Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Jobs as Little Poppet and Sexist Boys Clash

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Jobs as Little Poppet and Sexist Boys Clash

Article excerpt


The Apprentice

9pm, BBC2

IF YOU thought this series was falling into a pattern (girls and boys tackle the same task and the boys win), this week it all changes. Alan Sugar, the big boss man - also known as Mr Grumpy, or, more formally, Sir Grumpy - decrees that a boy must run the girls' team and a girl must direct the boys.

And when Sir Grumpy asks for volunteers, Alexa's hand shoots up within a nanosecond. The girl must have masochistic streak. She only survived by the skin of her teeth last week and now she wants to throw herself into the bearpit of egos that is the boys' team. And we see what she's up against straight away, when the dreadful Syed comments: "Alexa, bless her socks, has a big task with five guys." Goodness, he might as well say to her: "Yes, of course, I respect you and your abilities - don't I, my little poppet?"

Meanwhile, Mani is equally patronising, suggesting that under his leadership the girls will do so much better. "They have been underperforming.

I think they are capable of performing much higher."

Well, lucky that Mani is on hand to come in and trample all over them, then. The task is to set up a fast-food tent at the Thames Festival - deciding what type of cuisine to serve, buying in the food, decking out the stall and running it.

The alteration in teams isn't the only change this week. The result of the task is also very different, because one team completely bombs out, making a thumping loss. To say Sir Alan is not pleased is an understatement. He's as angry as a bear with its foot in a trap.

Oh yes, and there's one other difference: mad Jo doesn't cry, shout or scream. No, not once.

Someone must have increased her medication.

The Armstrongs

10pm, BBC2

Tonight, company bosses John and Ann get the annoyingly smug "motivation expert" Basil to gee up the staff. The pair are "hoping a reality check from Basil will energise the sales team".

Lo and behold, he manages the impossible, and gets them up and going. Sadly, it is up and going out of the door - three-quarters of the sales team resign. …

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