The Apprentice blog: Episode 9 Series 7

Posted on by Nell Frizzell

It is Sunday, the day of rest. Which means that Natasha has slapped on a pair of fingerless leather gloves and is running like a pig in an abattoir. Well, nothing makes me relax like a bit of squeaky-handed physical punishment, dressed as the lovechild of Fagin and Freddie Mercury.

But who’s this at the door? Who’s finger could that possibly be, turning the bell in to a pile of unemployment dust with just the tap of a tip? Why, it’s Lord Crystalline-Carbohydrates of course.

“I want you to create a new brand of biscuit,” announces the Greydi Master. Biscuits? Is next week shoe repairs? “I want you to create a whole new load of cobblers.”  Apparently, the biscuit market is already “very crowded.” Maybe they should invest in a little international E-coli? That certainly seems to have cleared out the sprout market?

Over at Team Venture, cheek-boned wunderkind Helen is elected team leader on the basis that she used to sell “bakery products.” Wow. They sound delicious. So much more appetising than, say, “cakes” or “biscuits.” I wonder if a “bakery product” is a bit like a “foodstuff”. They’ve always sounded exceptionally tasty too.

“I like the idea of a kid’s biscuit, that you can give them after school,” suggest Helen, who looks like she hasn’t so much as sniffed a biscuit since Wet Wet Wet were at number one. And what shall we call these little sugared nuggets of additives? Fatty Fatty Bang Bang would be my suggestion. Jim, however, likes the name Munch Men, who I’m pretty sure are a male-only stripping troupe from Hull, but what the hell.

Over at Logic, Susie is smacked down like a “yapping puppy” by the human angle-grinder Zoe, in the competition to become team leader. Well, who wants a biscuit made by an aromatherapist? It’ll only be 0.0001% distillation of a biscuit, anyway. Or a biscuit tincture you can burn in an oil lamp.

“The first suggestion is Emer-crunchy,” suggests Chinless Tom. “It’s a biscuit for emergencies”. Brilliant! Maybe the Emer-crunchy could come wrapped in a huge silver foil blanket. You could eat them at major traffic incidents or during a nuclear winter.

Once they get to the factory, Tom and Melody start making biscuits with all the skill and precision of a club-fingered school child. Melody appears to be rolling her biscuits in to little turds, garnished with broken cornflakes and maggot-like marshmallows. “Biscuits are the new popcorn,” she proclaims, palming her flake nuggets against a board. I just called my local Odeon to check and it’s completely true. They are now selling big buckets of sweet and salted biscuits out of a glowing box with a huge cornflake-encrusted trowel.

Once the biscuits have been baked, some negligent maniac lets Jim focus group on a bunch of children. You give a man like Jim access to all those unprotected brains and they’ll melt in to little child-sized portions of Pedigree Chum. “If you got a star biscuit, would you feel that’s a good thing to have?” he asks. Star biscuits. How about Disco Biscuits? Forget children – you could sell them to hard-up media students looking for a cheap night out.

“Truth be told, I like Helen’s personality,” says Jim. “Probably because she’s passive.” Good, well, that’ll certainly quash those psychopath rumours.

Meanwhile, Swansea locals get to try Melody and Tom’s biscuits. The W.I. like the 2-in-1 concept. The perverts. So, it’s a go ahead for BisMix – the only biscuit that sounds like a brand of concrete.

And so, to the biscuit branding, which apparently happens in Windsor. Ah yes, Windsor, that international hub of design and marketing. “Our Special Stars take away the restriction of time,” explains Natasha. “We open up time.” I once ate a biscuit that opened up time. In Amsterdam.

Day two: time for the pitch. Oh sweet lord of mercy, Tom and Melody are doing a couples role play in a Sainsbury’s conference room. Please for the love of God, somebody make it stop. Biscuit-based role play: officially about as good an idea as tax form-based cake sex.

During Venture’s pitch the delegates from Waitrose point out that biscuits are pretty sugary. Who wouldathunkit, eh? To be honest, they’re probably just a bit confused as to why a synchronised swimmer is trying to sell them a star-shaped turd on a hobnob.

So, pitches are done, cookies are crumbled and it’s time to head back to the boardroom.

Unsurprisingly, Melody turns on Zoe. Zoe then defends herself with all the sonorous quality of a dalek-oboe hybrid. Somehow, despite the pioneering use of biscuit porn fantasy sketches, BisMix didn’t manage to get a single order from any of the three retailers.

And what of Venture? Well, like the woman for whom Troy fell, Helen managed to pull one out of the bag yet again with an order for 800,00 units. That’s one packet of biscuits for every person arrested for marijuana possession in the US every year. Hey, I bet some of those guys would like to remove the restrictions of time with a biscuit too.

So, it’s off to a country hotel for the winners and back to the Bridge Café for the losers. The Bridge Café is presumably named after the nearby bridge over the River Styx, leading directly in to the underworld. Sadly, none of the Bridge Café waitresses offer the Logicians a lovely BixMix to go with their polystyrene cups of coffee. Shame.

Once back in the boardroom of doom, Logic falls apart like a rich tea in a tumble drier. In a hopeless attempt to salvage her disastrous semi-biscuit, Zoe explains that the snap and share selling point was used to appeal to women. Oh yes, snap and share: that’ll appeal to women, the catty shameless bitches.

Attention is then turned on Tom for not recognising a luxury biscuit when he’s not told about one. “That’s not my problem. You don’t know the price of biscuits,” spits Zoe, halfway through a ferocious double-chin sulk. You don’t know the price of biscuits: The very words that ushered in my parents’ divorce.

So, who is for the chop? Is it spam-faced Tom? Mardy Melody? Alas not; Lord Sugarse decides to fire buzzsaw Zoe. Fired for failing to turn up at the factory, eh? It’s good that she’s starting early.


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