison, Jade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 9 and the remaining early morning pant wearers are summoned to one of my own stomping grounds, Borough Market, where it is now £6 to buy cheese on toast.

James points out in the car that Harrison has never been Project Manager. Yeah MAN UP Harrison. Meanwhile Sarah points out in her car that the women are wearing the trousers, literally. Cue shot of all their trousers.

Sugar sets them the task of creating branded recipe kits which will be voted on after a pitch to industry “experts” – most votes wins.

Harrison (who is asked to lead as his business plan is food based) and Jo are switched to Vitality  with Jade and Michaela as Sarah is sent to lead Graphene with Bushra, James and Liz. Sarah immediately decides on a gourmet style meal. Yeah good luck with that.

So it’s subteam time. Jo wants to do the cooking and Harrison agrees, sending her off with Michaela. However Michaela doesn’t want to work with Jo so does Jedi mind tricks on Harrison so he joins her and Jade and Jo have to work together on branding. Oh oh! Michaela suggests chicken curry. Harrison isn’t sure that sounds healthy. That’s Michaela’s point. He submits to her will again.

 

On Graphene Liz really wants to cook, and Sarah puts her on the cooking subteam but elects James as the subteam leader. James chooses salmon and risotto as a luxury dish and decides truffle oil should be the flavour. Liz suggesrs saffron instead. She’s right on this one but the idea of a recipe by committee suddenly looms horrifically. Ugh!

Jade manages her subteam by telling Jo no idea is too stupid (“But I’ll make sure I get the final say”). “Root flavours” suggests Jo. “Ugh no!” Jade opines. Jade brainstorms “Food fresh…food mind.. let’s have a silent minute… lateral mind …healthy mind” ; “All I can hear is you!” complains Jo. “Root flavours” Jo tries. Jade begs “Please go for things to do with your mind and natural” and when Jo protests Jade chips in with “Your PM has just said.. Can you just think?” ”Yes I’m thinking in my mind”, Jo reassures her.

Sarah suggests “Gourmet Crusaders”. Bushra tactfully points out that Crusaders sounds a little warlike. “Nah it’s cool” says Sarah. Bushra suggests putting little dots over Crusaders to soften it…Sarah suggests footprints which Bushra thinks will make it look like dogfood.  Sarah don’t care.

James and Liz work on risotto and he insists on chopping the onion and flails a bit (probably because Liz’s beady eyes are watching). I get her frustration though – he’s taking ages and she just wants to do something but he’s so resistant to her taking over. Eventually he lets her chop the celery . This makes him Liz’s bitch.

Harrison and Michaela chaotically create their healthy chicken curry (which is the best way to create curry) “Curry powder is that healthy?” asks Harrison before getting confused between tablespoons teaspoons. Thank gawd Michaela is there. This reminds me of the time I sent a dear friend a very simple chicken curry recipe and they complained it was a bit bland… because they missed the bit which said “add the curry powder”

Jade’s still chucking out potential names ““Naturo Think”, “Naturo Fuel” ..out of those which is your favourite”. Like me Jo thinks they’re both shite and Jade snaps “Then offer a solution!”. Rightly Jo points out her suggestions were cast aside for having nothing to do with the mind..and goes off for a well earned cry. And Jade utterly takes over.

Michaela recaps the recipe to Jade and Jo by babbling off multiple orders…. “’Add yoghurt to desired thickness’ but word that so it doesn’t sound stupid”. Unfortunately Harrison only sends them one photo of the food, missing the fact it’s meant to be a “step by step guide”.

The boxes arrive and wonder why it doesn’t say “chicken curry” on the box, but Jade assures her a card will be put on there. Doesn’t explain away the multiple typos though. Jade kind of blames Jo for her issues. I love Michaela “You need to put it behind you.. if it affects my future I will be fuming”.

Bushra moans about the pictures and branding and James has had enough and bitches about her to Liz who confides that Bushra “does my nut in! No wonder I am barking mad”.

So it’s pitch time and Harrison lets Michaela cook with minimum fuss. One person has to dress as a giant green peapod – and it’s Jo (“it goes with the brand” EH?).

Harrison and Michaela Craddock.cradockDM_468x452

Over on Graphene, Bushra wants to get involved in the pitch as a quirky sidekick – so she dresses as a pepperpot to James’s salt.

Harrison pitches “Naturo fuel’s Healthy Kicking Chicken Curry” first whilst Michaela cooks diligently. “I’m going to address the elephant in the room” Jo pipes up, and to the producer’s relief  it’s not about the way women of colour are marginalised on telly but the fact she is wearing a pea suit “If we had an icon it would be green and potentially a vegetable” she continues, despite the fact the curry contains no veggies other than onions.

Vitality are pulled up on having no photos to accompany the steps on their recipe card and no product name on their packaging, which Michaela explains they can fix when it goes to market.

It’s time for the experts to taste the curry and they all like it (cos it’s curry!) although the lady from the Co-op would like more veggies in it just to prove how worthy the Co-op is.

Sarah is next pitching for gourmet crusaders, but Liz essentially takes over. She’s like Dennis Waterman off Little Britain and would sing the theme tune if she could. Bushra and James keep mucking in as she loudly cooks. Bushra then attempts some ice breaking “humour”: “We would have loved to have Captain Gourmet here but unfortunately Donald trump called him over….”

Tumbleweed rightfully ensues.

I hate seeing new comedians wasting or ruining jokes and immediately want to fix it… “Captain Gourmet should have been here but he was on a boat full of posh kids passing round his crispy goujons”… “We would have loved to have Captain Gourmet here but he’s helping Operation Yewtree with enquiries”, “Donald Trump – what a cunt eh?” Nope I can’t fix it.

Liz flails on the cooking and blames the oven but interrupts Bushra who tries to fill for her and it’s just really bleugh as Liz burns the salmon due to bitching at Bushra.

Sainsbury’s bloke is concerned about the connotations of “Crusader” but Sarah insists there are “positive” connotations in “joining the crusade”. Everyone gags on Liz’s burnt fishy batons.

It’s Board Room time and Harrison is accused of being Michaela’s puppet but she has to stick her hand up his bum for him to respond.

Sugar questions the choice of curry as an healthy option, “Over 23m curries are eaten every week in the UK” argues Harrison. “And there’s 23m obese people.” Bullshits Sugar back. “Exactly!” grins Harrison. Oh he is rubbish but I’m warming to him.

Jade complains that Jo was difficult to work with” and Karren has a go at Harrison for not noticing the tension between then and keeping them apart (“I thought you would just both try to succed. Doh!. Again he is refreshingly dim when it comes to female dispute and the pair of them could eat him for brekky.

Sarah gets stick for including Crusader in her brand name. Batman has a rethink.

Bushra claims the World Food idea was all hers, until Karren points out it was Sarah and James’s idea too.

Graphene’s pitch is dismissed as “cringy” and Harrison wibbles about “engaging” clients. Sugar is unamused.

Liz states she was asked to talk and cook (actually I think she volunteered both) whereas Harrison didn’t make Michaela present whilst cooking as “it wouldn’t have been fair” (bless him)..

So it’s down to the all important votes. Vitality got 12 whereas Graphene of the shit pitch got 10. Which makes you think they were equally rubbish.

Appropriately for a bunch of clowns Vitality are sent to a Circus restaurant.

In Café Sad,  Bushra’s blaming Liz for everything and Liz is sick of Bushra. “Perhaps the friction between you was felt by the audience” Sarah points out. Bushra decides she’s going to tell Lord Sugar Liz is “nuts”. Lovely ladies.

Back in and Sugar states Liz is uncontrollable. Bushra tries to pile on, but Karren points out she did the “Trump jokes”. The fact Karren found it a recognisable “joke” makes me despair. “I took a risk” Bushra claims. Not that much eh love?

Sarah picks Liz and Bushra (much to the latter’s chagrin) to come back. James gets told to man up (“sunshine”) by Sugar as he leaves. (“Er yeah ok”). Fuck him James, if being a man means having a face like a sad bollock it’s not worth it.

Back in and it all gets a bit bitchy with Bushra clinging desperately to her opportunity. Sugar describes Liz as being “impossible to control.. like a giant hogweed” but Liz prefers to call herself a “sunflower”. (Since when was being easily  controlled a good leadership quality?) and guarantees to make Sugar a million quid. Despite his protests this clearly work as Bushra is fired. Liz promises to not let Sugar down again (whoops – promises!) starts gushing and is rightly told to shut up and go back to the house.

In the Taxi of Despair Bushra claims “Sarah threw me under the bus but I was one of her biggest threats” Muawahahahahah

Sarah and Liz return and James is impressed by Liz “Fair play –  you’ve been in the bottom more than anyone and survived”.  Liz reckons she has her fighty mojo back.

Next time the teams run a fashion show on a catwalk. Some day this show is going to end.

MAD BAD AND BRILLIANT: Elizabeth

WARMING TO BUT TERRIFIED BY: Michaela

LIKING:  James (think he will win), Sarah, Harrison

ANNOYED BY: Joanna

I Do NOT LIKE: Jade

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan, Andrew, Anisa, Charles,  Bushra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 8 and the candidates are surprised by a beardy if not so jolly man. He informs them a quarter of Brit households have a dog and they have to tap into the market. They have to run a doggy daycare centre and offer mobile dog services to punters on the street. Most profit wins.

Anisa says she’d be happy to lead Vitality (Andrew, Michaela Jade, Charles). Charles puts himself forward yet again as he has had dogs. We all know how it goes by now. But what’s this? They all choose CHARLES because they think Anisa is more shit. Anisa looks duly devastated. She puts herself forward as subteam leader and looks hopeful. Charles chooses Andrew. “But I’ve never had a dog” Andrew argues, but he’s picked anyway. “Maybe I don’t make a convincing argument” Anisa wails to camera. You said it.

