Archives for category: The Apprentice

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?

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 10 sees our remaining six be-suited shitclowns assembled at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and tasked with creating and flogging their own brand of gin. “You may be wondering why you’re here” Lord Sugar muses. Another tenuous link perhaps? Ah yes “During the 18th Century” continues the be-knighted hairy walnut “The navy helped to make gin” (really?!) “and loaded boats with the spirit to pay their sailors”. (Er hang on wasn’t that rum? Oh whatever!).

He mixes the team so Nebula is now Alana, Jess and Courtney whereas Titans consists of Grainne, Fran and Trishna.

Courtney is still pretty cocky despite being the only chap left in the process whereas the remaining women dream of an all Y chromosome final. “Who’s going to win?” they chant in the car. “The girls!” they conclude because nothing screams ambition like infantalising yourselves.

It’s time to pick Project Managers. Alana points out she works in the food industry, but Courtney says ambiguously he’s from a “product background” (well aren’t we all?). However Alana insists she’s “surrounded by alcohol all the time” (I know the feeling), but Courtney buts in moaning he hasn’t had the chance to lead a creative task before. Alana says as we’re all thinking that it’s not all about Courtney, it’s about winning and poor Jess sits there dizzily (“I’ve got faith in both of you”) until Courtney forces her to pick who’s best and she wimps out and picks him. Courtney wants to do the branding with Jess so he can send poor sidelined Alana to the kitchen/distillery by herself. He then insists on patronising Alana a bit more by worrying she’ll even be rubbish hidden away from public view making gun. “This is very close to what I do” she points out and he backs down. They taste a load of gin and wastefully spit it out into a big bucket. Alana suggests that fruity flavours sell the most, and has the idea of “raspberry and pink pepper”, and Courtney meekly agrees. Maybe so he can blame the flavour on her later?

Over on Titans Grainne’s pitch for leadership is “I’ll be honest.. I’ve tried a lot of gin” (Irish contraception) and she’s in. Job done. She picks Trishna to go to manufacturing and sends Fran to do the branding all by herself. They all get their moneys worth on the gin samples, swallowing rather than spitting, and plump for a spicy flavour.

Fran’s concept initially seems to be inspired by the Naval College (“a naval officer travels the globe and comes up with exotic spice flavours in India”), but gradually gets more sinister as she suggests the product be called “Colony Gin” and there should be a “colonisation map” on the label (“It’s a shame we can’t get England on there” she tells the designer, who simply moves everything about so India disappears from the label and Africa dominates with the UK in the top corner, “Oh there we go! I actually got an exam in geography you know”). Is Fran’s dad Godfrey Bloom or something? It could only get worse if she goes for “Bongo Bongo” gin. A young woman clearly somehow stuck in the 1970s she also likes the idea of an orange and brown colour scheme on label inspiring Trishna to make an orange coloured gin.

Alana gets to work with Thomas the distillery expert who informs her that colouring is frowned upon in the gin world (racist) and that raspberry is not a usual gin flavour. Undaunted she comes up with her own recipe adding yet more raspberry as Thomas looks worried.

In the distillery Grainne is starting to get a hot flush whilst sampling yet more gins as she and Trishna embark on a giggly gin bender (watched by an unimpressed Karren) whilst poor Fran tries in vain to call them to get the ingredients and alcohol percentage to go on the label. She ends up (“pissed off”) having to go with her own ideas and only by the time Project Manager Grainne finishes “making” gin (“I just need to sleep”) well after the deadline for branding does she realise she’s missed 19 calls. I now think every customer services department in the UK is getting pissed on gin whilst we listen to Greensleeves.

Meanwhile Grainne and Trishna have gone all “Gin Lane”600px-beer-street-and-gin-lane

Courtney’s “creative genius” shines through as he comes up with “giin” (the two is represent two people apparently because Courtney is all about ego). His next thought is spelling GIN “with an X”. Jess restrains the urge to shout “wanker” and asks what the X means. Apparently it’s a secret. Wanker. He fails spectacularly to make a decision despite Jess’s urge to “choose yer concept”, but eventually plumps for Giin making out it’s Jess’s decision as boardroom ballast. Apparently “giin” will be all about “drinking with friends”. Radical! What about the ever growing lonely alcoholic market eh? When they break it to Alana she thinks it sounds stupid and Courtney slams her down “just focus on making giin” (yeah shut up and get back in the kitchen I mean distillery!). He then tries to get her to make the gin pink. She explains this is not acceptable in the world of gin (apart from pink gin obviously but I think it’s to do with using non natural colourings) and Jess fortunately backs her up. Courtney then whinges that the gin doesn’t taste like raspberry when it arrives whereas Alana at least has the grace to decide to pitch like a beast for “giin” despite thinking it sounds like something a “toosser” would come up with.

At 7am both Grainne and Trishna look peeky as Fran breaks it to them that there are no ingredients on their label (“If you don’t like it tough!”) and Trishna descends into a depressive fug whereas Grainne tries to look on the bright side (“I know it was a mistake but”) by making sure Fran and Trishna take the difficult first pitch whilst she gathers customer feedback (and someone finally points out the “negative connotations with the word COLONY”).

Courtney seems to want Alana well away from the pitch and decides she should do consumer testing until she stands up for herself and Jess agrees to mingle with the plebs (who state they would prefer a pink label). In the car Courtney asks Alana about the pronunciation of giin (jiin) again and she clearly winds him up by getting it wrong. I like Alana.

First pitch of three is to pretend posh offy Majestick. Courtney struggles to erect his easel and stumbles over his pitch (Claude “Courtney is incredibly boring”) giving Alana little chance to speak. He’s obsessed by the word “concept” (“The concept is we are three er friends” “Why’s there only two ‘i’s?” “Er”, Alana “We didn’t bring her with us!”). The Majestick panel don’t taste the raspberry but decide it’s “different” which could be good (or shit).

Jess arrives and tells them to mention the label colour from the consumer research in the next pitch because she’s desperate to have some input. Courtney insists he doesn’t want to add doubt and Alana reiterates “do not bring negatives up in a big pitch” leaving Jess thoroughly “fuming”.

Whilst Trishna clanks around like bottles recycling day in a middle class suburb Fran pitches about “the colonies at the height of the British empire” and Trishna mentions the Colony gin contains “grains of paradise” which sounds like a friction rub you’d buy from Anne Summers. Majestick like the taste but hate the colour. “Is it from the orange?” they ask. “Oh yeah it’s utterly natural” fibs Trishna despite it looking like radioactive hobo wee.

Somehow Courtney gets to choke through another pitch (oh yeah he’s PM) to Tesco. Jess still wants to mention the market research and promises not to be negative honest (“We DID realise from consumer research that it makes sense to use a pink colour in the branding”) and everyone gets a bit carried away (Alana in the post-mortem “It was a bloody waffle off!”).

Tesco are even less impressed with Colony and don’t enjoy the drink even when still pissed Grainne extols the virtues of “Jupiner sorry Juniper”, pointing out it’s the same colour as a certain “Scottish soft drink”. “We could take the colour out” offers Fran prompting Trishna to declare that NEVER NEVER will they take the orange out of Colony (“Take away our colour take away our brand”). Trishna blames Grainne afterwards for not mentioning a woman who “didn’t drink gin” and said she enjoyed it in order to escape during the market research (“That was a key quote”) and Grainne gets consigned to a separate car whereupon angry Trishna gets poor Fran to phone her up and tell her the pitch wasn’t “structured” enough. Grainne gets all angry fishwife (“WHAT?! This is sounding a bit patronising!”).

