Posts Tagged ‘BBC 1’

The Apprentice 2008 – Ep. 4

April 17, 2008

Christ. Well I wasn’t expecting that? Were you?

A major twist this week, of which more later. It’s interesting how this reality show is allowed (by us) to have a clearly fabricated narrative, editing that would’ve done Goebbels proud, a plot conjured out of thin air and a twist every episode. It’s so transparent that the whole thing is completely contrived, but we allow them to get away with it. I’m not sure why… the programme really is a waste of an hour. But for some reason it’s an unmissable waste of time. Peculiar.

So the phone goes, as usual, and Claire – a key performer this week – answers it in a big white, dressing gown that makes her look like she weighs 21 stone. Raef surfaces from bed with that carefully constructed hair lattice all askew, rubbing his sleepy little reptilian eyes before treating us to a shot of his left nip as he showers. One for the ladies.

Surrounded by some lovely paintings which Piqued would probably be able to bore you to death about, the contestants wait for Alan, dressed up to the nines. Alan – for he is now just plain old ‘Alan’ to me, after Simon burst his knighthood bubble last week – emerges to a 70s bongo fury soundtrack, making him resemble a withered Bee Gee crossed with a wasp. Or literally a ‘bee’ Gee.

You’re gonna be doing some photography in Bluewater, Alan instructs. ‘YES!’ mouths Simon, aware that he’s got to be Project Manager this time round, to save face. Boys and girls are mixed up for the first time this series, and on the face of it Simon has by far the better team – Alex, Claire, Jenny and Sara (lovely Sara). Helene ends up leader of the other team after some discussion and her team looks hopeless. Kevin, Raef, Lindi – all of them protrayed as buffoons in recent weeks.

When deciding on Project Manager Simon immediately jumped to the front of the queue – he knows photography and he knows Essex, right? But, when tempted to mock the people of Essex he states he would never ‘degenerate’ his own people. Which is good. He gets the job and asks Alex to be his right hand man. Alex dithers, aware that it’s a shortcut to the boardroom should they fail. At this point, cyborg faced Alex inadvertantly disrupted the whole effort, broke all confidence in Simon and ruined their chances. An immense lack of confidence that everyone else picked up on – most notably Claire who became this week’s hate-figure. They lost, if you hadn’t guessed by now.

Luckily the other team (I refuse to call them ‘Renaissance’ or ‘Alpha’ as they’re such terrible names) had Kevin on board. He wanted to SELL. He wanted to be out there ‘nailing it’. He likes nailing things. Also lucky that this team had Helene as team leader as she’s ‘got balls’ and she gets ‘pissed off’ easily. Ooer. She’s quite a horrific character – all boggly-eyed ferocity, blunt insults and faux-exasperation.

Simon chose Glamour and Beauty as his theme. Helene went for a lookalike Davey Beckham and ploughed money into a football theme – England shirts, terrace backdrop – the works. All good, but bloody expensive, so they made a poxy return, just shy of 200 quid.

I’m not sure if we were meant to believe that they’d set up the lookalike auditions. It was incredibly fabricated, but did give us the chance to laugh at what George Clooney might look like if he only ate doughnuts and Britney if she’d stayed off the drugs and moved to Surrey. As the auditions went on, Simon went to the same prop warehouse used every series and bought a few red sheets and a sofa whilst consistently asking his team to trust him, every five minutes, whilst on the verge of tears, smile wibbling on his face like a dodgy tightrope. Particularly enjoyed the scene where Simon called Claire and when she answered, said ‘hello’ as though he had received the call rather than made it. ‘Erm… Simon – you called us’. We’ve all done it. Well – I have.

After a night’s kip it was off to Bluewater.

Both teams were rubbish. Helene charged more and that probably won her the task. She was assisted in gaining victory by Alex and Claire spending the entire time complaining in the back room – making Simon’s job impossible, his face quivering and his forehead sweating all over the shop floor. Also out at the front selling rubbish photos were Sara, Jenny, Kevin, Lindi and LEE MCQUEEN. The latter was made to look vaguely human. He interacted with a child without using his stormtrooper fists to tear it limb from limb. Kevin nailed nothing, Jenny moaned and Lindi stood there looking pretty.

Out the back where the photos were developed was where everything went wrong for both teams. Helene battled with the skinless Lucinda over IT issues neither of them had the ability to resolve, whilst Raef managed to print a mug upside down with a comical ‘oh deeeeear’. And all of this with a disgruntled Dave Beckham looking on.

