The Apprentice series four, BBC1

by | Apr 5, 2008 | All, Reviews

The Apprentice chart – week two

1. (last week: 1) Raef. Jolly well done, sir. Absolutely congratulations! With Lieutenant Simon as your loyal man on the battlefield, you were able to sit back and relax, directing the conflict from your pavilion. But you also admirably got your hands dirty too, did you not sir? Onwards and upwards, what!

2. (10) Sara. Won respect for being the only member of Alpha who stood up to the appalling bullying of Jenny Celery. JC: “Be quiet, I haven’t finished speaking!” After Lucinda had started weeping, she said: “You tell one side of the story and then you just attack!”

3. (7) Simon. “During the Balkan War I washed the uniforms of the whole British Army, and was so eager to wash some more that I often visit World War One and Two battlefields to dig up some fallen soldiers just so’s I can wash their uniforms too.”

So haunted by his time in the army that he thinks that concrete is a biological entity: “We’re going to hit this road until it bleeds money!”

4. (2) Sharzia. Jenny Celery gives her verdict on her fired rival: “She is a liar, a cheat, she wears dressed one size too small to look younger, she spray paints graffiti on trains at night, she plucks the legs off crane flies, she pushes children into busy roads, she steals into hospitals and turns off life support machines, she spreads fatal diseases to isolated Amazonian tribes, she licks paint off train tunnel signs and spits the saliva into old people’s cups of tea, each night she takes two teaspoons of uranium in her tea in the hope it’ll turn her into a nuclear bomb, she stands at the top of buildings and breathes hard in all directions in the hope of causing a devastating tsunami, and she takes part in debauched fission sessions in the heart of the Sun in the hope of one day exploding it and destroying the Earth, killing everyone on the planet including you Sir Alan!”

5. (9) & 6. (4) Ian and Lee. The Apprentice’s very own Kray Twins, Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Lee. “Raef’s not vewy brassshhh, not very roaoaoaor, out there type of thing,” said Lee in a marvellously balletic display of semantic mimicry segueing between the personas of Elmer Fudd, a mediaeval barbarian and a semi-literate teenager drunk on his own stupidity in the space of one sentence.

Ian, meanwhile, appears to regard every one who isn’t him with the same rabid fear as villagers burning a woman for being a witch simply because she can click her fingers. “We’re going to smash the girls!” he hollered as if they were alabaster automatons.

7. (12) Alex. After he narrowly survived last week, Alex seemed happy to remain in the background, and was only noticeable for wearing his hair in the style of a promiscuous Premiership footballer stalking nightclubs in an effort to be unfaithful to his wife.

8. (14) Lindi. You’re amazin’ girl, you go girl, the way you chased those people down the street saying you wanted 2 do there washing was gr8. A feline capsule of absolute incompetence – that’s right pluck a figure from the air, go on guess the price of washing a hotel’s laundry.

9. (5) Jenny Maguire. So inept as sales, the “best saleswoman in Europe” guessed the price at which a hotel would expect to charge for its laundry before asking for a ludicrously low price for a butcher’s washing.

10. (6) Lucinda. A one-woman slot machine, each time she speaks a different combination of emotions appears. “I don’t have any allegiance to anyone!” she sniffed, which when translated into English means “nobody actually likes me”.

11. (8) Helene. The human equivalent of a pair of rolling eyes that roll so much they topple out of the sockets and down a hill to come to a rest in a muddy glade.

12. (11) Kevin. This week his eyes were so close together they resembled two moles peering from their burrows trying to catch a scent on the morning air, both oblivious that just beyond the shallow nasal ridge was an equally lovelorn mate. He also wins this week’s Michael Sophocles Award for Abysmal Negotiation after suggesting a price of £556 for a hotel’s washing. The manager said he was hoping to get a price of £200, a price which Kevin immediately accepted.

13. (15) Claire. The black-eyed cliché witch enjoyed a lower profile on this part of the Apprentice merry-go-round. Unable to bark out orders and bring home the bacon she instead had to sit on her hands and use only a few choice words: “There’s been a lot of talking and not a lot of doing!”

14. (16). Michael. He didn’t do much this week and would have soared to mid-table respectability if he hadn’t done that dance after the boys had won. He takes his place in the pantheon of shameful dancing alongside Quentin Willson on Strictly Come Dancing and Gil Gerrard in the pilot episode of Buck Rogers.

15. (13) Jenny Celery. And you thought Katie Hopkins was bad… JC: “Be quiet, I haven’t finished speaking.” She began by spilling forth a battalion of captured business-spk phrases which exited her mouth with the same wearied grace as a bunch of slaves being whipped through the streets of ancient Luxor – “I’ve been hugely successful. I don’t mind putting my neck on the line. We’ve got to brainstorm…” JC: “Be quiet, I haven’t finished speaking.”