Over on Graphene (Liz, Jo, James, Harrison, Bushra) James puts himself forward for the second week running and nobody argues. James takes Harrison and Bushra on his roving sales team. Liz gets to lead the daycare centre and has to take Jo. We all anticipate many argues. Poor Jo is not a dog lover (“I actually do like them just not big scary ones”. Liz “The biggest dogs are often the most timid and the little ones the most feisty”. “Bit like me” Jo suggests). So at The Doggy Spa Liz is full of the dog lurve, chatting to them like they’re her little fuzzy buddies. To a dog undergoing a “blueberry facial” she bants “You alright mate?” The dogs blueberried little face says “SAVE ME NOW!”

Jo doesn’t help the pitch by constantly telling Tom the Dog Spa owner that she’s never owned a dog and has no idea about them. It’s like they’re a different species.

Vitality come along and Michaela’s on a charm offensive (“It’s super lush here… I’ll see you tomorrow Tom”.

Next stop for Graphene is a place offering dog agility classes and doggy dancing. Liz asks all the prices and numbers. Jo looks worried.

Vitality roll up and again Michaela’s making friends “I’ve got four dogs that would have a field day here”.

Both teams choose the Spa, but the Spa can choose only one so Tom plumps for Vitality, adding “I didn’t feel Jo was a dog lover”. “I’m really sorry that you felt like that retorts Jo”. She just can’t help herself.

Given the good news, Jade suggests Tom really fancies you Michaela. “I have had a lot of botox” sighs our Northern force of nature. They price up the spa treatments and Charle’s gets his angels to do all the graft for him (“I know you’re excellent at phone sales so I’d like you to start please Michaela”). In the corner Karren raises her eyebrows.

Anisa suggests Dirty Dogs for the roving team name. “Isn’t that a bit offensive” buzzkills Sarah. Everything Anisa suggests(charging more for labour and at commercial properties) is shot down. Poor Anisa.

So the subteams off to Posho Hall run by a woman who is evidently on the make and wants minions to clean the dog poop from apparent hoards of the fuckers running wild about her manor as there’s a wedding on there tomorrow. So they literally have to pitch to clean up shit. I love it.

It’s going OK for Vitality until Andrew spots a dog actually pooping (yes that’s where it comes from) and swears (it gets bleeped but my money’s on fuck)– getting the evil eye off Sarah. He then offers the client a full on de-pooping for £120. Sarah reckons they could have asked for £200. “I can’t stand the smell of shit” Andrew mutters on the way back to the car.

Graphene’s subteams talk names. I like Harrison’s “Doggy Do Gooders” but James plumps for “Pooper Scooper Friends”. They offer some weird “odour control” product, but awkward woman at Hall Posh is not impressed. James quotes £200 for 2 hrs and she’s all “what if the job’s not done?” James offers a partial refund and she’s insistent she wants the job. I’m quite pleased that Andrew swore in her presence now.

Liz decides to offer all the doggy agility/dance sessions for £25 as it’s easier. She calls James and says they were a close second on the Spa. Bushra’s straight in there “Close second isn’t good enough! You have to be first”. “I’m trying to be positive not negative” Liz sighs and gives James the £25 price tag. “Why does Bushra have to stick the knife in” she asks Jo, who I suspect is relieved that Liz didn’t let on Tom’s reason for not offering the Spa. “I hope she doesn’t have any close seconds someone else will point out” Jo broods. It’s quite sweet – I think these two are forming an unlikely double act after weeks of aggro. They go to train in doggy dancing instruction and Liz is right into it whereas Jo has no idea what to do when a cute spaniel gets stuck between her legs. Make of that sentence what you will.

James doesn’t get the Posh Hall jobby job as the awkward woman felt he “overpromised” therefore Andrew’s subteam get booked and they’re all like Woooooh we’re going to clean shit up!!!

Next stop is a photoshoot for Wild at Heart canine welfare charity who want to flog sweatshirts. Anisa says she’s done fashion shoots. Andrew suggests he is good with dogs (the lies!). Sarah suggests a price of £475. Charity woman tries not to slap her and suggests that’s too high. Next offer is £225. Then Andrew goes up to £250. At this point the charity woman is laughing at them.

Graphene’s turn and Harrison endears himself to me by making pals with a very cute rottweiler. Bushra says “I haven’t done any photography myself but I am pretty good with the eye” (What?). She suggests £250. When Charity woman protests she drops the price. By £100. Madness.  She ends up plumping for them because of their way with dogs. Yeah.

Charles rings his subteam and asks for support with making calls for bookings (which James has been doing for his subteam – it’s not unreasonable). Andrew basically tells him to do one as they’re flyering for their own services.  At the training session Jade cleans a doggy. “I’ve just done his bottom” she exclaims. “You’re not having a slice of my pizza later” Michaela informs her. They are making a good double act too.

James decides to up Liz’s pooch-robics price to £45 cos it’s all about the money. He doesn’t share this with Liz.

Vitality nearly come to twaticuffs as Charles pulls up Andrew for not calling for leads and Andrew won’t back down cos he’s a bit of a gobshite. Michaela breaks it up “This conversation is ridiculous” and despite finding her terrifying I’m warming to her. First thing next day she’s the one grafting, finding leads including for a Jug a Poo called Moo. I get that Poo is Poodle, but has someone really bred one with a Juggernaut?

Both teams pick up doggy products to upsell including “Pawsecco”. I love animals but this is mental surely?

Liz gets into full on Barbara Woodhouse testing the agility course and rearranging it all despite it having been declared ok the previous evening and then running around the course. “She’s a force of nature” grumps Claude. I think he wants her.

Poor Vitality are stood up by their first client and sadly tear off their sexy pvc pinnies.

At Posh Hall, the woman in charge really starts taking the piss and demands Vitality subteam also pick up bird shit. Sarah agrees to this. Cue Anisa flailing about looking for poos (“Why did we commit to duck poo?” Andrew “We said big ones” Anisa “they’re ALL BIG!!!!”). The awkward woman inspects their work and finds a recently laid browny green bird “egg” so as “you did agree to pick up bird poo” only pays them £135. I never want to go to Posh Hall.

Charles is quite happy to let his angels Jade and Michaela do all the actual work at the Dog Spa (“As they have naturally longer hair they’re used to combing hair”).

How Charles saw himself during this task:

Rsz_movies_wallpaper_charlies_angels_(originals)

Graphene take the charity photos sending dogs running everywhere and fighting. It would be great if they got some pictures of the sweatshirts the models are wearing which the Charity want to advertise. But they fail and have to accept only £125 for all their photos.

It all kicks off after doggy dancing as a woman tells Liz she paid £45 and someone else there told her they only paid £25. Liz gives her a refund, and agrees with Jo to tell other people waiting that the charge is only £25 which means refunding 6 people who paid more. I love the ethics despite how some businesses might view it. It also means that customers are suddenly more likely to buy loads of the extra pooch products because they don’t think they’re being diddled by shysters.

Charles mucks in on the poo scooping business (“COME TO ME TURDS”, Michaela “I feel like a ghost buster – we should have been called poo busters!”) until 9pm then Charles declares “The high fives are out – lets get some pawsecco!”

So it’s Boardroom Time. Charles is asked why he didn’t let poor Anisa lead the subteam and he tactfully states he thinks she struggles to handle pressure. Anisa doesn’t help herself by complaining about all the “geese poo” they had to clean up.

I’m relieved Sugar doesn’t diss Liz for refunding the customers who overpaid – suggesting that the increased upsales was because customers probably trusted Liz and Jo.

Also it was refreshing that Liz didn’t dob in Jo for being the reason they didn’t get the Spa as she was so rubbish about dogs – although they probably would have failed at the Spa (Only 2 of them – one not a dog lover) so in effect Jo saved this task for them with her dog dithering.

Anyhow it’s money time:

Vitality: Spa sales – £325 – Mobile team £375 – Other sales £114.75 Total 814.75

Graphene – Training Sales £435 – Mobile team £435 – Other sales  £407.92 – Total £1277.92

Convincing trashing there thanks to Liz and Jo’s subteam. So Graphene get sent for a facial (hur hur) where Jo gets something rolled on her face which she thinks is “absolutely incredible” (her words).

In Sad Café  everyone’s blaming Andrew or Anisa. Charles confesses he doesn’t actually have a dog (you ruddy liar!).

 

Back in and Sugar is unimpressed by Anisa (“I just think I’m underestimated”) and sweary Andrew (“You’re 26 but you’re immature”).

Charles brings back Andrew and Anisa (“I did deliver the job!”) and sorry but I already know all three are going.

Andrew explains that he swore because he comes from bars and shops. “Can’t you adapt?” bitches Karren “I have” he insists. “Not very well”.

Anisa’s CV actually says “the most important thing in business is to have fun”. “I also care about pricing strategy” she insists. Andrew says “You said it dead timid and shy”. He has a point. It’s a horrible point but people only listen to load twats.

Charles teams up on Anisa “You’re just FLAP FLAP FLAP”. *Flap mime. Charles remix*

Anyhow Sugar fires Andrew first saying he’s there five years too early (he’s 26 ffs!). Swiftly followed by Anisa and finally, just as he thought he got away with it, Charles goes too.  There’s not even time for the taxi of doom.

NOBODY GOES BACK TO THE HOUSE

Michaela gets a spooky phone call telling them this. Sarah looks on the bright side “There’s three extra servings of dinner tonight” (Actually two if you think about it).

Next week they sell food recipe boxes. I would be brilliant at this (honest). So I can’t wait to see it utterly fucked up.

