Junior Apprentice: Week Two

Hello! Welcome to week two’s liveblog. I’m a bit discombobulated due to having been bitten by a dog about an hour and a half ago. But, like the proto-Apprentoids, that’s not going to stop me giving literally twelvety hundred thousand trillion percent tonight.

9.02pm- “Islington, 7am” – ah, so they’re continuing the adult Apprentice tradition of waking the candidates progressively earlier each morning until eventually Frances the Disembodied Voice rouses them three hours before they’ve gone to bed and their task is to navigate an Escher-style dreamscape guided only by their consciences.

Sorry…did I mention the dog bite thing? I’ll be blaming that for any random elements of my commentary tonight.

9:05 They’re at a city farm on the Isle of Dogs (aargh, dogs!) sporting frankly ridiculous bright red wellies. I hope there aren’t any bulls at that farm or they’re all doomed. LurdShugga makes each team of mini-hims pick a leader. Then he swaps them over, so they have a BOY leading a bunch of GIRLS, and vice versa. He’s such a one!

The task is announced. They have two days to design and prototype a piece of camping equipment, then get some outdoorsy retail outfits to agree to stock the shoddy nonsense they’re almost certain to come up with. Hannah’s leading Puberty- as I’m intending to call the boy’s team. I still can’t remember their team name, and anyway- mine’s better.

The boys are looking at Hannah in a mildly alarmed way. I think it might be the first time they’ve ever seen a lass.

The girl’s team, who I’m tempted to call ‘Vanilla Impulse’ after the defining scent of my own teen years, are being led by a baby chauvinist called Adam. He’s thinks boys are much better at business than girls because they have willies n’ stuff and they’re better at football innit (he didn’t actually say that bit about willies, but still- I’m hoping he gets fired).

Over at the boy’s team, project manager  Hannah suggests making a table that folds into a bag. But why stop there? Why not have a tent that folds into a portaloo? I’d buy that. Tim comes up with a much more sensible idea- a festival sledge so you can get all your gear from the car to the camping area.

The design team suggest it needs a waterproof element. Hannah thinks people should just use a blanket to keep it dry. Not sure about that one, Han- also, I’m never going camping with you because you’ll use my bedding as an umbrella.

Back to Vanilla Impulse. Zoe is suggesting a portable game board to a bored looking fat couple with a baby in a tent. Karren Brady is describing this as a ‘focus group’. This is not a focus group. It’s some campers.

9.15: oooh! Our first argument! Hibah is arguing with Adam, who’s ignoring everything his team’s saying. Although Hibah and Zoe’s ideas are a bit pants, so I can *almost* understand why. But still.

Puberty’s sledge idea has reached design stage. I’m anticipating Hannah suggesting they cut some more costs by replacing the runners with breezeblocks and the body of the sledge with a burlap sack stuffed with turnips.

Nick sidles in with some spot on commentary. Tim (sheep boy) and Hannah are ignoring Dairylea head (Rhys) and…I want to say Brainy Asian Kid. So I will. I bet this will result in some kind of consequence occurring (she said, vaguely)

In other news, Emma Walker (16), apparently sells ‘Eggs and Sweets’. What does she do if she encounters a Creme Egg? Does she get confused? Fearful? IT’S BOTH THINGS!

Wow. Adam’s cardboard storage unit is UTTERLY SHIT. No one would take that camping. No one. If it got even slightly damp or muddy it would dissolve-a bit like Adam’s chances of not being fired this week.

Hannah and Dairylea head are working on the pitch for the sledge.

“Slide it. Move it. Wheel it,” suggests Hannah as a tag line for the product.

It doesn’t have wheels, Hannah. It’s a sledge.

Oh wait, hang on- it does actually have wheels. Erm, ignore that last comment. I’m not deleting it though because it was mildly amusing. Also, isn’t a ‘sledge-with-wheels’ actually a cart?

Adam, the one man ‘I’m better than girls’ girl’s team, has booked four chilly looking models and is trying to put a tent up in a windy field, while a horse looks on, shaking it’s head and chuckling ruefully. Oh, sorry, that’s actually one of the models.

Hibah discovers that so-called ‘seasoned camper’ (and tent salesman) Adam has only actually been camping twice in his life, although to get to be team leader he said he’d been every year. So, unless he’s only two years old, that means that- like all Apprentice candidates-  he lied to get himself a job. Sigh.

