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Funny Stuff

The Apprentice Week 4 – A View From The Cheese Shop

I’ve been inspired this week by Duane to start off with a few well known proverbs.
Here are a couple of my favourites :

  • Let sleeping dogs sleep
  • Two wrongs do not make it better

I love Duane.

Anyhow..this week, the candidates were interrupted from an ‘unstaged for the cameras’ game of ping-pong and hauled off to Chiswick Cinema, which you’ll be surprised to hear, isn’t actually a cinema at all. Lord Sugar wandered out (ironically beside a sign saying ‘Vintage’, and explained the task : “Buy utter crap, make it a bit crappier, then sell it to folks in tight jeans on Brick Lane.” It really was that simple…Or was it?

It was, to be honest.

We all talk about how we sit in front of the television watching someone do something badly, and ‘scream’ at it, exclaiming how we, the viewer could do better. This week, I would argue that 99% of the people watching and screaming are probably right.

With the teams mixed up; Sterling, headed up by self-proclaimed rottweiler (really? Rottweiler?) Scottish lassie, Laura Hogg and Phoenix fronted by… um….Tom Gearing.
Phoenix’, and Tom’s approach was ‘buy little, sell lots’, which makes as much sense as one of my select proverbs; but Adam Corbally disagreed, thinking that ‘buy an entire junkshop and put glitter on it’ was the way forward.

Sterling had a very different approach. Well, no, they didn’t; both ideas had the same common factors in them, as outlined by Lord Sugar at the start of the show. Pay attention people.

Tom sent a sub-team with £200 of the allocated £1000 to an auction house to bag a bargain, with Stephen Brady, who you would think could accidentally make bids with the permanently surprised look on his face, yet only managed to trot off with a miserable 3 items. Success, however was literally around the corner… in the bins; where, amongst some pots and pans, the rare and somewhat valuable radiator drying racks were hiding. In the bin??? Don’t you know there’s a purple haired hipster somewhere in London just dying to get her hands on one of those?
Team Sterling, ladies and gentlemen, had just struck gold. Nick was delighted, and jumped up and down, clapping his hands shouting ‘Yayy team Sterling, Go GO GO!’ (He did no such thing. It’s Nick)
The remaining team went to a car boot sale, filled with lots of things you would expect to find at a car boot sale, however Tom didn’t like any of it, and smashed a picture frame in protest.
After displaying all 6 items in their shop, it was decided that they probably needed more stock, and the subteam were instructed to rummage around junkshops looking for junk… a task that seemed to be proving quite difficult. Stephen and his bargaining techniques managed to get the junkshop owner down from £50 to £30 for items worth probably no more than £10, by using the old ‘from a North Londoner to a South Londoner’ phrase. Gets em’ every time, that little gem.

Laura’s team, after rummaging around a house of someone who was recently deceased, asking appropriately sensitive questions, such as ‘Can we take anything we like?’ arrived with a truckload of goods (bads) to ‘upcycle’; a term used extensively throughout. I’m not quite sure what is wrong with the word ‘recycle’. Maybe I’m getting old.

Now, with the two teams’ shops laid out with the chairs a little to the left to ‘fill it out a bit’, and some tables made out of suitcases that seemed like nothing anyone would ever want to own sat pride of place at a window, the game was on.

Day two, and the first hurdle; how to look ‘hip’.
Suits just aren’t what you want when flogging vintage and shabby chic items to the good people of the cool bit of London; although suits were fine when selling onesies to babies at a zoo.
Stephen summed it up brilliantly. A pair of jeans, a slightly unbuttoned shirt and a cardigan. That man is a walking fashion icon.
The day dragged on, with Jane McEvoy’s main selling technique being to push passers-by into their shop and basically not let them go until they buy something.
Chairs with union jacks sprayed on, a hole puncher and walking suitcases were the big focus; with Gabrielle Omar explaining to one customer how you can open the suitcase, put things in it, then close it again. Genius.

As the day went on, the folk of Brick Lane bought some of the most hideous things I’ve ever seen; including one of the table suitcases that you can put things into. With things drawing to a close, prices dropped to around zero pence.
Day done.
To the boardroom.

I’m not going to hold you in suspense, as, like me, you more than likely watched it.
The one thing I would like to point out, is Alan Sugar saying Shabby Chic is the “funnest” thing ever.

Tom and team Phoenix stormed it, £1063.40 profit. Looks like buying little and selling lots works after all…. Adam….

Laura was now left with the decision of who to bring back in; and obviously, after buying 400 yards of orange suede material costing probably most of the £1000 allowance, Gabrielle was a cert. The surprise for me that almost made me fall off my spray painted union jack chair and knocking my tea of my suitcase table was Jane, after it was revealed that her ‘almost punching punters in the face until they bought something’ technique only managed to earn her £10 of sales. A little unfair. Yeah.

Sadly, and surprisingly, Jane was the one to go. After glowing praise from Lord Sugar about how she was a pretty successful businesswoman, and she’d be a success no matter what she does; I suppose it makes sense not to have her as a business partner.

Personally, I would have fired the suitcase with legs.



2 Responses to “The Apprentice Week 4 – A View From The Cheese Shop”

  1. It really was very simple this task… They just made it worse for themselves.

    Was surprised to see her go… Maybe sugar was scared she might overthrow him lol

    Posted by Princess Laila | April 13, 2012, 12:57 pm

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