The Apprentice: Episode 1

“Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity,” clichés Geordie estate agent and Apprentice contestant Phillip Taylor knowingly as he lounges on the sofa sipping cocktails, no doubt attempting to assess who is the weakest so he can bear down on them vulture-like, and crush them into helpless oblivion with only the help of his enormous Geordie ego.

The Apprentices have just returned from their first task, and it’s already becoming clear who the weak ones are.

My money’s on Monna the moaner, the girls’ first project manager who spent much of last night fighting back tears as she whined her way through the first task, where contestants had to bring back as much profit as possible from a temporary cleaning business.

Both teams chose cars, and though the boys spread their risk by polishing people’s shoes at St Pancras station as well (“Four quid for a pair of shoes?” enquired one surprised customer. “I used to be in the army! I can do it myself in two minutes!”), neither team did particularly well, spending a tremendous amount of money on expensive waxes and polishes when really, they could have done fine with a bucket of water and a sponge.

Upside-down faced lawyer Anita became the first Apprentice to be fired after Monna blamed her for the girls’ downfall, saying she didn’t participate enough. It was an interesting choice by Sir Alan: faced with Anita, cocky-but-cool Debra, and moaning Monna, my choice would have been Monna – just so I didn’t have to look into those tear-filled eyes again – but as we all know, Sir Alan has his reasons.

As for Anita, on the cab on the way home she was full of speculation about those reasons. “Let’s see in ten years’ time whether he doesn’t think, ‘maybe I made the wrong decision’.

“Without having a chip on my shoulder, I just think that Sir Alan doesn’t particularly like lawyers.”

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