The photo of the product is, I kid you not, some people lying on a collapsed tent. The storage-game-crap-thing is in the middle of the tent. Yes, it looks like the product broke the tent. *Slow handclap*

9.30- Puberty are pitching their cart-sledge to a potential buyer. They think it looks like something for a kid-apparently ’30-somethings’ also go to festivals. No they don’t, silly lady! We’re far too busy writing and/or commenting on liveblogs.

Anjar(?) has called it a sledge/trolley. WHAT IS IT? I propose solley. Or Tredge ™. This set of folks think it’s too small to transport a tent and sleeping bags (not to mention that handy waterproofing blanket). And they’re right, frankly.

Over in Team Vanilla Impulse, Adam’s just admitted that their crappy cardboard storage gametable will only withstand about four uses. FACEPALM. However, a second set of punters think that board games are ‘in vogue’ at the moment. Haven’t they always been?

Another company of happy campers are frankly astonished that Adam want them to pay £20 for a bit of cardboard which the customer will effectively just be renting for a short while until the elements, stampeding cows, angry crows and other countryside hazards transform it into hamster bedding.

9.25: Boardroom! This should be good. And by good, I mean ‘they’ll be attacked more savagely than I was by that alsatian earlier tonight.’ Did I mention I’d been bitten by a dog? Eh? Eh? Nah, it’s ok. I’m fine. Honest. *shudders*

Oops, sorry, wasn’t paying attention. Sheep boy is being accused of lumbering Anjar with the pitching task- which is true. Tim basically had lots of fun drawing the ‘Not-A-Sledge’ and then palmed off the tricky bit to the quiet lad. Gimp.

Adam is now having to justify, well, pretty much every stupid thing he’s done throughout this task. He’s insisting the Store-o-flexy-gameo-thing is saleable. He says he’d sell it on his website.

No he wouldn’t.

Nick: “Millets wouldn’t even contemplate stocking the product.”
Karen: “Neither would the other lot” (She didn’t actually say that- it’s just that I can’t remember what ‘the other lot’ were called). Some marshmallows seem to be buying 100 of something though. I have no idea why gelatin-based treats would need a sledge. Or a storage unit.

Sorry, dropped the ball a bit there. I blame the dog bite. Basically, Millets (I think) are buying 3000 of the Tredge(tm). So Puberty have won. ‘Mon the lads!

Which means (ha ha ha) Adam’s in the firing line. Excellent *rubs hands in a Mr Burns-esque manner*

Puberty are off to a treetop walkway. “I love looking down”, says one of the baby-tycoons. Ooh, there’s fireworks! Wow. That’s a pretty good prize! Unless you hate heights. Or fireworks.

Over in the ‘Cafe of Suck’ (Thanks to @aneyhall on twitter for that one), Vanilla Impulse are bickering. Well, attacking Adam, really. He insists he ‘incorporated everyone’s ideas’. Yes Adam, that’s why it did four things really, really badly instead of one thing well. Also- it’s MADE FROM CARDBOARD.

9.42: Uh oh, they’re back in the boardroom.

“There’s a management theory that says ‘there’s no such thing as a bad idea’. I think you’ve just disproved that.”

Oh LordShugga, I love you. I really, really do.

Adam is sweating more than the old cheese they had to hawk in Covent Garden last week.

Scottish-Fringe-Girl thinks Adam should have been more assertive. Hibah says the material was a big turn off for the retailers (thank you! Was scrabbling for that word for last 10 minutes. Hence my use of ‘punters’). Nick makes the point that camping+cardboard= soggy. HE IS SO WISE. Like a sexy, cross owl.

Emma-who-sells-sweets-and-eggs just said something, but I was too busy typing out my comedy nickname for her that I missed it. Sorry. It was probably about HOW SHIT THE PRODUCT WAS. Or something.

Scottish Fringe Girl is blaming Adam and Emma (who sells sweets and eggs. Sometimes together).

Adam thinks Hibah’s to blame as she was fixated on the gaming idea. And he’s also blaming Zoe, for reasons unknown. I think he was too afraid to blame Emma as she has the cold, dead eyes of a killer. I think ‘sweets and eggs’ is a euphemism for ‘guns and drugs’.

