Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

All Fired Up for the Apprentice Finale

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

All Fired Up for the Apprentice Finale

Article excerpt

Byline: IMOGEN RIDGWAY

The Apprentice: The Final / The Apprentice: You're Hired!

9pm / 10pm, BBC2

BY RIGHTS, this series should have been rubbish, with its borrowed American format and not-quite-Branson frontman.

However, Sir Alan Sugar's search for a new member of staff has quietly turned into a hit. During the past three months, two million viewers a week have watched as 14 hopeful executive types have shouted and shown off in the name of impressing Sir Alan.

Well, why not? The prize is a real job with the Amstrad entrepreneur, and a real sixfigure salary. And, boy, were the wannabes keen to impress, among other things flogging unpleasant jackets on a TV shopping channel and terrorising farmers' markets with soup.

But now, after the catchphrase "you're fired", only two remain: Saira and Tim. "I respect him as an opponent," muses pushy Saira on her fellow finalist, "but I think I'm better than Tim."

Beat about the bush, why don't you, love? Tonight, the pair are challenged to organise two separate parties on boats on the Thames. To help them, they each choose three team members from the 12 previously-sacked apprentices.

Oooh, tense; will the alreadyrejected attempt to undermine the finalists' chances? Well, probably not in easygoing Tim's case. Saira, however, picks Paul for her crew. Yes, Paul with whom she has argued about nine million times. Interesting.

It's certainly a close final episode. Mind you, you can bet that we won't find out Sir Alan's winner until he has sat in silence, Pop Idol style, for seemingly hours to inject a dramatic pause into proceedings. As an after-show chillout, Adrian Chiles talks to the winner.

No Win, No Fee

7pm, BBC2

Old-school fly-on-the-wall business (there's just a touch of docusoap, but not enough to get irritating) about a Manchester firm of personal injury solicitors. Like Trouble At The Top, this series is watchable not so much for its subject matter as for its depiction of real-life workplace events. So we see recently-qualified lawyer James wrestle with his shredder, while boss Andrew Twambley (left) tells the camera crew his office "rumbles like a volcano about to explode- and sometimes it does". …

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