Although the American original with Donald Trump was a success, few expected The Apprentice to be pulling in an average of 2.8 million viewers each week making it one of the surprise hits of 2005. Featuring Amstrad boss Sir Alan Sugar in the Trump role it fitted all the reality TV requirements. Desperate fools seeking attention, validation and a highly paid career although, in this case it does appear to be a proper career with long working hours, pension plan and all and not merely a loosely connected string of PAs. This year’s contestants are a tidy assortment of recruitment filth who take you right back to the Eighties. It’s as if dinosaur cloning scientists merged the DNA of Margaret Thatcher, Gordon Gecko and Alan B’stard and spawned an unholy litter of goal-orientated careerist scum in one go.
“It’s as if dinosaur cloning scientists merged the DNA of Margaret Thatcher, Gordon Gecko and Alan B’stard and spawned an unholy litter of goal-orientated careerist scum in one go.”
The 14 hopefuls are quickly split into two groups of seven girls and seven boys. Their first task is to choose a team name. The girls take less than three minutes to come up with Velocity. An hour later the boys have yet to come up with a shortlist.
This despite the efforts of Syed, one of the most offensive men that ever lived, who is convinced that his idea The A-Team is the best. The others remain unconvinced and take to brainstorming. Syed, helpfully reads the results back to them “Success, vision, creativity, maverick – all of that rolls into the A-Team”.
“Ben says ‘I like the idea of combining two words into one new word that doesn’t actually mean anything but sounds good’. Here’s a couple for you: Shut-the Fuck-up.”
Is this guy on commission? Ben, a plummy IT consultant tells them “I like the idea of combining two words into one new word that doesn’t actually mean anything but sounds good”. I quite agree, Ben. Here’s a couple for you: Shut-the Fuck-up.
They finally settle on Invicta (“it’s Latin for indestructible”) and make Ben the project leader for the task. Selling a load of fruit on Hackney market with a budget of £500.
The girls team is ably led by Karen, a sexy lawyer who hails from Scotland via Canada. Tall, dark-haired and willowy, she looks great for 39. Too bad she’s 34. The girls get a load of free fruit from the wholesalers by flirting with the men there and generally pushing their luck. The fruit may be over-ripe and on the turn but so are the women. While the boys are busy practising the ancient art of haggling, the girls are busy practising the ancient art of showing their tits. Good for them.
“The fruit may be over-ripe and on the turn but so are the women. While the boys are busy practising the ancient art of haggling, the girls are busy practising the ancient art of showing their tits. Good for them.”
The girls clearly make a better profit by several hundred pounds but Sugar is far from sweet on the idea of flirting to get crappy fruit. He lambasts them for using their feminine wiles in this disgraceful manner and gives them five minutes to come up with a reason why the hell he should award them the victory. Sexy Karen comes back and gives him one and he says “Yeah, alright then. I was only hamming it up for the cameras, I think you’ve got great tits, go and enjoy the champagne with the rest of the slaaags” something which Sexy Karen is only too happy to do.
So we’re left with two-word Ben, fuck faced Syed and Samuel, an anonymous product developer in the final three frame to be sacked. Sir Alan isn’t impressed with any of them – Ben oversaw failure of the task, Syed is an obnoxious turd and Samuel spends his entire time hiding and avoiding responsibility.
The verdict arrives and there’s another two words for Ben. You’re fired. What a chump.
Sugar is one of those people who is widely disliked but people have grudging respect for. People want to earn his respect which is a useful quality to have. He’s fond of telling anyone who’ll listen that he doesn’t like bullshitters, schmoozers or arse-lickers.
Isn’t he in the wrong game?
The best thing about it: The naked terror of the candidates before SAS.
The worst thing about it: Hideous yuppie filth on the make.
The verdict on The Apprentice Series 2 review : I believe in smart-ass reviews. That’s why my fee for this piece is going to Great Ormond Street.
Marks out of 10: 7