WOMAN ON THE WILD SIDE: Elizabeth

LIKING:  James, Sarah, Harrison

WARMING TO DESPITE PREVIOUS BEHAVIOUR: Michaela, Joanna

I Do NOT LIKE: Jade, Bushra

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan, Andrew, Anisa, Charles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 7 It’s early but for once it’s not a bloke in his pants to start the show as Sugar summons the candidates to Dunton Technical Centre in Essex. Anisa wants a creative task so she can put herself forward. “Oh My Gawd!” gasps Liz as they troop past flashy cars in Ford’s Creative Design hub. They have to create a TV ad and digital screens to advertise a new car and pitch to top execs.

The teams are duly juggled with Sarah going to Vitality with Michaela, Anisa, Andrew, Jade and erm Charles.  Anisa who works in PR duly puts herself forward “My knowledge of cars isn’t amazing but I have marketing experience”. Michaela has no marketing experience but she “loves cars”. They pick her to Anisa (and Claude’s) befuddlement. Anisa leads the sum team on branding. Andrew wants to direct the TV ad but Michaela baggsies that for herself and Jade then throws Andrew a bone of assisting them as he’s so “super enthusiastic”. Patronising cow.

Over on Graphene and James is happy to lead the team comprising Liz, Sajan, Bushra and Jo; and nobody else volunteers (“OK I’m PM er brilliant”). He’ll be ok – he once ran a hand carwash. It’s all about picking markets. Jo thinks it should be aimed at under 25s. Bushra thinks it’s a family car and James backs her. Jo looks sad.

Liz (who keeps taking her specs off this week – and reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch without them) uses Jedi mind skills to control James (“I suggest a woman on the TV ad side” [Points at self]. James “OK Liz you do the ad”).

Jo suggests calling the car Expando which sounds like a pervy superhero. Bushra wants to go for Plus, but Jo’s determined to be heard on this one and James says sod all.

Michaela is thinking “Marbella” (“If you had this car could head for these places” Classy!). Andrew upgrades her to “Miami”. They work on concepts for the advert with the women constantly overruling poor Andrew cos he doesn’t understand the target audience (young women)  like what they do. He chips in ignored suggestions whilst Jade and Michaela witter on (“And then she says OH MY GOD!” etc).  “She could even use assisted parking whilst putting on her lipstick!” Andrew interjects excitedly. Everyone rightly ignores him.

They communicate with the subteam and Anisa’s worried about the name being too literal. “THE NAME IS MIAMI” insists Michaela. At least Anisa tries to run with this by brainstorming solo in front of the world’s biggest whiteboard until it ends up looking like a Sheldon Cooper equation. “Erm don’t we just need to focus on the car and brand” Sarah suggests gently, but Anisa is off. The strapline “Move fast and free” is chosen. Sarah’s concerns about speed regulations, but Andrew insists “We’ll make it work”.

Liz is all for the humour angle “Mum runs out of house and things are going wrong then she gets to the car and it all works but she leaves her handbag on the roof and… DRIVES OFF…. IT’S FUNNY!”. (I actually think this was done in the 1980s but whatever). Liz then volunteers to act in the ad (“I break female modes. I’m tall… I’m quirky”) and does more Jedi mind control so James says OK. Bizarrely she selects the advert location as a “Norman Village”. Karren helpfully explains that none of the candidates know how long ago Norman times actually were.

Jo takes control of the digital screen display with her and Harrison posing in front of huge building blocks against a green background. Bushra is (like myself) confused. This upsets Jo.

Back in Essex and the car arrives at the Norman village. Maybe it’s the steaming cauldron and wattle and daub huts, or the turkeys, chickens and ducks shitting all over the place or maybe it’s the gently swaying waxwork hanged corpse, but Elizabeth smells a fish (“I don’t think this is an English village. I think it’s a… pretend village”).  “We need to see what we’re dealing with first” insists James. Somehow rather than Google a nearby real village (are they banned from doing this?) they try to roll with it (Liz “How about ‘Conquer life?’”) . They finally call the sub team who inform them that the brand name is Expando. Rather than impose his will James just mildly reminds them they need to stay in line with the advert. But they’re off on one. Bushra suggests a tag line “Different day: Same reliable car”. Harrison’s not sure it all fits with a potential medieval theme (“They didn’t make cars then did they?”). BUT NOBODY HEARS THE WARNING BELLS.

Michaela and Jade treat Andrew as a piece of meat whilst they witter on during advert production complete with drone camera filming. He’s clearly torn between wanting to be a STAR DARLING and feeling a tad sidelined. “I think we have enough footage to drag it out to 20sec” Michaela decides.

Sajan on the other team however is an ARTISTE. He’s gone all Ed Wood, taking lots of shots “One from here and another from there” (NOT as many as I need from here then move – ….IDIOT!). “The mise en scene is perfect!” He yells. “Scene 26! Take 2”. As a Film studies Post Graduate with extensive experience of hanging out with film ponces I was laughing my tits off.

In EXPANDO land Jo’s arguing about fonts when the main issue is her posters don’t show very much of the fucking car (and they don’t have any medieval imagery obviously). “I’m happy and proud” says Jo.

I like how Anisa has pissed off the Lycra brigade with her digital display showing a bike in the rain (“Looking to escape normality?”) before switching to an image of a car in the sun (“Welcome to Miami”). Yeah FUCK the planet. Also maybe stating that it is a car might have been helpful. Michaela likes it though (“It’s dead gorge… I like the colour scheme”).

Liz looks worried when Jo shows off her building block display. BUT NOBODY SAYS A WORD.

Sarah and Anisa worry that Michaela’s “Ooh me nerves” (A genuine Northern woman condition along with hormones and bowels) mean she will be shit at pitching. They pluck up the courage to call her. This does not go well and Michaela is 100% pitching.

Liz “assists” at the editing of Sajan’s vision with extra suggestions on music (“It goes “bum de dum dodododo…  like that .. and cut to booom boom boom der bumm bum”). James says sod all. She then insists she does the voice over and Sajan’s hackles rise (“You’re in it quite a lot”) and he insists James makes a call. So James goes with Sajan as he’s making the most noise at that point in time. “I will let it go” proclaims Liz. “But I feel you’re making a mistake”. My how very big of her.

Feedback from commuters viewing the digital display for Harrison is that nobody remembers the actual car but the name sticks out cos it’s fucking mental.

Nobody notices the Miami displays either or if they do they think it’s an advert for car rental in Miami. Hmm.

It’s time to pitch to car manufacturers, a journo and some advertisers . In a fun twist the none pitching part of the team watch it all via a video link and shout abuse.

James introduces Expando as addressing the needs of the modern family. Bushra tries desperately to tie in the car as an “extension of home” and Jo talks some utter shite on “expanding on capabilities” for which I would fire her pre-boardroom. It doesn’t help when the advert shows Liz doughtily chasing chickens through a Norman village. James tries to find a bright side (“Liz is 6ft2 which shows there’s a lot of space in the car”), but it’s clear there’s no connection between the two sides of the campaign (Liz (sneakily “It’s up to Bushra to answer this”. Bushra [Death Stare]). All the advertisers think the name is shit. Nobody argues. It’s true…

It’s literally pants.

expando-brif_list1

Michaela does hacky looks and hesitates before launching into a decent pitch. Oh look at her. She’s SO BRAVE. Hardly a fricking wallflower is she? Their ad is bland and functional. Nobody mentions my concern in that aiming it at young free and single women with a male voiceover is still somewhat missing the point.

Anisa takes on the next bit. Jade’s watching through the live feed (“Calm the hands”) and starts waffling. Fortunately she passes to Sarah who gets the brand message across “Move forward fast and free”. YOU CAN’T SAY FAST chorus the panel. Oh god Anisa’s still talking “Oh yeah we thought we got away with that (giggle)”

“Was there concern that the display reminded people of holidays?” asks one panel “Oh YES I’m so glad you brought that up!” GUSHES Anisa as Michaela’s face freezes whilst she contemplates gagging her. The rest of the team watching on the link scream in horror as Anisa continues to gleefully tell the panel how right they are to point out how shit the team has been. It’s a lovely moment.

Back in the boardroom and Michaela insists that Andrew was included in the advert so that the male audience wasn’t excluded then says something about him looking pretty. Lovely. The advert is boring but functional. Sugar likes the drums.

It’s Graphene’s turn and Vitality collectively piss themselves as Liz admits they accidentally ended up filming at a re-enactment Norman fort. For all Sajan’s Mise en Sine it’s a bit of sub Mike Leigh bollocks complete with Liz clomping about shooing chickens before apparently getting ready to mow them down. Harrison admits there is no correlation between the ad and the digital board but flails at the concept “different day same reliable car”. That doesn’t work for Sugar (“You’re trying to flog a NEW car”).

Unsurprisingly Vitality win although they weren’t great as they had some semblance of cohesion between the two sides of the campaign. They’re sent to slide down a huge tunnel. Insert your own joke. James looks sad. He really wanted to go on that slide.

Instead it’s the sad café and Bushra’s pulling no punches (“Have you see an ad like that before?”) whereas Jo “can smell Elizabeth all over this”).

Back in and Sugar helpfully informs them that both the advert and the digital poster were shit.

“I’m not good at the creative side” James whines, blaming Jo’s sub-team for the name. Bushra bitches about Jo undermining her suggestion of Plus. Like that would have helped.

Sajan insists he had to make sure the camera angles were focusing on the car for the 20 minute dolly shot.

Liz insists it “wasn’t the Elizabeth show” (it was) and “If I was too strong I’ll reign it back” (oh don’t!).

Sugar describes James’s management technique as someone letting a cabby drive the wrong way whilst saying nothing. Which sounds a tad sinister.

