With the recognisable narrative of Mark Halliley who at the start of week one announces in a sufficiently dramatic tone that in a time of economic uncertainty bold players can win big! – Grab a coffee or something stronger, get the remote to the ready and settle down as The Apprentice is back!

Business titans, 16 ambitious entrepreneurs – yeah, yeah – we know the drill!

Cue Ryan Mark to say something sickeningly annoying ... “I have such extensive tastes, a million is not enough I need billions for the lifestyle I need”.   What a load of … Let’s have another!

Cue Jemelin “Cut me and ambition comes out of my blood” - How ridiculous! News flash Latino Lady it won’t!

Cue Del Boy – Sorry Thomas as nothing more than a motivational statement before they all gather in the boardroom!

He who dares wins! - Music to my Britney’s Tom!

Cue Sir Alan and wait for the collection of one liners that will have you laughing like a loon! – Action: - “You might not judge it by my youthful exterior that this is the 15th year in this boardroom” Love it!  He goes on; “Theres been a lot of change – back then Brexit sounded like another Kellogg’s cereal” – OMG I can hardly breathe!

Now serious – “In the first boardroom I told candidates then and I will tell you the same - Never underestimate me!”  

“Pause for effect – “Chancers, posers, brown-nosers, moaning minis, big time Charlies and half pint Harrys - I’ve seen it all!” Now I’ve heard of a big time Charlie, the one who thinks he’s a big shot but a half pint Harry – does it mean small people cannot be trusted?

Time to bring in the candidates having had the opportunity to study their CVs starting with Shahin also known as Falcon with a shamazing name in case they go into partnership – Shamstrad! – Conclusion this candidate will be the first to go based on that fact alone! - Time to fly home Falcon!

Next to be placed in the spotlight is Lottie who at 19 years old is sporting a severe hairstyle like that of ummm… a librarian!  Not just any old librarian please.......a school librarian no less!

Based on this mind-blowing choice of career Alan Sugar asks if she likes a bit of Shakespeare? – who doesn’t?

It was as though she had waited 19 years just to be asked that question and with such poise, ease and obvious elocution lessons in her element she decided a quote was in order perhaps to blow him away with her knowledge of things Will said…. “Though she be, but little, she is fierce!”  

15 all

Resonating Sir Alan lost no time in confirming it was from a Midsummer Night’s Dream right down to the Act (3) and Scene (2).  

With all eyes now on Lottie like a game of quickly-fired tennis shots, now looking uncomfortable she admitted it would be something she would have to look it up! – call yourself a school librarian?


But low & behold before she can justify her lack of knowledge Sir Alan is on fire clarifying this is something he had done already! Kerching!


Lottie tries to laugh it off sounding like a demented horse at being made to look like a complete tit!  However this is someone who clearly likes to have the last word so she says she is currently in business mode and as one knows when one is in business mode one cannot expect one who is pretending to know all about England's national poet, the "Bard of Avon" to multitask darling!

Going in for the kill Sir Alans parting warning to her is “Told you not to underestimate me!”

Game set and match To Sugar!

Next victim – sorry meant candidate is Souleyman who explains he has Tunnel vision which he feels is perfect for business.  Sir Alan agrees acknowledging that other senses do become heightened which he feels may come in handy with amount of bullshit to come! – Boom Boom!

Next its Iasha who describes herself as a pocket rocket with a warning you haven’t seen hell until you’ve seen her mad! Oooh shaking in my court shoes!

On first impressions, it’s hard to see past the squeaky voice to take this seriously – although remember Bruce Banner? He looked like a complete pussy cat before turning weirdly green with bulging biceps and becoming as strong as an army!

But Sir Alan in a ruthless mood is making no allowances stating she sounds as scary as an indoor firework.

Turning now to Ryan, Sir A acknowledges with disdain in his tone that Ryan refers to himself as a Pig in business, but before Ryan can come back with anything clever, Sir A concludes he isnt sure he would want to work with a pig covered in its business!  - Boom Boom!  A perfect link to announce it’s now time to get down to business.