9.50: Karren and Nick are debating which kid to fire. Doesn’t it sound harsh when I say it like that? I keep forgetting they’re only teenagers. Bless their little stupid socks.

Zoe doesn’t feel she’s to blame for the lack of ideas. They didn’t spend much time brainstorming. Adam says Hibah was difficult to manage and wouldn’t accept that a ‘soggy gaming table’ wouldn’t sell well. She argues she didn’t design the Frankenstein’s monster of a product that emerged. She’s very articulate. Hmm, Adam- maybe girls ARE better at business than boys.

Both Zoe and Hibah are calm and polished and, well, a bit obnoxiously precocious, to be honest. Adam looks panicked. I’m feeling a bit sorry for him, even through he lies about going camping. Don’t we all, Adam- camping is shit. But if you say you do it, people think you’re ‘outdoorsy’. Like Bear Grylls. Tsk.

“You wasn’t a good team leader,” said LordShugga, ungrammatically. Proving once and for all that book learnin’ dun’t get you loads of dosh, innit.

But it’s all a RUSE! The Shugganator fires HIBAH, for no reason whatsoever.

I’ve only just learnt how to spell her name! Noooooooooooo! *Deletes that information from brain to make more room for Family Guy trivia.*

Shugga says Adam showed ‘passion’. So people, we’ve all learned a new euphemism for ‘abject panic’. Use it well!

Who will go next? I hope it’s Zoe, she gets right on my tits.

If you read this- thanks for reading it. If you didn’t…..er, then….er…..this sentence is completely redundant.

Night all!

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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.

10 Responses to Junior Apprentice: Week Two

  1. ladyribenaberet says:

    Um, under ‘possibly related posts’, WordPress is saying “Junior Apprentice and 6 Hour Slow Roast Pork”. WTF? What’s next, ‘the X Factor and beef stroganoff with a red wine jus’? ‘Britain’s Got Talent and duck breast on a bed of rocket served with a mandarin coulis’? ‘Emmerdale and Chips?’

  2. ladyribenaberet says:

    Ha! Am thrilled by @Heidistephens description of Zoe as ‘Lady Beigeberet’. That’s definitely going in my official nicknames book *scribbles furiously*

    • Apprenticles says:

      Another good effort Ribs … keep it up.

      Doesn’t Scottish-Fringe-Girl remind you of the Krankies?

      I loved:

      I went camping twice a year last year.

      and

      A sort of Swiss knife of the trolley world.
      [as opposed to a Swiss knife of the multi-function cardboard camping storage unit world].

  3. hfo says:

    Keep up the good work – these are excellent.

    Surprised no-one’s mentioned the repressed sexuality going on. They can barely touch each other, no “big hug of the winning team” after the task. It can’t last. Eventually the teenage hormones will kick in and the Frances phone will ring and ring and ring…

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Argh! No, I now have a mental image of a teenage orgy in my head. The Daily Mail will be round to electroshock therapize me any moment. Thanks a BUNCH.

  4. KJ Elsdon says:

    Your blog is as clever as your pseudonym suggests! Thanks for reminding me that sheep boy’s name is Tim. Chez nous he’s known as “Banmbi-with-a-beard”.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Not sure he’s adorable enough to warrant the name ‘Bambi’. Think ‘Twat-with-a-beard’ might be more appropriate. Although I think that nickname’s already been taken by Noel Edmonds…

  5. Interceptor says:

    Actually sat down and watched both eps last night, and I have to say it’s pretty good isn’t it? Bit worried about the girls maturing into pinch-faced, chain-smoking business harridans working in ‘the fashion industry’ though. Also, I apologise for making exactly (or should that be ‘Eggsactly -comedy gold!) the same creme egg joke on WWM yesterday!

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Great minds think alike- we are both Wise Beyond Our Years.
      Yes, I suspect at least half will end up working for some new meedja/ cutting edge Covent Garden cheese company in a few years time, living on punnets of overpriced sushi from a rickshaw driving vendor in Shoreditch and occasionally bellowing at proles to get out of their way and/or buy their cheese. Or something.

  6. Brennig says:

    Am I the only person who things a) Adam has a shoe fetish and b) He only brought *those two* victims back in to the boardroom with him because he forgot everybody else’s names?

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