24/10/2011

Young Apprentice - The Demise of Mo the Don

Mo the Don
First episode of the Young Apprentice tonight and I’m sad to say I’m hooked! 8 more weeks of 12 (sorry, now 11) odious little monsters bickering and making fools of themselves. At first, I struggled to work out whom I liked least. I quickly concluded that it was James, the Darth Jim wannabe Irish one. Then Mahamed, the Don appeared, like a ray of light in his one of a succession of what could only have been his older brothers suits. I wanted him to stay for a while, just so I could see what else he’d be wearing as the series progressed. I was to be cruelly disappointed.

Lord Allen kicked off the proceedings by announcing that he loves to encourage youngsters and that he was looking for “Entrepreneurial spirit” and a “spark of genius”. As the camera panned around the boardroom at the candidates, you knew he was going to be bitterly disappointed before the 8 weeks were out. To start with, most of them looked to be in their early 30’s, so not 'young' at all, apart from Mo the Don, who can’t be a day over 8 years old. Secondly, as the girls later proved, by having no command of basic maths (no, 3x4 is not 28…), there are no geniuses amongst them…

Once LudAllen had resolved the contentious issue of what to call the 2 boys named Harry, (I thought ‘Harry’ might do, but what do I know?), he announced the task. The candidates would have to make and sell ice cream based treats at a profit at a location of their chosing. To ‘make things simple’, teams would be girls vs. boys.

Every last one of them appeared to have attended the same school as Stuart Baggs, announcing on their VT’s how: charismatic; unashamedly mercenary; great leaders; super talented and other such tripe, that they were. Yet, when it came to displaying any of those characteristics, no one volunteered to lead and the girls couldn’t add up. (I repeat, 3 x 4 is NOT 28. What are they teaching them in schools these days??).

Performance of the task involved, as expected, both teams squabbling and messing up. The shows producers are obviously more resourceful that we give them credit for, as they managed to magic up a hot sunny day in England, conducive to the sale of ice-cream. The boys were marginally better, (strike that, they were just marginally less incompetent), than the girls. They should have won with their Pirate theme, (suggested without irony by Mo, who is a Somali….), some effort at costing and reasonable pricing. The girls, initially decided to go for a 'Treat and Trim' theme which frankly, sounded more like bikini wax, than ice cream to me and as Ludllen put it 'would be good if it were true'... They finally, however, settled on a 'highway robbery' theme, that included: charging 30p for a cone; asking between £3 and £4.28 for and ice cream; and foisting ice cream on children followed by demanding money with menaces from their unsuspecting parents. So despite making numerous mistakes and being generally shambolic, they won.
Mo & his suit, plus odious James (2nd from left)
We were eventually transported to the boardroom where LudAllen did not disappoint with such gems as: "..never mind Ben and Jerry's, it's more like bloody Tom and Jerry," and my personal favourite; "Even though this was a task about ice cream, you're going to find out that I'm no Mr Softy." The usual bickering ensued, punctuated by LudAllen’s demands to know “Ooo was responsible for the fayure of the task”. Frankly, I didn't care who was responsible, I just wanted the annoying Irish one to be fired. To cut along story short (but not quite as short as poor Mo, who looked like he could have done with a booster seat in the boardroom), Mo was fired.…..

It was at this point that I began to wonder what unfortunate incident in their lives made these kids like this? Why aren’t they out clubbing, or getting drunk, or just generally being annoying like normal teenagers (except Mo, who at 8 really should be in bed by 9pm at the latest)? Actually, to be fair, they seem to have the "generally being annoying" bit, in hand.  Are Social Services aware of this situation and what action are they planning to take??? Cut to Mo struggling, under the weight of his ENORMOUS watch, to clamber (up) into the back of the cab home. "It's gonna be Lord Sugar that regrets it" he said (a tad malevolently I thought…) Finally and perhaps, more worryingly for the future of the UK, LudAllen said this lot are the country's "young prospects". Really??? The country is doomed...Roll on next week!

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