Junior Apprentice: Week One

Welcome to my first attempt at a liveblog. No idea how this will go, but I’m distressed by the lack of a Guardian option so I’ve gone into DIY mode. Wish me luck!

Bit late to the party, it’s already 9.07 and I’ve missed quite a lot of bragging from the mini-tycoons. The Sugars-in-waiting, if you will.

They’ve just moved into their Apprentice-pad. It’s nicer than their normal houses, say the proto-Sugars. A bespectacled asian kid with twenty billion A stars is reclining on a beanbag. Sixteen year old Jordan De Courcy tells one of the girls that he set up his first business when he was twelve. He sounds like Lloyd Grossman and looks like a rake that’s been liberally pebbledashed with acne, poor lamb. More in a minute

9.11. What! The leader of the girl’s team (‘Revolution’- presumably named after the popular chain of vodka bars where I spent my own teen years) opened her own chain of plastic surgery clinics?! WHAT? She’s 16. She should have a paper round, not be up to her armpits in gore!

9.14: I googled and it turns out she just helps with her father’s business. I don’t think she actually does the operations. But still.

9.16: It’s tenuous connection location briefing time. Today: A school! Because they’re young, innit. Back in a sec

The task is revealed. They’re selling cheese. £500 worth, in fact. Why didn’t they do the briefing in a dairy? That would have made FAR more sense. I should be on the production team.

Where do you go for your cheese? Tesco? No. Covent Garden? Yes, of course. It’s the first place I think of when I think of cheese. Well, the boy’s team seem to think so, anyway.

Tim Ankers, who has his own flock of sheep (what? He should be hanging out in bus shelters drinking, surely. He’s YOUNG) and who looks like a Sixth Stereophonic, has come up with a ‘meal deal’ for their Covent Garden stall. Hmm, suddenly it’s not looking so daft…hungry city types with a penchant for dairy products might fancy a cheese-based lunch. Stranger things have happened.

9:21: The boy’s team (sorry, I missed their name. Let’s call them Puberty for now), are setting up their stall. Acne-rake is wearing a butchers uniform and peering at things confusedly. He doesn’t seem to have ever encountered cheese before. Which possibly explains his slimline figure…

9.23: Zoe (blonde lass) is wearing a BERET! Like my namesake. Unfortunately, it’s not Ribena coloured- it’s a bland, characterless white. This makes me rather sad.

Zoe is good at selling cheese. Or, as Nick puts it- she has ‘a commanding presence’. I think he fancies her. Probably on the rebound from Margaret, poor thing.

Speaking of Margaret, I miss her! I hope she’s peering at this over her pile of papyri, chortling away and rolling her eyes merrily.

9.25: Sheep-boy has come up with a rather good idea, a ‘credit crunch lunch’ which seems to consist of two crackers, a sliver of cheddar and a grape. Cost to put it together: 25p. Selling for £2. LordAlun’s going to like that, methinks.

9.25: Uh oh, rake boy, sorry- I mean Jordan, hasn’t sold the exotic, pricey cheeses. Suddenly, the boy’s team aren’t looking so confident. Puberty are dead in the water (If anyone knows the real team name, please tweet it to me. Although I prefer Puberty, to be honest).

So, back to the traditional Apprentice strategy of driving round London trying to sell something incongruous. This week- cheese. Next week, half a shop dummy and some bits of grass.

Back to the girl’s team and Zoe is negotiating to sell about a ton of cheese to a man who, for some reason needs a lot of cheese. She’s using her age to make him feel guilty. It works! She sells it for £50. The man looks faintly horrified and dashes off, presumably to buy some anti-cholesterol medication.

But Zoe’s victory has come at a price. She’s made the plastic-surgery tycoon/team leader cry. Bad Zoe…

9.32 “Are you a fan of fresh cheese?” says a boy with a strangely tiny face to a startled French woman in the street. She runs away.

9.34 Hiba (plastic surgery girl) is following the boys lead and hoicking a tray of cheese around Covent Garden. It’s like watching Oliver Twist (“Who will buy, my dairy-based produce…?”) It works! The girls sell out. Well done, Revolution.

