The Apprentice, BBC1

by | Apr 26, 2008 | All, Reviews

1. (1) Lee. Oscillates between ruthless mercenary and endearing slow child in the blink of an eye. On the way to the farm to make their ice cream, he gushed: “I ain’t seen gween for weeks and weeks!”

2. (10) Lucinda. The Muhammad Ali of The Apprentice, she used his patented rope-a-dope into duping everyone (including us) that she was absolutely hopeless. But promote her to project manager and she metamorphoses from Frank Spencer into Napoleon Bonaparte (with Helene as her fractious Duke of Wellington). She would have won had it not been for the complacency of her sales team, two of whom were rightly in the firing line of Sir Alan, while she got the easiest ride in the boardroom we think we’ve ever seen a PM get.

3. (2) Sara. Again was quiet, but did her job well. Her major contribution was to name one of her team’s ice creams Very Berry, which is innocuous enough. However, whenever it was pronounced by one of the team it sounded like beriberi, as if they were trying to sell an ice cream flavoured with a debilitating vitamin deficiency.

4. (6) Jenny Maguire. Nick remarked that her presence brought “a chill in the air” and that she didn’t get on with the other candidates. This may seem to be a vilification, but as we feel we wouldn’t get on with the rest of the candidates we suddenly felt a strange sort of kinship with her. She is the perfect saleswoman as she speaks utter dross that has absolutely no sense or substance yet people still buy from her: “Your business fits in completely with what we’re trying to do. It’s something that’s a little bit different; that’s what you guys are about!”

5. (11) Michael. The worst salesman in the world seems to revel in chaos so that his harebrained schemes appear ingenious when he unveils them. This week, his contingency plan was to invite two blokes down the pub to be their tasters of to select two of their three ice cream flavours the team could sell to London businesses.

6. (5) Kevin. He continues to wander round in a daze wearing the frown of a bewildered child who is confused as to why his parents are getting a divorce. Of the cider-flavoured ice cream he said: “With the cider market opening up, it’s quite sexy. It’s like champagne!” With his roots in the cider heartland, Kevin should be aware that the cider market has been “opening up” for decades now as if you run your tongue alone the trough of any West Country pub urinal you will taste the indelible tang of ripe apples.

7. (8) Jenny Celery. When she is project manager she is unbearable, when she is shunted into a peripheral role she spends much of her time saying how wonderful her team leader is or laughing uproariously at her quips.

8. (4) Raef. Was swept up in the tide of superciliousness of Jenny M and Lindy. This is the first sign of a glaring weakness that he can be so easily corrupted by a bit of self-delusional banter. He was so suckered by his little group’s sales that he debated with Sir Alan the viability of selling ice cream to ice cream makers in the most egregious example of haughtiness in this programme since Paul tried to sell supermarket cheese to the French.

9. (7) Lindy. In her final episode, Lindy was edited so it appeared that she spent most of her time congratulating herself about her brilliant sales patter. “It’s going to be a walk in the park,” she boasted. “We’ll blow the other team out of the water!” And: “We’re absolutely amazing! It doesn’t get any better!” Sir Alan fired her because she was in charge of the sales team, and even though she did well her team lost on sales so she had to carry the can.

10. (9) Helene. Continued in her role doing little else other than belittle Lucinda. Even when she praised her team leadership it was always wreathed in a venomous remark about her laziness.

11. (13) Claire. Drew praise from Nick and Margaret for being a changed person, but her ‘change’ is the same mentality effected on a hostage told to reveal the combination of the money-laden safe or have their head blown off. And she still spouted her clichés: “Can I just say…” “We’re in Catch 22!” And got some wrong: “They hackle and hackle like witches round a cauldron.” While she claimed that “the guillotine was literally inches away from my neck!” She was lucky as her team did almost everything wrong yet still ended up winning.

12. (12) Alex. The human manifestation of a plague of unshaven rust. He is slowly creeping over the other candidates, corroding their spirit with his constant whining. Every single week he seems to turn to the camera and bleat about how he is doing his job but because the rest of the team have run into some unforeseen problems they are incompetent and worthless. He always lurks in the background like a fugitive toxic cloud from Bhopal when he sees one of his team acting in a manner that’s likely to get them fired before making a smug aside to the camera such as: “If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail!”

13. (NE) The Apprentice production team. It’s now getting blood ridiculous. After last week’s melodrama of Simon getting fired you could trace the harbinger of his demise back to his arrogant statement at the start of the show, and the same could be said of Lee the week previous to that. This week, it was more of the death of a thousand cuts for Lindy as she was edited to be slothful by eating after securing six appointments (Food!? How dare they!!), and then was seen with Raef and Jenny M in sickening self-celebration over their sales prowess. Tellingly, Lindy was the only one who appeared in one of those “I’m great me” soundbites – she was a goner from that moment. Next week and onwards, can we have something a little less predictable?

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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