The task is communicated and like a response from an audience on a game show when Sir Sugar divulges it will be taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, there are whoops of delight and gasps all around – Haven’t these highflyers flown high before?

The rationale behind this faraway destination is that Cape Town has been voted the best city on the world to visit where the tourism industry is booming just ready and waiting for them to cash in.  It will involve setting up and running a bespoke tour, selling tickets and providing clients with an unforgettable experience!   Sounds fab! 

But there is a warning; if it doesn’t live up to expectations clients can ask for their money back! OMG! The objective as if anyone needs reminding is to make loadsamoney and one person in the losing team will be fired!

The teams split is as always in the first week - Men versus Women – let the games begin!

Cut to the girls sitting around the table under Claude’s watchful eye to witness the awkwardness of who should be PM.  You could see the South African tumbleweed and hear a pin drop!  The reasoning for the lack of volunteers was no one had been to the country before – yellow bellied lot!  What has that got to do with the price of Vetkoek! (South African bread and I haven’t been to the country). Aren’t these entrepreneurs precious and yet so ambitious – Lubna disgustingly so!

To save the day Scarlett (the one with the eyebrows) decided to be brave and step up to the PMship boasting of her leadership experience and being hot on profit and loss!

Sighs of relief could be heard, and happiness returned!

Over to the Men where the decision making was a lot quicker placing Lewis up onto that pressurised pedestal.  But do not worry he is a travel and tourism guru (booze cruise dude) so what could possibly go wrong?

Now what should be the theme of the tour? Safari being widely associated with the country was chosen with tickets going for 1850 rand.  The team was divided into Riyonn, Keena, Ryan and Souleyman as the tour guides who would negotiate the price and plan the excursion and the remainder would sell, sell, sell. 

The latter causing great excitement for the merry band of wheeler dealers puffing out their chests ready to beat them and get out into the marketplace and not before sharing some banter! 

“How can we lose? if we do lose, I will eat my hat” chirps Thomas - let’s hope it’s a sombrero and he ingested it sideways – it may keep him quiet for a while!

Thomas asks the sub team – “We aren’t a bunch of idiots, are we?” Well Thomas not sure you waited long enough for a reply!  Regaining his del boy optimism “Have no problem selling it whatso ever - gonna smash it and still have time to have a nice bit of dinner!”.  Cushty!  Pie, mash and liqueur all around!

Dean not wanting to be outdone decides to put his two pennies into the procedures and announces cockily “I will take all 16 of them boys”.  For this sporting businessman who would expect any less!

Unable to keep it bottled up, the women went for wine – the apple juice of booze opting for a luxury tour approach at a mere 2,500 rand as it sounded more elite – yet pricey to anyone else!

Scarlett wanting group buy in decided to demonstrate her leadership skills by clarifying to the group the price agreed for tickets whilst advising negotiation could be made to 2,200 rand if required to do so quickly adding they should not be doing so! – If you think Sir Alan will be impressed you are sooooo wrong!

Cue Karen who has a close-up camera shot with words of wisdom and a very disapproving look quick to point out a bleeding obvious fact - a high price means high expectations - Yes Karen we know – we the viewers worked that one out – shame the contestants didn’t!

But where it came to choose a sub team leader the claws came out and already cracks began to show – where is the love girls?

Two were in the running.  In the right corner there was “I’ve got the lot” Lottie and in the left its only “bloody ambitious” Jemelin. 

It was a close call as Lottie knew the population of south Africa – albeit she was 6 million short according to Google but let’s not split hairs!  Whereas Jemelin had experience in leading both events and teams.  Hold on one goddamn minute! Lottie has only worked in the UK’s best wine bar!  It can’t be the very same one located on the edge of Exmoor awarded for being wine pub of the year where only well-behaved dogs and children are welcome?  Well that makes all the difference!

Consequently, Jemelin was made sub team leader with Lottie looking on sourly – well Lottie when life gives you lemons ….