As I type, I realise that Jennifer – the Irish bob girl – didn’t feature at all last night. Was she even on camera? How is this allowed to happen?

In Simon’s squadron, Alex spent his time taking the piss out of the proles in the photos, telling Claire why he couldn’t do as Simon asked. Claire was meant to relay why errors were being made, which she patently did not do.

But she wasn’t fired at the end. Simon was. Fair enough, they made a loss – but there was a reason for that, and the reason was Claire. So another nasty, foul-tempered twat gets the nod ahead of someone who’s willing but just a bit feckless. It’s so unfair. It doesn’t seem right.

It’s the way the world works. Get used to it. This is business, alright?

 

Addendum 1: Sugar singing ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda…’ – is he a secret fan of Beverley Knight?

Addendum 2: Simon, in his exit interview, mentioned that he honestly ‘gave it 100%’. And that was his major failing. EVERYONE knows you have to give it at least 110% percent, otherwise the maths make sense and you’ve no hope of winning…

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

The Apprentice 2008 – Ep. 3

April 10, 2008

Straight into week three and we kicked off with a reminder of Shazia’s unfair exit. We sat through the trauma once again as Shazia whimpered the word ‘please’, just before getting booted. And then it’s on to Tate Modern for the briefing. They’re going to run out of London landmarks soon. By series six Sugar will be asking them to rendezvous outside the Holborn Wetherspoons, six a.m. sharp.

The task is to transform a London boozer – Upper Street in Islington and Hampstead are the locations, so hardly spit and sawdust locals – into a credible gastropub. Or at least into a pub that serves food.

By my reckoning, that’s actually a pretty simple thing to do. Usually I balk at the Sugar-suggestion at this stage, wondering how the hell I’d cope, certain I’d make as many elementary mistakes as the preening pricks lining up for the bum-job. This time, however, I actually thought ‘easy’. They had a kitchen ready to go, a chef waiting to be utilised and a restaurant ready to be filled. All they had to do was sit down for a couple of hours, decide what food would suit the area (food they could actually cook), work out how much everything would cost and how much, as a result, they could sell it for. Pretty basic stuff.

Instead and as usual, both teams ran straight out of the door, barking rubbish into blackberries and making shit up as they went along. The insufferable goons.

Led by Ian Stringy Stringer, the boys’ period of research and planning seemed only to involve a lot of guarantees and pledges that they would work hard (Raef winning the ‘first to say 110% percent’ competition this week) and deciding they’d do Italian food. The girls, led by the sweary-mouthed Sara argued about what theme to follow. Someone idioticly bellowed ‘Let’s have a murder-mystery night!’ (in a pub?!) whilst Sara wanted a Bollywood theme whilst Claire wanted English fare. Sara won as she was Team Leader. Sara won because she has the dead-eyed gaze of the living dead and the ability to repeat herself until all around her wilt and perish. Sara, for some reason, is very attractive – against all the odds.

A key failing on Ian The Stringboy Stringer’s part was the appointment of Kevin as Head Chef. It came to light that this was a tactic by which he could transfer all blame to the Somerset George Dawes should things conspire to go wrong – which they did, thank God. If they hadn’t – where’d be the fun in that?

Kevin was asked to lead a chat on what food they were going to make as he’d declared his expertise on Italian cuisine earlier – apparently he eats in ‘a lot of Italian restaurants in Guildford’. His speech on what menu he fancied working on was a kind of confused stream, listing vaguely intelligible food processes. Watching him stumble over terms he’d seen on the cooking channel was the highlight of the show for me. ‘We take a mushroom. Then we bake it’ he said, not unreasonably. ‘Then we put some salt and pepper on it’ he continued before completely losing his train of thought, ‘and then we puree it’… This carried on for some time, until the baked, pureed mushroom had been flambeed, whipped and crumbled over fruits of the forest. Kevin, by this point, had proved himself to be either a very convincing actor or the greatest example of incompetence since Eddie The fucking Eagle. What’re we making for dessert Kevin? A latte with chocolate sprinkles. Mmmmm! Fetch me a spoon!

These scenes were interspersed with Lee having the most working class nervous breakdown ever seen onscreen. ‘I am concerned!’ he yelled into his mobile at one point. ‘LEE MCQUEEN IS CONCERNED!’. Within the gap between two sentences we watched him disassociate himself and plant his ego a few yards from his id, lapsing into third person in the process. ‘Dunno how to spell ‘accent” he said at one point, the big Nazi-faced thicko.

