The Apprentice blog: Episode 6 Series 7

Posted on by Nell Frizzell

Lord Sugar is “passionate about new money-spinning ideas,” says the voiceover, as Episode Six thrusts its way on to our screens. Sadly, Lord Suga-ga is still only just waking up to the commercial potential of steam locomotion and indoor plumbing.

But back to the show. The birds are singing, the dawn is cracking, the phone is ringing and there is yet another preposterously big bunch of flowers by the handset. Seriously, it’s like Dawn of the Triffids down there. I fully expect for Glenn to one day rush down the stairs, only to discover a ringing phone, an empty six litre bottle of Baby Bio and Susie’s decomposing legs disappearing down a stamen. Luckily Edna gets away from the Frankenbloom unscathed, telling the apprentices to don their high-vis vests and head to West London.

When was the last time I saw this many brain cells wearing high vis vests? Back stage at a N-Dubz gig? Down a sewer? At a Handy Andy fan club reunion? Who knows. But this time they’re off to a rubbish dump. This is what Ruskin would have called pathetic fallacy and I would call a pathetic collection of phalluses.

“You can make money from just about anything,” says the Baron of Clapton. Old Sugarnuts is actually there in person for a change, rather his usual craggy hologram. Sadly, he slightly ruins the corporeal effect by adding, “This is rubbish.”

So, this week they’re selling waste. Next week: old rope. The week after: a dead horse.

After being briefed, the teams are taken to a carpark lecture on “The business potential of rubbish.” Which must be the MA Course listed just below “The philosophical potential of offal.”

Before any of the real shit-shovelling can begin, both teams must elect a leader. “In terms of experience I’ve got nothing at all…” admits Susan with what is either startling honesty or startling psychopathy. So, instead Zoe gets to be PM. Which stands for project manager, but with a voice like hers  – a voice like heavy chains rubbing across broken train tracks – perhaps a future in politics beckons?

“Helen stood out for me because she put her strategy right on the table” says Natasha. Well, we’ve all been to hen dos like that, I suppose.

For Logic, Jim takes the interesting approach of driving around the suburbs threatening homeowners over a tannoy, before trying to steal their barbeques. The women, on the other hand, are sitting in the back seat of a car in full overalls and high vis. Be safe, be seen, be stupid.

“I feel like Melody has just said, here’s a big plate of blame, fancy a bite?” says Natasha, to camera. You know how I eat off a bit plate of blame, Natasha? With a giant spoon of passive aggression and a colossal fork of denial.

For Venture, Zoe is pure positivity: “Listen to me when I say this, I know nothing.” Out of the mouths of babes. Or, in this case, female John Lennon lookalikes.

Back on the streets of West London, Jim and Tom are creating possibly the most surreal Baywatch parody I’ve ever seen; two black-haired, thyroid-imbalanced mentrepreneurs running up a residential hill in ill-fitting red overalls. Sexy.

“Waste management is an industry full of tricks” says Nick, sagely. No, no Nick. You’re thinking of close-up magic and prostitution.

As her team gradually realise that they have spent a whole day collecting about 80p worth of gravel and chewing gum wrappers, Zoe grabs the bull of opportunity by the horns and sits openly weeping in an ill-lit MFI showroom. She’ll probably write Imagine about this later with her husband Noko Nono.

Luckily, the next day Edna, Zoe and Orblando Bloomers agree to clear an alleyway full of unbagged shite in return for three waist-height copper thermos flasks. That strikes me as a little like agreeing to worm your own dog in return for a packet of used blu-tac, but hey, what do I know? I mean, it’s Edna who’s “the brains and the brawn as”.

Over at team Logic HQ (a rubbish-strewn garden somewhere in South London) a Battersea builder is sneaking extra bags of rubbish into their load. Greyhound Jim tries to complain, but to no avail. Never take on a fat man in a builders’ yard-branded t-shirt behind a privet hedge, Jim. You will always lose.

And so the task draws to a close. Waste is loaded in some sort of flat-bed reverse-birth with shouts of “Push! Push!” metal is weighed and priced using the blinding science of, well, a magnet and prices are negotiated. A quick word of advice: When negotiating a deal always make sure you do a jumping high five and shout “Awesome!” as soon as they suggest a price. It really is the only way to get the best deal.

“It felt so good to see dirt on me and dust in my eyes,” says Melody before going in to the boardroom. Pervert.

As they take their assembled seats, with Susie standing behind the rest of the team pulling a face like a cat’s arse, it’s time for Lord Sugarmort to call in the results.

All in all, Team Venture earned a respectable £706, but Logic finally bucked their losing streak with a mighty £712 profit. Suck on those six big ones, Venture. Six entire pounds. To celebrate, Helen et al are off to a thermal spa. Which is where you have a bath wearing your longjohns, for any tourists taking notes.

Which must mean that it’s time for Crappy-go-Sucky Zoe and the rest of her team to gather in the Café de Despair.  Such is the weight of disappointment that I’m sort of expecting one of them to stick a fork through their eye and asphyxiate themselves with a squeezy bottle of HP. Some hope.

Zoe takes Susie and Edna back in to the boardroom with her. Go sisterhood! Each woman takes a different tact to self-defence. Susie puckers her underbite in to something approximating a piranha’s anus, Zoe rolls her eyes like John Lennon having an acid flashback and Edna curls up her silver lips like someone who’s just discovered a dead dog in their pop sock.

“Anybody can make a phonecall.” Lord Sugar admonished Edna. He’s obviously never met a middle aged mother with a new mobile phone.

“You were not good for team morale, Zoe,” lambasts Susie. “You sat in the corner crying.” One day this passage will be reproduced in management textbooks everywhere.

To be honest, all three are presenting about as attractive a business prospect as a biro up the nose, but amazingly Lord Sugarbabes manages to sack just one of them.

Which one you ask? Edna ‘S&M gloves’ Agbarha. Which just goes to show; three degrees isn’t always the best training for shovelling bags of gravel and flogging dog food. Put that in your university prospectus and smoke it.


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