Jess pitches to the third client “Barworks” (me neither) and Nebula work quite well as a team. Barworks bloke even enjoys the flavour (“It’s got just enough raspberry”) until Alana almost blows it by presenting them with the uninspiring (“Raspberry eruption”) cocktail they’ve clearly devised to disguise ginns failings which barworks find too “gimmicky” (“It says Halloween to me. It’s ruined it for me”).

Nobody understands why Colony is orange as it doesn’t have a picture of Willy Wonka and the Oompah loompahs on the front. (“Nobody wants to order a gin and tonic and it come as murky dishwater” – or berrocca wee) and Grainne insists it doesn’t change the flavour. “Then why are you adding it?” ask Barworks and Grainne says it’s a “natural flavour”. “What?” “Er like a er food colouring”. Whoops! Barworks are tearing Colony apart and start on the geography of Fran’s map (“You look at the bottle you think Africa”). “India’s at the top” Fran tries gamely and they laugh at her.

Outside a twitchy Grainne takes delusion to a new level insisting “They didn’t say they hated it – we could still get sales”.

In the boardroom Karren grasses up Team Titans lushy ways (“The spit bucket was empty”, Grainne “We were researching gins”, Sugar “You must have been as researched as a newt”) and Grainne is forced to admit she didn’t take Fran’s vital call as “we left our phone in a separate room”. Was that cos you had too much gin?” asks Sugar and Grainne splutters meekly. Grainne then complains that “Fran was questioning my ability to hold a conversation in a room” and says she found it “Underminding”. Sugar sighs and turns to Nebula.

“Courtney you was PM” (“Yeah” sighs a long suffering Alana). Giin gets some stick although Courtney maintains not knowing how it’s pronounced is a talking point. Karren pounces “It’s good if you don’t know how to pronounce your brand?” but Courtney bats her away quite well (“Well Nikey or Nike”). Courtney’s pitching skills come under scrutiny (Courtney “You don’t get much time and it’s a new product” and boohoo everybody else is in the same boat) till Claude asks why he didn’t just get someone else to do it and there’s nothing he can say.

Anyhow results time.

Tescos brought 1200 bottles of Giin for £20400 (how fucking much?) but didn’t order any Colony cos it was too fucking orange for even their Essex branches.

Majestick ordered 240 bottles of Colony for their racist punters making £5280 but didn’t order any giiin because it sounds too foreign.

Barworks ordered 2000 bottles of Giin for £51000 (which sounds like a rip off when you look at what Tesco paid) but didn’t go for Colony at all.

So Nebula made £71,400 and Titan only £5280 and Alana and Courtney have to strap Jess down to stop her doing a victory dance. nebula go on a helicopter ride where Jess and Courtney big themselves up and Alana looks on the verge of vomiting.

Grainne looks frozen in horror as they leave to Sad Café where Grainne tries to blame everyone else and has a proper aggressive go at poor Fran like a nasty drunk “You PHONED ME 5 minutes before a pitch saying YOU’RE INCAPABLE” (er no she didn’t say that). Trishna goes very quiet – she knows she’s done bad.

So back in and Frances learns the difference between India and Africa (“I know now – India’s underneath” “No that’s the South pole”). Sugar points out that the most successful pitch didn’t involve Grainne and finally Fran is vindicated as it’s pointed out that Trishna got her to make the call (“She was just the messenger” , “Er I apologise, I didn’t realise”).

Frances gets stick for having lost 8 tasks but gamely points out she was only in the final three once before and won big as Project Manager.

Grainne blames Trishna for being moody on day 2 (“I didn’t go to market research with a horrible face” Trishna “It didn’t affect my performance” Claude “er what about your team’s performance”) and Trishna and Grainne launch into talking over each other until I’m begging for all of them to be fired. Sadly Lord Sugar blames Trishna too (“The colour was down to you” – Racist!) and fires her. Somehow Grainne survives.

In the Taxi of eternal regret Trishna thinks he’s made a big mistake. I agree if only because Trishna was clearly way more competent than Fran and Grainne – but that’s the curse of gin.

Back in the house Jess is singing a little song “3200 units please 70 grand in the bank”. If she doesn’t get fired next week someone MAY smother her in her sleep. “Shall we have a gin and tonic” she asks? “No a jiin” corrects Courtney. Oh fuck off.

Next week it’s the interviews round. Surely this is payback time for Grainne?

Liking: Alana. I want her to win which means she probably won’t

Liking with gritted teeth: Jess. She’s mad she is.

Next leader of UKIP: Fran

Weasel Boy: Courtney

She scares me. A lot: Grainne

Well I’m back away after missing last week’s episode due to gigs and a cheeky work jaunt over to lovely Lisbon, but it looks like I missed a corker in Week 8 as the teams had to put on ticketed entertainment, with ANGRY Paul’s team’s Casino night dying the death due to Jess promising punters hot food and Paul bawling her out in front of confused hungry people whereas Dillon went full on Bangkok showbiz impresario (“My vision has a sparkly grotto feeling”) hiring bored looking mermaid prostitutes to do a song and dance routine whilst releasing ping pong balls which somehow achieved 100% customer satisfaction. ANGRY Paul finally lost the plot by snapping at Lord Sugar and unsurprisingly had to sling his hook and go back into cage fighting or whatever it is he does.

So onto Week 9 and as the contestants appear to be having a relative sleep in at 7am of course Claude and Karren turn up at the door whilst everyone scuttles about in their pants. Courtney hasn’t even had his morning tea so does that classic gambit of offering Karren a cuppa in the hope of grabbing one. “No” she bitches sternly “Get down here so we can get on please!”

Claude makes them all put headsets on as though he’s about to execute them, but it’s actually Virtual Reality and through the wonders of technology a slightly slimmer looking buzzing Lord Sugar hologram says “Help me Obi Wan You’re My Only Hope” – or at least welcomes them to “the future” (if you live in the 1990s) where Virtual Reality is the “new” big thing in global gaming and instructs them they have to design a new VR game (in 3 days as opposed to the years these things normally take) and pitching it at Comic Con whilst remembering that the brand is key.

Karren points out that Sofiane and Trishna’s business plans are both in technology so Sofiane is moved over to the Titans (with Dillon, Alana and Grainne) whereas Courtney is shifted over to Nebula with Trishna, Jess and Fran.

Trishna puts herself forward to Project Manage as she is an IT Recruiter and used to play a lot of computer games. Courtney reckons she should be alright “as you’re not competing against me this time” (Karren winces).

Over on the Titans Dillon reminds himself that he is an illustrator, but Sofiane reckons he once sold one of the very first virtual reality headsets in the country and takes over much to Dillon’s chagrin (“I could have led this team to victory”).

Nebula brainstorm and Fran points out that the target market is guys aged 15 to 34. She likes the idea of a “Martian adventure racing through the galaxy”. “I may sound like an idiot but what do Martians look like?” asks the ever literal Trishna until the more imaginative Jess points out they could just “create one”. Radical! Courtney just seems happy with everyone else taking the responsibility for decisions and is put in charge of concept and branding with Jess.