Poor James is so Liz whipped he offers to bring back Jo and Sajan. Somehow Bushra and Harrison magically escape like some sort of corporate ninjas whilst Liz sits there gobsmacked she’s got off so lightly until Sugar takes the law into his own hand cos he can and insists Liz comes back too. That’ll teach you for lingering Liz.

Back in and Sugar asks “Are you a control freak Liz?” “NO” she bellows. Jo bitches none stop and I’m convinced she will talk her way into getting fired. However Sajan makes a classic mistake of taking himself too seriously (“Liz was making my job harder as a Director –I have a PHOTOBOOTH business and I understand creativity”). Sugar does a double take (“There’s no creativity in that!” Sajan “There IS” It’s the magic pixies drawing all those faces).

James is equally wanky (“I took a risk and let people be inspired to do something creative”). Oh FFS.

Jo shouts over Liz. “Would you like me to speak or would you like to?” Liz offers. “I’ll go” chips in Jo. Oh love calm down.

Jo’s defence is “I’ve done a lot of DOING”. So ner.

James insists he earns 200k a year. “What do you need my £250k for?” Sugar asks. James insists he’s not a fibber just fucking amazing and with a 600foot penis. Plus he does numbers and can do anything Sugar wants him to if the mutha will just smell his cheese.

Sajan now has switched to acknowledging he has made and learned from errors on the creative side (that was quick) and HE IS SUGAR’S BUSINESS PARTNER (attempt Jedi mind trick).

Jo goes SHOUT SHOUT SHOUT SHOUT and I can’t be bothered to write it down. I wish she was less shouty.

It’s time for Sugar to pretend to deliberate, so he sees Liz as a control freak, Jo as confrontational, James as weak. And then he sacks Sajan. Which makes me sad. Still when he wins the Palm D’Or next year Sugar will be doing the Face Palm D’oh.

Sajan is gutted in the taxi of doom. I’m sad too. Back at the house Liz looks rattled and Jo looks ANGRY.

Next week. Fuck the candidates. There’s cute dogs. AWWWWWWW!

FLAWED HEROINE: Elizabeth

LIKING:  James, Sarah, Harrison, Andrew

ADORABLE BUT SCATTY AS: Anisa

MUST HAVE A WORLD DOMINATION BUSINESS PLAN: Charles

I Do NOT LIKE: Jade, Michaela, Joanna, Bushra

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 5 and the teams are summoned to Lord Sugar’s old primary school in East Lahndan. All the girls think everything will be less arguey without Siobhan and promptly have a proper big argue.

Lord Sugar announces that he turned 70 this year and therefore demands gifts of nine items marking the millstones er milestones of his career. The team that get the most and  spend the least win. Any items not bought incur a fine based on their value.

James joins Graphene and Jo has to manage them.

Sajan puts himself forward as a Lahndaner to lead Vitality. Charles also throws his hat into the ring as he has “negotiating skills” and everyone rolls their eyes. Michaela backs Sajan as he is “dead good”. Everyone agrees as he is not Charles.

Jo flails in her first meeting. Bushra sub team leader as she is from Lahndan. Jo thinks both Elizabeth and Jade like to undermine and the sound of their own voices. They all waste hours and achieve sod all whilst Jo desperately makes herself heard without actually saying anything.

The items include a retro car aerial, monogrammed hanky, material fit for a Lord’s robe. That’ll be stain resistant Scarlet Doe skin then, 100 bricks (yes Bricks), Roggelach, Amstrad computer (Charles: “It is not a current model” hahah”), items from 1947 and a birthday cake for Lord Sugar.

Sajan prioritises a route and sends the teams to the outskirts of the city where things are cheaper. Ross wants to group by themes but Sajan overrules him. They end up predictably flailing and Ross stops them all by a Turkish (Mazar) Supermarket, having figured out that Roggelach (which nobody can pronounce) is a Jewish food, to ask if they do any Jewish food. Erm no. Claude has his Jewdar on and says Charles should have known.

Jo doesn’t have her Jewdar on (“Is Lord Sugar even Jewish?” Everyone else:”Er yeah”).

James starts a special relationship with the Jewish baker they haggle by a microbe  down on Roggelach and birthday cake and asks the Jewish man “You don’t happen to have a Tottenham Hotspur scarf around do you?” “I’m a Tottenham man” confirms his new mate. Jo bitches at James afterwards in the car “One person needs to own the sale”.

Liz argues hanky monogramming bloke down from £30 to an embarrassing £14.50 after what feels like 5 years of my life. She then annoys subteam leader Bushra by suggesting their proposed route round London is too tortuous” I can come up with constructive ideas rather than being detrimental” snaps Bushra. Our Liz points out that the poor driver has simply been going round the same roundabout for hours and needs direction. Bushra gets testy. Oh Liz the knives are out for you.

Harrison goes all Indiana Jones learning that  THE ONLY AMSTRAD IN THE WORLD is in some woman’s living room in Finsbury Park, 30-40 minutes away from their current location next to a FUCKING BRICK MERCHANT THEY HAVE ARRANGED TO BUY BRICKS FROM. The woman informs Harrison that another buyer (guess who) has reserved the Amstrad, Andrew chips in (“I don’t recall there being many in circulation” and they’re off to Finsbury Park (Sarah points out there are other items to buy but nobody listens because she is a woman).

Harrison never gets beaten – not even to the last acorn!maxresdefault

It’s like Dave Allen’s coffin to the church race but much less exciting as the other team also head to Finsbury Park. I do enjoy Anisa’s one contribution to the show about going there and coming back the same way (“It’s what I’m thinking – in my head”).

Sadly they don’t get there at the same time and fight as Jo arrives first and argues the cheeky woman (who keeps using her “other buyer” as business ballast) from £120 to £88. James even asks is she has a Spurs scarf. Nope but she has an old Liverpool scarf. I bet they get fined as the Amstrad is stolen. (Note I am a Scouser).

Silly Harrison waits until he’s minutes away to call and discover his precious Amstrad is gone. He calls Sajan who agrees foolishly to take on sourcing the fossil computer himself in exchange for Harrison’s subteam getting the Spurs scarf. Madness! He ends up calling some Amstrad hobbyist who’s just getting his tea on and forcing him to trek to Canary Wharf – 45 minutes with only an hour and a half to go. It’s down to the wire.

Michaela haggles down on hankies but they are not monogrammed. ROSS DOES HIS BIT OF STRATEGY (“Are we making a mistake not getting the embroidery done with the purchase”. Michaela tells him to do one. ROSS GIVES UP ON STRATEGY. Michaela goes on to get a free sample of scarlet doe skin and something free from a junk shop lady who is just happy to be on telly so she’s brilliant at scrounging.

Bushra’s still got the arse on with Liz who has “a bit of experience with builders merchants” (we bet you do!). Bushra still insists on doing the deal and Liz cringes until she can take no more and starts talking builder (“You got a skip?”).  Bushra has a snidy whinge to camera as Liz and Jade help load the bricks into the car “She is an unprofessional cartoon character”.

Sarah finds the construction site is shut, but thinks quick and spots some builders who happily patronise her and waste time for Harrison’s subteam in some strange stereotypical triple bluff.

Sajan gets squeaky bum and has to abort his Canary wharf Amstrad deal with a now pissed off hungry geek to get back to the House of Lords by 7pm

James goes to his new JBF’s house (Jewish best friend – everybody needs one) and then gets fleeced for a Spurs scarf, after being offered one for £500 and attempting to get the £50 one reduced (“If you’re gonna haggle on 2quid I’m not gonna sell!” – I love this guy!). Graphene end up paying £30.

Everyone freaks out getting back. Graphene pick up Doeskin for a fiver. Andrew considers paying a spurs fan on the street for their scarf (“let’s face they’re not gonna win the league”).

Sajan’s subteam makes it back in time and is soon joined by his teammates – all relatively empty handed.

The other team moan about traffic. Poor Bushra’s stuck there at 7.45pm waiting for Jo’s subteam to turn up.

So it’s Boardroom Time.

Sugar does some weird Jew diss on poor Charles about letting his subteam go to the Turkish shop (“”Did you think scarlet doeskin was something you cut off your willy?”

Everyone likes Sajan. All the women on Graphene whinge about each other.

It’s all in the numbers

Vitality spent £82.50

Graphene spent £209.70 and got all the items but were fined £100 for being late

However Vitality failed to get three items valued at £347.53 – so their spend was £433.03 so they lost. HAHAHAH!

Karren emotion shames Jo for crying (“What’s wrong Jo? Tears of joy?”) like the utter pretend feminist she is. Graphene get to go to a 40s themed thing. Vitality do also as they end up in the Bridge Café.

Everyone thinks Harrison’s mission impossible was the problem (Harrison: “What can you do?”) and Andrew argues the “strategy was appalling”. At least Vitality HAD a strategy.

Back in and Harrison excuses himself by saying “London’s pretty big”. Ross claims he didn’t get an opportunity to contribute strategy. And Sajan cannily brings them both back in.

Karren thinks Ross is “more academic than a doer”. This is an insult. She likes Harrison for “working hard”. This is all how Brexit happened.

Back in and Harrison boldly argues his case as a loyal footsoldier like Bigwig out of Watership Down. Ross however self implodes as it transpires his CV says “I’m usually the smartest person in every room” and he backs this up by saying he’s an official genius. Bye Ross. Prat.

They all argue on and I can’t be bothered to listen cos Ross is clearly gone here. And yes Sugar ends up breaking up his tedious magic robot pointing to conclude that ”Ross you are a very articulate fellow but you’re fired”. SURPRISE SUR FUCKING PRISE!

Next week.  A tour of Bruges. A fairytale fucking city. Watch out for swans.

