“The Apprentice” candidates not worth very much
The chief villain of the latest series of “The Apprentice”, now at the half-way stage, is undoubtedly Belfast-born Ben Clarke, who has wound up not just his fellow contestants and Sir Alan Sugar but everyone at home watching the show.
His claim three weeks ago that he should not be fired because he had “won a scholarship to Sandhurst” will surely become part of reality TV folklore. The former stockbroker is on top form again this week, when viewers finally get to see if he can live up to his own hype as project manager of team Empire.
This week the candidates are given an inventory of bric-a-brac to sell and warned not to take any of the items at face value. The team which makes the most profit wins.
It is not long before cocky Ben is back doing what he does best – talking about himself. He says, modestly: “I am a natural born leader. Sandhurst clearly saw that in me and that’s why I got an army scholarship. Under those situations where I am under extreme pressure, i.e. heavy gunfire, explosions going off around me, people getting injured – that’s when I can bring a team together.” Something tells me Ben is proud of the fact he was once offered a scholarship to Sandhurst.
Deciding that time is money, Ben then rules that team Empire should not even bother having their items valued. His cheap, quick-sale techniques returns to haunt them in spectacular fashion.
Meanwhile, Philip tries to stay calm but his feud with Lorraine soon resurfaces. Lorraine is — understandably — convinced that an old Persian style rug is the prize item but Phillip ignores her advice and focuses on… a skeleton. Sir Alan’s adviser Margaret Mountford watches on in disbelief, saying: “This has got to be one of the most stupid activities they have yet engaged in.”
Which is really saying something.
“The Apprentice”, Wednesday April 29 at 9pm, BBC ONE.