Sunday 18 August 2019

'It’s like giving birth to a child and someone offering you £2 for it' - The Apprentice candidates struggle with children's books task

Selina and Brett record their audio book for The Apprentice
Selina and Brett record their audio book for The Apprentice
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Candidate clashes and pitiful pitches made for a sorry week for The Apprentice candidates.

Tasked with writing and designing a children's book - and recording an accompanying CD - and selling it to London's bookshops, both teams floundered under the pressure.

One team got themselves in a flap over deadlines while the other team imploded over how best to perform their simple rhyming story in the recording studio.

Given the children-based task, there was plenty of opportunity for the candidates to let their inner children play, although that didn't make for much of a change.

The Apprentice children's book challenge
The Apprentice children's book challenge

Sam and Elle spent much time debating their book characters, "What about snufflegruffle? Can we have Snufflebum, or Snifflebottom? Snifflebottom?’ ‘What about Snottledink?"

April didn't know how honey is made.  Claude was appalled, "It is a bit worrying of course, they don’t know the first thing about how honey is made. I’m confused, can you imagine what a three year-old is going to make of this!"

Charleine helpfully demonstrated how a bee moves, swishing and swirling and tumbling and turning, apparently but when it came to Charleine's rhyming attempts Vana despaired.

Everyone was impressed by David's impressive dance moves demonstrated while recording Team Versatile's audio book.  Richard encouraged David to sing, "Just make it sound like the wind is saying it".

Brett, Natalie and Sam face Lord Sugar's wrath in The Apprentice boardroom
Brett, Natalie and Sam face Lord Sugar's wrath in The Apprentice boardroom

It wasn't enough to save the book, however, as they were forced to slash their price in order to make a profit.

"It’s like giving birth to a child and someone offering you £2 for it," said Sam of their reduced price.  "I mean I’ve never given birth obviously, so… Selling your baby for £2, god what a heartless mother I am."

And when it came to the dreaded pitch rival Team Connexus, headed up by PM Sam, stumbled embarrassingly in front of the line-up of industry experts.

Back at the Boardroom, the winner was revealed, with just over £100 between the two teams.

Natalie gets the chop on The Apprentice
Natalie gets the chop on The Apprentice

Team Connexus – PM Sam – with Brett, Elle, Gary, Natalie, Scott and Selina

Sold 205 books

Total sales £587.25

Team Versatile – PM Charleine – with April, David, Joseph, Mergim, Richard and Vana

Sold 210 books

Total sales £690.10

Team Versatile won the task by selling the most so off they swanned to a private members club where magician Ben Hanlin showed them some tricks.

Lord Sugar, meanwhile, took the losers to task.

“This process of course is not a children’s story, one of you will not be living happily ever after by the time we’re finished today," he warned with raised eyebrows as Sam decided to bring Natalie and Brett back into the boardroom with her.

“Sam, you talk about some of the good things that were done in the task, but you went to the wrong shops, and you then panicked in the end and sold stuff in a sale, and you know I have to say that you are totally responsible for that as far as I’m concerned," said Lord Sugar.

"Brett, you’ve got a lot to say for yourself. You say generally you’re a very honest fellow and you get a bit upset when people don’t tell the truth. My feeling tells me that there’s a little bit more time left in you and you should remain in this process.

"Natalie, the sales on this wasn’t that great. You’ve been very quiet in the past 5 weeks. I think there’s a certain sense of immaturity about you because of the experience that you have in business and I’m looking for a business partner.

"But when it comes to immaturity in business, Sam I’d also have to say this was a disastrous result as far as I’m concerned, considering such a lot of good work went in to the book. Sam, you seem a very nice chap, a highly educated fellow, but I’m looking at you the person, I’m looking at your indecisiveness and so I’m struggling.

"But Natalie, your pitch was terrible. I’m not sure you think before you speak. You just haven’t shown me enough. On this particular occasion….You’re Fired.”

Read more: 'I'm this year's pantomime villain' - The Apprentice's Selina says she's broken contract with show

‘Are hi vis jackets actually about protecting the chicken when they are on the roads?’ - The Apprentice tackles pet products

The Apprentice's Selina gets 'verbal warning' after pushing Charleine off camera 

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