LOVING: Elizabeth

LIKING:  James (think he could win this), Sajan, Sarah

DARK HORSE: Charles

NOT SURE WHAT THEY DO: Anisa, Andrew

NOT KEEN ON: Jade, Michaela, Joanna, Bushra

TOSSERS: Harrison, Sarah Jayne

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 4 dawns with Harrison in a towel sucking in his beer gut and ironically being summoned to Olympic Way. In the shows most heavy handed foreshadowing ever there’s a shot of Harrison singing badly in the shower whilst the rest of the boys primp and Sajan puts on an annoying twat hat.

Jade wonders if it’s “Something to with sport”. Liz hopes it’s rugby (“I’d  love to tackle one of those boys and get him in a ruck”) and grins lustily.

Everyone steps onto the golden turf of Wembley and acts all inspired by a field enclosed in a big pie dish.

Spurs allow walnut headed ex-chairman Lord Sugar back on their turf where he looks wistfully at a big cup (as usual) and tells the candidates that the Football Industry in the UK is worth £4billion and the Women’s Footy FA Cup Final is due to be played -so the teams have two days to lay on a VIP hospitality box for 14 guests by negotiating a price with just one client (who can demand a refund). They also have to run a matchday stall outside the ground and the most profit wins. Blah de blah!

Vitality’s boys in classic school sports day are asked to choose someone from Graphene to balance up the teams and plump for sensible Sarah.

Siobhan doesn’t do football but does weddings so puts herself forward and there’s tumbleweed when it’s asked if anyone else wants to step forward so she leads Graphene (Jo, Jade, Liz, Sarah Jayne, Anisa, Bushra). They consider the entertainment choice (magician or singer) and everyone goes “it’s your choice Ms Team Leader” so singer it is. Bushra’s keen on avoiding being cheap so they go for high end choices.

Andrew takes charge of Vitality and promptly winds Michaela up by suggesting that there’s more money in men’s footy and therefore it’s more ace and skill and chockablock with twats.  Sarah (jokingly I hope) suggests they could use their own resource as entertainer as she’s heard singing in the shower.”ARE WE GONNA WIN THIS?” Andrew yells unconvincingly.  The boys duly descend on the food choice samples with orgasmic cries (“Are there any other options” burps Andrew) and having scoffed the lot plump for beef as sushi is for London twats and they’ve forgotten where fucking Wembley is.

Given the choice between what the VO man charmingly calls “budget sandwiches” or “upmarket halibut” Siobhan plumps for the latter and then puts Muslim Bushra in charge of numbers on ordering drinks when she doesn’t even know how many glasses you get in a bottle of wine. (Depends on the glass or the drinker).

Liz leads a subteam of Jo and Sarah Jayne to negotiate and offers to take the lead as “it’s more coherent if one person talks”. This is proved when she calls Siobhan to get their costings and the whole lot talk at once and haven’t properly done the maths and hang up. “What the hell was that about?” worries Liz.

Back at the stadium Anisa assures the others not to worry “all that information’s in good hands with Elizabeth”. Erm yeah. They have the worlds most awkward clients who start reminiscing about great times they’ve had in hospitality boxes with free bars (well doh). At least they don’t want an entertainer. To be honest they want to get pissed and not sung at. I can relate. Liz gives the realistic costs of £350 per heard and they say their maximum budget is £2.5k. In which case Liz says they have to have a cold buffet. In which case they say they won’t take the box. Oh dear, poor Liz is in a corner. She can’t promise a free bar but promises they won’t have a dry day and shakes on that, reassuring Siobhan “they shook hands on a nice day out”.

The boys view a Magician who impresses them with his witchcraft by making an ACTUAL TABLE FLY. Wow! Spellbound they ask him what he wants. £750 responds the cheeky warlock twat. They tell him he can fuck off on his flying table and start looking meaningfully at Harrison who faux bashfully decides to take one for the team and sing for them. (“I sang to myself in the shower now I’m singing in Wembley Stadium” Yes Harrison you have the Deluded-Factor).

Bushra does her best to rein in Siobhan’s spending (“Are you going to give them every single thing?” “I DUNNO!!!”), but Siobhan is insistent on ordering shit loads of wine (again who would complain?).  Bushra’s not sure but 20 bottles of wine for 14 people in an afternoon sounds a lot to her. Again I don’t think it’s her culture I think I just hang about with binge monsters who would get through that quite easily. On the other team Andrew has gone mega tight and orders canapés for 7. I hope it’s vol au vents and he has to cut the fuckers up.

Andrew’s very smug over brekkie for only spending £1360 but Michaela’s amazed. Andrew reveals his secret cheapo weapon is Harrison and Michaela is all excited (“I eard him singing in the shower”). Harrison looks pretend bashful. Maybe he also wees in the shower and is worried they’ve all been listening to that too.

Siobhan’s team are more worried and focus on selling high on the snack stall. Jade applies to sell and is put on the subteam.  Jo still hasn’t got over what a cow Jade has been to her (“Why didn’t you put yourself forward to negotiate”) and stupidly isn’t transferred to the box with Bushra, Anisa and Siobhan.

Equally Andrew gets into trouble for selecting James, Harrison and Sarah to join him in the box. Incensed, Michaela asks why and argues Sarah is good at sales, and Andrew explains that he thinks Sarah “suits the corporate side more”. Ohh burn! Cue hissy fit from Michaela because another woman got a compliment from a man. Sigh.

Liz is doing her damnedest to motivate her subteam but Jo has on the arse about Jade. “If you’re at all insecure…” Liz starts. Oh dear. “That was the wrong choice of words” she admits.

Meanwhile Siobhan forces poor Bushra to learn football facts to amaze their guests (“THIS IS SO BORING”) whilst Siobhan concentrates on cracking open the wine.

In the kitchen Andrew confesses to Sarah he’s ordered about enough canapés to satisfy an anorexic mouse. But he’s got it all in hand. He’s spent a fiver on cheesy wotsits in little plastic bowls to add that touch of class. They also have only about 10 bottles of alcohol. Good luck with that! Yep sure enough they end up having to make umpteen trips to the presumably massively expensive stadium bar to top up.

On the Popcorn stall Sajan is supposedly dressed as some popcorn but looks like a radical pillow. Michaela decides to pick on Charles (“I don’t trust him”) because it’s easy. Before too long Charles is selling though. At a completely different price to everyone else. Michaela can’t contain herself (“I’m gonna sell!”) and is soon stalking the pavement demanding people “goangetyourkidssome popcorn” and they are all too terrified to say No. Of course the popcorn she was meant to be cooking burns, but she’s always got Charles to blame. Everyone needs a Charles to blame.

Charles-Burns-on-The-Apprentice

I mean, look at him.

Meanwhile Liz stalks about demanding “WHO would like candy floss today?” (Love her) in between asking Sarah-Jayne who appears to have come as a sulky child to stop eating the candy floss in front of punters. She’s not just eating it – she’s picking bits off with her nails and looking frankly feral. Jo looks sad standing around in a pink afro which I am pleased to report she manages to lose (if I was her I’d have chucked it into the candy floss maker).  They choose to sell at £4 or 2 for £7 and whilst Sarah Jayne picks distractedly at the produce, Jo complains people aren’t happy with £4 and Liz insists they are (well she is managing to sell at that price so she has a point).

Sarah Jayne sidles up to Jo as they are consigned to candy floss making and mutters “She’s such a twat”. Can’t even be sure if it’s about Liz or Jade, but it’s probably the latter as although she’s not been very likeable hitherto she is a selling demon on this task. Finally Jo and Sarah Jayne get asked to sell too (“I get two minutes to shine”) and I bet their lovely happy demeanours help make the team a fortune.

Andrews team classily offer a champers glass of water to the poor preggers lady who has to rely on a bottle of fruit juice one of her mates has brought in. Serve her right for having sex before he has.

Poor Bushra is forced to confront the embarrassed guests with her “football facts” read off a piece of paper (“I’m not sure if any of you know Geoff Hurst” she wibbles) fortunately they all get back to getting pissed.

The mic squeals in protest as Harrison takes it and slaughters “My Way”. The guests take this as ironic comedy and sing and clap along so he gets away with it. It goes straight to Harrison’s head (“That song was worth £700).

Thank god the footy starts (Andrew “We SMASHED it lets go for a beer” oh stop trying to be all blokey mate).

Back in the Boardroom and Sarah Jayne and Jo try to stitch up Liz on them not being allowed to sell, but Jade backs up Liz’s argument that Jo had complained it couldn’t be sold for £4 (Jo “Sometimes Elizabeth you will say a lie” Oooooh. Liz “With respect that’s an insult on my integrity”).

Andrew gets stick for his sexism against WIMMINS FOOTY and Sugar points out helpfully that women have kicked the boys arses for the last three weeks.

Andrew insists that Harrison has “the voice of an angel”. Sugar thinks it’s more Frank Lampard than Sinatra (who writes these zingers?).

Michaela goes all quiet about popcorn gate and insists she’s “Just shy”.

So all a bit bollocks as per usual.

It’s Money time – will there be a by now unsurprising “twist”? Oh yes there will.

Whilst Graphene’s Candy Floss Stall made £352.80 and Vitality’s Popcorn only brought in £222.50, Vitality made £993.20 on their box and somehow the client didn’t ask for refund so they made £ 1215.70, whereas Graphene also didn’t get asked for refunds but only made £631.36 profit on the box bringing a total of £984.36.

It’s the first Boys (plus two women) win and it’s almost like it was scripted as they’re sent to the Oval to bat with Kevin Pieterson (and it turns out NONE of them know the actual rules of cricket).

Graphene languish in the Sad Café where Jo and Sarah Jayne have still got their sulk on and EVERYONE is blaming Liz (“I feel I’m  being made to blame for personal reason not business reasons” too right!). “Don’t roll your eyes while I’m speaking” she admonishes Sarah Jayne. “I’ll do what I want” comes the retort. Kids today eh?