On the way to the venue despite not being crowned with a title giving her carte blanche to be bossy determined to show she was a team player she told her teammates they must work together giving solid advice to spit and not swallow as they all needed to stay sharp! - Such wonderful advice!

At the game reserve Riyonn, a bit part actor clearly hasn’t read the script where it comes to negotiating - after hearing that the normal price is 995 rand he decides to go in with 450 per ticket.  I’m surprised she didn’t feed him to the lions!  Insulted he is advised to go back to the drawing board until Keena suggests 850.  Regaining his composure realising his error Riyonn suggests if they sell all 16 tickets could the price drop to 700 – it’s a deal and Riyonn lives to see another deal.

They are told there can be no guarantee to see the big 5; Lion,Rhinoceros, Cheetah, Leopard, Elephant as they cannot be ordered on demand! 

Now this should be given an award for being the bleedin obvious statement of the year – it’s not a zoo – you can’t set your watch and out troop the big 5 one by one waving to the crowds signing autographs, having selfies … Or can you? – as according to Thomas, Lewis, Shahin and Dean it is done deal and their main USP! 


Riyonn, Keena, Ryan & Souleyman were left to gem up with interesting facts whilst discovering what to do if they found themselves staring a big 5 contender in the face – just stand your ground says the guide as he shows them a carcass of an animal who probably tried the same tactic!

However, one very useful skill was how to spit a springbok poo the furthest which Souleyman fully embraced – did no one tell him it was springbok poo?

At the waterfront the women started ticket selling of the posh luxury tour at premium prices - their tactic?  To shout at people and then chase them!  Excuse me – no excuse you!

Even though the price is clearly too high and not appealing Scarlett is keen to hold her nerve advising the ladies not to be deflated – have they all lost the power of logical thought by placing themselves in the buyer’s shoes?

Now where’s established businesswoman Pamela Laird? – she must be somewhere selling tickets galore!  Such an experienced salesperson intuitive with her customer understanding perfectly what the customer wants.  But wait she takes the lead on a sale as the nation waits with bated breath to note her amazing technique……. “of course, you like wine you’re Irish” “Is the food included?  yes, we won’t let you starve!” “You know what I mean” – When did Bernie Katherine Tate’s character join their team?  

The price was dropped faster than a politician promises on election day which didn’t go down well their other half of the team disappointed by the dramatic drop in price and that food had been promised when no food was included – basic details yet no prior discussions.

Outraged Lottie said they should not give any of their customers false promises and when the call was finished announced it was a massive inconvenience but in true British spirit, they would just need to make it work – if you weren’t so patronising it would have been a great speech Lottie!

With all tickets sold at giveaway prices much to the public disappointment of Lottie for such a luxury event Scarlett was quick to point out that there was still a profit – given she is hot on profit and loss she should know!

But Lottie quickly forgot becoming distracted bigging up her knowledge of wine to care about anyone else deciding her understanding of wine was more than the wine expert as she has worked in the UK’s best wine bar!  It can’t be the very same one located on the edge of Exmoor awarded for being wine pub of the year where only well-behaved dogs and children are welcome?  Well that makes all the difference!

It looks like a case of sour grapes when Lubna asked how challenging was it to pour liquid into a glass nominating Lottie to do the wine class.  There is no love lost between the two of them as they exchange words where last word Lottie is quick to point out she was contributing not interrupting and Lubna is nothing but disruptive and rude!

When the clock struck 7pm and the selling was over the women had sold all 16 of their tickets – the majority at knock down prices – well done Scarlett for standing your ground and being such an outstanding leader! 

The men on the other hand only sold 12 tickets not even attempting to reduce their price point to get those extra 4 bodies along for their safari.

7am the following day all in matching bottle green polo shirts the mens tour team touch base with their colleagues to establish how many people would really be coming.   There must have been really bad connection as all they could hear was to focus on delivering a really good time.  Eventually Lewis and his boys admitted they only sold 12 tickets quick to add the most important thing was to avoid refunds and wow customers.