Dillon has a medieval concept of defending royals in a castle but Sofiane reckons you could “just play that on a normal games console” before suggesting playing puzzles. Cos you couldn’t just do that on a console or erm your phone. Dillon immediately comes up with yet ANOTHER colourful sea based idea (ANY excuse to get back into that sailors outfit he’s clearly brought from home specially) and suggests putting together different pieces of coloured shells. Alana agrees that underwater themes are “visually beautiful” and points out that she knows nothing about gaming so Sofiane recognising her arty fartyness immediately puts her and Dillon on ..erm…game creation rather than branding. Even Claude is shocked. Dillon keeps asking Sofiane “Are you sure you’re happy? I work in branding” but Sofiane is incapable of listening “Stay positive, I’ll call you and we’ll go through that again yeah?”

Jess and Courtney get in touch with their creative side which appears to have been inspired by the Mighty Boosh (Jess “He could have lost his pet” Courtney “Yeah it could be a badger!” Jess (sings) “Spaceman Sam and his cosmic badger!” Courtney “Galactic Gary!”). I want what they’re on!

Dillon works the underwater theme around a hunky “Atlantean from Atlantis” who likes to colour coordinate shells. Alana’s not sure who it’s targeted at (gay men with short attention spans?) pointing out that “If it’s a puzzle it needs to be a puzzle”, but Dillon’s carried away with his own creativity. She suggests at least an element of danger with jellyfish dropping onto the player but he thinks it’s “too complicated”.

Fran and Trishna decide to make their game more exciting with a timing element “If you run out of fuel you die”. They’re less impressed by the idea of the lost “astro badger”. “Why a badger?” Trishna asks and Courtney explains that “a cat or dog is not as exotic”. “We want people to experience something they wouldn’t normally” adds Jess to which Trishna deadpans “Yeah which is why it’s in SPACE!”

For some reason the branding subteams have to put on stupid panto style clothes relating to their game (I guess for Comic Con but seriously these clothes are shit and the sight of Sofiane’s little gut poking out from his not even maritime elf tights and tunic is now seared into my retinas). Meanwhile Jess wears a star outfit which makes her look like a sparkly sperm and Courtney dons a spaceman suit (“Does my bum look big in this?” “It’s an improvement actually”). They riff on game names rejecting”Badger Hunt” immediately even though it would probably go down well with farmers. Finally they decide on “Gordon’s Lost His Badger” which royally pisses Trishna off (“If we lose this task because of that name I’m not going anywhere”). She and Fran force their games designer bloke to create a frighteningly over complicated universe full of planets comets and space juice.

Sofiane and Grainne have creative block (“Ocean kid? Aqua kid?”) until Sofiane hits on “Coral kid”. “You know what coral is?” he asks Grainne. “Do you know?” she ripostes. “Yeah it’s like.. under the sea.” So is sewage Sof. He does a crap drawing whilst Grainne suggests the name “Magic Shells” which he latches onto in the absence of any other ideas. “It’s good.. a four year old would know what it is”. Uh oh. Remember that target age range… oh I guess you don’t. He tells Dillon who manages to stop himself saying “What the fuck” and turn it into a drawn out sarcastic “Wooooow… are you serious?” “I don’t know if these shells are particularly magic” Alana worries, adding later that the idea is more “tragic”. Sofiane then settles down to patronise his tame designer (“Do you know what I mean by 3D?”) and gets him to add a helmet to the supposedly Atlantean “Coral kid” (why not just give him an asthma inhaler and be done with it?) whilst Grainne just smiles and nods

Nebula’s branding is space badger obsessed featuring said creature with a rainbow mohawk and no sign of “Galactic Gordon” despite his name being in the game title. Fran’s devastated “It looks like an armadillo! the badger’s got a QUIFF!” before they both demand “Where’s Gordon?!” making me really hope Brian Blessed is watching.

At Comic Con Dillon’s not happy with the Coral Kid (“It’s more cutesy and less Atlantic hero which I would have liked”) and people testing the game all reckon it’s aimed at kids.

Trishna disses “Gordon’s Lost His Badger” claiming it lacks imagination and vision. Jess disagrees but Trishna reckons that doesn’t matter as she’s PROJECT MANAGER which prompts Jess to clutch an imaginary handbag and go “Oooooooh!”. Jess really wants to pitch (“I’m good at captivating a room”) but Trishna’s still peeved at being disrespected and tells Courtney to pitch. Unfortunately he’s happy for Jess to do it. None of the test audience can actually play the game due to lack of instructions and over complexity. Dillon and Sofiane decide to spy on them in their not at all fecking inconspicuous non-aquatic elf outfits and do mega muwahahahs at how rubbish the game looks.

Trishna actually gets on better with Jess when they work on the pitch and Jess brings the narrative to life. Unfortunately in front of the experts and 300 punters from Comic Con Jess comes unstuck at first (“Ooh I’ve got a squeak in my throat”) and loses the magic of her Cosmic Badger beat poem (which if William Shatner recorded it would become a cult amongst stoners everywhere). She gets her mojo back when she’s off the notes (so maybe she just realised wisely that the poem was crap) and answers the experts questions well explaining that Gordon isn’t on the branding as “the badger is the key character” and that although an expert describes the game name as “a cry for help” that it’s randomness makes it unforgettable.

Sofiane plans to open the pitch then pass it to Dillon to tell the story. He wants Alana to demonstrate the game (i.e. wear a mask and not say anything) whilst Grainne explains. Alana’s not happy being sidelined when she worked on the game so Grainne offers to demo. Somehow Sofiane and Dillon have escaped their elf garb and wear suits whereas the women still have to dress in their stupid seaweedy Disney gowns. Sofiane explains that the “ocean is the most immersive place” (no shit) and gets Grainne to start the demo out of order with his instructions completely throwing everyone and turning the pitch into a farce as Grainne (who clearly hasn’t given the game a test drive beforehand) squeals and flails about and Alana blushingly tries to explain what’s happening. Dillon chips in to explain the coral kids mission before handing over to Alana whoops no Sofiane to finish the pitch. One of the experts reckons magic shells “sound like hallucinogenic drugs” (surely the Badger game is the more obviously trippy one? I’ve still got the Badger Mushroom song in my head thinking about it) and Alana tries to rescue it by claiming the game is fun for the whole family “round together” and points out that a kid has offered to create a comic book based around the “Coral Kid” which almost undermines the attempt to suggest it has a wide age range appeal.

Anyhow the audience vote for their favourites whilst the experts give feedback.

In the Boardroom a slightly more realistic Lord Sugar expresses confusion over Astro badgers whereas Karren just seems disappointed the badger is too small (apparently the expert said it needed “more badger”) and takes her anger out on Courtney by outing him as looking “terrified on stage”. However she does tell Jess that the experts found her “really engaging”. Don’t trust her Jess – she’ll turn on you.

ruth-badger
“More Badger Vicar?”

