(Edit – it actually is here now – Ep. 1 reviewed over here)
By now you’ll be well aware that the new series of The Apprentice begins on the 25th of March.
As has become the tradition, the BBC have issued some scant but tantalising details about the runners and riders. So let’s have a look at them, here and now – and make some wildly speculative judgements on their good character while we do so.
Anita is inspired by James Caan, it says here, so she’ll be the one stroking her beard in a warehouse, too nervous to invest in anything. She ‘can make impactful statements’ she adds. I’m not sure if ‘impactful’ is a proper word, so she’s made an impact right from the off with this year’s first taste of language-mangling, or ‘langling’ as I like to call it, impactfully.
Viewers of HBO’s The Wire will know Ben from his role as Democrat candidate (and, latterly, Mayor of Baltimore) Tommy Carcetti. Ben states that ‘making money is better than sex’ – the sort of claim that demonstrates the speaker is a one-minute-man.
Firstly – that’s not how you spell ‘Deborah’. Secondly, any woman with ‘a passion for business and a love of horses’ is instantly terrifying. Add all this to the cold eyes of a killer, and Debra’s already looking like a candidate to fear.
Howard’s an award-winning dancer, apparently – so expect a few jokes at his expense from Alan Sugar – the ultimate man’s man. A part qualified CIMA (Management) Accountant, Howard looks a little bit like Ben Mitchell off Eastenders in this promo shot, minus the hearing aid.
James is a former child chess champion and a football fan. His profile doesn’t feature any incriminating quotes, so it’s possible this fellow’s a Lee McQueen type. But we won’t know until we tune in.
Kate says she has ‘the ability to sustain business relationships at all levels’ – and I haven’t the foggiest what that’s about. She’s ‘highly motivated’ and has ‘really achieved within a corporate environment across sales, marketing and a number of different aspects of business’. Yes, Kate – but what does that actually MEAN?
Kimberly’s an American – but ‘not a typical New Yorker’, which is a stereotype she says she’s faced. I don’t know what a typical New Yorker is. A hot dog vendor? A cab driver? George Costanza? She’s an accomplished musician and dancer, so should there be a musical round, her and Howard can team up and really impress with an all-singing, all-dancing song and dance.
The obligatory single-mother, Sugar will no doubt be onside with Lorraine as she’s had more life experience and has ‘had a very hard time’. She sums up her attitude to business as the ability to drive a dead horse to the winning line – which is pretty much what’s expected of her here – so good luck pushing those moribund equines to disaster, Lorraine.
Majid is a Business Development Manager who got expelled from school. Sadly no details are forthcoming regarding his expulsion – do they kick kids out for ‘schmoozing and bullshitting’? He runs youth charities and has his own car hire business and the papers point to the fact that he might be a source of comedy.
‘Former beauty queen’, it says here. Mona’s also not educated beyond her A Levels, and that lack of formal education will probably chime with Sugar. She says she wants to do this for her son, so expect much hand-wringing about wanting to provide her boy with the kind of opportunities she never had, etc…
Confusingly, Noorul has a CIM qualification – he’s a chartered marketer – but he works as a science teacher. A strange career change that, considering the CIM is bloody difficult to get. He also deals in cliches, believing himself to be ‘feisty’, ‘ambitious’ and ‘driven’. Interviewing this lot must’ve got terrible repetitive.
There’s often a mental redhead – remember Jo and last year’s Jennifer? – and ‘scatter-brained’ Paula looks like she might be there to fill that slot. She was born and raised in Wallsall, so we can look forward to editing that mocks her outrageous Brummie accent.
Phillip has the generic sales-face. Notice the complete lack of character and the identikit haircut. Completely unremarkable. But it’s very early days – for all I know he’s a genius and a wit, but on the strength of this quote: “Business is the new rock ‘n’ roll and I’m Elvis Presley”, chances are he’s not.
Seriously – ‘Rocky’??
Apparently ‘Rocky’ is on £100,000 per year already – so his only reason for appearing is good, ol’ fashioned showing off. He owns a chain of sandwich shops after leaving a promising career in football due to injury. God knows why he’s taking part.
Going by this photo, Yasmina looks to be quite suitable for television. Her profile blurb hasn’t annoyed me at all, and I’m not sure if that’s because of her presentable photo. It probably is.
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And that’s your lot. All of last year’s Apprentice reviews are here. if you’re feeling nostalgic.
See you on the morning of the 26th.
Tags: Alan Sugar, Anita Shah, BBC, Ben Clarke, Culture, Debra Barr, Entertainment, Howard Ebison, James McQuillan, Kate Walsh, Kimberly Davis, Lorraine Tighe, Majid Nagra, Media, Mona Lewis, Noorul Choudhury, Paula Jones, Phillip Taylor, Reality TV, Rocky Andrews, Television, The Apprentice, The Apprentice 2009, TV, Yasmina Siadatan