Wednesday 8 May 2013

You're Fired!

The Apprentice returned to the telly box last night as a fresh batch of hideously malformed egos were paraded for the nation to laugh at, deride and sadly, in some cases, emulate. Lord Suralan Baron Von Sugartits played his hallmark Machiavellian grotesque, while court jester and family pet, Nick Hewer, grimaced away in motley and specs. I have no idea who the bird was; without that other bloke, Margaret, it just ain’t the same.

In truth I didn’t watch it – my metaphorical boot went through the screen as soon as I heard the opening bars of Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights. I’ll confess, I found the very first series entertaining. Every subsequent one has followed the Big Brother route of assembling a freak show of increasingly hateable inadequates to gawp at. But in life as in art, imitation is seen to flatter and the distorted and imagined boardroom turbo-speak of the bionic bullshitters on The Apprentice continues to infect the UK’s body corporate. They even make kids do it now, for fuck’s sake.

In truth The Apprentice is little more than a reverse popularity contest in which the least worst loser goes away with a questionable prize – the right to gather evidence to sue Sugar for showing them up to be the useless twats they inevitably are. Can somebody please tell our blinkered politicos that the business of running the country shouldn’t really be decided in the exact same way? Because if they don’t get that message the next election may as well be fought in the baron’s boardroom:

“Right, listen up, yeah?” *music* “I like liars, I like cheats, I like schmoozers and I like arse-lickers, yeah? But there's only room for one bigmouth in my organisation, and that's me. So, listen up and don’t interrupt.”

In the boardroom, the contestants wait to hear the details of their latest task. The annoying music builds and fades as the camera appears to pan to each of them in turn, but in reality it’s just an assembled video montage of their weirdest grimaces. As Baron Bigmouth continues, the camera lingers for a moment on the distorted mask of pain that is skinny Ed’s normal expression.

“Wot we got out back is a lorry load of dodgy gear you ‘ave to shift, right? We got some old failed social policies to recycle, we got some ripped-off cut-and-paste manifesto pledges and we got a whole raft of hidden agendas which you have to get shot of without nobody noticing, see? So wot you ‘ave to do is package ‘em up and flog ‘em off so the punters think they’re buying the mutt’s nuts without noticing the load of old bollocks they’re really getting. That’s wot I did when I started Amstrad out the back of me van all them years ago…..” *fades*

You're the biggest liar - you're Prime Minister!

So, you’ve been warned. Watch out over the next two years for a bunch of privileged, oleaginous halfwits and inbreeds stopping you in the street and trying to sell you a used wind farm while their assistant is picking your pocket. Be on the alert when you try to choose new welfare reform that it doesn’t also include replacing all your neighbours with strangers. And if a dodgy, grey-bearded old man with staring, manic eyes and an unintelligible gravelly accent appears at your doorstep watch out – there could be more than you bargained for in that rucksack.


  1. When my wife used to put it on, the cat anc I would catch each others eye across the lounge, sigh, and both get up and leave the room.

  2. Sugar for my honey8 May 2013 at 10:07

    'Twas a time when The Apprentice had a clutch of people with some business acumen, but that was ages ago and today 'reality' television is easier to sell when it comprises wall to wall gurning, pompous idiots.

    OTOH you have to remember that all the 'reality' is carefully scripted and engineered. After all, what if you gave a bunch of yahoos a task and they did it competently? Not much televisual fun there at all. I mean, the peasants wouldn't watch the next one if they turned out to be decent people with nothing unusual happening, would they?

    1. And were you describing The Apprentice here, or the House of Commons? :o)