In Cape Town both teams clad in bottle green and a fetching shade of blinding yellow welcome their customers onto their coaches.  Once seated Pamela took control of the mic to share some interesting facts for the journey – only the facts weren’t that interesting, and it was only the squeaking of the microphone that prevented complete boredom from kicking in and passengers from escaping through any possible emergency exits.  They should have chosen the safari tour where the party atmosphere kicked in straight away with a bit of a knees up and sing song on their journey.  “In the jungle the mighty jungle” Absolute genius – who doesn’t love to belt this one out? and so relevant.

On arrival the fun times didn’t stop for those coming to see the big 5; Riyonn started the proceedings off apologising for the absence of David Attenborough – what a hoot!  But the laughter didn’t last long as soon as customers were advised the big 5 couldn’t be guaranteed.  Just as the rumbles of the jungle were turning negative the big pig of business Ryan interjects and with a calm, but confident manner returns order and logic.

Then they were off cameras at the ready!  The first stop was to see the hippo where Riyonn answered a question and then questioned his answer – sometimes it just best to be quiet if you haven’t learnt your lines!

In terms of seeing animals, things were going well – Hippos, Zebra, Giraffes…. Wonder if there are any animals people really want to see?  Elephants - not a problem  - Riyonn without his glasses spotted them to the left without realising they were rhinos – should have gone to spec savers Riyonn.

The womens yellow team consisting of Carina, Jemelin, Lubna and Lottie commenced their tour showing their customers a garden full of sculptures.  Time for Carina to wow them as this is nothing but a luxury tour full of luxury wine and culture!  After confirming what the sculptures were made of forgetting that no one was blind drunk enough to need this she furnished them with the name of the sculpture.  Job done – Does what it says on the tin!  What more do people want? Her defence was she didn’t want to bore them or give false information – good save or from someone who doesn’t understand the brief?

Probably best to move onto the wine cellar – if they actually knew where it was!  The cellar had moved creating complete mayhem with people going back and forth in a very luxurious way.  On their travels they stopped at a fermentation unit where it was Lubna’s turn to speak.  She confirmed it was one of the first in Cape Town – interesting!.  Suddenly stumped after imparting so much information she forgot the words – “What’s the word now?”  but finds it “Make wine” adding “Using imported Tuscan clay” – this is pure class and well worth the dosh!

Time for a wine masterclass and look at me Lottie who is in her element describing butterscotch caramel flavours encouraging each person to get to know the wines personally whilst pleasigly presenting some beautiful cheese boards.  Not able to help herself from being ultra-smug, she tells the cameras it is her who turned everything around and she should have been sub team leader – not still banging that drum are we Lottie?

Pre-empting purchases would want to be made at the end of each tour it was time for discounts to be gained by both parties to increase their profit margins.

The bidding starts at 3% for Thomas from the shop manager, unimpressed by the low offer he threatens to put his customers back on the bus without visiting the shop.  5% was placed on the table.  Thomas suggested 40% - 5%, 40%, 5%, 40%, 5% - Thomas changes tactic 25%, Enter Shahin who presents 22.5% - accepted!  Mightily Pissed off Thomas was convinced he would have got the 25% unlike Shahin who felt Thomas needed help – what were you thinking Shahin this is a man who sells pillows!

But was there any need to get their entrepreneurial pants in a twist – as it was the tour was still in full swing on the search for elephants and at best once the rock painting was done there would be little time for any retail therapy!

On the tour bus its great news Ryan spotted elephant – poo – bit larger than springbok poo and definetly not something to pop in your mouth!

Hooray they can return to base knowing they have ticked the elephant box and paint the rocks red!

Keep the energy high suggests Riyonn – its Elephantastic!

The sales for wine however were flowing nicely until Lottie decided to stop Carina from making a sale on the back of her hard work – it was uncouth and unnecessary and a cheap move by Lottie to look good!

With the day coming to a close; have the women won or did they make too many pour decisions that will cause grape depression?  Or will they triumph or is it a case of syrah-syrah?  Or are the men more game on even though they are a couple of tickets short of a safari - So Far Safari?