Friday, 30 September 2016

The Apprentice

Get ready to cringe at the latest crop of hopefuls

Written by Ben Felsenburg


‘I’m the business equivalent of a diamond. I can light up a room – but if you’re not careful, I can cut you.’ ‘I’m an emperor, a true leader. A country isn’t enough. I want the world.’ ‘The sheer energy that I’m going to bring mimics that of a nuclear explosion. Once I lock myself on a target, they don’t stand a chance.’ Ben-Felsenburg-colour-176

Yes, The Apprentice (Thursday, BBC One, 9pm) is back, complete with the comedy contestants who we shall soon grow to love – or hate – for their hyperbolic braggadocio and slapstick approach to commerce. The British version of the show has been going since 2005, but the formula has not tired, as unageing as the well-preserved Lord Sugar.

There are no less than 18 hopefuls in the first of the dozen episodes that will eventually reveal the candidate who will be given £250,000 for a business venture. As they’re divided into boys and girls for the first task, part of the delight is seeing the age-old differences between the sexes played out, even in the names for the teams: the men choose from ‘Assassin’, ‘Upper Echelon’ and ‘Titans’, while for the ladies the suggestions carry a little more poetry and a little less brute force: ‘Team Click’, ‘Nebula’ and ‘Limitless’. Meanwhile, in the background is the secret star of the apprentice: with all those swooping helicopter shots accompanied by stirring music, London is the very epitome of the dazzling metropolis to which any ambitious bright young thing must surely be drawn.







NOT TO BE MISSED...

BETJEMAN AND ME: RICK STEIN'S STORY Sat, BBC4, 8.10pm
As the chef explores his native cornwall he visits beaches that were close to the poet’s heart.

CAPABILITY BROWN'S UNFINISHED GARDEN Mon, BBC4, 9pm
Can the vision Brown planned for his estate (above) be made a reality by designer Bunny Guinness?

THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF MARIE ANTIONETTE'S WATCH with Nicholas Parsons Thurs, BBC4, 9pm
The Just A Minute host is on an apt quest to find the world’s most expensive timepiece.


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