The Apprentice Final, BBC1

by | Jun 15, 2008 | All, Reviews

1. (2) Lee. Somehow managed to emerge triumphant from the swamp of iniquity. This despite displaying the fact that he’s barely more literate than a half-chewed pomegranate with: “Surely there’s not men who doesn’t aspire to be James Bond?”

He directed the advert for the men’s perfume like General George S Patton directing a tank battle in rural Belgium: “You wan’ ’im to make love to you, to take him to that next place. Chloe, that is fantastic, you want him, you’ve been wanting him for months!”

Lee also showed that the CV lie wasn’t a unique untruth when he stated during his presentation that: “The metrosexual trends of the past eight to ten years are dead!”

Which “metrosexual trends” are these, the ones that advertisers would have you believe have sucked the testosterone from the bodies of the British male and transfused it with hair spray, skin lotion and waxing strips? That have colonised the world with less success than the lemur?

However, in fairness to Lee he was only trying to dupe “hard-nosed” advertising executives, each and everyone was a village idiot in a previous incarnation.

We can only think he won the contest when, during the pre-final meal, he revealed to Sir Alan he was a Spurs supporter.

2. (4) Helene. Appeared to be grimacing for Queen and country through much of the task. However, considering she was only in the final to make up the numbers in the same role as the last kid to be picked at football she can hardly complain, but she would do so anyway.

Her incorrigible obstinacy was shown best in the petty dispute over what time they should get up the next day to prepare the presentation. “Let’s get up at eight,” she suggested. “We’ll get up at seven,” replied Alex. Helene: “Set the clocks for six, if you want, mate.”

3. (2) Claire. “I think Sir Alan thinks I’ve got some balls!” she bellowed with enough vocal force to exhume graveyards. And what is it with her and Helene and “balls”? Are they both undergoing sex change operations during “the job interview from Hell”. And are the boys going in the opposite direction judging by Lee’s claim that he has “worked my tits off”.

At one point a piercing lance of altruism seemed to have breached her thick, sodden carapace of selfishness when she appeared to show concern for Lee’s inability to perfect the presentation. But was soon dispelled as a clichéd mirage: “But if he cracks, I’m in trouble!”

Followed Lee’s suit in lying in the best traditions of advertising, claiming that men’s perfume and gambling are “both fun, sexy and exciting”. The new breed of gamblers has padded feet, oversize incisors and the only fragrance they adorn is the relentless gushing of their own urine.

She followed in the footsteps of Saira, Ruth and, to a lesser extent, Kristina, as the whirlwind harridan who is loathed by the public yet who seems on an inexorable onslaught to victory until she is thwarted by the noble Sir Alan, pleasing the general public with his fastidious sagacity.

4. (5) Alex. If Alex’s arrogance could be turned into a bomb, dropping it onto a city would make Hiroshima seem like a pebble in a puddle. Sir Alan said to the remaining candidates: “I don’t think you expected to be the Apprentice.” Alex’s response was a disingenuous nod of the head.

He followed this up with another mention of his age, but this is a little tedious now. Much more illuminating was his declaration that “I’m dynamic, I’m agile”. He’s what? Agile? And when did he demonstrate this? Did he dance across the Marrakech skyline in a desperate effort to secure a green mosque clock? Did the tears streaming down his face after he was fired perform a double-twisted pike turn to soar over his mendacious lips and his cheekbones, as comely as the harpies’ song, that have lured many women (and some men) onto the jagged morality of devoted support for him?

But despite all his myriad flaws and foibles, he should never have been sent a death threat (and while we’re pretty sure it wasn’t, we hope this was not the cynical fabricated ‘gossip’ that blights even further the annual gangrenous spectacle of X-Factor).

The dregs chart:

1. Kevin. He seems to have spent much of the last six weeks tearing his tinted hair from his scalp. Sounded the death knell for Alex and Helene when he claimed that he was “trying to put my personality into them”; they’d have been better off with a corpse.

2. Simon. Acted as a translator between Claire and Michael and a bunch of plumbers asked for their views on male fragrances.

3. Jenny Maguire. Laughed incredulously at Helene and Alex’s efforts to appear to be the most diligent in a farcical modernisation of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch as they each vied to get up earlier than the other.

4. Nick. Spent much of his time with his campaign to make Alex the Apprentice. After the first day he lambasted Helene, but praised Alex’s design for the bottle – oblivious, perhaps wilfully, of the prohibitive cost.

5. Raef. With no hope of becoming the Apprentice he was as much use as a scented handkerchief tossed into a fast-flowing brook. Throughout the task he did little more than cross his legs, put a pen top back on and screw up his face. And make one Raefistic aphorism: “Duality is conveying the duality of a human being. Stockbroker etcetera, but which is transformed into a completely different creature.”

6. Michael. Perhaps helped direct the commercial, but this was cut out, and so made his contribution to the task appear zero.

7. Jenny Celery. Didn’t do much, but she’s out here isolated in last place like a sheep infected with a horrible atrophying illness so she doesn’t infect the rest of the flock. She eulogised over Lee that “he opens doors for people”, as though it were an act of charity comparable to teaching English to Sri Lankan orphans.

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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