Junior Apprentice 2010 – first show, liveblogged

by Gerard McGarry

Welcome everybody – I’ve been chosen from absolutely zero applicants to liveblog tonight’s Junior Apprentice. Yes, I’ve been told I’m watching this. Gulp.

So, we’re getting a bunch of swotty schoolkids instead of the usual bumbling second hand car salesmen. Regular Apprentice is still postponed until the autumn, so we get six episode of this to compensate!

There are ten school children in the boardroom. They chant “Good morning Lord Sugar” like it was morning assembly. Er…while Sugar lays down the law for the apprentices, we get a shot of a kid with a full beard! Who is this wolf boy? Is he an adult apprentice in disguise? “But…but…I was trying to show Lord Sugar how enterprising I was…” He’s probably 40.

Introductions to Sugar’s assistants: Karren Brady (replacing sexy Margaret) and Nick Hewitt. He warns them not to mess up the house he’s (or The Beeb) rented for them. Arjun scares the bejesus out of me. He talks like he’s a veteran of thousands of job interviews. The others are equally frighteningly grown-up. Jordan is the director of his own company.

Tim Ankers (aka wolf boy) has a very unfortunate surname. Let’s hope he’s a nice guy.

The girls and boys split down the gender divide and are tasked with nominating a leader and naming their group. The boys settle on Instinct and nominate Jordan to lead the group. The girls settle for The Revolution and let Hibah be their leader.

First task

The kids get woken up at 6am for their first task. They file out, get into the customary black people carriers and give the cameras some smack talk. They meet Lord Sugar in his old school where he asks them to sell a load of cheese. Yes, cheese. £500 worth of the stuff.

Both teams unwittingly decide to sell in the Covent Garden area. Tim has the sparkling idea of “Credit Crunch Lunch”. Hibah does a quick stock take before setting out. The guys set up stall pretty quickly, but they don’t know their cheddar from their stinky bishops. And to make matters worse, Jordan manages to wrong-foot his team by being very clearly the delegator. He’s clearly got no intention of getting his fingers cheesy.

On the other hand, the girls seem to be running a far more professional outfit – Zoe in particular is a key salesperson. The boys eventually come up with their own strategy – the Credit Crunch Lunch, which they make for 25p and sell for £2. However, when the lunch trade dries up, the guys have to try new tactics.

For the next 20 minutes, all we hear are different voices saying “Do you want to buy some cheese?” Two ladies take the piss out of Arjun for his genetalia-shaped Italian cheese. Maybe they should hit the red light areas? This is the bit of The Apprentice I love – where the businesslike facade crumbles and the contestants look like desperate idiots. There must have been a few people munching on cut-price cheese at the end of that day, I can tell you.

Boardroom scenes

There’s some bitchiness among the girls between Hibah and Zoe – with most of them feeling that Zoe took over somewhat, although it looked to me that she’d got the most work done.

Sugar picks up on Tim’s lunch packs but questions why they didn’t make more when they proved popular. It turns out that the girl’s team make a profit of over £100, which the guys make a serious loss. Heads are going to roll. And it should be Jordan who gets the chop. The girls meanwhile head off to a top London restaurant for some swanky nosh.

The lads head for a cafe, and Jordan does the nasty leader thing, blaming Rhys for his bad attitude toward his leadership. We like Rhys. All of the guys begin floundering for excuses and pointing the finger at each other. Jordan brings Rhys and Tim back into the boardroom. To be honest though, I think it’s Jordan who should go. He’s being a bit slimy and selling out his team members rather than taking the blame.

I don’t know if you’ve got this recorded folks, but have a look at this Jordan guy again. Imagine him with a bald head, scar down his face and his pinky finger to his lips…he’s Doctor Evil! Thankfully, he gets sent home before he can hold the world to ransom with a “laser” and a miniature lookalike. What’s galling is that on his trip away from the office, he talks about how he’s “better” than some of the remaining contestants. Not your finest hour, child.

Gerry’s final thought

Like the Springer-ism? Hoped you would. Bit of a question for you, readers – how smart was it to put this on at 9:00pm? Surely it should have been on CBBC in order to inspire the new generation of Young Tories to start their own businesses? Instead, we had stacks of evil adults – myself included – sneering at these scary mini-adults and their premature business-speak. Just wondering (out loud) if this was a smart idea. It was certainly entertaining in a cruel, poke fun at the kids kind of way…

Gerard McGarry is a jet-setting, world-renowned Reality TV critic. In real life, Gerard works with web and social media strategy. His personal blog is at GerardMcGarry.com or follow him on Twitter @gerrybot