Sara wandered around in a sort of stoned, glazed wilderness of her own making as the other girls pulled together to make her curry night happen. She bought spices for the curry in minute quantities – I have more in my kitchen than she’d bought to feed at least a hundred people. Luckily her charges did the work for her and though her night was a bit of a shambolic mess – the Bollywood dancer being a particularly David Lynch-like lowlight – they made loads of money. This rested on the fact that Jennifer (the Irish one, not the redhead) had charged a fiver for entry. Profit before the doors had opened. Success. Jennifer is one to watch.

Meanwhile, the boys ended up being led by nobody. Ian turned into an empty shed, devoid of ideas or emotion, Raef hid in the shadows, Alex did what he could, Simon searched for answers from his boss and found himself in Ian’s pretty-boy dead end, facing disaster. Sophocles made his customary George Costanzaesque mistakes and got away with it. LEE MCQUEEN was concerned and continued to shout, his words forming a white noise it was quite easy to ignore. And Kevin, poor little Kevvy boy with his Westcountry accent and unrequested Head Chef role, had to do something. He made revolting food, gave a David Brentesque pep talk out of nowhere and, bless his heart, he tried. The fact that Ian Stringy Stringboy didn’t grab him by his neck and tell him to SHUT THE FUCK UP is the Stringy man’s problem.

Kevin tried, he failed, but at least he gave it a go. And that’s what resulted in Ian getting fired. He did absolutelty dick all apart from worry about his hair straighteners. Maybe he’s thick. Maybe he was just overwhelmed by the situation. Either way, Sugar sent him on his way and was justified in doing so.

The boardoom was fun. Simon was pretty much exonerated, Kevin was entirely unconvincing when talking up his progress and Ian sat there denying everything he’d done wrong.

Simon was dragged into the final three, which was baffling. So shocked was he that he made the amusing error of calling ‘Sir Alan’ the more familiar ‘Alan’, before realising his mistake and lifting his hand to his mouth, as if to say ‘Sorry Sir’ like a little boy. Quite endearing, really.

Instead of forming an argument and sticking to it, Ian simply denied everything. He denied that Kevin had given a pep talk (surely he knew Sugar had seen the footage?) and he might as well have denied the fact he existed. He was appalling under scrutiny, and it’s the boardroom where you have to be convincing. Forget the actual task, if you can’t cradle your balls against a counter attack in front of the bearded fat-cat, it’s the highway for you. And off he popped, without fanfare, back into anonymity.

Upon their return to the house, young Kevin shouted ‘Booyaka!’, delightfully using a very 90s term to express his happiness. ‘I totally nailed Ian in there’ he declared, as all around him looked on in stunned disbelief.

Noted for their absence, for a lack of footage around week three equals likely progress later on, were Raef and Alex. Neither said anything of any real consequence, Raef sat about looking other-worldly and Alex wore a stupid hip-hop hat at the end. They’re going to be key players later on and I can’t wait to see them fail, fail and fail again. That’s what it’s all about, after all.

The Apprentice 2008 – Ep. 2

April 3, 2008

Apprentice Launderette

Ever been to a launderette?

I have. So I have a pretty clear idea of how much it costs to wash clothes.

None of the girls last night can ever have frequented a washroom or a dry cleaners, as when tasked with pitching business to a hotel chain they saw fit to charge £4.99 per item. So 1,000 items of bedding could be washed and ironed for the bargain-rate price of £5,000. This really was shake-head-in-disbelief stuff. How could that figure have been agreed? Was it that these girls have never had to wash their dirty linen in public? Or was it a case of one voice shouting louder than the others and the rest of the troupe following blindly and obediently?

The latter, you have to say, when you consider that the girl’s Project Manager for this totally shambolic episode was Jenny. Good God – what an abomination this redheaded, tube-faced monster is. We should have seen it coming when she squeaked ‘I just love sales!’ with a giggle of perversion (like she was sitting on a washing machine, aptly enough) in her week one vox pop. She’s this year’s Saira Khan but with none of the charm or bewildering attractive qualities. She’s this year’s Jo – (remember that insane Tigger contestant last year?) but with none of the slightly lunatic joie de vivre. In short – she’s terrifying.

