As I sit here on my Amstrad PC, I'm writing about Lord Alan Sugar's latest venture into the open waters of television armed with little more than a polystyrene float and some neon orange armbands; Junior Apprentice. Of course, I'm not actually on an Amstrad, because I have never seen anything made by the company, which is apparently improbably successful, despite being created by Alan Sugar and judging by my personal encounters with the stuff, manufacturing nothing.
Junior Apprentice is, as it says, The Apprentice. With juniors. Juniors younger than me, as depressing a thought as that is. They're all 16 or 17, despite looking between about 12 and 20-something (I'm looking at Bearded Tim there). The show is like the adult version, in that Big Al sets the teams a task that they'll completely ignore in light of the bigger task: covering their own arses and bitching vehemently about the other contestants, or as the show jovially puts it "Business instinct". Interestingly, none of the kids smiled, because business is apparently as austere as a 19th century family dinner. They'll probably take this footage, edit out the bits with Amstrad Al and show it on channel 5 under the title "The kids that couldn't smile", right before "The Woman who had a beard" as part of their docu-freakshow season.
Obviously, the stars of the show are imbued with that unique brand of self-confidence having no appreciable skills bestows upon you.
Lipstick Zoe opted for the charming introduction of "I am a charismatic and vivacious person", which, by virtue of the fact that it is her saying it and not a good friend putting in a wonderful testimony, makes me think she's lying. Describing yourself as charismatic ranks up there with announcing your modesty in the same sentence as your achievements in the battle against cancer in terms of probable truth.
Anyways, a rundown of the stars, along with key character traits and irritating nicknames.
Bearded Tim, my personal favourite, purely because he's the only male who doesn't look like he fell out of a pram and onto the set. Probably alright at business, who really cares? He owns sheep. Essentially prides himself on domesticating animals, a several thousand year old human achievement. Next week he may invent the wheel or fire, and stop living the nomadic lifestyle.
Lipstick Zoe, charismatic and memorable in much the same way as someone who comes to your wedding purely to urinate on your dress (I probably shouldn't be wearing a dress, but also they'd do it to the bride) and push the cake over sticks in your memory. Seemed to be competent in the art of selling, being selfish and aloof and killing people to turn their blood into preposterously red lipstick (The last one is just a guess, but given her ruthless nature (And the impossibly red lipstick she has, words can't even describe it, link to her profile on the BBC apprentice website), perhaps not entirely far off the truth).
Jordan Norton, already gone after only one week, but his shiny grey suit and Irish campness made me call him Graham Norton for the whole episode, and then disgustingly, he went and turned out to be not very good at business, and lost. I was looking forward to seeing more of Jordan, but alas, not to be.
Senior Prefect Arjun, the maths whizz-kid who is also a senior prefect at school (I know what you're thinking, but no, he can't come for a night out because his schedule is already packed with them) and apparently "Charming people without letting them know his ulterior motives" by "Mirroring them" is a special skill he possesses. Sadly, it's impossible to mirror me through a television, and so this charm failed magnificently. Again, probably alright at business.
Rhys "Tosser" Rosser, singularly the most mutinous team member I've ever seen on any TV show, like watching a person on "Hole in the Wall" leap into the water, then pop up and scream "You pushed me!" at the team captain. Given the nature of the Apprentice, I expect him to go depressingly far. Just watched his interview tape. Either it was edited peculiarly harshly or he said "I don't need to backstab, I can beat them all." as his final words. I laughed at him.
Cockney Adam, appeared to sell stuff. Typical cockney stall owner. Said a gem of a sentence: "Women love cheese." apparently. Not particularly memorable, forgot to include him on this list, then opted to come back and add him purely for that sentence.
Extortionate Hibah, told us she wants to combine her love of business with her love of medicine and start up a plastic surgery clinic and charge "Extortionate prices" (We'll cover that in a sec) rather than, say, helping the world through a combination of business and medicine, by selling simple things to impoverished nation at cost price or something similar. "Extortionate" is the key word that stuck with me from her. Either she openly admitted she wants to charge more than is really fair for plastic surgery, or she plans to blackmail her customers. Either way, it's a pretty poor business practice. Rule 1: Never use the word "Extortionate" to describe your own pricing plans (Unless you're an honest mobile-phone contract salesman, am I right? Eh?). Not a long-term hope, I don't think.
The other girls, Decidedly bland and impressively, average in their mediocrity. Expect to see them occasionally, and rack your brains wondering who they were. Possibly a dark horse winner in there. Possibly not.
Anyways, there's your rundown of the key personalities to find utterly mesmerising in their hatefulness, I hope you're looking forward to the whole sordid affair as much as I am, because if you're not, that means you are looking forward to it to any degree more than "Not at all" and clearly need to get outpatient treatment for the unwanted side-effects of your lobotomy.