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Another one goes as “The Apprentice” candidates fail to clean up


Cheerio Paula Jones! You may have had nice hair, but you were rubbish at counting.

It has to be said, however, that once again Sir Alan Sugar fired the wrong candidate in last night’s episode of “The Apprentice”. Charged with setting up their own cosmetics business, the two teams had to make and sell their own beauty products using all natural ingredients.

Paula’s team, Empire, came up with by far the better product. Choosing seaweed as the main ingredient, they put together an attractive soap and shower gel range that even Sir Alan acknowledged looked the business.

Unfortunately, they made a costly error when selecting an essential oil for their beauty brew, confusing sandalwood (which is very, very expensive) with cedarwood (which is not). Under the impression that they had spent practically nothing, the moment Sir Alan’s aide Nick Hewer broke the bad news and their jaws hit the floor was the best moment of this series so far.

Beauty in the eyes of “The Apprentice” beholders


Incompetence, in-fighting and all-round confusion. That’s right folks, “The Apprentice” is back on our screens tonight and this time “Britain’s best business prospects” (their words, not ours) are here to show us how not to sell beauty products.

Sir Alan Sugar shuffles the teams again (as if that will make any difference) and picks two of the “quiet ones” as project managers. Paula and Noorul lead the teams as they try to create and sell their own line of cosmetics and, for once, they both get off to a good start.

Candidates feel the heat in “The Apprentice” kitchen


After a monumentally useless performance in last week’s opening task, “The Apprentice” candidates return to our screens tonight to add further ridicule to the claim that they are the “brightest business prospects in Britain.”

This week’s task sees them struggling to… make sandwiches. It is boys versus girls again and team Ignite and team Empire have to set up a catering service in the City of London, pitching for business, sourcing ingredients, creating menus and basically making a pig’s ear of the whole thing.

“The Apprentice” makes a welcome return


You have to ask yourself, following last night’s opening episode of the fifth series of reality show “The Apprentice”, why lawyers even bother entering the competition. Sir Alan Sugar reportedly has little time for legal eagles and it was pretty clear, once her team had lost the first task, that poor Anita Shah, pictured, was going to be the first one booted out of the competition.

Mind you, she was pretty useless.

The show’s opening claim that the candidates, who are competing for a job with Sir Alan Sugar and a six figure salary, are “Britain’s brightest business prospects” is patently untrue. “The Apprentice” seems to have adopted the Big Brother mantra of selecting candidates not for their worth but because of their oversized egos, unwarranted self-belief and willingness (in some cases eagerness) to stab each other in the back.

BBC scandals — the saga continues


Updated to include Jeremy Clarkson’s statement of apology

Another day, another scandal at the BBC. Earlier this week the Beeb announced that Carol Thatcher will no longer work on The One Show after she was reported for an off-air remark. The daughter of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher referred to a tennis player as a “golliwog”.

Now Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has landed the network in hot water yet again. Speaking to journalists in Sydney, the host reportedly called Gordon Brown a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”. The prime minister lost the sight in one eye when he was a teenager and Scottish politicians are furious at the remark.

BBC – taking a stand on Gaza


The BBC has been roundly condemned at home for its refusal to broadcast an emergency appeal for Gaza on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee, a coalition of 13 aid agencies.

It says it does not want to be seen to be taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and that broadcasting the appeal could jeopardise its carefully cultivated position of impartiality. Sky News has followed suit.

from Fan Fare:

Dr Who???

matt-smith1After months of hype, speculation and guesswork, the new Dr Who has been unveiled. And the response was, aptly enough, a deafening "Who?"

In recent months, tabloid newspapers have run numerous "beats" and "exclusives" on the identity of the next actor to play the British television time lord who travels in the space-bending Tardis. Among the candidates, supposedly, was actor David Morrissey, standup comic Bill Bailey and two female actresses -- Catherine Tate and Meera Syal.

Stricter scoring?


BBC TV’s “Strictly Come Dancing” hit newspaper headlines on Monday after three couples were voted into the finals following Saturday’s semi-final.

Four judges on the popular programme awarded the same points to Rachel Stevens and Lisa Snowdon, meaning the other semi-finalist Tom Chambers could not be saved from a dance-off whatever the outcome of a public vote.

John Sergeant’s last waltz


After enduring weeks of carping, John Sergeant has told them all to go to Hell. He’s resigning from the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” and the show’s main talking point is disappearing with him.

Other contestants and judges thought it wasn’t fair that despite his lack of skills on the dance floor, he kept getting through simply because the public loves him.

Should UK troops leave Afghanistan?


A poll for the BBC has indicated that the vast majority of the public want British troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan within the next year.

Since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, 124 British soldiers have been killed, with two Royal Marines becoming the latest casualties when their convoy was hit by an explosion on Wednesday.