The boys were ‘led’ by Raef. His leadership strategy involved splitting the chaps into the two camps he complained had developed last week and making the jocks do the hard work whilst the nerds strolled around town fixing their cufflinks and checking their reflections in shop windows. I’m no fan of Alex, Ian, Lee and Simon, but at least they get their hands dirty (for evidence, see Simon spiritedly battering that fishhead last week). They were destined to win – so Raef stays in for at least another week despite clearly being eventual Yer Fired-fodder.

Jennifer, oh Jenny. Where to begin? The girl’s made so many ludicrous errors last night that it’s tempting to think they were doing it for a laugh – or getting a fiver from the cameraman per mistake. So error number one was, as with last week, not considering that if you’re going to sell something, you have to work out the right mark-up. Blindly trying to sell something without considering its value is just beyond belief. After the £5,000 laundry shocker, they went to their next client and offered to wash, dry and iron his massive pile of shop-soiled smocks for a tenner. One twisted extreme to another.

As they wobbled along the valley of disasters, they left the actual nitty-gritty of actually doing the laundry to the very last minute. With huge piles of clothes sorted by Shazia, they set to work and realised they needed more irons and equipment, so went back to the house to pick up spares – only to find the boys had nicked everything they needed earlier in the day. From that point, they were doomed. The boys seemed to go from strength-to-strength while the girls added insult to their own festering injuries.

Trying to enforce tips? What the fuck? Beyond bolshy bellboys hanging around a bit too long, I’ve never heard of anything like it. Imagine a waitress talking in depth about the tip they expect to receive after serving you a mediocre salad. It’s not on, is it? Now imagine that salad’s got certain elements missing, like dressing, croutons and vegetables. For that is what happened – the girls lost clothes.

Jenny somehow pinned the blame on Shazia – saying she upped and left having only labelled some of the clothes. From where I was sitting (and admittedly I was pretty pissed up) I thought Jenny had ordered her to go with her. I could be wrong.

At one point in the catalogue of rubbishness, Jenny actually made Lucinda cry. Actual tears…  I’ve had managers who’ve made me angry, managers who’ve made me punch inanimate objects out of sheer frustration and managers who’ve left me so washed out and overworked that I’ve stared into space for hours. But making your employees cry? That takes a special kind of graceless idiocy.

So how did Jenny survive the boardroom? Why did Shazia go? I was particularly pissed off about this as I picked Shazia in an office sweepstake. I was robbed!

The reason is, once again, ‘good telly’. Jenny will continue to writhe in her own two-dimensional villain status for the next couple of weeks and we’ll lap it up, criticising the silly cow to make ourselves feel a little bit better about our own offices, colleagues and careers. It becomes more apparent, show upon show, that this is only TV, pure entertainment and not the job interview it professes to be. But who cares?

I don’t.

Episode one

Eastenders – Ricky ‘n’ Bianca

April 2, 2008

 Ricky & Bianca

I think the only return that comes close in significance to Ricky ‘n’ Bianca’s return to EastEnders is Jesus’s triumphant return to Jerusalem – the event that would set off a chain reaction that would lead, ultimately, to the long-haired layabout getting himself nailed up by what Mel Gibson would describe as ‘the fucking Jews, sugatits.’

First, let’s examine the Return Of Ricky (or: Sid Owen’s Run Out Of Money Again).

Did someone at an EastEnders plot meeting say:

“Hey, we’ve had Max’s affair with Stacey uncovered, Jim having a stroke, Phil’s wife falling off a roof, Kevin ending up with half a car punched through his guts, Shirley staring down the barrels of being one tit down, Bobby Davro showing up for no obvious reason anyone can see, the usual rubbish Asian family storyline, Dorothy terrorised by hoodies, Max being buried alive, Dino returning for ten minutes to pull the same just out of prison/transformed into a bad-boy shtick Martin did a few years ago, the Northern man’s boy stabbed-up, and Keith sitting in a chair scratching his arse … but, you know? I don’t think there’s enough going on. What we need, see, is a curmudgeonly car mechanic with a strange and unspecified nasal complaint who did nothing the last time we had him back, and will do nothing this time. Shall we, ladies and gentleman, invite Sid Owen back to the show?”

Was the sad death of the wrong Mike Reid enough to justify the return of one of EastEnders’ least interesting characters? Couldn’t they have left Ricky up in Manchester along with the other thousand ex-cast members, leaving us to wallow in the thought that Funtime Frankie’s still out there somewhere, being Frank? Apparently not.

