The Apprentice blog: Episode 10

Posted on by Nell Frizzell

Britain’s most belligerent boss and the oldest mod to ever be seen leaving a lift is still on the search for a teasmaid. Or a photocopier. Or something. But in the fight to become The Apprentice, only the formidably stupid, aggressive and nasal survive. It’s week ten and somehow The Apprentice contestants have still failed to form a trade union.

In a modern communication miracle, the morning telephone call is answered by someone other than Stella. It is Hollyoaks Jamie who receives the happy news that they’re all due at Wandsworth bus garage. Is this a reminder or just how far Lord Sugarcoatednuts has come since his humble Hackney beginnings? You know, right down the Northern line.

Cue bewildering shots of Liz applying blusher to her neck (is there any situation in the world that calls for a bronzed neck?) and Chris desperately clasping an insufficiently small towel to his genitals. And so, to the garage. Forget bringing a gun to a knife fight, Lord Alanstrad has brought a Bentley to a bus garage.

“I’m giving you each an open top bus for the day,” honks Lord Sugarpuff. This is going to be the shittest re-make of Speed ever. Their job, if they chose to accept it (and it’s a miracle to me that they still do) is to start their own London tour company. Which I suspect will be a tiny bit harder for Northerners Liz and Joanna than for dyed-in-the-Thames Londonites Jamie and Stella. But hey, what’s the point of a level playing field if you are too stupid to stay vertical.

“I feel very passionate about the Cockney thing” says Stella, who proposes a tour packed with pearly kings and queens, jellied eels and rhyming slang. Or thermal tights, knock-off handbags and stray art students, seeing as they’re on Petticoat Lane.

Jamie, on the other hand, does an impression of a male model with a nasty case of Polio to illustrate his idea for a spooooky ghost and ghouls tour. Well, we all know how scary ghost stories are in broad daylight surrounded by traffic.

While scoping out the East End, Liz hones in on a jar of jellied eels like an Egyptian shark to a distracted swimmer. “You can now enjoy the smell of urine,” quips Stuart as they amble past the Whitechapel Gallery. Well… you know what those contemporary artists are like when it comes to continence.

So to the pricing. Stuart suggests £30-£40 for a walking tour of London. Which is approximately seven times the price of a one day travel card. Yes, that’s seven times more expensive than a ticket to anywhere in London. And you have to walk. Someone’s been sharpening their brain on a turnip again, haven’t they Stuart?

For Synergy, Monotone Christopher manages to broker the quite shockingly selfless deal that guarantees a tourist centre 20% of their total earnings. Yes, total earnings. That includes drinks, tips, everything.

Like beggars looking for cigarette butts and talking to automatic doors, Joanna and Jamie hustle strangers for money the the bus station. Sadly, the words ‘Sweeney Todd’ spoken in a French accent and ‘Buckingham Palace’ barked in a Mancunian twang are somehow lost in translation.

On the day of the task Team Apollo dress as up as a troupe of corporate tomatoes, replete with jaunty hats. Needless to say, Stuart illustrates perfectly the meaning of the phrase ‘straining at your buttons’. Synergy, meanwhile, go for a strong look I will coin ‘baggy stripper’ with matching navy nylon combos.

“The clock face of Big Ben is 20 diameters in width,” Jamie tells his bus of assembled tourists. Which is certainly news to Pythagoras. And to maths as a whole.

Meanwhile, Stella is giving her tourists a lovely tour of the building works, safety ramps and pneumatic drills of East London, while her Pearly King stares through glasses apparently made of paperweights. She then gets lost on Petticoat Lane. Perhaps because she’s looking for a mobile food van. Note the word ‘mobile.’ Probably not the best landmark to base your walking tour around. Still, if any of her tourists are looking for a cut-price Next suit or £1 plastic bangle they are in luck. And at least she’s got the world’s toothiest man to accompany her in a rousing chorus of Knees Up Mother Brown on the way home.

So, the task is over it’s back to the boardroom, where Karen and Nick both pretend to be consulting their notebooks, despite the fact that all that could possibly be written on those pads and files is ‘Change Sugar’s Bag’ and ‘Don’t Mention The Amstrad’.

In his summing up, Lord Sugarmort brings up the famous turf wars of Trafalgar Square. Did I say ‘turf’? What a laughable typo – mind you, this ‘f’ is terribly close to the letter ‘d’ isn’t it?

The final figures reveal that although Apollo managed to bag £834.30, Synergy leapt in to the lead with £1,099.33 profit, despite giving 20% of it away to an outside company.

So Jamie, Joanna and Chris are flying off to Jersey. Presumably to visit the billions of pounds of taxes not being paid to the British treasury. For Apollo it’s ‘gutting’ time in the café. Both Stella and Liz agree that Stuart is to blame. But will Lord Sugar agree? The answer, I’m afraid, is a painful one.

Despite the fact that Stuart didn’t have a price strategy, sold half as much as Liz and, lest we forget, has the face of a garlic naan and all the charm of bluetac, Lord Sugardaddy seems to be wavering. “I’ll make you so proud of me.” Stuart begs as he starts to unzip Alan’s trousers under the table. “I’m not a one trick pony, I’m a ten trick pony. I’m a field of ponies,” he goes on. Stuart, you are not a field of ponies. You are a white roll in human form.

So, it’s between Steady Stella, Fellatio Stuart and Unblinking Liz. Well, insanely, and in an absolute triumph of deluded male solidarity over sense, Lord Sugar chooses a sociopath over a salesperson. Liz, who Lord Sugarpuff admits has ‘consistently done well on sales throughout the process’ goes to the wall, while Tourettes Stuart goes home to wave his willy in the mirror.

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