The Apprentice Season 14 opener: We've lost Sarah's lips, but we've gained an octopus

·Contributor
Former Shameless actress Sarah Byrne was the first fired contestant on this year’s The Apprentice.
Former Shameless actress Sarah Byrne was the first fired contestant on this year’s The Apprentice.

At last, Britain’s funniest sitcom returns for a new series.

Don’t be fooled by those people that insist The Apprentice a reality show to find the nation’s finest entrepreneurs. If these were real managers and executives the UK’s economy would be…

Oh. Wait.

If The Apprentice ever were a serious business competition, it’s collapsed into self-parody right now. From the gently self-mocking voiceover to the candidates’ overcooked ‘mission statements’ everything is played for laughs.

Someone calling themselves ‘The Beyoncé of business’ is one thing but if anyone seriously said “I’m an extremist, my goal is world domination” on TV they’d have the SAS crashing through their skylight before Lord Sugar handed out the first task.

It’s Dad Joke Time

When the thinking woman’s Sid James tells a joke, it stays told
When the thinking woman’s Sid James tells a joke, it stays told

After the various ‘machines’ and ‘nut enthusiasts’ have given us their best gags, it’s time for Lord Sugar’s stand-up set.

All the Apprentice candidates are required by law to chuckle at The Human Scotch Egg’s dad jokes and tortured metaphors. But they don’t go on too long, thank goodness, and we’re soon off to Malta.

Scavenger Hunt

How did Jasmine end up with the job?
How did Jasmine end up with the job?

Despite apparently being the most ambitious people on the planet, no-one on the girls’ team – it doesn’t seem to have a name so we’ll call it ‘Team Fractious’ – wants to be Project Manager and somehow Jasmine ends up grabbing the poisoned chalice.

By contrast Kayode very much wanted to be the Project Manager for the team we’ll be calling Team Hubris.

The first challenge was to decipher the cryptic instructions from Lord Sugar. Is this The Apprentice or 3-2-1? And is it an actual rule that they can’t Google the answers or have they just got the show mixed up with a pub quiz? Again?

Just how stretchy is an octopus? ‘Very,’ apparently.

‘Enjoy your antiques’

Deciphering old 3-2-1 clues is an essential skill for the modern businessman
Deciphering old 3-2-1 clues is an essential skill for the modern businessman

There’s a stroke of luck for Team Hubris early doors when they’re looking for a ghonnella. It’s an antique, apparently.

As luck would have it, some of the guys are just outside an antique shop. And everyone knows antique shops always stock every kind of antique.

Meanwhile, Team Fractious are on the trail of a ‘filigree boat.’ There something of a language barrier, but they fall back on that classic traveller’s ploy: saying everything a bit LOUDER and more S L O W L Y.

Well, if they’re not good at languages, maybe maths is their thing. How many packets of salt make a kilogram? Five? Forty? Definitely some!

Still, they score win of the day – buying the world’s tiniest blind for a Euro.

Popping out for an octopus

Clearly, you can’t get Google on an Amstrad Em@iler
Clearly, you can’t get Google on an Amstrad Em@iler

Meanwhile, Team Hubris are at the fishmongers’.

Alex says “Let’s not go in looking like a bunch of idiots.” That’s easier said than done, if your next question is going to be “have you got an octopus with a forty-foot hose?”

Still. It’s a less comical prospect than trying to haggle in a supermarket. Try that in your local Asda. Oh. Apparently Kayode has.

Bus fare home

They’ve literally missed the boat
They’ve literally missed the boat

Both teams’ expeditions end in failure, but Team Hubris are still somehow delighted. Although Alex has the self-awareness to observe “We’re the better of the two losers.”

Over at Team Fractious it’s all recriminations. Jasmine is trying to defend her decisions but that’s not helped by the fact that she can’t quite say ‘decision.’

The most fractious member of Team Fractious is the one to go. That’s a shame. Former Shameless and Hollyoaks actress Sarah is so easily-offended she could have provided us with weeks of entertainment.

Plus, Twitter was really enjoying her lips.

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