So, what do I see when I look in my crystal ball and examine what’s coming up for Ricky? Well …

  • Phil gives Ricky his job back.
  • Ricky befriends Gus, Minty, Gary and the utterly pointless Mickey.
  • Ricky, Minty, Gus, Gary and Mickey go on a jolly boy’s outing to Margate or Saaaaarfend and many japes and chuckles ensue.
  • Ricky gets back with the monstrous Bianca.
  • Ricky, Minty, Gary, Gus, and Mickey drink ‘bottles of lager’ in the Queen Vic.
  • Phil gets into a spot of bother and Ricky helps him out of it.
  • Ricky and Bianca fall out.
  • Ricky leaves EastEnders again.

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m slavering at the prospect of the fun ‘n’ games a towering character such as Ricky Butcher can bring to the show. Who next in the cavalcade of dull and uninteresting ex-residents of Walford could they bring back?

Oz from Ozcabs? Ted Hills? The ghost of Roy Evans?

Well no, actually. Because the one they’re bringing back next is the one that should have been murdered so she could never, ever return to EastEnders.

Who decided that a screeching, rangy tart was what was missing from EastEnders? Surely we’ve already got enough awful tarts in the show, haven’t we? Isn’t the ghastly Shirley, the awful Stacey and that dreadful jizz-mop Chelsea enough to be getting on with?

No, it’s not apparently. So we get the Return Of Bianca – the event I was hoping never to see happen. This means we can look forward to her appalling caterwauling. This means we can look forward to the actress playing her not being able to act. Worst of all, this means the door has been left slightly ajar;  a crack wide enough for the worst character in EastEnders history to slide through:

Robbie, Bianca’s Bloody Brother.

That’s Dean Gaffney, in case you’d forgotten. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON OUR SOULS.

Oh, I’m looking forward to this! The Dull and the Dreadful reuniting to annoy and bore us in equal measure. I was just getting used to Shirley’s Bela Lugosi face, hideous forthcoming coupling with Phil and general awfulness. I was just getting over the facial spasms of rage when Chelsea says ‘arksk’ instead of the more formal ‘ask’. I’d finally got over my temptation to burn my television whenever I think of the blatant injustice that is Winston’s meagre salary compared to Mickey’s. But Bianca? Coming back? I don’t think I can bare that. I might have to defect to Corrie – and that show’s appalling.

And, as a final thought, have you noticed in the recent advert for these awful characters’ return, Bianca is still wearing the same silver puffa jacket, red trousers and pink boots she was wearing in the 90s? Is there a special Bianca Shop where you can buy mid-90s Bianca clothes? Surely Pat’s not kept her outfit in mothballs all these years, has she? I find this really weird.

Holby City

April 1, 2008

Holby City 

Are you hopelessly addicted to the shower of shit that is Holby City? I am. I started watching it when my better half was laid up in bed with a broken ankle and we didn’t have cable.

At first, I correctly identified it as being overblown, silly rubbish … but then I suddenly realised what a cracking character Connie Beauchamp was and then there was no hope of rescue. Now I won’t miss an episode – Holby City is my television drug of choice.

Connie’s the key. For those who haven’t spiralled down the rabbit hole yet, Connie’s the big cheese surgeon over at Holby and she’s an absolute fucking bitch. In my opinion, she’s the greatest depiction of a bitch television’s ever seen. If you stuck her in a bear-pit with Joan Collins, Kate O’Mara, and Stephanie Beacham (fuck it, let’s have ’em all topless), Connie would tear them to pieces, smearing her naked bitch-tits with fresh bitch blood. She really is a fucking bitch. The bitch.

And talking of bitches, you also have Jack Naylor gracing the corridors of Holby. She’s a junior bitch, earning her bitch stripes by fucking her boyfriend’s father. She also looks like Skeletor, which means she’s evil. Recently, she was accused of stabbing the man who tried to rape her a few months ago and ended up in Holby’s sister show, Holby Blue. Holby Blue, or The Shouting Regional Policeman Show as it should be more accurately called, has therefore sucked me in by concluding Jack’s recent storyline. The BBC pulled a fast one here by making me watch their other Holby show. Now all they need to do is land one of the Holby surgeons in Casualty and then they’ve dragged me into all three of these shows. Then I’ll do nothing but watch television programmes set in fictional Westcountry cities. The swines.

