The Apprentice – Episode 6, “Goodness gracious meatballs are dire”

Welcome to the 6th week of The Apprentice, and would you believe we are halfway through the present series?

This week’s lesson of how to do business kicks off with the Lord disturbing the contestants having a lark about and informs them they are heading north of the border, where they will be selling gourmet street food to an unsuspecting Scottish public.

Big Al chooses this week’s team leaders and plumps for incompetent half-wit Adam for Phoenix and annoying horse jumping Jenna to oversee team Sterling.

Adam is Jack Regan

Championing the kind of bigoted views last seen in the UK in the early Seventies, Adam is managing to offend everybody with every word he utters. When it comes to choosing a dish for the team, he doesn’t disappoint, pointing out that everyone in Scotland eats deep fried everything and that no-one eats Sushi. That is apart from everyone in his team and I think the Japanese might also be quite partial.

And after ignoring any research they may have gathered, which is the norm now on the Apprentice, Phoenix have come up with a massive ‘one’ idea. They go for meatballs and pasta in a box, which Adam says should be garnished with “Spinach or summat”. Luckily they dismiss Adam’s corned beef suggestion, however they are a bit concerned that Adam basically wants to put “slop in a box” and sell it a ridiculously over inflated price, a bit like the old Amstrad pricing strategy.

Jenna’s Sterling team have decided to go down the opposite culinary route and a Scottish casserole with quality ingredients. Sounds great, but “what if people come to the stand and speak Scottish?” asks a bewilderingly stupid Jenna. It’s a shame they don’t teach the Scottish language in schools anymore eh?

Ignore the chef

So, with dishes chosen, it’s over to the development kitchens to get them ready for the public. Adam is working with a cracking chef but just wants to keep reducing the cost to produce each dish by swapping tarragon for dust, or something.

And with the cost of each portion down to 49p, they decide to flog their revolting budget concoction for £5.99 to a Scottish public who have hopefully never seen the show. For their £5.99 they will get a few meatballs the size of raisins, a handful of discount pasta and a bit of tomato gunk smothered on top to hide the greyness of the product within.

The only one to question this tactic is whispering Tom, but Adam just speaks over him and goes with what he knows best, the utter moron.

They get Stephen involved in the branding after he made such a tip-top job of the last Italian food task when he misspelt Beelliismmmo. This time he thinks out of the box and goes for that most Italian of sounding, “Utterly delicious meatballs”. Mmmm, I’m salivating at the thought.

Team casserole have plumped for ‘Scotpot’, which does exactly what it says on the cheap cardboard carton. At least their dish looks both edible and more than 50p’s worth of food.

Mull of Kintyre

Katie’s idea of selling team meatballs produce outside a football match perhaps wasn’t as stupid as you may think. Plenty of footfall and plenty of hungry punters. Their problem was their pricing strategy when they thought that charging £5.99 would be competitive, the fools.

So, a burger for £2 or a box of sloppy, hard to eat with one hand pasta at £6? Funnily enough it seems the football fans choose the burgers and the team struggle to sell anything.

Over in team Scotpot, they have brought in the gentle sounds of the bagpipe to lure the tourist crowd to their van in Parliament Square. Unfortunately they are offering their beefy casserole to punters straight after breakfast and were flummoxed with their lack of success.

Team meatball’s next fantastic brainwave sees sub-manager and Adam’s best pal Stephen, taking to the streets with Azhar and Katie dressed in something they found in the bargain bin of the fancy dress shop. Katie gets the short-straw dressed as a pizza, despite the team selling meatballs, did this never concern them?

They accost a load of nervous tourists on a bus which amazingly fails to drum up any trade.

Team Scotpot get a bit more success by switching sites and Ricky ‘the shark’ Martin is charming everyone with his sporran and cheeky cockney smile.

The final reckoning

This could be close, it appears both team sold well. I’m worried that with team meatball only spending £90 on their produce and team Scotpot spending a whopping £262 on theirs, this could be a foregone conclusion. I hope not.

Big Al announces the figures and amazingly team Scotpot have won by about £20. Hooray!

The lord also picks Adam’s business plan for the task apart, asking where the gourmet was in a dish that cost less than 50p to produce.

Team Scotpot are off to do some Segway thingy in a country house. Eh? How does that work?

Boardroom scrap

After the now habitual shot of someone pouring sugar into tea at the Bridge Café, its back to fight it out in the boardroom.

Pinocchio of the week goes to Stephen who is blaming everyone for his own short-comings and convincing best pal Adam that it should be Azhar who comes back. And like a Jedi-Jim mind trick, Adam chooses Azhar and Katie to scrap it out with him.

Adam brings Azhar back because he “didn’t do owt”. And Katie’s misplaced concept of football punters seeking a gourmet alternative to their burger or pie, backfired quite spectacularly.

Now, part of me wants Adam to go, simple because he is a complete buffoon who should be let nowhere near a business environment. But part of me thinks that Adam is good TV and it’s always a shame to see a character leave the show.

Katie has been on the losing side four out of the six weeks and after Azhar gives a speech akin to Winston Churchill in his finest pomp, the writing is on the wall for the blonde assassin.

Katie hops into the taxi and drives over to BBC 2 where she pops up on the “You’re fired” show looking every inch a Bond girl and painfully flirts with Gino D’Acampo who isn’t slow to return the compliment.

Another show over and Whispering Tom and Ravishing Ricky Rude Martin are still the best contenders for me, although its slim pickings this year.

See you all for another update this time next week.

Nathan Lloyd

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Nathan Lloyd is the Group Marketing Manager of Response Web Recruitment.

Response are a flat-fee online recruitment company, which utilises a multi-channelled web-based approach to source talent for companies. Accessing job boards, social media and online recruitment CV databases, their mission is to drive down the cost-per-hire for their clients and save them a considerable amount of time and money on their recruitment processes.

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