The Apprentice (BBC1) is sometimes so excruciatingly cringe-making, I have to turn away from the TV and put my head in my hands. When gormless, blank-faced Leon was fired last night it was like watching a sick puppy being taking to the vet and put to sleep – inevitable, but still rather sad and pathetic.

Is there a single contestant in this year’s Apprentice you would even trust to go and post a letter for you? Not one of them has even the most basic communication skills, beyond a string of cliches and meaningless marketing jargon, picked up during a series of business seminars hosted by characterless, time-serving management consultants. There are contestants in this show who reckon “Hip Replacement” is a cool name for a magazine for the elderly – who believe “Paper Scissors Stone” is an efficient way to decide how to best pitch a product. Watching them brainstorm is like watching chimps negotiating for a banana.

Tom is clearly only in the competition because he looks like Michael Sheen playing Tony Blair. Melody’s “global consultancy business” probably teaches fellow entrepreneurs how to talk like a badly written wiki page, and Helen could host conferences at the O2 on how to use good foundation and finely chiseled bone structure to take over the world.

Susan Ma last night tried to persuade her team mates that there are no cars in Paris.

Are we really to believe that this group of twittering idiots are the cream of their generation? Or has each of them been selected, as seems more likely, to simply keep us in stitches throughout the summer. If this year’s Apprentice stars really are the best business minds the BBC could find, then surely we must weep for the future of Great Britain.

How much longer can Lord Suger continue to associate himself with a programme that shows us as a nation in such a bad light. I suggest the next series is presented by Louie Spence. He seems to be showing a decent profit at Pineapple Dance Studios.

The Apprentice – Review
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