Sofiane bigs up Dillon’s creative genius and Grainne for coming up with “Magic Shells” (big wow!). “What did you do?” asks Sugar. “I came up with The Coral Kid” says Sofiane proudly, plummeting to earth as Sugar again points out the target age range of 15 to 34. Alana demonstrates the game (Sofiane muttering “Go for it Alana” whilst Dillon talks everyone through the narrative “Here’s a bad guy. he says ouch” *bad blob on screen says ouch*).

Sofiane admits he screwed up with the pitch order and there’s genuine tumbleweed when Sugar asks if Sofiane was a good PM. “I think we made a good game” Alana says brightly after an embarrassed pause.

Anyhow 5 of the 7 experts said they would invest in Gordon’s Lost His Badger (with some tweaks. Maybe changing Lost to Found and Badger to Uzi) . None of them went for Magic Shells. And the audience overwhelmingly voted for the badger (222 out of 300).

Nebula are sent to “Flavour” an “Immersive Dining Experience” which looks like a great place to go to if you’re an infantile tosspot with a stupid beard or something as you get to eat in a dungeon then jump around in a ball pit. Trishna’s practically orgasming with excitement at winning and rewrites history to one where she backed her team the whole way. Courtney is unimpressed.

Café Doom looks better than the fricking treat quite frankly.

Back in the Boardroom and Sofiane learns that kids games are the smallest market in Virtual Reality gaming. Sofiane has to admit that he thought of a kid as a character as opposed to Dillon’s “dynamic hero”. It turns out the experts hated the brand and Sofiane reckons it’s because he’s no cop at drawing. “You had access to a world class designer” Karren says coldly – surprised she doesn’t add “No not YOU Dillon” there. Sofiane claims nobody told him it was a bad idea and to be fair to him he probably didn’t hear the repeated times Alana and Dillon said just this (not Grainne – she was happy for him to screw up this task). Dillon also claims nobody else gave any other ideas (apart from Alana eh?) and refuses to accept that he ignored Alana’s ideas (“I’m VERY supportive but I had to prioritise the gameplay”) whilst still standing by his game as “creative” (whoops!).

Sofiane after more deliberation time than an Oxbridge team get from Paxman on University Challenge brings back Dillon and Grainne so Alana gets to scoot back to the house. He explains Grainne just stood by watching (“You’re a make-up artist but you let me draw”) although she probably saw no point in even trying to challenge him and then says he would have made a better game than Dillon (Dillon: “Hang on! 30 minutes ago I was a ‘creative genius'”).

Dillon gets all emotional about his struggle as a middle class white gay man “I had to leave a small town and go to the city.. as a gay man I came up with a lot of adversary” (I think he means adversity but maybe he had an adversary who was also a homophobic jellyfish which would explain his resistance to Alana’s ideas). Sugar points out we all have faced difficulties as Sofiane came to the UK by himself and taught himself English and Grainne erm er is a mother. Everyone thinks Sofiane should be fired but because he hates a sob story he fires Dillon (with “regret”) for “not listening”. There’s five minutes left so he fires Sofiane too (boo) and I’m hoping for a treble firing but somehow Grainne dodges the bullet.

In the Taxi of Eternal regret Sofiane’s shocked but determined to “Achieve my dream and build my empire”. Whereas Dillon is bitter but determined to “Get back to Dublin, get a spray tan and conquer the magazine world”.

Poor Jess waits for Dillon back at the house (“I will be gutted if Dillon goes”) and on Grainne’s return keeps looking behind her for her white haired Irish GBF until her little face drops and she realises he ain’t coming back. Awww.

next week the teams create gin. I may well drink some.

Liking: Alana

Warming to again: Jess

Unconvinced by: Courtney, Frances, Trishna

Secretly Evil: Grainne

Bye Bye: Michelle, Natalie, Lovely Sausage Olly, Aleksandra, Mukai , JD, Rebecca, K, Sam, ANGRY Paul, Dillon, Sofiane

Week 7 sees the teams summoned to London’s only floating yacht hotel at the Royal Victora docks where grumpy Nooky Bear clone Lord Sugar informs them that as boating is worth £3billion a year to the UK (and probably even more to offshore accountants) that they have to get themselves to the annual boat show at Poole harbour and select products to sell – most sales win as per usual.

As Frances has been a perennial loser so far she’s selected to lead Nebula (Sofiane, Shouty Faux Geezer Paul, Northern Peggy from Hi di Hi Jess, Trishna).

K is made leader of the Titans (Sam, Grainne, Courtney, Alana, Dillon). Dillon’s warned by Lord Sugar that arty creative bollocks counts for nothing in the mean world of sales. K continues sharing way too much information by informing us that he even successfully Project Managed the conception of his own child (“I know the exact hotel room”) – and he’s straight to the point when dividing the team (“Does anyone know anybody who has ever owned a boat?”). Sam suggests that the task needs someone who has sold at the high end, which he had done, so K naturally ignores this and selects Grainne and Courtney to sell the top products whereas Sam has to come with him and sell to the public. “You made a tactical mistake” Sam moans. “Don’t take it personally” K insists. Of course Sam won’t – preferring to mutter doomily about how the pressure’s on Grainne and Courtney for the rest of the task because he’s skill and ace.

Over on Nebula Paul insists that he once pitched to the UK’s leading shipbuilder, so sensibly of course Fran selects Sofiane to go with her on the high end team simply because Sofiane says he’d like to and she’s worried Paul will punch him if they work together.

The public subteams investigate a range of tat for their stalls including a scary pen that doubles as a fishing rod (cue Jess screeching “I’ve got a big one!”), fish cushions (which Dillon of course loves as they’re “very kitch”), frog back packs, some weird flashers mack that is apparently a beach changing robe for the Mr Bean in our lives and sexist colour coded pink and blue snorkels (Paul insists bizarrely snorkelling is a big sport in the UK. Maybe he means “bog” sport).


bogsnorkel

K has no idea on what product to take (“Someone has to take a call” – erm the PM?). Alana suggests snorkels so he decides to take snorkels. But Sam likes the fish and says they’re “eyecatching”. “Yes they are!” K exclaims and goes for the sodding snorkels and fish cushions. They also have to pick a mid range product and have a choice between a “watersports board” which costs £399 and a stand up paddle board which they all agree is the easier product to sell. Alana points out helpfully after both suppliers have left that they should have asked if there were any special trade discounts. Jess does just this for Nebula and the vendor plumps for them – telling K he chose them because they negotiated a closing price. Oops.

The high end teams test drive a 20k speedboat and 16k Jetskis. Grainne and Courtney are very professional and get all the product information from the vendors. Sofiane doesn’t give a monkey about the specifications and just wants a Jetski because his brother used to have one and he wants to join the Romford Navy too (“It’s a toy!” he declares joyously, royally pissing off the vendor).

The next day Fran calls Nigel the Jetski man “Will you let us sell your jetskis in the morning” she asks confidently. There’s a long pause. “What model did you look at?” Nigel asks leadingly. She gets it wrong and he informs them that’s exactly why he’s going with the other team – losers! Sofiane takes it hard (“So you think it’s all based on specifications?” Nigel “No it’s based on knowledge”. Slam!). Frances doesn’t seem bothered by the outcome but decides if they fail the task it will be down to Sofiane “wallowing in self pity”.

