I rarely turn the TV on in the summer as there’s always something more productive to do, but I made an exception this Wednesday and even sat down in real time to watch the first episode of The Apprentice 2018.

Why You Should Give Contestants a Break

I have a tenuous connection to The Apprentice, as many year’s ago I applied. I got through to the interview stages but couldn’t face leaving my three children, and my blooming businesses, for three months during filming. This doesn’t give me the right to scream at the TV as seemingly headless chickens argue in public and on TV, however, that’s how you’ll find me on a Wednesday night, thinking I know best, thinking I could do it better. In reality, these contestants have endured a rigorous selection process, they are the best in their field. They are under incredible amounts of pressure while navigating huge, competitive personalities, that all want to succeed, and rarely as a team.

I know, if I were a contestant, within hours, I would be demanding the others “let me think!” as a creative mind rarely flourishes when others are bombarding with questions and sabotage. How do I know? I have tried to write with three children beside me which has ultimately resulted in my agreeing to everything to keep them quiet and writing the same sentence three times in a row. I would need a lot of lollipops to silence the girl’s team while I worked out the best strategy, assuming, of course, I’d put myself forward for project manager, which no doubt I would, as I do like to have the feeling of being in control.

You may be thinking, “I’ve managed a team of 50 people, how hard can it be?” I’ve managed the same, but I’d these were people I’d mostly picked myself, people with a common goal, respect built up over time, and most importantly, trust. Take all of that away and you have a gaggle of girls with no faith in a leader, who all think their way is best.

Onto Episode 1 2018 – The One with the 40inch Hose

In this episode the guys and gals took a trip to Malta to find and buy ten items. It was a first for The Apprentice, with this task being first and a trip abroad before they’d even seen the house. Of course it was bound to prove challenging, and not only because the people of Malta enjoy Siestas, cutting the buying time by a third.

Programme Name: The Apprentice (Series 14 2018) – Episodics – TX: 03/10/2018 – Episode: The Apprentice – (Series 14 2018 ) Ep 1 (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: Khadija, Sabrina, Sian and Sarah outside in Malta – (C) Taylor Herring – Photographer: Screen Grabs

Jackie committed the first sin by showing a manipulative side to her personality. She practically forced Jasmine to be the team leader, and it was clear from her pushiness that she was setting Jasmine up to fail.

The project manager of the girls, Jasmine, wanted to take a trip to Gozo, a small island off the coast of Malta, only accessible by a 1 hour ferry ride. This would have been a wise choice, in my opinion, if only her team had played ball, believed in her capabilities and researched effectively. Jackie, meanwhile, fulfilled her role perfectly, as the wicked witch and positive energy zapper, as she whined, grimaced and criticised throughout the whole task without offering any substantial solution. I don’t like her, at all.

It’s Loud Up North!

Sarah, the northern lass had a hard time holding herself back. She wanted to show off her skills yet she stole other people’s glory to do it. As a Yorkshire woman, I wanted her to succeed, however she seemed to have a chip on her shoulder about her northern accent, as she believed others looked down on her for her voice alone, when in reality it was probably due to her immature and brash way of doing business.

Over on the other team Kyodi took the lead, and instantly he was in control realising the boys needed to work as a team to win the task. He was impressive, although there were elements of stupidity, these can be forgiven due to the amount of pressure the contestants were under. The defining moment came in the form of an Octopus as the contestants were faced with finding, “an octopus with a 40 inch hose”. I followed along blindly, as until a cut away of a piece of diving equipment with the same name, I truly believed they’d bagged the right item.

It was no surprise that the boys won the task, as they didn’t waste time, they did their research (apart from the octopus), and they put their egos in their pockets for the sake of the task. They were a pleasure to watch.

The girls, meanwhile, worked as individuals and sought out ways to throw each other under the bus. As mouthy Sarah was evicted, it became clear that Lord Sugar doesn’t choose the contestants based on their ability to make good TV. Sarah would have been one to scream at as the weeks rolled by.

In episode 2, the teams have to come up with ideas for a children’s comic book. As few of them are old enough to have children, this may be a tricky one. Anyone remember Captain Underpants?

Extra note: Follow Claude Littner on Twitter, he’s charming and hilarious. @claudelittner

Extra extra note: If you are in the process of starting business, and about to enter the research and development stage, don’t forget you can claim R&D Tax Credits. So many people miss out on thousands as they have no idea about this. It doesn’t just apply to technology either.

Lord Sugar is also asking people to apply for investment through AMvest.