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Funny Stuff

The Apprentice Week 1 – A View From the Cheese Shop

It’d be difficult to translate the music to written format to introduce this piece; difficult however unnecessary, as we all know it to be Sergei Prokofiev’ ‘Dance of the Knights’. Or much more widely recognised as ‘The Apprentice “DUM DA DA DA” music.

And so it begins…

At the start, of course, we’re reminded that Mr Sir Lord Alan Sugar of ‘Lhaandaan’ came from humble beginnings. He grew up in a bin, sold car aerials, invented the computer or something, then made phones and now goes to the House of Parliament every now and again to stare angrily at politicians.

So 16 candidates begin; they talk about themselves and their lives incessantly. Then one goes. It’s a very simple process of selecting a candidate, firing them and then listening to them saying how Sir Lord Master Alan Sugar of ‘Lhaandaan’ was wrong, and how we’ll see them in 5 years and they’ll be wherever’s biggest export (which we never do), while they go for a spin in a black taxi. All very straightforward.

This week, the task was quite simple. Buy blank things, print things on them, and sell them to the unsuspecting, however what seems to be consistently gullible British public for a profit.
The candidates were broken into two teams. The girls and boys.
First on the agenda is the all important team name choice. This bit I always enjoy; it consists of a group of men/women sitting around the table blathering out corporate favourites… like ‘Bespoke’, or ‘Transparency’, or ‘Reroutering’, or ‘Capitalisationisim’ and so on.
I would like to think I would sit and repeatedly suggest ‘Dave’ as a team name, and keep banging on about it, insisting that it represents the true working class heroes of today. But I digress…

We were treated to two ‘doozies’… Firstly ‘Phoenix’; rationalised for it being representative of having been risen from the ashes of defeat. Essentially, it’s a big mythical bird. Not so impressive when it’s described as such.
Secondly, we have the girls and the creatively named ‘Sterling’, derived from a dream that one of the candidates, Jenna Wittingham had the night before; which I would imagine would be the word I’d dream of if I were going into a process with a potential £250,000 outcome. I can’t wait to see how Jenna pans out over the series. Dreaming a name… honestly… *coughJOHNLENNONcough*

What were the key cliché phrases tonight? All of them were. There is never a dull moment when phrases such as ‘Caught, not taught’, and ‘I will roar my way to the top.’ are on the cards. I will, over the course of the next few weeks collect these phrases and buzzwords like I did football cards and display them proudly, and look for ‘swapsies’ on doubles.

The one candidate who really grabbed my attention, was Jodie Nash… Not because she blew me away with her ‘business mind’, nor her fantastic vocabulary full  of corporate terms. It was quite simply, her voice. She spoke most of the time as though she’d just been kicked in the shin, and the shin kicking was repeated throughout.
The first of Sir Lord Master Sire Alan Sugar of ‘Lhaandaan’’s victims was Bilyana Apostolova. I thought she was rather good during the task, saying things like ‘capitalise’ and ‘we’ve got to go now, the traffic to the zoo is going to be a nightmare!’
To be fair to Biliyana and the girls; I was surprised at the design (done by none-other than Jodie with her sore shins). It could have sat pride of place in the front window of Top/man/woman/shop along with a pair of ‘worn’ jeans and a cardigan with holes in it.
I personally don’t think Bilyana deserved to go; she worked as hard as you could when faced with the first world problem of babies not wanting to buy babygros.
But hats off to her. She did try to shift the stock, which is all you can do when you’re asked to sell things. I did do a bit of a laugh when 4 woman with big personalities shouted at the shopkeeper to buy the excess stock, only to be roundly scolded by the owner like they were knick-knocking on his door and didn’t get away in time.

But she did herself no favours when it came to the boardroom, sadly. Constantly banging on about coming from nowhere and making something out of nothing seemed to annoy Sir Lord Master Sire Your Highness Alan Sugar of ‘Lhaandaan’ a bit; which surprised me slightly, as he himself seems to do just that… all the time… in every episode…. almost.

So, the winners of the first task were the boys. They had the ingenious idea of flipping through a book of pictures to arrive at the conclusion that the Union Jack would be ‘perfect’; a bit like when someone goes into a tattoo parlour with no idea of what to get tattooed, and ends up with a tweetie bird smoking a cigar on their shoulder.
Their idea of printing a (Googled image) of a London Bus (very badly) onto a bag, and the Union Jack onto a small teddy bear was probably bought by those same people who buy cardigans with holes in them, who have money… to spend on badly printed bags and cold cardigans. I suppose it was brilliant, in a way. They won. But it was a terrible… terrible product.

Onwards and upwards! As the bloke who does the voiceover says… ‘The search for Sir Lord Master Sire Your Highness Dr Alan Sugar of ‘Lhaandaan’’s next Apprentice…. is on next Wednesday at the same time.’

I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy this series…



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