Back in the boardroom and Sugar deduces it all went wrong on the phonecall over costs. Liz insists her subteam members were nodding to an open bar. Jo sulks that Liz wanted Jade to sell. “Good call” Sugar declares. Ha. Siobhan brings back Elizabeth and Jo leaving Sarah Jayne to skulk away Scot Free.

Siobhan’s getting stick for not understanding cost and profit when she runs events but insists she wants the best possible experience for her clients. I imagine she’s used to working on other peoples big budgets. Unfairly Sugar blames Liz for agreeing to the clients every demand when she was trying to limit it. Jo get involved so it descends into a classic bitch fest (Karren “Ladies please show respect to one another”).

Sugar does his classic summary of pretending he’s going to fire Liz and Jo (“You’re very argumentative haven’t seen you compliment anyone – you’re a difficult person” Ooof!), before firing Siobhan for overspending. Much as I have disliked Siobhan that’s a shit reason as they didn’t buy that much more wine than the boys in the end after all those trips Vitality made to the bar. Maybe she didn’t find best prices though. Jo’s card is marked and as she “blames everyone” she’s automatically elected as PM next week. Let the fireworks commence!

Outside Elizabeth lunges in for a hug on Siobhan like she’s tackling a rugby boy and it all looks desperately awkward as Siobhan takes evasive action.

Annoyingly Siobhan is quite humble and reasonable in the Taxi of Despair (“The two girls fought better than me. I am who I am and client satisfaction is more important to me”).

Back in the house and even Bushra has got all cocky and is accusing Liz of lying. And she wasn’t even at the sodding negotiation. Sajan is lapping it up (“Keep fighting. The more you fight the more we win”).

Next week to celebrate Sugar’s birthday the teams have to find items to mark his life and career. So that’s a pointless peerage ,an Amstrad phone and a great big Cockney barrow full of shit then.

LOVING: Elizabeth

LIKING:  James, Sajan, Bushra, Ross, Sarah

NOT SURE WHAT THEY DO: Anisa, Andrew, Charles

NOT KEEN ON: Jade, Michaela, Joanna

TOSSERS: Harrison, Sarah Jayne

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apologies as I missed the show tonight due to running the first heat of a comedy competition under the jolly banner of http://www.colchestercomedyfestival.co.uk (plug!) so I’m catching up and skipping any bits I deem too boring. This could be a short one! Especially after that early glimpse of Charles sans specs in his undercrackers with NO WARNING.

Lord Bollockhead summons the candidates to the Design Museum (I realise Michaela, Alisa and Siobhan in the cab there look like the Bratz Dolls have let themselves go) and wiffles on about past technologies (Amstrad email phone anyone?) before tasking the candidates to pick designer robots to sell to trade and toy robots to sell via retailers.

Michaela’s put in charge of the remaining Vitality boys due to the fact she has 4 brothers (“I’m buzzin! You all just er better behave!”). Poor Alisa is shouted down by Jade who becomes leader of Graphene cos she just thinks she’s it.

Both teams view the Gangnam style dancing wankbot 3000 and consider how to reprogramme it. James suggests making it over for the Over 60s (“As they spend more time in the house” Er what?). Jade chooses to market it for kiddywinks and picks Jo, Anisa and Bushra to design the prototype whilst the rest are sent to pick toys lead by Sarah (“I don’t want ANY negativity!” Good luck with that).

Harrison, who spends the episode a dip in a ditch away from looking like Mickey Rourke playing Charlie Bukowski,  leads the boys prototype subteam and whilst Andrew thinks the Over 60s would like a recipe bot, Ross thinks it should teach yoga. “Nice one!” declares our beardy greaseboy “And can it say please remind me to take my medication”.

Jade decides on a study aid that teaches foreign language with (as a “fun element”) karate. They should make it do Monkey Magic. Alisa’s asked to do the voice, and they keep telling her she’s doing it wrong which is bizarre as she sounds er robotic.

Both subteams have their heart set on a cute little Balancing Bot, but when Sarah says “We love it” they all pull blank faces. Liz pipes up and asks if kids could write their own code to programme the bot and Siobhan pounces on the chance to pick on the speccy lady by accusing her of being negative. And she should know as she spends most of the episode with a face like a sad horse that’s just eaten a thistle!

In the end Sajan and co’s relentless enthusiasm wins the Balancing Bot for Vitality and the girls have to settle for a (in my opinion cooler) flying robo pirhana thing.

The boys at the lab programme the robot which Harrison has called Jeffrii as “all new tech has an I in it”. Nob. Jeffrii is dubbed “Your helping hand for life” – they may as well have stuck with Wankbot 3000.

Alisa does a one woman brainstorming session whilst the rest of her subteam look concerned. “Family, pet name, Shrek!” she wibbles – truly the Ginsberg of her generation. Bushra ends the misery by suggesting “E-Bot”. “I like it!” pounces Jade. Poor Alisa looks sad.

Michaela’s subteam aren’t sure about Jeffrii, but don’t say anything and go on to design the branding whereupon Sajan suggests “Siimon” would look better. Whilst Charles and Elliot sit and stare into space, sorry “write down key words” Michaela’s pushed for time and they are left with, well, as Michaela puts it “It’s shit!” It’s even shitter when the subteam return with their bot who greets all with a cheery “Hello my name is Jeffrii” and they realise it’s too late to reprogramme him. James points out the pitch board also states “You’re helping hand for life”. Unforgiveable! Elliot gets in his blaming of Michaela immediately naturally.

Jade splits the teams swopping Liz for Jo – ostensibly to separate Liz from Siobhan (who can’t forgive the bespectacled one for “underminding the product”) – but it’s true purpose is to prove that Siobhan could drive even the sanest of candidates to the pit of  despair. I actually warm to Sarah Jane when she ends up letting rip and Siobhan’s constant carping “I’ve had enough! It’s like a drill going through my temples! If I didn’t laugh I’d probably combust!”

Jade’s first E Bot pitch goes well if saying random French words doing karate and falling over is a plus. For me it’s a night drinking Stella. Everyone chips in to help by talking over each other whilst the trade peeps look embarrassed.

Harrison really needs to meet some real over-60s as he does an “All the lonely people” pitch for Simon (“Hello I’m Jeffrii – and I love you very much!”).

tinribs

Elliot goes all Tory boy social conscience “It is a great travesty that the elderly are often the most lonely. Siimon steps in where society stops” (This is what the Tories are planning to do to the NHS). The Trade folk look even more embarrassed then tell Vitality to fuck off and the boys dump their “Siimon” pitch board in a skip.

The girl’s next pitch at Maplin seems better with our Liz doing a dance to demonstrate the funk capabilities of their bot. Meanwhile Siobhan struggles to sell roboflyingfish to some techie hipsters (one of them is even a Portuguese bloke on a screen) after they tell her from the start they aren’t interested and then she proceeds to blame everyone else for not helping her. BITCH FIGHT TIME as Siobhan is doing both Sarahs heads in (“Just ZIP it ALRIGHT!” Siobhan “Don’t talk to ME like that”)! Poor Jo is so desperate to avoid conflict and just move on.

Back in the Board Room and the boys have had to dig a scuffed Siimon pitch board out of the skip. Vitality made £5785 on toy sales and Graphene only made £1477 but this is too early for Andrew to look smug as Vitality sold sod all prototypes whereas the girls sold loads and make £57827 total and Liz does a little squee. Graphene are sent to celebrate by playing Robot Wars whereas the boys and Michaela malinger in Café Doom where Harrison’s still devastated about the name change.

Lord Sugar slags them all off for making over-60s sound too decrepit and Elliot tries to blame everyone else for the board (Karren “Er you did that!”) and take credit for sales (Harrison “Did you sell?” Elliott “Not specifically”) and Michaela brings them both back whereupon Elliot tries and fails to slimy shit his barrister way out of taking any rap. However Sugar’s not taken (imagine him not getting on with a legal professional!) and fires Elliot stating “your demeanour is not up my alley”, before telling Michaela to “speak up more”. Turn your hearing aid up Sugar!

Next week the teams have to put on a VIP hospitality box at Wembley. And Harrison sings. You have been warned.

 

LOVING: Elizabeth

LIKING: Joanna, James, Sajan, Bushra, Ross

WARMING TO: Sarah-Jayne

MEH: Anisa, Sarah, Andrew

PENFOLD: Charles

MIOAW: Jade, Michaela

TWATS: Harrison, Siobhan

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s week 2, it’s 5am and James already has his tie on to answer the phone, and it’s pink, teamed with a turquoise shirt and waistcoat like he’s going to a colour-blind wedding. The candidates are summoned to meet Lord Sugar in twenty minutes, whereupon the boys get out their hairdryers and aerosols and engage in more blowing and squirting than a German jazz film.

At the “luxurious” Stoke Park hotel, once a setting for Goldfinger, now with all the charisma of a sponge finger, the candidates are greeted by a stern looking Claude and Karren and … a duck. Disappointingly the duck isn’t the new star and the human tumbleweed that is Lord Sugar descends via chopper to task them with creating a bedroom that the hotel manager can sell to his guests at a premium price with two days and a £13k budget. Anything left after their costs will be treated as profit. So that’s a bottle of frabrese and a couple of throws then. Oh no, Sugar reminds them that as this is a Luxury Hotel charging premium prices, so their bedrooms will need to offer “something very special”, presumably the broom cupboard will double as a champagne gimp dungeon.

On Vitality whilst Ross is not a designer he’s used to working with them… but he wimpily only wants to be the sub team leader on design side, until Harrison strong-arms him into stepping up exactly like Harrison doesn’t. “We’ll have your back” he insists, looking round for sharp objects. Ross asks Jeff to handle the money, but Jeff’s keen to go on design “We don’t need maths.. I’m creative as well. How many bankers can break dance?” Sub-teams chosen, Ross tries some motivation. “Do you want to touch each other.. er high five?”. Silence.

