And so it was with great amusement, having seen the spoilers in the press this week leading up to it, that I sat down on Wednesday night and watched episode two of the new series of The Apprentice. Just when you thought it couldn’t actually interest you anymore with its every-series rehashed tasks, and you thought you had heard all the naff egotistical scripted lines, one of the unlucky sixteen actually had the gallantry to fall asleep in the car on the journey to their next pitch. And when she was woken up by one of her fellow contestants, she actually denied she had been asleep, even though the camera was on her and actually filming her asleep. What must be Lord Sugar making them do when the cameras are switched off, that they are now catching forty winks on the way to persuade giant retailers to buy their products?
Ah, but The Apprentice is still good fun, even if it is in its eighth year and the contestants are in danger of being horribly samey or one step away from an appearance on I’m A Celebrity. There’s a huge part of me that although I cannot actually bear 99.9% of the reality television that is served to us in this day and age (I went off Saturday night television about a decade ago; I would rather go on a self-catering holiday to the Middle East than have to endure it), I still find a great smugness from watching the ‘great, new, young and fresh business minds of Britain’ tear lumps out of each other each week as they strive ever further to the goal of Alan Sugar‘s investment. One can’t deny how cringe-worthy it gets as the series’ progress through time and you do find yourself astounded that some people, who claim to own their own businesses et al, can actually think giant online retailers would purchase a million units of their products, and get the costing so wrong! Ah, it does make for good telly though.
There have been some fantastic ‘about me’ quotes already from the candidates, and I feel that I am obliged to share my favourites with you now… (I did try and refrain but I was powerless).
Katie Wright: “‘I would call myself ‘The Blonde Assassin’. I let people underestimate me just so I can blow them out of the water.” As opposed to, ‘The Blonde Depth Charge’. Probably didn’t have the same ring.
Bilyana Apostolova: “‘I got myself from a Communist block of flats in Bulgaria to the top of a skyscraper in the heart of the City of London.” You can do that here, too: http://www.hive.co.uk/book/aa-road-atlas-europe/10531829/
Jenna Whittingham: “My personality and character is ‘once seen never forgotten’.” And then Channel 5 and Celebrity Big Brother come knocking and we have no choice.
Maria O’Connor: “If you chuck me in the deep end I’ll swim, I won’t sink.” Hmmm. Shame she sank after two episodes.
Tom Gearing: “I’m confident, charismatic and some people say I’m quite good-looking, so that adds to the bill.” Bet no one mentioned his modesty traits.
And I think at number one, this absolute cracker:
Ricky Martin (as if that weren’t enough): “I truly am the reflection of perfection.” BAFTA to the scriptwriter of that one, please! What lawks!
I cannot wait to see what more car-crash escapades there are to come as the next bright young things of British business continue to battle out their brawn for our entertainment. The bit I always get passionate about: will any of them actually have a basic, decent geographical knowledge of London for when they have the “peculiar items you must accumulate and sell on” task? Remember chaps, the West End is the EXPENSIVE area!! That’s why it’s called ‘EAST’ENDERS!!
The Apprentice is back on BBC1 on Wednesday nights at 9pm.