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'The Apprentice' 2017, episode 1: Dick of the week

Amazingly, the fired candidate isn't always the worst one

'The Apprentice' 2017, episode 1: Dick of the week

If there’s anything The Apprentice has taught us, it’s that it’s possible for any old idiot to make it big in this world.

Of course, traditionally I’d be referring to the hapless candidates that line up every year to be ritually humiliated on TV for the chance to win a £250,000 investment. But, considering events that have taken place since the last series went out in the UK, we can add the former host of the US version to that assessment.

And, let’s be honest, we watch the show in order to laugh at the deluded characters, point at and mock them for the horrendous, obvious errors they make through the course of what should be a simple task, and then watch them brutally turn on each other in the boardroom to implicate others and save their own skin. Hey, that’s the game, no one makes them go on it do they?

Of course we’re not denying there’s some genuine talent hidden in the Apprentice bunch - who can forget no-not-the-singer Ricky Martin, who now apparently rakes it in in ‘scientific recruitment’ and no-not-the-TOWIE-star-or-’90s-footballer Mark Wright, whose SEO company reportedly brings in £5m a year.

But, even amongst this array of over-ego’d, super-slick ‘business experts’ there is, each week, one standout candidate who manages to stoop even lower than the rest. And, like a seasoned limbo player, spot a very low bar and then go under it. We are here to pay tribute to that one who goes beyond, who really pushes the envelope: a dick amongst dicks.


Right at this juncture, as Siralun eases us in to the thirteenth series of the show with a reliably laboured gag about Brexit, it’s important to state that it’s not always the biggest dick who gets voted off each week. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, we’re sorry to inform you.

But for this week, oh Lord, for this week, an absolute idiot was indeed the one voted off.

But first: a little rundown with some early thoughts.

The girls’ team was pretty good wasn’t it? Despite being named after a pencil (at least they didn’t go for Victorious Secret, Christ alive), they did everything pretty well. Solid meat choice (chicken and beef), solid location choice (Canary Wharf for the hot stuff, Soho for the cold stuff), some quality shouting over each other during a sales pitch, a bit of hounding innocent members of the public at West India Quay, and an epic moment where one of them just shouted ‘BUURRRRGGEEERRRSSSS’ into the night, like a wolf howling at the moon.

Honorable dick mentions for the girls should go to Siobhan (“superwoman” apparently) and Elizabeth (“I have size ten feet and they kick butt”) who, individually, are already a nightmare but, together, are an absolute joy to watch given that they clearly despise each other. Let’s hope they’re kept on the same team for all our sakes. Meanwhile Jade, despite a quiet episode, performed an absolutely brutal and - it turned out, wholly unnecessary - calling out of Elizabeth in the boardroom. She won’t forget that Jade, you should sleep with one eye open.

The boys though. Oh God the boys. What an absolute shambles. Although, given this episode went in the wake of Theresa May’s conference speech, somehow not the biggest shambles of the day. Even at this early point, there are clearly so many ultra-confident yet totally useless men on the show that I’m quietly confident about this series being a good one.

Where to start? COMPLETELY MISSING LUNCHTIME when you’re selling burgers is a good one. Absolutely classic. Getting the labels wrong and then - on a supposedly premium product - scrubbing out the ‘organic’ bit with a biro is another.

But Danny, you can have no complaints about getting fired. An utterly astounding amount of wrong decisions: from calling the team Vitality, like a dog biscuit; to suggesting selling £9 burgers (maybe at the O2 mate, not in the real world); channeling Richard Keys and Andy Gray by announcing “we’re gonna absolutely smash the girls”, to showing absolutely zero leadership or business nous and then being talked out of his decision to take Harrison into the final three. Truly, in a week where you really have to try hard to stand out, given that there’s 18 of you, Danny pulled it off with aplomb.

Halfway through, the dick of the week award was his. But then: redemption.

Not the biggest dick

He was so out of his depth you actually ended up feeling sorry for him - the look on his face when it became clear the boys had lost the task was of a man condemned.

But, mostly, I will never forget you Danny. Because in one sentence he summed up the show’s candidates like never before. Nail, meet head, meet Danny. For he uttered the words, in despair: ‘Too many people talking, and no matter how many times you tell em, they won’t shut up.’

Danny, you are a philosopher. Therefore, you do not deserve this award. Go free into the night and lick your wounds.

No, the honour of the inaugural ‘Dick of the week’ can and must go to Charles. He surely, as philosopher Danny suggested, cannot last more than a couple of weeks in this competition. Annoying face, annoying voice, annoying glasses, generally useless and wasted his time arseing about trying to (badly) calculate meat-to-price-to-NASDAQ-to-FTSE ratios in the kitchen when he should have just been churning out the ruddy burgers.

So sorry (not sorry) Charles: you’re the dick.

Oh, and dark horse? Despite setting him up early on in the episode as the Tory-you-all-need-to-hate, Elliott was outrageously taken into the boardroom, and defended himself astutely. He actually seems like a decent bloke. But, then, he’s on The Apprentice, so he can’t be.

Roll on episode 2.

(Images: BBC)