The girls of Graphene are headed by Bushra, who tries to learn the team’s skill set before dividing them (against her). Elizabeth did her own house up from scratch. However Siobhan announces proudly that she has spent a lot of time in hotel rooms which just makes me imagine her having dead eyed jaded affairs with middle managers called Trevor at conferences.

Bushra appoints Sarah Jayne as subteam manager on site with Michaela and Elizabeth. She’s not happy (“Bushra’s stitched me right up and put me with the rowdy lot”). Elizabeth commences measuring the room, the tape measure trailing after her like poo from a goldfish’s bum. The other girls exchange snarky looks.

Harrison sizes up the room “Table there, fire there, view there” BOSH! Karren’s unimpressed as they don’t have a clue about costings. Elliot is obsessed by how the rest of the hotel contains the colour yellow. Don’t worry love it’s not a lib-dem conference.

Ross’s subteam have the flip chart out and get conceptual. Jeff wants to focus on a celebrity theme and goes all Accidental Partridge:  “Elton John… Tim Henman”. Monkey tennis? Ross prefers best of Britain and travel. Jeff is keen to demonstrate his worth by pretending he’s in charge “Shall we move onto our next piece?”

The sub teams “probe” the hotel staff with the girls learning the main attraction is the golf course, but sadly not realising that this means they will have to design a room that a boring tosspot will enjoy. The boys learn absolutely sod all apart from that the hotel gets guests from China.. AND Europe. Ross thinks this will tie into his travel theme. Elliot bangs on about yellow like he’s Chris fucking Martin.

What were the hotel walls like Elliott?

Image result for it was all yellow

Bushra tries to get some concept. I don’t know who suggests the “chocolate room” but it reminds me of a (also very Partridge-esque) story a hotel chambermaid once told me about a businessman who obviously had a feeding fetish who visited her hotel (a posh place in Suffolk) with a Rubenesque lady of the night and when she cleaned the room in the morning there was nutella smeared everywhere along with empty jars and a dog collar and leash). Jade would like a garden theme perhaps incorporating fir trees. I love Jo’s “Is there such a thing as a tree with fur?” Yes she was serious.

Bushra doesn’t want to constrict her subteam spending on furniture but is shouted down by Michaela and one of the Sarah’s (I think Sarah Jayne is the mouthy one but I can’t be sure. Too many Sarahs!) and ends up telling them not to spend over 5k. Whoops. They tell her to go for golf rather than landscape insisting loudly she needs to pick an idea so she switched to golf, pissing everyone on her own subteam off. Meanwhile Michaela insists that Bushra is a “bellend”. Charming.

Sajan’s been tasked with being creative and presents his “Mood Board” earning a wanker point. “I don’t see travel, just Big Ben and the Olympics” Jeff complains. Sajan insists that Chinese tourists would see it as travel, but Jeff points out that he is the only one there who has ever been a Chinese tourist. Ha. Never mind, Sajan, great art is never appreciated in it’s time, or as he puts it “I gave them the fruit – it’s up to them to make the juice”.

The next step is to get a poor beleaguered designer to come up with some wallpaper. Charles fancies an outline of the London eye, but it ends up horrendously cluttered until finally with minutes to go Ross scraps everything and asks the poor woman to do a free hand drawing in 30 seconds. She’s obviously worked out how shit her fee will be and hands him a cartoon of what looks like tower bridge or maybe a Satanic symbol. Sajan practically orgasms: “Oh that line just makes it all better!”

James’s subteam go mad in a leather fetishist furniture shop where they stick labels on everything they see without bothering to compare prices. Andrew and Elliott both keep a tally of costs and they both fuck it up, underestimating by nearly £1000. James manages to get the cost down from £12700 to £10725. I hope that designer lady enjoys the peanuts she made for that crap demonstration of her skills.

Elizabeth trails her subteam round with a notepad insisting they stay within budget until one of them snaps “Remember you’re not project manager!” (they all sound bitchy at this point). They stay within their £5k budget however Claude’s not happy that Elizabeth was obsessed with staying cheap. Erm that was the budget they were given?

The other subteam stare at their wallpaper a nightmarish green close up of a golf ball that looks like a huge insect’s eye. Jo thinks it just looks like bubbles and Bushra explains “this is how style is represented”. Jade just talks over Jo until the latter exclaims “Let me speak!” and it all gets a bit fractious.

The girls get painting. “This is pretty basic” Siobhan exclaims. “Just up and down”. We’re back to those middle managers. Elizabeth tries to demonstrate how to get a “smooth finish” but Sarah-Jayne snaps snidely “Just do your own and leave everyone else alooone”.

The boys room looks like a Mighty Boosh book cover or as Harrison puts it “like someone’s puked rainbow”. “Isn’t that the flag of Romania?” Andrew insists.

They all look for “statement pieces” to confuse and annoy guests with the girls choosing a bag of golf clubs. Jeff takes a shine to a life-size Scots guard. “This screams British to me”. Thankfully Ross is on hand “It screams no to me. It’s disgusting!”. Eventually they haggle down some leather (of course!) suitcases from £600 to £400. Ross is convinced they can charge £750 a night for the joy of staring at baggage. He asks Jeff to own the financial side of the pitch but not to mention their budget or any specific costs.

The girl’s wallpaper arrives (Elizabeth “Is this upside down?”, Siobhan “What is it?”, Michaela (proudly) “You never know what art is… I NEVER get it!”) and poor Elizabeth has to cut it up as she’s messed up the management and does sadly end up “faffling” under the intense pressure of her team and Claude staring at her. It’s finally up and the other subteam arrives asking what the fuck is on the wall. Bushra explains “It’s a piece of art”. “That’s what we were sayin.. it’s DEAD arty” Michaela says as arty is close to bellend in her vocabulary. Then she sees the golf clubs and cannot contain herself (“You’re taking the piss!”). They rush to finish the room all shouting with poor Liz chanting “too much chaos” in their midst. “We’re not shouting” Michaela yells “We’re just all talking at the same time!”

The Hotel Manager inspects the girls room like he’s the three bears (“this coffee table is too low to eat from.. this mirror is too high for a shortarse such as I to clock his tackle in without standing on the sofa bed”). He’s equally unimpressed by the boys room (“It’s just London, there’s nothing British”).

Ross pitches about heritage and Sajan proudly displays his mood board like a Year 2 textiles student. Jeff completely spills the beans about what they spent. Ross looks disappointed. Mind you he always looks disappointed. The boss complains that the tables and chairs are impractical. Sajan suggests it would be a mistake for people to sit in their room and the boss rightly points out “If I’m paying £750 don’t tell me how I should use the room!”

It’s Bushra’s turn (“Your consumers have a love for golf”) but never mind the alien ass golf ball mural, low table and high mirror – the girls have forgotten a chest of drawers. Where in fuck will the bible go? Sarah Jayne points out that the desk has drawers but the boss man wouldn’t want to put his undercrackers in a desk.

It’s boardroom time and Sugar dismisses the girls golf idea as “full of holes” and reckons they were too Argos on the furniture and the room too sparse (“West Ham’s trophy room has more in.” Ho HO!). Jeff sniggers at the image of their wallpaper but Jo points out she thought it was too abstract. Jade has definitely got it in for her “What was your solution? You just said that to cover your own back”. Asked whether Bushra was a good project manager only Jo says yes. Sisters!

Whilst the boys all back Ross as PM, Jeff gets stick for saying he didn’t want to do the maths. “I didn’t say that” he whines. “That’s exactly what you said” purrs Karren. Ross states he wanted quality but not to blow the entire 13k, but Karren dobs his lack of a strategy in too. Sajan defends his masterpiece “At the end of the day I think art is defined in different ways”. Sugar’s definition is “Diabolical”.

Money time and the girls spent only £5675 making a “profit” of “£7325” leaving a 56% margin, whereas the boys spent £11495 making a profit of £1505 and a margin of 12%. So the girls get stick for making “too much profit”. Business is confusing. Anyhow the designer thought both were crap and left the final say to Sugar so he lets the girls win and they get an undeservedly fun reward of a visit to the Rosewood Hotel to meet Gerald Scarfe (“Hi I’m Gerry! Who wants cocktails?”) who draws their caricatures.  “Mr Scarfe would you be happy to do me” deadpans Elizabeth and I love her again.

In the sad café Harrison’s moaning that Jeff only had one job: to do the numbers. Jeff’s feeling “pissed off that these people keep throwing me under the bus”. The man is bus obsessed.

Back in and Harrison insists “We delivered”. “WHAT?” barks Sugar. James insists Jeff lost it for them on pricing, but Ross owns up for the £750 a night price estimate. He chooses to bring Jeff back (“Nothing personal of course”) and James, a tad unfairly as he gets the blame for all of his subteam’s mistake. Jeff rightly looks worried. It transpires that on his CV Jeff calls himself a chameleon and at the boardroom table he comes across as wooden, even though he is “a very creative man with a background in break dancing” and he “wanted to go with a sports theme.. people like Novak Djokovic and Tim Henman”. James points out that he didn’t actually do anything creative in this task.

So it comes to the summing up and Lord Sugar gives about five minutes of filler pretending that anybody but Jeff will go, before he fires him (“I wouldn’t trust you with a hotel in monopoly”).

Jeff body pops to the taxi of despair where he still lacks self awareness, whilst Sugar rips up his CV and sort of marks Ross’s card (“I don’t know who you are yet” – IT’S WEEK TWO – THERE’S 17 OF THESE FUCKERS – I’M STRUGGLING TOO).

