The Apprentice - Episode Five

"Odd jobs have become BIG BUSINESS," informed the doomy voiceover. They have? I spend every frickin' weekend doing odd jobs yet have somehow failed to become a billionaire, but I'll take the Beeb's word for it.

This week, those remaining in "the process" schlepped off to a warehouse situated on some Godforsaken piece of land where warehouses live, and were told to set up and run a handyman business. Handymanandwoman? Handyperson? Handyman. This is my blog, not the Guardian.

"Odd jobs have become BIG BUSINESS," informed the doomy voiceover. They have? I spend every frickin' weekend doing odd jobs yet have somehow failed to become a billionaire, but I'll take the Beeb's word for it.

Brett the builder (seriously?) got the PM job and was visibly delighted. Seemed like a bit of a fix to me, but The Apprentice likes to set up people for a fall, so there was no telling how things would turn out. Elle headed up the other team, looked gleeful and then immediately found out her team hadn't got a clue. "Simplicity is key here," she announced. No shit. Mergim, who confided he had been "dying for it" got the sub team role. Imagine dying to be a team leader on The Apprentice.

Elle's bunch of chumps missed the deadline for printing their marketing material. Well done, love. Both teams had to pitch for corporate contracts, and both quoted to do up the costume department at the Theatre Royal in Stratford, east London and some South London football club (I missed which one, but I doubt that matters). Brett's team did a lot of measuring and making knowledgeable noises about wood. The club wanted their seats cleaned and their white lines re-painted and someone called David, I think, randomly quoted £500. His team-mates stood back in awe, clearly having no idea if this offered a decent profit margin or not. Mergim's mates put up a shelf that was wonky, but confidently declared it was supposed to be, as though designing a Tate Modern installation.

Blah blah quoting for contracts, blah blah. The corporate client called Elle to discuss prices. "I have no idea about negotiation" wailed Elle to her fellow chumps (well done again, love). Where do they find these people? Joseph, aka Gomez Addams and my pick in the office sweepstake, seemed on it. Perhaps that £14 will be mine after all. "Ar feel lark arve really taken ovah vis tarsk," he confided modestly to camera.

By this stage, I'd lost track of which team was which, but the one with Brett the Builder realised they had no chance of finishing their job at the football ground and told the football bloke. Claude looked thrilled. "He's going to have to re-negotiate on price, and it's going to cost him," he whispered, looking like Ernst Blofeld (post-corrective surgery). The football bloke knocked forty quid off the price. "Even if we lose, I've shown my leadership," squawked Brett, proudly. Er, okaaaaaay.

So, to the boardroom. Atop his booster seat, Siralanlordsugar was keen to show his superiority. "Ar laid on two big jobs. "Props to the candidates here for not laughing. "So ow did yoo lot do ven?" A moment here to praise April for the bun on top of her head, so high small planets were circling it. How does she do it?

Brett the Builder won - what a surprise - and he and his team went off to a spa, which appeared to comprise nothing more than a small sauna and one mud face mask between six. Wowser.

April, her bun now reaching hitherto undiscovered galaxies, defended her non-existent pricing strategy. "It was a mistake, and I learned from it." Sugarlordalansir turned to Elle, disturbing her mentally working out a new way of saying "thank you for the opportunity." She was fired. "Thank you VERY much for the opportunity." In the taxi of doom, she said she wouldn't have done anything differently.

Back to the boardroom. "Vis ain't finished." Richard came under fire, but Gomez Addams defended him. "Ee woz sweatin', Lord Sugar." April and David were chosen to come back with Mergim for the potential chop. "Charleine, you're off da ook," "Can I say something?" "NO."

Mergim fought hard to stay in the process. "Ar always fink outside feh box." April saw an opening. "He didn't lead his team." Mergim wasn't having any of it. "Arm passionate about being a millionaire." So am I, Mergim. So am I. He was fired, but the firing was tempered with kindness, a rare glimpse of humanity from the teeny boss man. "Keep striving for ya dreams." April looked relieved, but unexpectedly got fired as well. David grabbed his chance to boast. "I do shine." "I didn't see any shining," came the withering retort from Baroness Brady.

"Lord Sugar's search for his business partner continues." Poor sod.

First published here


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