Back to Puberty. They’re trying to do a deal with a restaurant. They sell an entire coolbox of fancy cheese for £250. Wow. These youthful tycoons seem a lot better than the usual bunch of clueless twentysomethings…

9.36: The boardroom! I’m disappointed to see the young people’s luggage is the usual black, wheely type of suitcase and not bright pink/blue and decorated with Hannah Montana/whatever young boys like. Footballs, or summat.

Ah, here we go, the arguments, the recriminations, the repeated use of words like ‘interjection’. Zoe didn’t give Hiba a chance to talk, unfortunately. What- the beret wearing one being bossy!? Surely not.

Jordan is chatting away. Tim is asked why he didn’t make more of the credit crunch lunch packs when he ran out. “It was hard to make them,” says Tim, thereby negating any good karma he generated by coming up with a good idea. FACEPALM.

Oh no! The boys made a loss of £210! I’m rather surprised. Their cheeses must have come from magical cows and been made of gold, as they seemed to sell a lot of those crunchy-lunches. Ah, apparently that giant cheese-filled coolbox that they sold for £250 was worth £400. That explains it then.

Well done, Revolution, who get to go to a restaurant. Possibly the same one the boys sold the knock-down cheeses earlier. Runny magic-cow cheese, anyone?

9.42: Girlfriend just walked in, cackled and said ‘Oh dear, they’re in the Cafe of Suck.” I hereby declare that to be its official name for ever more. Puberty are looking a bit gloomy and rather resigned. I wonder how hard LurdAlun will be on them?

In the boardroom. The lads look pretty calm. When I was sixteen I was alarmed by having to speak to another person, sudden noises and, occasionally, hedges. But these precocious little buggers could face down a velociraptor.

LurDallun: “You were all running around like headless chickens”. The boys accuse Jordan- aka AcneRake ™ – but LurdAlun turns on Tim for not making more credit-cheese-boxy-crunch-lunches. Karren accuses him of not following his ideas through. Oh. Also, it was his idea to sell £400’s worth of cheese for £250. Am sensing imminent Tim-firing.

9:48: Adam (smallface) wants Jordan or Tim fired. Rhys (blonde posh lad who I swear I’ve not noticed until now) is being brought back into the boardroom by Jordan, along with Tim.

Nick thinks Tim’s been lazy. Bit unfair as he came up with an idea, unlike Jordan who flapped more often than a chicken on a hotplate.

Rhys’s skills seem to include sitting with his mouth slightly open, blushing and looking alarmed. Tim thinks you keep cheese in a coffin, which is concerning. Where does he keep his corpses?

Tim: “Jordan didn’t want to cut up any cheese.” He’s coming across as a bit of a half-arsed twit, to be honest. But still he came up with a fairly good idea! Also, he likes sheep and keeps cheese in a coffin. He’s my kind of twit. But am I going to be able to grow any fonder of him?

Yes I am! Because


I feel a bit sorry for him, actually. Poor Rakeboy. It’s off to the FailBus for him, aka the LurdAlunmobile. They should let him sit in front so he can make ‘Vrooom Vrooooooooooom’ noises and pretend to be driving. That’ll cheer him up.

At least I won’t have to listen to his droning Grossman-esque tones for the next five weeks though. And for that I’m VERY grateful.

Woo! And look! I did a liveblog all by myself!  If you enjoyed this, tell your friends and come back next week, when I’ll do it all again. And I’ll hopefully be a little bit more prepared and actually know the candidates names n’ shit.

*Deactivates Ribenaberet*


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at Hilary3@gmail.com.

20 Responses to Junior Apprentice: Week One

  1. Sophie says:

    Love it!

    If you do this every week I will not need to watch the programme and re-live my teenage hatred of ‘team-working’ and smug girls who are cleverer than me etc. But I will still get to enjoy the toe-curling moments of stupidity via your comedy LiveBlog!

    Shame the AcneRake went – that name would have caught on.

