It’s the fifth week of The Apprentice, and by now you should have all identified your favourites and the ones you want to get fired. I liked Stephen (so fetch, so fired) and still like Solly (still in the game and my draw in the office sweepstake).
The quick change artistes that are the contestants were given 25 minutes’ notice and told to convene at that most exotic of locations, South Mimms. Sugarsirlordalan told them their task was to organise a coach trip. No not that coach trip. They would take gullible punters around various historic sites. The brief was no more detailed than being told not to return without a sackful of money. Looking very pleased with himself, SirSugarLordAlan minced out of the carpark and the contestants immediately began squabbling about who should be PM. No, not that PM.
Daniel insisted that he should be project manager because there was nothing he didn’t know about events management. Somewhere in the distance, a bell tolled. “This task is all about margins,” he announced, all unaware that every task Apprentice task, since the dawn of time, has been about margins. His team argued about the price of the tickets. Daniel wanted to charge £69 a head. Everybody else wanted £100. Daniel graciously settled for £99.50 because HE’S IN CHARGE. Sanjay headed up the other team. Ben, one of my work colleagues, bumped into Sanjay in a Leeds bar last week. You see, I know people who know people.
James made a complete fool of himself negotiating with a nice lady in Hever Castle, attempting to pay around 15p per head for entry. The nice lady laughed nicely in his face. There were a lot of shots of taxis, people shouting at one another, shouting about prices, and more shouting.
They set off, with James, dressed in a toy shop plastic crown, getting into the swing of this historic tour business by pointing out Caffè Nero. He attempted a singsong, starting with “One Man Went To Mow.” Silence. Karren looked speculatively at the “smash glass” sign on the emergency exit window. Compared with the soporific commentary from Felipe, however, James was Simon Schama. “There are more pigs living in Oxfordshire than there are people” said Felipe, as bewildered Japanese tourists gazed at him in awe.
It was, to quote Malcolm Tucker, an omnishambles.
Back in the boardroom, Daniel’s team won and were rewarded with a trip to Stratford. No, not that Stratford. Lordsugarsiralan had clearly spunked the prize budget on the visit to Iceland last week. No not that Iceland. The real Iceland.
Meanwhile Sanjay inexplicably decided to leave James free to irritate everyone for another week and instead brought back Jemma and Bianca. Even SirLordalansugar expressed surprise at James getting off scot free yet again, warned him that he was on his last chance, and fired Jemma. Back in the house, James’ quiff smirked.
Next week, the teams must design their own board game. I think we can all agree this is a key skill for any budding business entrepreneur. Oh no hang on. It isn’t.