The Apprentice – it’s that time of year again

Is there any trick the Personnel Today team won’t try? As if attempting to exploit child labour isn’t bad enough, they now hope to ride the wave of Apprentice-fever by setting up a blog to do a week-by-week, candidate-by-candidate analysis of the show. The Apprentice Analysed will feature comments and insights from occupational psychologist Binna Kandola.

It will be interesting to see how the latest series goes down with media commentators and the viewing public. It’s fair to say that the mood of the country is somewhat less pro-business than it was in 2005 when the first series was aired. That said, The Apprentice is about as representative of the business world as Waterloo Road is of the education system. The series is based on the idiosyncratic business practices of one slightly eccentric, albeit very successful, business leader.

It is damned good telly though and I, like many others, will be glued to the wretched thing. Doubtless I will write more than one post about the antics of the candidates and I will most likely become a regular reader of Professor Kandola’s blog.

The candidates look pretty much like the ones who have gone before. Just inching ahead in the bullshit-bingo stakes is Debra Barr, who describes herself as, “a go-getter who would rather ask for forgiveness than permission.”  However, going by previous shows, she could well be out-bullshitted within the first few minutes of the first episode.

Interestingly for those of us with HR and/or consultancy background one of the candidates describes herself as a Human Resource Consultant. I don’t fancy Paula Jones’s chances much though. I seem to remember that Sirallan has, in past episodes, expressed his dislike of HR people and of management consultants, so Paula is carrying two handicaps before she has even started. She also says that she tends to shy away from conflict. Oh dear!

Of course, we don’t know how much of what the candidates have said about themselves is true. One episode I look forward to each year is the penultimate show, where the candidates are interviewed and all their carefully constructed images, and the stories they have woven around them, are exposed as having about as much truth as an Enron balance-sheet. My all-time favourite was the one where the high-flying headhunter actually turned out to be that annoying chap who rings you every Friday to ask if you need any temps next week.

Anyway, it’s game on again. The Apprentice is becoming something of a rite of spring, along with the Six Nations and the FA Cup. Another TV spectacle to enjoy before the summer comes.

It starts next Wednesday at nine o’clock. Get the beer and crisps ready.

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2 Responses to The Apprentice – it’s that time of year again

  1. jonathan says:

    Rick, just wondered if you had ever seen a bunch of scarier looking women in your illustrious travels?

  2. Rick says:

    Actually I thought Paula Jones was rather pretty.

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