At a rainy Poole harbour K prices up his items with Courtney’s help (which Sam ignores utterly selling at RRP because Sam knows best), whereas Frances gleefully accepts the RRP for all her stall tat. “I don’t want absolutely no negativity” she insists, English language manglingly, to Sofiane and Paul. She drags Sofiane off to decorate the speedboat they’ve been stuck flogging with bottles of champagne, because getting arseholed on bubbly in charge of a dangerous vehicle on the briny is exactly what appeals to posh people with money to burn. She complains that he’s not listening to the specification (“he’s like a child in a toyshop – he’s distracted so easily” and sits around looking sad whilst he makes tugboat noises and pretends he’s firing torpedoes. Meanwhile Courtney and Grainne test each other on their Jetski knowledge whilst millions of potential Jetski customers waft past them.

Dillon’s in his element hanging fish cushions artfully around their stall (“Would you like to come inside our little aquarium?”) whilst miserable wet punters shuffle by. Jess springs into Walter Mitty-esque action, bullshitting any customers she can find with non-existent family members (“My four year old has one and loves it”) and sales (“We’ve sold loads”). ” You can’t lie” Paul tells her… “Yeah good advice” she rolls her eyes (to be fair it is sales – she has a point!).

Poor Dillon’s struggling to sell his watersports board (“It’s extremely – er – floatable”) but seems to have got a pity sale from a woman who promises she just has to go and find a cashpoint (Dillon “It’s the charm of the Irish”) then disappoints never to be seen again, so Dillon makes a face like a child who has learned the truth about Santa before starting sneakily trying to muscle in on Alana’s sale (“That was MY customer”, Alana “Lying bastard!”).

K’s also struggling to make sales but comes up with a masterful strategy to shift the changing robe (“I’m going to take my trousers off right now!” – presumably so people will buy the robe to wrap around their eyes). “Do you think that puts people off?” a traumatised Alana asks Sam, “should we tell him?”. Sam doesn’t care as long as someone else gets fired (“Leave it another hour”).

Sofiane consistently cocks up the boat specifications with George their first posh twat punter and it’s up to Fran to go on about it having a canopy. “He wants it… I can read his body language” he insists as Fran looks at him as though he’s a fart in human form.

Courtney makes a feeble attempt to pitch to the people ignoring him (“It’s a lovely day for er jetskis”). They call the subteam to explain how hard it is to sell and Alana pulls a “we’re doomed” face whilst Sam noticeably (to Claude) doesn’t offer to step in with his high end skillz (“Lets focus on these boards…” sees potential customer “are you into watersports madam?” – customer runs away). There’s no way Jess is going to let Sam win the task innuendo competition though and she hits back by trying to interest punters in a “full facial snorkel” (kinky!). I’m surprised she doesn’t manage too crowbar in Seaman Stains and Master Bates quite frankly. She tries modelling the snorkel for effect but Paul tells her she looks “like something out of a Stanley Kubrick movie!” (more David Cronenburg surely?).

Things pick up for Courtney and Grainne when they pitch to a bloke who runs a Jetski training company who wants four and they pass him on to Nigel the vendor when he wants to negotiate a bulk discount, having done everything right. “I’ll take over” Nigel informs them and they are ecstatic.

Meanwhile Sofiane does a legs akimbo calendar boy pose on the boat whilst Frances tries to tempt customers with a “couple of extras” and they look worried she means Sofiane’s bollocks rather than free life jackets. “Are you happy to go ahead?” she asks “Go on – it’s got a canopy!”. “Yeah go on” says the silly rich man as though he’s buying a big chocolate bar at the WH Smith till. However the voiceover warns ominously that all sales only go ahead after credit checks by the vendors.

Poor Dillon’s luck doesn’t improve when he tries to bulk sell all the stock to trade at the end of the day and the shop woman buys one fecking fish cushion for her dog to chew.

Back in the boardroom and Frances does a big gulp when Grainne mentions casually that they may have bulk sold four Jetskis. Dillon says he took Lord Sugar’s comment about selling as a “challenge” (Sugar “It was”) before blaming the weather for his poor sales whilst insisting he “engaged every single person”

Alana’s asked what she did and she’s disarmingly honest “I stood by the waterboards all day”. K’s excuse for not selling is having “all this PM admin work to do”. Chinny. The Titans are asked if K was a good PM and tumbleweed ensues until Alana says bluntly he’s a not a good leader.

Over on the other team Frances suggests Sofiane was “quite excited by the Jetski” which isn’t enough for Karren (“It’s fair to say VERY excited!”) although her diss goes right over Sof’s head as he wistfully declares he “sort of fell in love with the Jetski”. Jess is pulled up on her porky pies and nobody bothers to ask what the frick Trishna did all day, although she does at least pipe up in support of her PM.

The subteams scores are in and Nebula sold £2580.68 whereas Titans only sold £188.90. But surely the high end sales will swing it. Er no it doesn’t matter as to Grainne’s horrified disbelief not one of the Jetski sales went through (she misses a golden opportunity to blame this on Nigel the sarky vendor man who took over the bulk sale) whereas somehow Frances and Sofiane shifted two speedboats giving Nebula a total score of £40480 against Titans £188. Frances is moved to tears of relief and gratitude which Karren like a complete fucking bitch points out helpfully (“Do you want a tissue Frances – are you crying?”) because for all her supposed feminism she doesn’t mind showing up another woman for showing vulnerability.

Nebula get sent to do rowing with one of the British double gold medal winning rowers (no, not those ones – one of the ones nobody has heard of apart from maybe an answer on Pointless).

Sugar dismisses the rest disdainfully like he’s Charlie Brooker (“Go away”) such is his rage at their world of fail. In the Bridge Café Sam starts smugly sowing his seeds (“Courtney and Grainne should be worried”) until Alana points out he didn’t exactly put his case “that strongly” which K grasps upon like a drowning man holding onto a watersports board (“If you had showed passion I would have selected you”).

Back in the boardroom and K admits it is a “very very horrible day in business for me”. Grainne and Courtney are accused by Claude of putting all their Jetskis in one basket and not touting for trade from passing customers. Courtney suggests that all the other tasks Titans won were down to him. Sam moans that the water board things were hard to sell as they needed to be attached to a boat (Sugar “You were at a BOAT show!”) and Dillon backs him up (“I’ve seen Sam sell”) until Karren slaps him down (“What are you his spokesperson? Why don’t you talk about yourself?”).

Dillon reckons K let the task down but K says “A captain is as good as his team” and is adamant his name’s “on the board” to which Sugar responds yes for shittest task fail evah, before trying to liven up the format by announcing he doesn’t even trust K to bring anyone back and firing him for being “a diabolical PM”. Oooh! K’s still living the dream (delusion) in the Taxi of Doom where he declares he will build his own billion dollar “unicorn” business (Unicorn because it is a fantasy?).

