Oh Lord, The Apprentice is on again - please, Lord Sugar, just make it stop!
PUBLISHED: 20:10 13 October 2019 | UPDATED: 20:19 13 October 2019
The Apprentice is back, but Chris McGuire says the show is now so dull and predictable...
There's a scene in one of the Harry Potter films, where London's Millennium Bridge (aka 'The Wobbly Bridge') is attacked by evil forces. The structure buckles and dramatically unloads its unfortunate occupants into the Thames. The thing is - and I'm not proud to admit it - every year at this time, when a new season of The Apprentice is marked by "the cream of British business" strutting across the same promontory, I can't help but wish that this London bridge would fall down for real.
It seems to me that the candidates on The Apprentice are getting worse. I mean if the express intention of the show was to bring together a collection of vapid egomaniacs with all the business acumen of a mouldy Tupperware set, then I'd understand. But these contestants are 'supposed' to be smart. Seriously! Unless I'm very confused, being good in business is about more than wearing a Topshop suit and high heels in the most inappropriate of contexts, while scowling from under a year's supply of makeup and dropping the word 'premium' into every sentence. If it were that simple I'd be getting the heels and slap on myself.
Here are my pet hates about The Apprentice:
1) Saying 'myself'
It's like a disease. As soon as they enter the boardroom all contestants lose any ability to use the word 'me'. Lord Sugar, who sounds like he's the nemesis to a diabetic superhero, asks who did something and the reply comes back: "It was myself." I mean, who talks like that? Imagine the scene in your local Chinese takeaway: "Who ordered the crispy won ton?" An apprentice candidate raises their hand: "It was myself."
Agggh! JUST SAY "ME!"
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2) The fake oversleeping
At the beginning of each task, the phone rings at the crack of dawn and the contestants are told to be ready in 20 minutes. Next comes a montage of makeup application, shirt ironing and hair sprucing. The tasks always begin early in the morning, so why do the candidates wait for the call to spring into action? Can't anyone in this group of high achievers set an alarm clock? And why does nobody ever iron their shirt the night before?
Agggh! It's almost as if it's all staged for the show!
3) The final interviews
At the end of the 'process', the remaining candidates attend 'tough' interviews with stern-faced business types. It's all very scary. In these grillings, sections of the candidate's initial application forms are read aloud, you know the type of nonsense: "I'm the king of finance, Bill Gates wishes he was me." "It won't be long until Lord Sugar asks me for a loan." Then the interviewees are chastised for making these statements, while EVERYONE knows they MUST say ridiculous things to catch the eye of the production team and be selected for the show in the first place.
OK, OK. Like any good candidate on The Apprentice I've got to 'Hold my hands up' (try watching an episode without someone saying this at least three times), and say I'm partially to blame for my frustrations. If the show annoys me so much I should stop watching. Or maybe I should put myself forward as a candidate? There's part of me that would love being the recipient of Lord Sugar's (too rubbish to be in a Christmas cracker) scripted one-liners. And if I find myself on the receiving end of his legendary catchphrase: "You're fired!" I'd take the opportunity to point out the show is an interview process, as such, none of the candidates are 'hired'. So how can you 'fire' someone you don't already employ?
Answer me that, the Lord formerly known as Sir Alan! Answer me that!
Chris McGuire is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Follow him on Twitter @McGuireski