Back at the house, they’re all on the white wine in the garden. Andrew asks “How can you girls argue so much but do so well”. “We know how to separate the business and the personal” Jo explains whilst Jade (probably) gives her a hacky look.

Next week the teams sell robots and the girls are ROW-bots. Geddit? I don’t know why I bother!

LOVING: Elizabeth

LIKING: Joanna, James, Sajan, Bushra, Ross

INVISIBLE: Anisa, Sarah, Andrew

PENFOLD: Charles

MIOAW: Jade, Michaela, Sarah-Jayne

TWATS: Harrison, Elliot, Siobhan

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slightly late to the party of bellends I come due to the fact my new job requires me to occasionally attend meetings on a sodding Wednesday night – this, coupled with the fact I am in panto (darlings) this year and my meeting free Wednesdays may involve me prancing around with my adorable fellow middle aged luvvies and some well trained children, means I may struggle to keep up this series. But like Theresa May without an asthma inhaler, cunts to the front of her, shonky signs behind I will soldier bravely on. Bet I don’t get an ovation though.

And there’s 18 of the fuckers this time.. I swear they are breeding. And clearly, judging by the amount of spectacle wearers on display, the rest are masturbating. Anyhow they hand in their business plans to Lord Sugar (once an aspiring entrepreneur, now a walking prostate gland) who manages to crack a Brexit gag (“I decide who leaves”) which hopefully doesn’t mean this series will drag on interminably for the rest of my lifetime. Anyhow as per they’re all up for his £250k investment and Karen (what sisterhood?) Brady and Claude Littner are his ears and sarcastic rolling eyes on the candidates. One of whom (Elliot Van Emden no less a man who boasts about earning over £175k pa. Winner!) “assisted” with writing speeches for David Cameron. What a winner. Mind you there’s always feisty Michaela if you want to see ambition. Apparently this woman’s business has a £2m turnover. So what’s she doing on this show? “I don’t think I’ve peeked. I’m from Bolton”. Indeed.

Anyhow this week’s task is to make burgers to sell to the public and trade. Sugar makes them elect a PM there and then so the girls choose Sarah as their sacrificial lamb and the boys choose Danny who spends most of the task coming across like Rio Ferdinand in a K-hole.

Image result for apprentice danny

Nope definitely Rio.

In an attempt to frighten the candidates, Sugar beckons in a dead-eyed parade of all the past winners who haven’t sued him yet (“These are real successes”) and they all act as though he’s holding their children hostage.

Jeff suggests the team name “Warriors” for the boys and after much lackage of any other ideas all the boys are relieved when James pipes up with “Vitality”. This takes fucking hours by the way – it’s at least 5pm by the time they’ve chosen this. For the girls Jade comes up with Graphene, because apparently it’s harder than anything (If that’s the criteria why not pick Jason Statham?). So both teams sound like diet products that help you poo.

The girls decide to go for luxury, so that’s best of British beef and shitty chicken. Whereas the boys plump (or not) for healthy burgers; buffalo and er turkey.

The girls decide to send a sub team to Canary Wharf so Siobhan can use their sex thang on the “male dominated” audience. Karen is unimpressed.

Harrison, who clearly thinks he has the worlds biggest bollocks but comes across like a shouty David Brent sends the boys sub team to Brixton as it’s “up and coming”. Presumably his nan told him that.

They all have to get up at 2am. Losers.

”How’d you feel mincing meat this time?” asks Joanna. “Well I actually used to go out with a butchers’ son” confides Jade. Shades of Uncle Monty.

Another spectacles wearer is endlessly annoying management consultant Charles who decides, in the absence of any direction from Danny, that it’s his call when it comes to purchase prices at the meat market. So when Sajan gets a price, Charles jumps in on the last minute claiming “I negotiated that by myself”.

Poor Bushra asks if anyone wants “to pitch on chicken” (perhaps forgetting you only pitch when you sell”). Despite the supposed luxury aspect to the burgers she isn’t bothered about getting the best chicken and ends up purchasing some dodgy looking “natural chicken” from Holland (as opposed to cyborg chicken from Japan).

Sarah organises a production line in the kitchen with adorably potty Elizabeth (already likened by commentators to Olive from On The Buses) handling mixing. Whoops she’s added too much water but somehow rescues the ensuing quagmire by punching the remaining mince into submission. I love her. Unfortunately she is sent to set up stall at Canary Wharf with gimlet eyed sex traitor Siobhan (the sort of woman who describes herself as “feisty” rather than the more appropriate “psychotic), who promptly refuses to co-operate due to Elizabeth’s alleged “faffling”.  Poor Liz makes the fatal error of calling her “Sinead”. “If you don’t remember it don’t say it!” she fishwifes back. Liz would have my permission to griddle Siobhan’s face at this point.

Passive aggressive Yank Jeff tries to  inject some strategy into Danny’s approach (Danny: “Stop talking! Just keep making burgers! Arggh”). “We should have a pricing strategy” Jeff suggests. “We can do that over the phone” barks Danny cluelessly before rushing off to sell sell sell unpriced burgers, leaving Charles in Charge of the production line. “There’s no value us being on the streets at lunchtime” Charles says casually (WTF!?) “We can just go to a commuter place at 3pm” (Double  WTF!?).

The boys find Brixton Street Food Market empty after lunchtime and Jeff and Elliot sadly start hawking their burgers to ghosts much to Claude’s disdain. Finally one of them manages to sell a salad sandwich and they convince Danny to go to Shoreditch because none of them seem to have the slightest idea how London works.

Back in the kitchen Charles dicks around on a fisher price calculator to work out prices and phones the project manager. “Why are you calling about costing?” Danny screams “Arggh! Sell sell sell!”. The production team are informed that to call the Turkey burger “organic” every part of it has to be so, even the sodding breadcrumb that coats it. Not to worry – they get their sharpies out and cross out the word “organic” on all the labels. Cos that will appeal.

Poor Bushra is accused of being micromanagy by her increasingly catty team, so to prove she’s a team player she allows Anisa to pitch. Whereupon she freezes up and Bushra has to take over. And it all starts over again.

The girls chase around looking for quick sales, with Elizabeth resplendently yelling “COME ERE!” whilst hunting for punters, burgers in hand, on a bridge. Joanna goes for the easier option of flogging burgers for about 20p a pack, which, whilst less scary and more successful earns Karren Brady’s disdain.

6pm and they’re back in the boardroom.

Graphene seem fairly united, though I rather get the impression that Michaela has something against Bushra (or “Bushee” as she calls her). However the girls seem united in their dislike of Elizabeth because she has glasses and looks funny and doesn’t appear to give one fuck and they all gang up on her for the watery mince disaster which er wasn’t a disaster thanks to our Liz (“I had my hands in that meat and I MIXED IT!”).

Likewise Vitality are as one in their loathing of Charles (Danny: “Charles man you let me down!”).

Anyhow it’s numbers time and the girls of Graphene spent £374 and took sales of £611 for a profit of £239. The Vitality boys ended up with a “diabolical” loss of £114.

The girls are “rewarded” with a feast of vegetables disguised as meat products (I once saw a carrot like that) presented by a vegetarian chef. Only Bushra looks happy. Liz reminisces fondly about “Beating the meat” (“Let’s just say I worked out all of my anxieties in 5 minutes”)

In a Spanking New Café Doom, Danny tries to blame Harrison for choosing Brixton as a selling location, conveniently forgetting that if he had managed to get the team there for lunchtime they may have done better.

Back in the boardroom and Jeff tries to also blame Harrison for Brixton, but Harrison rightly points out that they should have left the kitchen quicker. Sugar adds “this is a task to do with profit. You got out at 4.15pm” whereupon Jeff promptly repeats “this is a profit task”.

Danny wants to bring Charles into the boardroom twice but has to choose Harrison who kicks off angrily. “If we have nine of me …” he snarls, beard bristling. “It was based on Brixton” Danny explains. “Location was the problem” Jeff echoes. Jeff is a prick.

Fear of an irate big beardy man causes Danny to switch to choosing Elliot. Oh Danny you are so doomed.

Back in and Elliott, who’s got an entitled Tory boy swagger to him, lays waste to Danny’s decision making and management skills in seconds. Elliot suggests Danny should leave for having no strategy.

It’s revealed Charles has actually listed on his CV that he only does what he wants and doesn’t listen to people. Bless his nerdy honesty. He has a proper touch of Jon Tickle, the bloke on Big Brother everyone in the house hated but the public kept in just to keep torturing the rest of them. Charles backs Elliott because that’s his best option.

Sugar starts laying into Charles for being disruptive but of course veers left at the last minute and fires Danny “with regret”.

Even though the loser’s taxi scene is filmed months later, Danny still hasn’t gained any insight “It should be Charles here but with a personality like that he will be sacked anyway in the next few weeks” he wibbles.

Meanwhile back at the house everyone is calling Charles a cunt, so it’s a delight when he comes back triumphant (the girls team look none too secretly delighted). “I will not stop fighting till I win this he exclaims” to their stunned faces. No Charles you WILL stop when team Vitality eventually turns on you Lord of the Flies style and roast your porky little body on the Argos patio BBQ.

Next week high end hotel makeovers go on. I wouldn’t let this lot loose with crayons.

Line of the Episode: “Yay we’re MINCING!” (the boys on the meat line).

GODDESS: Elizabeth

LIKING: Sarah, James, Sajan

SEEM REASONABLE.. UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE: Joanna, Ross, Bushra, Andrew

MEH: Anisa, Sarah-Jayne

HILARIOUS (in a bad way): Charles

BIT BITCHY: Jade, Michaela

TWATS: Harrison, Jeff

PSYCHO: Siobhan

PROBABLY NEXT CONSERVATIVE LEADER: Elliott

 

BYE BYE: Danny