Grainne is asked to suggest one person to bring back and she poises her knife expertly above Sam’s back, complaining that he is “just gliding through the process” (pretty much as Grainne is doing). Dillon’s asked to choose someone else and he can’t bring himself to say anyone, coming precariously close to dooming himself. And then under pressure he suggests himself (Doh!) and Alana for being “weak sellers”. Karren and Claude both think Dillon is too nice and knows too much about cushions, but also think Alana needs to put herself “forward” (this is the same Alana who won her task as PM right?). Back in the room and Sam gets the most flack for disregarding PM instructions like a maverick and his repricing of sweets against Alana’s recommendation in the task she won is mentioned, which he denies. Despite it being on film and everything. Dillon isn’t doing himself any favours claiming he’s not at his best “selling twelve apples for a pound” (which is a freaking bargain by the way! Hope his business plan isn’t a greengrocers) and that he prides himself “on my talent”. Alana sees which way the tide is turning and admits she does herself a “misjustice” by clamming up in the boardroom. Karren says she suffers “from a lack of confidence” but for once adds a bright side “it’s a great shame as you have a lot to offer”. Somehow she survives as Sugar suddenly remembers she has run her own business.

Sam’s fed up with being “accused of being a silent assassin” pointing out that he “top sold” in every task. Dillon insists he’s “not just a nice guy but can be really aggressive” and tries to look hard. “I’ve created money from air” he adds but Sugar cuts him down “being a nice guy is not enough to win this process” before firing Sam for not being a team player (“It’s nice to have nice people in business so Dillon you can stay” – eh?!). Sam follows K in the Taxi of regret (it’s like Strictly Come Dancing tonight) but he seems reasonably upbeat.

Back at the house Dillon snarls it’s “No more Mr Nice Guy” – cue a clip of him dressed as a sailor singing shanties in next week’s task. I am Dillon hear me Rahhhh!

Liking: Dillon , Sofiane, Alana

Wearing thin: Jess

Unconvinced by: Paul, Courtney, Frances, Trishna

The real silent assassin: Grainne

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

Week 6 and the twelve remaining candidates laze around the jacuzzi at 2.30pm. Of course this idyll can’t last and they’re rudely interrupted by a call (and my eyes are rudely interrupted by the brain scarring sight of Karthig aka K in his swimming togs – oddly it’s Dillon who’s wearing a sensible jumper who’s asking other candidates if HE looks like Michael Jackson). They’ve got 20 minutes to get to the 69th floor of Shard. “So he’s taking us up the shard?” muses Courtney wistfully.

K’s concerned it will be a all nighter task “I don’t do hard physical labour”. “What do you do?” Grainne asks and instantly regrets it as he answers “I eat, I drink, I make love. That’s what I do”.

Up the shard, Sugar tells the candidates he wanted them to see the wonderful panoramic view of London “one of the most multicultural places on earth” because nothing says exotic like a view of Bermondsey. The candidates have to purchase 9 items (“Some foreign, some British”) with only a grand, some business directories and a map to help them (just think – next year they’ll probably need a few grand to afford imported goods).

Rambuttan
African Black Soap
A photograph they’ve taken of the London skyline at night printed as a poster
10 Robusto cigars
A tagine
A lengha
200 rainbow bagels
Some birds of paradise
An American style pool cue

The task is overnight finishing at 6am so Sugar says they’ll need stamina as well as negotiation skills and knowing when to buy to get the best deal. The team spending the least wins and there’s fines for any unpurchased items.

Trishna’s switched to Nebula with Paul, Fran, Sofiane, Jess and Rebecca (who stays mysteriously quiet when they choose a team leader despite promising Lord Sugar last week she’d prove her skills as PM, so Trishna ends up leading thanks to her Lahndahn knowledge and decides to split the teams by location as Paul fancies himself as an East End geezer). Sofiane ignores most of the strategy talk as he’s too busy trying to snap the perfect photo of the skyline and they practically have to drag him into the car to make him stop. He then twats about going straight to a printers and obsessing over picking the best picture he took (Trishna: “It doesn’t matter”) arguing the print bloke down from a steep £30 to a pretty steep £24 and wasting time watching it get printed with a loving tear in his eye at his artistry.

Courtney elects himself leader of Titans (K, Grainne, Alana, Dillon, Samuel) as he has experience negotiating with factories in China and concentrates on finding out where the products are first.

Nobody knows what a rambutan is. Frances thinks it’s a bread, Sofiane reckons meat, someone else correctly guesses fruit so just to be different Paul suggests it could be a vegetable.

Over on Titans K knows most of the items and Samuel finds an outlet setting black soap in SE2 which Courtney with his amazing London knowledge reckons is right next to the Shard (to the driver “Take us to SE2”). Oops! Half way through the Blackwell tunnel he starts worrying as they have gone off the end of the map and about an hour later they reach the cash and carry where they only get a poxy 35p off the price of the soap. Still there is a nice shot of an urban fox rummaging round the car park so it’s not a total waste.

K admits that he’s proper “Indianning up” on the phone to lengha suppliers, convinced he needs to start a beautiful relationship in order to secure a deal. With the shops due to close at 10pm, he’s perturbed when Dillon insists on a diversion to a pool club which closes at 2.30am to pick up the pool cue.

Frances looks dubiously out of the car window at Brick Lane. “Is this the ghetto?” she asks. “This is trendy” Paul insists. She looks unconvinced. He manages to argue the price down on the rainbow bagels from £100 to £70 and swaggers round all but shouting “This is my manor” and “Who’s the facking daddy” for the rest of the show (“I grew up a mile from here.. I know how to deal with people in this area”).

K’s going for the full slow haggle (“Asian persuasion” as he calls it) at the Lengha shop (“You will not get any profit from me today .. it’s me asking you a favour”). After several hours exchanging life stories, the Lengha shop manager declares “As we’re friends now there are two other shops over the road who may be able to accommodate your needs” (probably one of the politest “please fuck off”s I’ve seen). K starts the whole process again (“I hear you’re from Bombay”) explaining that although it’s slow “that’s how things work in this culture”. After what seems a week he argues the price down from £70 to £55.

Contrast with Frances who strolls in, and noting that no size is stated for the Lengha asks for the cheapest child size and argues the price down to £20.

It’s the small wee hours in Bethnal Green and the music of police sirens fills the night air whilst Trishna’s team wander around newsagents asking what rambuttan is (“I dunno? A fish?”) and optimistically asking for posh cigars. Sofiane offers to try calling for a Tagine, but she insists it’s the other teams job, even though she’s supposed to be in the West of London at this point. In the East end subteam Rebecca gets a lead “Do you have tagines… er tahines? Yes! And black soap”. The guy on the other end of the phone says something about having various types of soap (I think he says Turkish) and despite Paul not being sure the manager has understood what Rebecca was asking for, they all agree to take an hour’s jaunt down to this shop in bloody Streatham where it transpires they have tahini and different types of soup. Whoopsie!

Courtney decides to go to a posh restaurant in Belgravia to buy the cigars and sends Alana in to use her feminine wiles on the ghost of Peter O’Toole who’s doubling as a genteel and slightly bored maître d’. The cigars cost £23.60 each but Alana insists she would be ecstatic if they could buy 10 for £140. “Give me a reason” says Peter O’Toole hoping for a blowie at the very least, but instead she dithers on about them being “lovely people”, but to Karren’s disgust he still lets her buy them for £145. “She was pathetic but he fell for it… god knows why!” Karren hisses. Miaow!

Jess decides to tell her potential cigar salesman, who is wearing a twatty hat and looks like he lives with his mum. that she’s buying cigar for her dad and she’s not from London which immediately puts his asking price up to £26 each. She’s reduced to giggling and begging (“You’d be making me dad a very happy man.. oh I haven’t got enough money” – presumably because he wants to smoke himself to death) until eventually he offers a paltry quid discount per cigar (“I’m doing this because I need to get some sleep”).

