Claude Littner, the scourge of weasel-worded CVs everywhere, has taken over from Nick Hewer. This must be why this series has been billed as “the toughest ever”. 18 quaking candidates gathered in the boardroom in order to listen to Siralanlordsugar tell them he doesn’t want them to suck up to him. One idiot said he wanted to be like Alexander the Great. It’s not everyone who wants to die from strychnine poisoning, but let us not judge. Somebody called Joseph declared “Arm feh godfarver of BIZZNISS” (I think I might have drawn this idiot in the office sweepstake, alas).
Sporting a Gomez Addams moustache, Joseph was clearly being set up as the early front-runner for ‘biggest chump’. Someone called Dan admitted he nearly bankrupted his elderly parents, and wanted to call his team The Sugar Babes. Move aside, Joseph. There’s a new chump in town.
Sirsugaralanlord instructed the 18 hopefuls to go to a “famous London fish market” to buy a load of fish – surprise – which they then had to cook and sell for a profit. They all looked suitably underwhelmed. This year there was no dividing them into girls v boys, as he mixed them up instantly, smugly wearing his “I’m a maverick, me” face. Off they went to Billingsgate to buy fish. I’m calling it early I know, but “Charleine, I’m going to make you fish finger team leader,” may well be the best line of The Apprentice, ever. Selina led one team, April the other. Girl power.
What would they serve? April went for fishcakes and tuna salad (Ruth’s suggestion of lobster was ignored, boo) and the other bunch went for fish finger sandwiches, which as anyone who’s been to a gastro pub knows, are a licence to print money. April thinks she can sell tuna salad for £9. Yes that’s NINE WHOLE POUNDS. Twitter hooted with derision. Let’s face it, only an Apprentice candidate would be fool enough to pay that.
Gutting fish, hairnets, gutting fish, more hairnets, cooking, hairnets etc. They departed the Kitchens of Doom to sell their wares in their respective vans. Ruth’s sales technique was described by Karren as “creepy”, as Ruth felt men’s biceps and described them as “meaty” then took their money before they’d even noticed. But the creepiness worked. “Well, I’ve learned something,” admitted Karren. Ruth could be one to watch; she was supremely unfazed by anything that was thrown at her, and got results. She also wore an eye-wateringly lurid suit, but hey, you can’t have everything. Dan couldn’t sell salad to save his life. His tone didn’t help. Doing everything but rugby tackle frightened pedestrians, he thrust his tupperware box under their noses and whimpered: “Are you interested in buying…. a…. SALAD?” He remained unmoved however by his lack of success. “I didn’t come into this process to stand on a street selling fish.” Dan has clearly never watched The Apprentice.
What felt like a lifetime later, Elle noticed that it was no longer lunchtime. People who had already eaten refused to spend nine quid on a tuna salad. Whodathunk? Meanwhile Team Versatile’s squid went rogue and was no longer fit for human consumption.
Back in the boardroom, some goon from Team Versatile got the first reflexive pronoun in early. “Oo came up wiv the name?” questioned Alansugarlordsir. “Fat woz ackshully myself” replied the goon, instead of saying me, but in fairness the team made about £200, whereas their rivals (what were they called? I missed it) made £1.87. Versatile’s prize was to make their own sushi with the chef from Nobu, which by Apprentice standards is practically a lottery win. April looked gutted (see what I did there? Oh please yourself.)
Sirsugarlordalan gave April a lesson in margins. April wasn’t interested. Dan agreed that he couldn’t sell. “Wotcha good at fen?” queried Alansugarlordsir. “Online stuff,” said Dan, confidently. April decided to bring Dan and Brett back into the boardroom with her. Ruth and her clown suit looked relieved, and sauntered off to find a flower buttonhole from which to squirt water at unsuspecting passers-by.
April, Dan and Brett shouted at each other about the size of their fishcakes, whilst Claude looked bored, as well he might. Dan got the boot and uttered the obligatory “Thank you for the opportunity” instead of yelling “OH YEAH? WELL FUCK YOU!” like a normal person.
In the taxi of doom, Dan cheerfully admitted “my selling was rubbish, hahahahahaha!” How did he even get into the final 18?