    Is Adam the one who sounds like he has a cold? I have named him Adenoid Adam. Har har har.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Adenoid Adam! Love it. That’s now been added to my list of official nicknames, along with Plastic Surgery Girl, SheepBoy, Lady Whiteberet and, er, Rhys. Who seems to defy nicknames with his very blandness.

      So glad you enjoyed my first foray into Livebloggage. And thanks for commenting!

  2. masterful liveblog! I may even watch the next episode after that…I was distracted by a football match, which I sat in the same room as rather than actually watching this time.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      You’re too kind, madam. Would hardly call it masterful- only decided to try my hand at it at 9.05, hence not having a clue what any of their names are! But glad you enjoyed it nonetheless 🙂

  3. Mads says:

    Hilarious. Loved the cheese coffin bit too. Tim really reminds me of somebody but I can’t quite put my finger on it yet…

    Is it just me or was Rhys fighting back tears the entire episode? Maybe that’s just what teenage boys sound like. I can’t remember. Was too busy selling plastic surgery on a market stall from my bedroom when not tending my personal flock of sheep.

    Lady Whiteberet has so far failed to live up to the beret… namely, she went an entire task without looking victimised or complaining that she couldn’t use a printer, and I’ve never seen her in Sainsbury’s on Rose Street.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Poor little Rhys- yes, he seemed a bit overwhelmed, if his scarlet cheeks were anything to go by.

      Like you, I spent my teen years running a dairy from my back bedroom and selling cheeses from a handcart just off the M60. I also made my own BBC computer game called ‘Cheese Vendor’, a text based adventure based on the exploits of a whimsical character called Miss Briestilton Camenbertedam. It sold 14 copies, a record for video games at that time. if only they’d had a Junior Apprentice in the 80s. Sigh.

  4. Brennig says:

    Please can you stick out a tweet to remind plebs like me that you’re going to do this next week? Ta.

  5. KJ Elsdon says:

    Great blog! Will be back next week for the next one – will also pass it on to my goddaughter who is already hooked on Junior Apprentice!

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Really glad you liked it! And yes, please do spread the word. Although if more than 3 people are going to read it I’ll get terrible stage fright on the night, leading to my repeatingly typing the word ‘gibbons’ before running from my living room and weeping.

  6. ladyribenaberet says:

    Turns out the boy’s team name was ‘Instinct’ & not Puberty as I suggested. Although they both sound like varieties of Lynx…

  7. ladyribenaberet says:

    @Apprenticles – a) I love your name and b) I hereby suggest Dairylea Head for Rhys. You’re right, it *is* rather triangular.

    • Apprenticles says:

      We’re thinking along the same lines – I did think of Laughing Cow, but discarded it as too convoluted. Dairylea is good, no need for Head.

      Also, Puberty is a fantastic name for the team, please don’t start using theirs.

      Talking of names, I enjoyed the bit when Beret was asked what she thought of Revolution, and said she thought it sounded “a bit clichéd”, and then she suggested Synergy (ffs), and shortly afterwards “Catalyst is quite nice”.

  8. Brennie says:

    A superb liveblog – and you’re certainly able to fill the livebogging boots as vacated for this series by AnnaP.

    As far as nicknames go, I rather thought Rhys had an air of Lembit Opik about him, while Jordan was a thinner version of 80s kids TV character Pob.

    • Apprenticles says:

      I thought Jordan looked like Michael Gove’s anorexic son.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      High praise indeed. The highest, in fact. I’m not worthy. I am merely cleaning AnnaP’s glorious boots, polishing them slightly and airing them out a bit until she returns.

      Re: Rhys- agreed. But would take it further and suggest he resembles a blushing, open mouthed Lembit Opik gaping in alarm as he opens Heat magazine to find a grainy, papped, nude picture of himself dressed in stockings and dancing to ‘Touch my Bum’ by the Cheeky Girls.

  9. IBK says:

    WEEK TWO hooooorahhhh

    I smell defeat for Adam this week – he is my fave to win but alas this is a task based on what he does in “real life” so he is destiny bound according to laws of Apprenticedom to fail..

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