She also has this habit of telling people to “be quiet, I haven’t finished speaking” even when she wasn’t speaking beforehand in an attempt to make her adversaries appear rude. JC: “Be quiet, I haven’t finished speaking.” And talks with less humanity in her voice than Darth Vader; everything is about “maximising profits” and “professional service”, but the most ludicrous thing she said was that she “had to breastfeed” Sharzia and Lucinda, which if she didn’t already have a child, would be as absurd as an Xbox launching a paternity suit. JC: “Quiet. Be quiet!”

The Apprentice chart – week one

1. Raef. Has the sort of accent that used to be used to sentence starving peasants to death for poaching a rabbit from the lord of the manor. But never fear as he “gets on with prince or pauper”, which suggests more than anything that he frequents the company of princes, and it’s the only people who call the poor ‘paupers’ are rich folk to justify to their septic consciences that it’s OK to spit on them..

He came into the show boasting a 27-year-old undefeated record in “arguments”, but was swiftly ended by Margaret Mountford. “I labelled one fish incorrectly,” he attested. “It was three,” snapped Margaret, causing him to acquiesce with a frown of those thick coal-seam eyebrows that could provide gainful employment for everyone in South Wales for the next 300 years.

And he is the embodiment that a posh accent isn’t automatically indicative of erudition, as he can’t pronounce the word gladiatorial (“gladtitorial”).

2. Shazia. Speaks in a voice that sounds as if it is navigating its way out of a fiendish maze.

3. Nicholas. In the past week, rather than watch his abasing expulsion from the show he was more likely watching President Sarkozy’s state visit and lambasting the Queen on her proletariat etiquette. “I feel like a scapegoat. I could practically, literally dangle the bell around my neck!” It’s doubtful Nicholas has even seen a goat unless it’s lying dead at his feet during a shooting weekend cursed by a paucity of pheasants.

And the only excuse for the continued existence of the polyp of facial hair under his lower lip is that the UN has declared it to be a safe haven.

“I am very into art and culture,” he sniffed. “I find it very difficult to talk about football.” This explains why he appeared on The Friday Night Project dressed in a cape of money, which next week no doubt will be transferring to the Royal Opera House.

4. Lee. Possibly the most aggressive man in the country, he has a walk like a chainsaw cutting through a dead pig. His suit is as ill-fitting as Conan the Barbarian temping as an accountant. And he greets people (“Alrrriightt girls!”) with the same testosterone-drenched disdain as an occupying soldier marching through the capital city of their vanquished enemy eyeing up the local women coerced into a mechanical display of joyous flag-waving

5. Jenny Maguire. Her eyes flicker and alight exploitatively on her fellow candidates like a bluebottle seeking out nourishment in a field full of sheep dung.

6. Lucinda. Has a face so round, soft and crumpled it could be used to catch stray comets. “Alpha is the beginning of the Greek alphabet,” she squealed as if imagining hers was the only education among her team to extend past the age of five.

7. Simon. Seems to have rented half of his brain out to a car manufacturing factory, as this would explain his habit of speaking in a voice louder than Thor and his apparent inability to say anything that wouldn’t sound out of place on the football terraces.

He also uttered perhaps the most irritating phrase in the English language since the import of the first ‘water cooler’ stepped ashore in Surrey bound arm-in-arm with the debut ‘season’ of Friends, with “It’d be like, TOUCH!”

8. Helene. Most notable for looking like the black-eyed cliché witch, and boasting features so frigid and austere you wouldn’t be surprised to find a few slaughtered seal pups scattered about her cheekbones.

9. Lee. Resembles Middlesbrough striker Jeremy Aliadiere if someone pumped him up like a flat bicycle tyre, while a flummox of hair lies across his scalp like a limp corpse about to be dragged away by its killer and burnt to destroy the evidence.

10. Sara. Like many of the candidates she deludes herself that the more severe and arrogant the statements they make about their “business acumen” the ‘stronger’ they are, when in fact such statements are actually emblematic of weakness. A weakness that allows them to be cleansed folded and manipulated into one-dimensional grotesques by TV producers to infuriate viewers for the next three months.

11. Kevin. His eyes are so close together they resemble two parted lovers, cast into adjacent dungeon cells, pressing closely against the gristly nasal barrier to hear their beloved’s lovesick breathing, frozen with fear that to speak will draw the brutal attention of the guards.

12. Alex. With his rigid features that seem to have been knocked into a permanent expression at about the same time India crashed into Asia, he resembles a photofit of a flea bitten vagabond who has wandered away from his regular pitch and has been reported missing. He is also the only person in the country who believes that a “regional manager” is superior to a nationwide manager. But as the only job he’s ever known is sales, it’s perhaps akin to distinguishing cockroaches from woodlouse.