Courtney arrives at the same bagel shop (are there no others in London?) about 5 hours after Paul bought all their bagels but manages to convince them to cook a new batch up for slightly more than Paul paid and then waits around for an hour for them to finish baking.

Nobody seems to know what a tagine is apart from Sofiane who’s banned from trying to find one. Courtney decides to go to Turkish supermarkets (Alana “Is Morocco in Turkey?” Courtney “I don’t know”) who turn him away Tagine-free (“Sorry – we’re Turkish”).

Over in New Covent Garden Grainne susses out that they are selling shit Birds of Paradise flowers for a fiver including VAT. Paul’s subteam fare less well finding the biggest grinning gobshite in NCG who responds unsympathetically to their pleas of needing the flowers but having a low budget (“Well you’re in trouble then” Ho ho ho. Tosser).

They all suss out what rambuttan is and manage to buy it for 2kg each. “They’re like lychees with hair” Trishna muses. “Reminds me of something else actually” Jess leers, giggling (Trishna:”Ugh Jessica!”). Filth!

It’s 4am but Courtney’s not as worried as the rest of his team (“Time is a cruel mistress”) and eventually takes his photo and pops it into a print shop with an hour to go arguing the price down from £11 to only £7.50. There’s less than half an hour to go and Alana watches the printer chug for the slowest five minutes imaginable (“Oh my god this is unbearable”) before they can leg it back to the shard where the Titans realise that Nebula haven’t made it back in time.

Back in the boardroom and Sofiane gets stick for concentrating on his precious photo and not much else. Jess’s crap negotiation is also under fire as is Trishna for being forced to abandon her stance on getting a set price due to time worries. It’s revealed that Fran only paid £20 for the Lengha and Sugar confirms he didn’t specify a size at which Grainne gives a sheepish K one of her best hacky looks.

Rebecca’s communication breakdown and subsequent trip to Streatham rightly gets the most stick and Karren who is in full on beeyatch mode tells Rebecca it should have been a clue that not many shops sell both tagines and African soap (actually there’s at least one in Colchester that I think does, I’m not convinced Karren is an expert on world food shops).

Courtney gets verbals for his SE2 fail. Karren sticks the boot into Alana over her cigar negotiation putting on a bitchy girly voice (“Oh please I’m so nice”). Alana points out that it worked and Karren insists he just wanted to go to bed (I bet he did!). Poor Alana doesn’t deserve this and argues the case that it shouldn’t matter “as long as I got the end point” at which point Sugar joins in “You don’t need nice or charming in business” and Alana looks chastened.

Sugar reckons Courtney’s picture was “a bit dark” and Sofiane looks chuffed despite his being over £15 dearer.

Nobody got the tagine, and Sugar’s scripted joke is actually quite funny “Walking around London at midnight looking for a strong Moroccan pot could have got you into trouble”.

Anyhow the scores are in

Titans brought 8 items back and paid £333.11 but were fined £75 (!) for the missing tagine so the total was £408.11

Nebula only got 7 items and got back late so had £157.75 fines added to their spend of £362.80 making £520.65 and poor Trishna looks gutted.

The winners get a pampering session which gives yet another disturbing insight into K as he relaxes under the kneady fingers of a masseuse crooning creepily “Put your back into it… thanks Simona that’s great.. keep going”. Ugh.

Sad music plays in the Bridge Café as Sofiane’s still banging on about the tagine and yet again Rebecca is bleating that it’s not her fault (“I’m sick of being rounded upon”).

Back in the boardroom and the team discover they paid more than the other team on 5 items so it was a negotiation disaster as well as a tactical fail in going to 24 hour shops first rather than later. Trishna brings Rebecca back for being daft enough to consider going to Streatham in the middle of the night and Sofiane for not listening or contributing. Lord Sugar lets the others go but warns Fran she needs to be on a winning team soon and she promises to try on the next task.

Rebecca says she didn’t take the PM role this time as the task was more suited to Trishna. “Are you going to keep making that excuse” Sugar growls. Sofiane insists he did offer suggestions about the tagine, but Trishna points out it wasn’t his job to (“I understand it’s from your background”). Rebecca senses a way out and blames Sofiane for not negotiating well until Karren points out that Rebecca paid £30 more than the other team on the one item she brought. “I’m not a negotiator” Rebecca moans, “that’s not what I do” and Sugar paraphrases what everyone’s thinking asking what the feck she does do.

Whilst Sugar’s concerned by Sofiane’s maverick tendencies (warning him “Don’t be an autocrat” cos that’s Sugar’s job) and Trishna’s lack of adherence to her initial strategy he has to fire Rebecca who, having been duller than a video about Tupperware for 6 episodes comes up with the quote of the series so far in the taxi of regret (“In the end I think I went because I’m not a twat basically”).

Next week the teams appear to be flogging maritime goods (at least I hope so as otherwise asking members of the public if they enjoy watersports is taking the show in a whole new direction).

Liking: Dillon , Sofiane, Alana (who I sort of want to win now after the beasting Karren gave her this week)

OK: Frances, Jess (again!), Trishna

Plastic Cockney Geezer of the week: Paul

Meh: Courtney, Samuel, Grainne

In a league of his own: K

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

Week 5 sees me staying in the pub having a nice chat rather than rushing back to see the remaining bunch of clueless arsehats debase themselves for our furry walnut faced peer.

This week the challenge was to crowd fund to advertise cycling products through creating an event, a website and a social media buzz then pitching to cycling experts. I’m not quite sure how the whole pledging malarkey works as I turn up about 25 minutes in and it appears that people are being encouraged to offer small amounts of money in order to get products worth far more. Why don’t you just try selling dear boys?

The teams have been jumbled again (as though we care) so now Samuel leads the Titans of Dillon, Courtney, Trishna, Alana, Grainne and the inimitable Special K’ness of Karthig.

Nebula (Jess, Rebecca, Sofiane, Angry Paul, Fran) somehow elect JD as their leader and he bumbles around giving everyone much more power than he has and trying to ignore everything going to shit.

The teams check out the amazing cycling inventions like one that makes your bike explode if you cycle on the pavement or if you go round the corner on a public footpath without ringing your bell to warn pedestrians. Unfortunately they get most excited about some headphones cyclists can wear to drown out the screams of pedestrians they hit but enable them to hear traffic, which JD’s team plumps for. Sam’s team go for a gilet with a flashing zip which doubles as both cyclist and nighttime prowler wear. I’ve never understood gilets anyhow – if your arms don’t get colder than your tummy what sort of freak are you?

Nebula get the run of King’s Cross Station to stage their crowd event and go for the nice idea of a gospel choir singing about how great cyclists are or something. Unfortunately when Rebecca films it she just gets one gospel singers arm and a few bored commuters in the background.

