The Apprentice – UK Style

cpc464 boot screen

Just saw the first instalment of the UK version of The Apprentice. I didn’t see very much of the Trump original, but from what I did see, our version (with Sir Alan Sugar in the megalomaniac [err… shurely giant of modern commerce] role) seems a little less theatrical but the format comes through, although the board room is lighter, funkier and well a bit more 21st Century than the US show.

What doesn’t change is the testosterone (among women probably even more than the men) and the parade of egos puffed to bursting point.

What I don’t get is why any of these bright, motivated, sales-matic people want to earn a (six-figure) salary working their balls off for someone else – why aren’t they doing their own thing? What has Alan Sugar got that they want and why on earth do they want to put themselves through this humiliating and painful process?

In terms of general dynamics, it’s going to be interesting to see how the male/female split works out. It was really interesting how the women took longer than I expected to start gelling as a team, there was much more prickliness and arguing than among the men.

It’s clearly a big risk to volunteer to be project manager for the first task. Those that did have probably made some enemies for the rest of the series. Also, I don’t know how much this was because of the editing, but there were team members that I didn’t see do anything during the task. I do think it’s remarkable that Miranda, who panicked and started selling at a loss just after lunch, without discussing it with anybody, managed to talk herself out of getting fired.

The small things that tickled me were the excitement they showed when they went off to the luxury accomodation, giggling and thrilled – they had arrived but also the way that the swagger that pervades the whole group turns to pathetic displays of mock humility when they face up to the man who put AMS into Amstrad!

I’m hooked though. I want to know how the tasks are going to progress. And I want to see those egos bumping and bashing and smashing into each other, and then grovelling for a place in the next round.

3 thoughts on “The Apprentice – UK Style”

  1. Gripping viewing really isn’t it? Though can’t quite believe the amount of “I see myself as more of a leader” comments that come out in the arguments…

  2. I think it’s gripping viewing. But I have to say, there was never an even split between the men and the women in terms of experience and leadership skills so I wonder where/how they recruited for the show. I can only assume that the really *good* women were busy doing other things like running their own businesses and lives. And what *successful* entrepreneur wants to go and work for someone else anyway? Makes me question what *successful* actually means when they describe a couple of the apprentices.

  3. I agree, the programme is intriguing. However, I would be suprised if the 14 contestants on this show are indeed 14 of the brightest entrepreneurs the UK has to offer – is it more the fact that the truly entrepreneurial among us are out earning hard dollar rather than trying to steal a chance in a puppet-show like this?.

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