Also claims to be able to travel back in time. “At the end of the day, I’m a regional sales manager at the age of 21,” said the 24-year-old regional sales manager.

13. Jenny Celerier. While most of the male candidates seem to have been culled from reasonably successful backgrounds, Jenny C and the rest of Alpha appear to have been living in a cave. What else could explain their baffling euphoria, with Jenny C as the cheerleader, on bursting into the house? “Oh my god! A staircase!” “Oh my god!” “Oh my god, look at the piano!” “It’s like a dream!” “Oh my god!” “Oh my god!” “Oh my god!” And then Jenny sat in the empty bath, as though heralding a new domestic invention as revolutionary as the flushing toilet.

14. Lindi. A human stiletto, who sniped at the black eyed cliché witch to the cameras – “Claire was weak, very weak” – but was seen nodding enthusiastically when Sir Alan asked Alpha to endorse the black eyed cliché witch’s leadership.

15. Claire. The black-eyed cliché witch. Her reaction to anything that was even mildly surprising was to screech, “Oh, my god!” And she also said: “There was a deadly silence, so I bit the bullet.” “It was absolute hysteria, utter chaos!”

16. Michael. Michael, we’re going to put you in 16th and last place in our first Apprentice Chart. “No, no, no! You cannot do this. If you do this I will throw myself from the very peak of Sir Alan’s lofty column! Put me first! First, I tell you!” Sixteenth. “Putting me last, you may as well dismember my limbs and send them by first class post to Austria! Fifth place! Fifth!” Sixteenth. “Man-to-man, corporate beast-to-corporate beast, at least place me in the top ten else my shame will swoop over me like the Red Sea engulfing the pursuers of Moses!” Sixteenth. “Is 13th truly out of the question? For surely 13th would be more of a burden, like a man condemned by his god to carry his severed legs round in his mouth like the dog I am!” You will be in 16th place. “Oh, alright then. I shake your hand, 16th place.”

Who’s who

Ian Stringer, 26, Blackpool-born software sales manager and father-of-two from Flitwick, Bedfordshire. Had a number eight hit in 2006 with a World Cup anthem, reworking Is This The Way To Amarillo.

Alex Wotherspoon, 24, regional sales manager from Bolton. “My communication skills are second to none.” He has punctured a lung, broken ribs, shattered his knuckles, severed his voice box, broken fingers and dislocated his jaw.

Nicholas De Lacy Brown, 24, a trainee barrister, artist and property developer who lives in west London. Adopted his grandmother’s name De Lacy five years ago to be more sophisticated.

Lee McQueen, 30, recruitment sales manager from Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire. Describes himself as a cat – sometimes purring with affection and other times just biting. “There is no airy-fairy stuff with me.”

Raef Bjayou, 27, entrepreneur from north west London. Once asked Michael Heseltine a question on Question Time and was “surprised by the ignorance of his answer”. Says “The spoken word is my tool. I’m a terrific conversationalist and raconteur.”

Kevin Shaw, 24, a bank manager from Woking, Surrey. Makes his staff have morning huddles. Friends include motor racing driver Jenson Button. “It’s obvious that I’ll play a key part in the show from the start.”

Simon Smith, 35, a former soldier who is now a senior satellite television engineer for Sky, living in Harlow, Essex. “I am loud, bombastic, I don’t play games. Everyone wants me on their team.”

Michael Sophocles, 24, telesales executive from north London. Passions are women, food, drink and gambling. “I am an exceptional individual. I am an exhibitionist, I am fearless.”

Jennifer Maguire, 27 an Irish marketing consultant from Bristol. Was a champion show jumper at 14. “I rate myself as the best salesperson in Europe.”

Claire Young, 29, a South African-born, Wakefield-bred retail buyer living in south London. Nicknamed by colleagues “The Rottweiler”. Role model is Oprah Winfrey. Has worked for Club 18-30.

Jenny Celerier, 36, a single mother/sales manager born in Ipswich, living in Leicester. “If you are sitting on the fence you are taking up too much space.”

Helene Speight, 32, a global pricing leader from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, who loves playing football. I expect nothing on a plate and I am prepared to come out of my comfort zone to get ahead.”

Lindi Mngaza, 22, a dyslexic business liaison manager from Birmingham. “My nickname among friends is African Princess as I am from royal descendents.”

Lucinda Ledgerwood, 31, a risk manager from a privileged background in Singapore, who lives in Edinburgh. “I always win so it’s a natural conclusion, I will win”.

Sara Dhada, 25, an international car trader from Leicester who claims to be “a true example of pure class and elegance.” Once drove from Leicester to Mumbai in two weeks.

Shazia Wahab, 35, a mosaic artist and company director from south London who is “stubborn cow who always has to have the last word”. Her family hold a UK record for the highest number of degrees between them.

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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