For those of you interested in selling your soul to Holby City, here’s my handy guide to the chief runners ‘n’ riders. This list is subject to change, as the cast comes and goes in this show faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

THE DOCTORS

Rick Griffin – Holby’s other senior big cheese surgeon guy. Rick’s concerned about the plight of African children and once sewed a pig’s kidney into a man with his mate Adrian Edmonson off of The Young Ones.

Elliot Hope – Nigel from EastEnders with a beard. Elliot spends his life eating odd sandwiches and once helped his wife top herself. His son was addicted to heroin but got better after Elliot was visited by the ghost of Richard Briers at Christmas. That’s not a lie.

Connie Beauchamp – As mentioned, Connie’s a bitch. She shouts at everyone, shouts some more and then does some surgery. By God, I can’t be the only man in Britain to want to march this woman around a bedroom, can I?

Joseph Burn – A twitching lunatic who’s going out with Patsy Kensit off of the 80s. Patsy’s a spider woman and will try murdering Joseph at some stage, I reckon. Joseph’s mother is Jane Asher and his dad used to be Ronald Pickup. Pickup died after spending a long time fucking Joseph’s girlfriend. As you do.

Jack Naylor – A cunt of a woman who’d sell her own mother into slavery to get ahead. Recently arrested on false charges, Jack spent her time in The Shouting Regional Policeman Show shouting at two shouting regional policeman. The two shouting policeman shouted her down and she started crying. This amazed me, as I didn’t think succubi from the very lowest levels of Hell had tear-ducts.

THE NURSES

Mark Williams – Formerly Jesus of Nazareth, Mark became addicted to cocaine but then went away for two weeks and was a lot better. Mark spends his time arguing with the new surgeon Linden. Every single episode has him saying, “You can’t perform a (insert surgical procedure here) on this ward, we haven’t got the right equipment!” Then Linden performs it anyway and it all turns out alright. You’d think Mark would learn from this, but he never does.

Chrissie Williams – Mark’s daughter, Chrissie is Holby’s resident bike. She likes ’em all different shapes, sizes and colours and doesn’t seem to mind who owns ’em as long as they get ’em up ‘er. Ahem. Chrissies’ latest squeeze ended up carving up her face with a scalpel in an alcoholic rage. He was Irish, so she should have seen the signs.

Faye Morton – A Black Widow with loads of dead husbands under her belt. Her latest victim is Joseph, a rich lord who’d better watch his back. Faye has the most annoying voice in Holby City, principally because it belongs to Patsy Kensit.

Donna Jackson – A tart with a heart of gold. Still a tart, mind. Donna is the only character that works in a Westcountry city hospital to speak with a Westcountry accent. This means she sticks out like a sore thumb, weirdly. She’s also a blithering idiot. Nice legs though.

So there you go. There are plenty of other characters to discover in Holby City if you care to become addicted to this drivel. If you do, you’ll soon find your life dominated by such questions as:

  • Why was Michael attacked by a man in the car park on his first day?
  • When’s Sam’s cancer going to clear up so he can get back to philandering?
  • Whose cock is Chrissie going to home in on next?
  • Why has nobody cared to query why Elliot’s harrowing drug nightmare with his boy was suddenly resolved, and resolved by the ghost of Richard Briers at that?
  • How come you can up-sticks and leave Holby for fucking months, then come back and not face a disciplinary hearing?
  • Should I leave my missus and stalk Connie Beauchamp?

Still, gives you something to do while you wait for death.

The Apprentice 2008 – Ep. 1

March 27, 2008

Yer Fired 

Last night’s Apprentice was a winner. It’s good to see it back. Old Pa Sugar was on form as he listened to the explanations describing how one team went chaotic and the other split into two sub-teams of ‘cockneys and toffs’. A crowded and hard-to-follow episode, probably because there are 16 of the bastards to get through.

Last night he separated the girls and boys and set them to the task of selling fishies down a market of their choice in dirty ol’ London Tairn.

Young Alex, a budget Ethan Hawke who the ladies already seem to love, stepped up to accept the role of Project Manager whilst all the other lads bickered like little shitbags about it. Raef in particular decided to immediately stick his neck out in order to display to his fellow players that he was the peacock alpha-twat of the group.

