Cityvisitor blog

Idiots for hire

“We’re doomed” was Private Frazer’s downbeat assessment when events in Dad’s Army took an unfortunate turn.

That’s how you feel after watching an episode of The Apprentice, the programme that claims to unearth budding entrepreneurs but ends up exposing half-witted backstabbers who will do anything for 15 minutes of fame.

God help us if we had to rely on these business brains to lead Britain to the Promised Land. Most of them couldn’t run a bath.

If you’ve seen previous series you’ll know that BBC researchers generally do a good job in mixing a smattering of bright sparks, with twentysomethings dreaming of a career in TV presenting.

But for this 11th outing Lord Sugar and his sidekicks Karren Brady and Claude Littner have been served up a motley crew, most of who haven’t a clue about how to get on in life, let alone read a balance sheet.

In this simple format the big, bad tycoon sets his prospective business partners some simple tasks. Those that perform best stay in the competition, while the weak links are shown the door.

With such universal incompetence on show, it’s hard to see how any of the candidates will end up enjoying the Lord’s largesse to the tune of £250,000.

“I don’t think you need to have a knowledge of anything to actually be good at your job,” was one of the gems from a would-be commercial giant (she was sacked soon after that remark).

Negotiating skills that would lose out to a four-year-old have been in evidence throughout this series. And how about offering three people for work for £10 an hour? Not £10 each, but three for £10.

With no credible business brains on show, you can delight instead to the catty put-downs as each candidate resorts to basic animal instincts to fight to stay in the process. It’s strangely compelling.


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