Let’s be honest. We all watch The Apprentice for this man, don’t we? The terror in a perfectly laundered shirt that is Claude Littner. Having laid in a plentiful supply of Vin de Provence Rose (Asda, £8.75, highly recommended) and pistachio nuts, your intrepid blogger settled down to watch the Massacre of the Innocents.
Daniel claimed to Mike Soutar that he’d won an award. “I telephoned your former employers,” he began. Daniel immediately looked shifty. “They said you didn’t.” Whoops. “Frankly, your business plan is ridiculous.” Yikes. “Don’t talk rubbish, because I’ll have you for it.” Daniel’s face resembled a cake left out in the rain.
Bianca talked tights to Claude. Claude did not look like a man who cared for hosiery. “This plan is a non-starter.” Mike Soutar was more positive. “I spoke to a leading fashion editor. She says you’re really onto something.” Blimey. Ricky Martin (no, not that Ricky Martin) interviewed Mark. They began with a bit of role play (no, not that kind of role play) where Mark had to telephone Ricky and sell his services. “I haven’t got time for this,” cut in Ricky, smugly.
Claude interviewed Roisin. He sneered at her the way a certain sort of restaurant punter sneers at a waitress who has brought him a tin of tuna when he’s ordered the sea bass baked in salt. It transpired her business plan is based credit until she’s up and running. “It’ll never happen. No.” He then turned on Solomon and lulled him into a false sense of security by praising his lack of boastfulness. Solomon looked relaxed. “You’re taking the p*ss. Please leave.” Solomon, stunned by this about turn, attempted to exit via the window and then walked into a cupboard where, if I had been him, I’d have stayed until it was all over.
Meanwhile, Daniel burbled on to Claudine Collins about his “journey” and how Lordsiralansugar had influenced him so much that now he was a better person. Hey everybody, Daniel used to be a wooden puppet but now Sirlordalansugar had turned him into a REAL BOY.
Bianca cried. Never a good idea in an interview, poppet. In the taxis back to the Apprentice house, she described herself as a truly professional woman. Hmmn. Mark told himself he was getting better and better. Daniel confessed he wore his heart on his sleeve, but “hey, that’s me.” Roisin looked glum. “I just know I don’t feel very positive.” Given that her “unique” idea involved a special organic root she planned to turn into pot noodles, but actually is already used in various foodstuffs, this did not come as a surprise.
Back in the boardroom, everyone liked Mark – unfortunately – and everybody also liked Solomon but thought he was clueless about business. Mike Soutar attempted to make the case for Daniel: “I think if he worked with you he’d work his fingers to the bone for you until he’d succeeded, or die in the attempt.” “Or you’d kill him,” interjected Claude. I love Claude.
Solomon was fired. He grinned engagingly, and thanked everyone politely. Bye bye my winning of the £19 office sweepstake but Solomon is, I reckon, one to watch. He was probably the most grounded of all the candidates, and certainly the nicest. I hope he does well in life.
Back in the shark pool, Daniel and his bad shave bored on about taking his business plan “to the next corporate level.” Everyone looked at the floor. Roisin talked about her food product being in a market that was going to explode. (No, she wasn’t going into the laxative market.) “You’re naive,” said Nick, gently. She was fired.
It was down to the final three: Bianca, whose business idea seemed the most workable, the ghastly Mark “I’ve risked it all to be here” and the repellent Daniel, the latter two like choosing between death by drowning or being burned alive. “Put me up against a team of top salesmen, and I guarantee I’ll do better than 98 per cent of them,” boasted Daniel. He was fired. Welcome to the two per cent, Dan. “You’re a better man than what you was when you walked through the door 11 weeks ago,” announced Sirsugaralanlord, in the manner of Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the failed flat-caps-sewn-into-handbags sellers, Daniel.
So, Bianca and tights, and Mark and, er, something. What IS his business plan? Anybody?