Look at me!’ he seemed to yell – ‘I’ll be your Tre, your Saed for this series! Every opportunity I get I’ll make myself look like a panto villain for larks and chuckles!‘…

The project management delegation was interspersed by vox pops from the contestants. Sara excelled in this to-camera self-celebration, trotting out an aggressive spiel, but really nervously – with the effect of her looking like a completely adorable psychopath. The sort of girl who’ll win your heart whilst stabbing you repeatedly in the leg with a scalpel. Bless ‘er. She continued in her tender, fixated beration as all the ladies squawked at a hapless fishmonger they’d decided to quiz – barking queries at the poor sod like he was in Guantanamo.

Both teams decided to sell fish down at Chapel Market – a market attended by unemployed misfits missing teeth. The perfect demographic for blowfish and lobster.

The girls started selling immediately. Without actually looking at what they were selling. Sugababe Lindi initiated this as the others squabbled, selling stuff for figures that popped into her head at random. The others, headless chickens at this stage, all decided this was a ruddy good idea and joined in like a shower of fools. They eventually got their game together though and at least guessed better than the boys, as they ended up winning the task. They got served fish cooked by Johnny Christopher Novelli – that slick French character of Hell’s Kitchen, series 2. These reality types get about, eh?

The boys, on the other hand, gave the gig of pricing up to young Nick De-Lacy Whatsisface (don’t matter no more – he’s been booted) and he royally fucked it up – leading to his expulsion via the Sugar-finger process.

In the dizzy scenes of fish-selling, all a bit confusingly edited, we saw:

  • Teardrop headed Simon attempt to cleaver the head of a big fish, balls it up and decide to saw it off instead. This was one of the most brutal things I’ve ever seen on normal telly. My missus is a delicate old soul and actually had to look away at that point.
  • Sophocles getting mugged by a solicitor who bought all his pricey fish for next to nothing. Sophocles thought he’d got a good deal, but anyone who’s ever had to deal with anyone who works in the legal profession and didn’t feel ripped off by the experience is clearly an imbecile.
  • A fight rage between the boys about an apparent ‘class-divide’. How that happened in the space of two or three hours is pretty much down to Raef, the engineer of the rift. Basically he got all those with slightly posher accents onside and broke down any chance of winning.

In the boardroom, Alex quite easily beat Raef into a corner using that crazy little thing called ‘logic’. Apart from the fact he kept referencing his CV, he came across as alright, I felt, and made Nick De-Lacy Whadjermacallit look like a complete tit. Apparently the fact that the buffoon is into his art and his culture meant he couldn’t sell fish, or so his explanation went.

An amused Sir Sugar watched the fireworks with a distant grin on his face before firing Nick very quickly.

Raef was lucky not to have gone, but they’ll have to keep him in as he gives good telly – and that’s what this is all about. Right kids?

The Apprentice 2008 – Preview Part 2

March 26, 2008

Alan Sugar 

Ok – let’s have a look at the rest…

Katie Hopkins

What’s this? You’re not allowed a second pop at the Apprentice! This ain’t the X Factor Katie – so fuck off and take your Fido Dido look with you. You bloody cheat.

Jennifer Maguire

This is the one who got all confused in the trailer, mistakenly declaring herself to be the best salesperson in Europe. Jennifer can apparently sell pieces of paper for 50 quid and make a living out of it. I’ll wager those pieces of paper are hundred quid notes. You’re not going to make a living doing that Jennifer, but you’ll make plenty of friends – you moron.

Sara Dhada

‘Naturally glamorous’ Sara ‘da-da!’ Dhada is a trained lawyer with scary eyes. She wants to follow in her father’s footsteps (he was a millionaire by the time he was 25). But we also learn she had to ‘save the family company’ at some point – so presumably his millionaire status was flagging by the time his daughter was adult. Effectively, she wants to follow in her father’s footsteps by getting rich quick then fucking it up. Great.

Kevin Shaw

‘Never trust a Kevin’. That’s what my old ma used to say to me – and she turned out to be right. Just look at K-Fed, currently framing B-Speares for insanity and child abuse. Kevin Keegan? False Geordie messiah. So I don’t trust Kevin Shaw neither – what with his ‘come on, reckon yer ‘ard?’ expression and his lop-sided quiff. You’ll never win, Kevin. Never.

Simon Smith

When Simon visits the hairdressing salon, he asks the scissor-man to make his head resemble the teardrop his last employer shed when he realised what a pack of lies Simon had presented him with. Teardrop-headed Simon is 35 and falls for little old ladies.

Michael Sophocles

The first rule of manipulation? Never say ‘I will manipulate others if necessary’. FAIL.