Samuel apparently ignores everyone else’s ideas including Alana’s (Can anyone actually hear her?) and creates some frightening mime theatre play at Waterloo station which looks like a blind pimp beating up a woman. (Apparently it’s meant to be a bloke on a mime bike hitting someone – does that have anything to do with having strangely warm arms and a shiny zip?). I come in as Grainne stands around tutting and moaning but doesn’t really offer any suggestions herself and when Samuel tries to discuss it she snaps “I’m not having this conversation!” later adding “If he doesn’t want to listen let’s lose!”. Trishna’s charged with social media and manages to spell GILET wrong (my spellcheck suggests Gilts or Gimlets by the way) in between Hashtagging everything from #cyclepaths to #villagebikes. As any fool knows you spell it T.W.A.T.C.O.S.Y.

Meanwhile in the week’s most uncomfortable trio at a table scene ANGRY Paul is losing his shit whenever Sofiane tries to interrupt him with an idea for the website and demands Sofiane just writes on a piece of paper to communicate so Paul can wipe his angry arse it is. “Can we JUST THINK!” Jess demands, her brain exploding with the enormity of being the most reasonable person in a scene. Paul seems to be Basil Fawltying to Bruce (the Gilet supplier) and quickly writes up pledges for the additional items on the site without mentioning the RRP or listening to anyone else.

Anyhow the teams get their chance to pitch to the cycle retailers and Sam asks K who’s strongest on the subteam. K bigs up everyone (including himself) except Alana who gets the righteous hump. K digs a bigger hole by explaining he doesn’t think she’s crap but “you know what happened..I forgot your name”. Sam decides that Trishna should pitch by virtue of being least obviously insane or something.

JD decides that Sofiane should pitch on pricing whilst he leads and Frances does girly marketing (this week is all about the everyday sexism).

The Titans boys work on Samuel so he drops Trishna from the pitch and gets K to open, Courtney to do the maths whilst he ends with social media. “Do you know enough about it?” Trishna asks and Sam’s adamant he does which pisses her off righteously. K actually does a storming opening “How many of you here sell Hi Vis Clothing? Oh yes some do so I am in the right room” to cycle retailers this is the height of urbane wit and they lap up his nerdish blurb about “Snazzy fashion that keeps you safe as well”. Courtney drops the ball by stammering through the numbers and Sam deflates the tyres of energy by waffling at length about how great their mime bike version of Death Race 2000 at Waterloo station was.

JD goes next and tells the cycling experts how cycling is really popular since the 2012 Olympics like they don’t have the slightest fucking clue. Sofiane waffles on about the product without mentioning prices leaving poor Frances having to blag it “There’s only one package buy 180 and get a 40% discount, but then there’s a smaller package where you buy 12 for £389 and it’s also a 40% discount”. Quite rightly a cycling retailer asks, what’s the difference then. Sofiane wakes up and suggests you save more on the bigger spend, but Frances burbles on that it suits the smaller retailer best, which pisses off Mr Big Shot Bigger Retailer who asked the question.

In the Boardroom it’s pointed out that Trishna’s spelling GILLET actually means “Loose woman”. Claude bigs up Alana’s idea (involving a black screen and the gilet actually lighting up visibly which sounds far too clear) and condemns K for destroying it. “Yes I have a little creative streak” K says smugly. Sam’s Waterloo bike mugging video is roundly panned and Grainne sticks the boot in (“I may have well talked to the wall – it was all Sam”). “You never gave me any suggestions” Sam bleats and Grainne goes all Mrs Doyle (“Ah there’s no point asking me now – it’s over!”).

Sam’s slapped down for his rubbish pitch but it transpires one of retailers said K was ‘superb’. Queen bitch Karren is quick to piss on his parade (“You described it as snazzy which is a word I haven’t heard since 1975”) before conceding “it was very engaging”.

Rebecca’s video for Nebula gets some stick and Paul is in the firing line for failing to put RRPs on his website to incentivise pledges. Paul is contrite (“I have to take responsibility for that I should have been far more detailed”) because taking ownership of mistakes is a good thing, right?

Anyhow Nebula got £681 worth of pledges whereas Titans got buy in from two retailers and got £788 (is that fucking all?!).

The Titans are sent to learn how to cook (which appears to involve waving a condom full of gravy about if Dillon’s clip is anything to go by). Grainne and Sam clearly hate each other now but Sam’s management wonk speak won’t allow him to admit it (“I must try to work more cohesively with her”).

Sugar’s annoyed at Nebula for blowing the best product and banishes them to the Bridge café where JD holds his hands up and Paul gets angry at Sofiane for pointing out how shit his website. “You had input” (via a piece of paper) Paul insists. “The stress was pouring out of your ears” Sofiane winds him up.

Back in the room and Rebecca looks resigned when Sugar points out she’s been on the losing team five times. JD says he didn’t have involvement with the rewards subteam until Karren points out he was Project Manager and went home early and he admits he tried to go and check on them “but they said they didn’t want us there”. Oh dear. “So what? Just go” Karren points out. “Fair point he concedes”.

He brings back Paul (who looks angry) and Rebecca (who was doing marketing but as Sugar says “created all the buzz of a dead bee”).

Paul thinks someone else should have been brought back (“Sofiane’s a complete maverick”) and denies he’s aggressive (why have I been calling him “Angry Paul” for weeks?) and JD holds his hands up again for not bringing Sofiane back. “Another mistake?” snides Karren. “Are you throwing in the towel?” Sugar asks. “I’ve made mistakes and held my hand up” JD insists. Cos Paul did that earlier and that’s a good thing right?

No.

“I can’t go into business with someone who makes mistakes” Sugar insists forgetting that old adage that the man who can’t make a mistake can’t make anything but a shit phone that sends emails which nobody wants.

Paul insists he will take the lead in the process and Rebecca gets a dig in (“Will you do that by shouting more?”). Paul insists she needs to stand up for yourself and she insists “I’m not here to SHOUT. SHOUT SHOUT SHOUT.” “OK you’ve milked the shouting I get the point” Sugar snaps. However he sacks JD for admitting his mistakes (FFS!) and gives Rebecca one more chance after the five she’s had. His advice to Paul is to “man up”. I really don’t think he needs that advice.

Poor old JD still apologising in the Taxi of Doom (“I’m sorry I didn’t put up more of a fight”) but he should take heart that everyone’s sad to see Rebecca back instead of him.

Paul proves his twat credentials by insisting “THE HEAT IS ON!”. Twice!

Next week the candidates go on a treasure hunt. At one point Frances will ask “Is this like the ghetto”. Where will they be? My money’s on South Norwood.

Liking: Dillon , Sofiane, Alana

Angry Twat: Angry Paul

OK: Frances, Jess (again!), Trishna

Confusingly genius yet terrible simultaneously: K

Being of Beige: Rebecca

Still a ShitWeasel: Courtney

Rubbish: Samuel

Nope still Totally rubbish: Grainne

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

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

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

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

And like that, she was gone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyhow it’s money time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They Should Win: Sofiane

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

Mate just chill: Angry Paul

Warming to: Frances, Jess (again!)

Bit of a ShitWeasel: Courtney

Losing Love for: Alana, Trishna, Samuel

Being of Beige: Rebecca

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

Totally rubbish: Grainne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next week the candidates tit around in a posh shop.

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

Mate just chill: Angry Paul

Unimpressed by: Courtney, Frances

Patronising Snitch: Grainne

Twat in a Bow Tie: Mukai

Being of Beige: Rebecca

Jury Back Out on: Jess

Still very annoying:  K

Bye Bye: Michelle, Natalie, Lovely Sausage Olly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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