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