Helene Speight

‘Single Helene is equally at home drinking wine with the girls and having a pint watching the rugby’. So she’s comfortable drinking with anyone then. That’s an attractive quality – alcoholism. Definitely one for the ‘hobbies and interests’ section of your CV Helene…

Alex Wotherspoon

Come off it, sunshine. At least brush your hair before a televised job interview. You’re not fooling anyone with your little-boy-lost routine. I know Ambrose won the last season by being an eight-year-old in the body of a twentysomething, but surely Sugar’s got wise to that by now? Having said that, Alex manages to be single while having a girlfriend. If he can market the secret to how that works, he’ll make a small bloody fortune.

And that’s your lot. Tune in tonight to watch them hash up a pointless task. Laugh at their idiocy. Avoid pondering the fact that you’d screw it up too. Go to bed. Talk about it at work the next day. Work until retirement. Die.

The Apprentice 2008 – Preview

March 26, 2008

The Apprentice

Take the nooses down, drop the razor blades, take the electric heaters out of the bathroom and get off the edges of those very tall buildings – The Apprentice is back!

Starting tonight on BBC1, 16 idiotic, unimpressive hopefuls will compete in British television’s only watchable reality tripe to win a not-particularly-good job in a beige office in Brentwood. And I, for one, can’t bloody wait. Even the trailer’s amusing, with one of the contestants declaring ‘I would say I’m the best salesperson in… probably Europe’. The lack of self-awareness and bravado on display is already marvellous and it’s not even started yet. I suspect the production team talk them into making these kind of bullshit statements, touching them up with toadying comments, offering them redbull and injecting charlie into their pert young buttocks whilst they’re not looking.

For those of you who, like me, are chomping at the bit to watch this rubbish, you can click here and have a preview of the pin-stripe pricks lined up for your entertainment. In fact, while you’re here, let’s have a look at the pick of the bunch together.

Nicholas de-Lacy Brown

ARGH! What the fuck?! What tree did they shake this weirdo from? I suspect it was the weirdo willow. With that clit-tickling beard, harsh parting and blank thousand yard stare, this bozo screams entertainment from the get-go. Your card’s marked, de-Lacy Brown!

Lindi Mngaza

She’s certainly winning me over on the pretty face front – but then we have a peek at Lindi’s credentials and see she’s achieved NVQs in Customer Services. Plural! Does that mean she’s worked in more than one branch of Specsavers? Well done, love.

Ian Stringer

They’re making these up aren’t they? ‘Separated from his wife – he still likes to spend time with his children’. You’ll not get any sympathy from me, Ian, especially not with that stern expression on your face. And have a word with your barber.

Raef Bjayou

‘Bluuuuue Bjayoooou’ as squinty eyed crooner Roy Orbison once didn’t sing in the past. There seems to be a weird haircut competition going on here. Can anyone join in, Raef? Raef’s interests include Cognac.

Jenny Celerier

Fiery redhead Jenny ‘is a stickler for detail’. She also has a very thin face and an unpronouncable name. Apparently she’s been named ‘Salesperson of the Year’ three times – but the source is unquoted. I’ve been named ‘Best Lover of the Year’ a record four times, by voices in my head whilst I’m having a Tommy Tank. IT MEANS NOTHING, JENNY.

I’m running out of steam over here… there’s SIXTEEN of the bastards. SIX bloody TEEN.
Eight now, eight later. That’s a deal.

Shazia Wahab

Shazia is unique amongst the other contestants in that there’s absolutely nothing in her profile to laugh at. Or take note of, for that matter. She’s one of eleven children who has, it seems, done bloody well for herself. Well done Shazia but you’d better have a personality or yer fired. This is television, not a job interview after all.

Claire Young

‘Johannesburg-born Claire Young is nicknamed the Rottweiler because of her ability to go after whatever she wants’. And also because she pisses in public without shame. And looks like a Rottweiler. She was once a club 18-30 holiday rep, so don’t go expecting anything particularly intelligent to come out of her face. Most likely to urge the others to drink ten shots in a row and get their tits out for the lads.

Lee McQueen

B-Tec educated Lee has a papier-mache face and an icy stare that could wither even the most robust cactus. He inevitably likes football and rugby and apparently does impressions of ‘reverse pterodactyls’. So that’s a gag to watch out for. Go Lee, with your hilarious impressions of things that existed years ago going backwards.

To be continued…

Get back to work.