Held together only with bronzer, Debenhams cufflinks and overwhelming stupidity, the remaining Apprentice candidates are proving themselves to be world-beaters in sheer fucking uselessness. Even by their standards, though, this week was a doozy. Despite the fact that nobody in business ever gets up before they put the Frosties out on the Novotel breakfast buffet, Lord Sugar insisted on meeting them at Wandsworth bus depot at 5am, where they were ‘taken for a ride’ (copyright: Shit Sugar Puns Inc). ‘Tourism,’ he barked, walking in clutching a suitcase full of Bic lighters and knock-off sports socks. ‘This week, you’re gonna run your very own LAAAANDAN bus tour.’
The two triumvirates of tosspots – Baggs The Brand, Stella and Liz - Jamie, Joanna and Chris – set about fucking up the capital’s tourism industry faster than you could say ‘I went to London and all I got was this Lousy Bus Full of Cunts.’ After negotiating a terrible deal with a tour bus company, where they all agreed to share 20% of the profits, Team Ballbaggs launched their borderline racist Pearly Kings and jellied Cockerney eels tour.
Cyber ostrich Liz approached a real life eel salesman to discuss terms. (‘Can you sell them like, ‘Roll up, Roll up getcher jellied eels?’ she enquired. ‘Well, I think that’s really patronising,’ he replied, poshly.) Stella, however, a real Cockney, was unbowed. ‘Pearly kings and queens…it’s the real London.’ she said, dreamily, before going into the real London, which was conspicuously devoid of arseholes covered in shiny buttons and talking about the Old Kent Road.
On Team Hopeless, the theme was ghosts and ghouls and stories of murder, a la Sweeney Todd and Jack The Ripper – which turned out to be quite appropriate. Aggressive glorified cleaning lady Joanna felt it was her last chance to prove that she was a real entrepreneur, so she decided to do it by hounding Jamie with her relentless nitpicking. ‘You’re doing my head in!’ yelled Jamie, fantasising about chopping her up and throwing her into the Thames. ‘I actually feel quite threatened by you!’ she replied, staring with faux wide-eyed innocence like a hungry Rottweiler caught eyeing up a pushchair. You could have cut the tension with a knife (and then hacked them both to death with it).
Stuart Baggs, on the other hand, felt it was his last chance to prove that he was a spectacularly inept twat. His tour cost a phenomenal £35, and featured a picturesque stroll past a pile of rubbish and a doorway that smelled of piss. ‘Come and have a taste of my eels!’ he screamed wildly. Japanese tourists fled.
However, Baggs, dressed up in a little red hat like a Butlin’s bell (end) boy, had nothing on Jamie’s bizarre grasp of London ‘facts’. ‘Big Ben’s face is 20 diameters in width.’ He said confidently into his microphone. ‘It’s only fair that we talk about Westminster Abbey…you can go there, and it’s a church.’ He continued. ‘Look! Here’s the Gherkin. It’s called the Gherkin because it looks like a gherkin.’
‘I actually feel quite threatened by you!’ she replied, staring with faux wide-eyed innocence like a hungry Rottweiler caught eyeing up a pushchair.
The Jellied Eels tour was going excruciatingly badly, too. Stella - who felt it was her last chance to prove she wasn’t a totally humourless snake-eyed balsa wood peg doll - decided she had a ‘fun’ side, which involved telling non-jokes about Queen Victoria and singing ‘Knees up Mother Brown’ in a monotone to three uncomprehending people from Finland. ‘Here’s some grafitti,’ she said, leading them to a wall in the East End. ‘Do you think that might be a Banksy? Is it just normal grafitti? Any ideas?’ (Silence. Nobody could speak English). In one utterly arse clenching scene, she couldn’t even find the much-vaunted jellied eel stand, which was the entire point of the tour.
Back in the boardroom, Sugar, Caroline Aherne and Old Nick were unimpressed. Team Ballbaggs failed miserably, earning just over 800 quid – not even enough to pay for Lord Sugar’s daily back, crack and sac wax. Team Hopeless earned a similarly crap £1000 and were rewarded with a tax-free knees up in Jersey, where they frolicked with Bergerac and drank clotted cream until the dawn.
Stuart Baggs the Brand, meanwhile, got the bollocking of his young life. However, if you stared solidly at British TV for the next 10 years, you would not see a better soliloquy than his astonishing defence. It was pure, unhinged, undiluted, mental derangement. ‘I’m not a 9 to fiver, I work weekends, I work 24/7 - I’m not a one trick pony, I’m not even a 10 trick pony - I’ve got a FIELD of ponies!’ he gushed. Lord Sugar was so aghast he kept him on and gave Ostrich Liz the boot. As those loveable Cockneys might say, what a massive Berkshire Hunt.
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