Fired, Hired, But Rather Tired

Nick Hewer must wonder what he's done wrong. Where exactly is his title? A couple of honorary degrees from the universities of Ulster and Kingston - a polytechnic until 1992 - simply don't cut it compared to his ennobled colleagues.

Nick Hewer must wonder what he's done wrong.

Where exactly is his title? A couple of honorary degrees from the universities of Ulster and Kingston - a polytechnic until 1992 - simply don't cut it compared to his ennobled colleagues.

Has he perhaps offended some high-ranking establishment figure?

Alan, of course, has been a Lord for years. Although you'd never really know it. The way he plays it down and never insists on its use is completely admirable. Obviously, he doesn't want to make mere mortals feel humble in his presence. You can't help but think that if he was made a HRH and Hackney was turned into his very own principality, he'd remain the same modest, unassuming, self-effacing chap he always was.

Karren meanwhile has become a Dame. Getting West Ham to take on the white elephant that was the Olympic stadium warranted some kind of reward. Whether it should have been a GBE is open to question. Thanks to the fact that filming finished before the announcement of her elevation, we are mercifully spared the bowing and sycophantic scraping by those participants wanting to also ingratiate themselves with Baroness Brady.

To further rub salt into poor Nick's wounds, one time contestant, Katie Hopkins has even become an MBE. (That's Malicious Bitch Extraordinaire for those unfamiliar with the British honours system).

Much to the relief of its many fans, The Apprentice has at last found its way back to our screens and Lord Sugar's search for a recipient of £250,000 of his personal fortune and the opportunity to work alongside the country's greatest entrepreneur (who, Sir Philip Green?) has begun all over again.

The class of 2014 has already seen its casualties of incompetence.

No great losses so far, except perhaps for Robert Goodwin.

From the off, it quickly became apparent he was head and shoulders above the rest of the field. At 6ft 7, his brain taking up approximately a quarter of an inch of that, he literally towered over everyone else. The shame of the matter is it had nothing to do with his ability.

His first moan on entering the Highgate house, where he rather naively thought he would be spending the next 12 weeks, was that there wasn't anywhere near enough wardrobe space.

This might have been a valid complaint if he'd instead been appearing on America's Next Top Model. As it turned out, the lack of somewhere to hang his hat - he'd undoubtably have been wearing a hat at some point - or any of his other garish garb shouldn't have troubled him too much since he needn't have actually bothered unpacking his suitcase.

But never mind Robert, Scott, Chiles, and whichever unfortunate sap gets elbowed this coming Wednesday, the person who should definitely have been fired before any of them was the main man's make up artist.

His Lordship's starting to look like someone who's old enough to have been selling elementary computing devices - probably the Amstrad BC 1350 abacus - to the Pharaohs. It's debatable what's more tired, the cliched, badly scripted lines that come out of his mouth or the lines around it.

At the moment, no one can tell with any degree of certainty who will make it through to the latter stages of this so called competition. As with the majority of reality shows, the most competent are rarely the most entertaining to watch. Fingers firmly crossed then that Steven Ugoalah isn't dismissed too early.

Let's pray he hasn't prematurely peaked and has much more to offer. His eyes alone deserve their own prime time programme.

He's the modern transatlantic equal of Anthony Blanche from Brideshead Revisited .

The next time he's in the boardroom, you long to hear him say: "My dear, I could hardly control my annoyance. Felipe, James and those other cheeky boys were so b-b-b-beastly to me. Let me tell you, it was almost more than I could bear".

It makes you wonder what on earth his planned partnership with Lord Sugar could possibly be. I rather have a feeling - desperately hoping more like - it will turn out to be a musical version of The Apprentice, a sort of business equivalent of A Chorus Line. I'd certainly relish the prospect of him pitching that to Claude Littner who at the end helps scrutinise the CVs and proposals of those remaining.

Sarah Dales is another standout contestant. And for all the wrong reasons. She seems to believe that the way for women to get on in is to apply a load of slap, get a blow dry, hitch up their skirts, unbutton their blouses and rub themselves up against men in a 'try before you buy' way, which may continue to work perfectly well in the world's oldest profession, but maybe not so well in one of its newer media based ones.

Her awfulness, however, is what makes her so wonderful. Indeed, she might eventually rival the appalling Ruth Badger. Remember her? Who could ever forget her? Yes, she remains out there, proving that the recent culling of badgers didn't go quite far enough.

In the run up to the series finale, viewers and pundits can continue to debate about who'll end up victorious and become the new partner of Lord Sugar. (Have I mentioned he's a Lord)? By now though the (un)lucky winner knows who they are, only they're sworn to secrecy.

To that person, just two words of advice and warning: Stella English.


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