Last time the hapless hopefuls had to re brand Margate. Ignite decided to re-brand the sea side by not re-branding and aimed for families. Empire shot for the moon and targeted the gays. Mona was so far out of her comfort zone she needed a passport to come back, MarGAYte was overlooked as a tag line and with regret Mona was fired.
The 'answering the phone first thing in your undies' sequences have been a let down so far. And this week - argh a Ben torso shot and Debra in her PJ's - no need!
They are off to meet Sralan at University College Hospital. James VT - he knows he is skating on thin ice and Sralan is waiting for it to crack. In the cars they are guessing what the task will be be based on their destination. Howard suggests whatever they think they should go for the opposite and they'll be closer. Debra thinks its a race to administer mouth to mouth to the largest number of presumably dying volunteers. The team with the most left alive win. I think not although it does sound like a reasonable idea for a Big Brother task. [Well, you can volunteer if you want, but I wouldn't put my life in the hands of anyone in that house - Rad]
In a maternity wing, Nick looks very uncomfortable and they are all wearing nice blue shoe covers. They have to have a stand at the Baby Show, choose 2 products from those offered and the team who sell the most (and makes the most) wins.
Its time to mix up the Magnificent Seven. Ben and Yasmina go to Empire and Howard to Ignite. Interestingly Sralan picks the mums and dads as the team leaders meaning James leading Empire and Lorraine leads Ignite. Yes they have procreated - are you scared yet?
Before we go any further I should tell you right now. I am a woman, I have given birth twice, I am not cutting them any slack this week and I fully expect Ben to invoke my wrath more than usual.....
Shots of babies and the Baby Show. I want to say baby show porn but obviously that's wrong. Anyway some babies are cute, some not.
The first job is to pick the 2 winning products that are going to fly off the stand and make the teams a fortune. Lorraine has been to the Baby Show previously as a mum and says she went to get furniture but ended up buying lots of impulse purchases too and suggests this as a strategy, 1 high end item and 1 impulse type buy. This is wise.
James and Ben are already disagreeing. James is not so fussed about timing as getting the products right which is OK up to a point. They have 6 hours to choose the products. Start the clock!
In the cars some classic conversations:
James randomly announces 'One thing that is really important when you’re breastfeeding is the mother needs to be happy. Because if she is a little bit anxious there is something in nature which switches off the tap in her breast.' (He is correct sort of although I suspect the majority of Apprentbitch readers will not be so bothered about this trufact so I will abstain from any further comment)
Debra has learnt something new. 'James! I didn’t know I had a tap in there mate!' (She has no soul and no heart so why not tittaps?)
Ben actually makes a funny, that's funny: 'Do you know the left one is hot and the right one is cold?' Is he actually going to be less of a cunt this week?
In the Ignite-mobile Howard seems pleased Lorraine is in charge rather than James. 'How many people is James going to ask “when is it due?” when they are not pregnant?'In Holland Park James and Yasmina are viewing the 'latest' birthing pool. So basically its a big paddling pool but with sturdier sides for the labouring woman to lean over. Course James is straight in demonstrating full blown labour. Only a person whose never done it will mock it but I stop swearing at him when it becomes apparent he does seem to know his stuff. Mags looks like she finds the whole thing slightly distasteful. The woman showing them the pool tells them she took 5k in 3 days at a baby show. Pound signs flash in their eyes. James knows the pool will target a smaller market but with potentially higher return.
Debra and Ben are looking at a protective head cap. I can tell you every mum I know thinks these are stupid. Ben says he wants his kids to get cuts and bruises. Nice. 'Its CODSHIT' says James. Indeed it is. They sort of look like those velcro hats you wear to play that game where you catch the ball with your head - or did I imagine that?
Meanwhile Lorraine views the take off pushchair - it collapses quickly and easily. Wins. I actually want this pram, I never want anything I see them trying to flog. I feel this is a good sign. But somehow I think it will prove harder for anyone other than Mr Demonstrator to collapse and put up. Its priced at £135 - not bad for a buggy but a little high end for a stroller, (come on people keep up). Still they'll throw in a changing bag.
Kate and Howard are looking at shoes for babies - with high heels - these caused outrage in the parenting community when they came out. Even the woman pitching them says shes had death threats - OK I am exaggerating but only slightly. These things are pointless and foul and really whatthefuck? I will not launch into a rant because it will be incoherent and mostly involve 'argh' over and over again. [I echo your 'what the fuck' and expect a Daily Mail expose by the middle of next week - Rad]
Debra and Ben are looking at rocking horses, built to order by a man wearing pressed jeans and a nice shirt. Known as best rocking horse makers in the world, they sell to kings and queens and the price tag to match - £1500 plus VAT. Eeek. Ben mounting and rocking in any sense turns my stomach. They love the horses. If they sell one they are quids in -this is true but oh so risky
Now Lorraine is in the birthing pool. Its not complicated guys, you get in, it makes the worst pain of your life a bit more bearable. The selling lady is getting a bit biological now and encourages Lorraine to find but her coccyx and pubic bone. Nick looks worried as well he might and Lorraine declines to grab her crotch on national TV.
Now Kate and Howard are at protective head gear HQ. It may be nice to see kids wearing the gear but the kids don't look happy. The kid is thinking 'fuck you mum I look like a total Dick on national TV'. In the car Kate says she wants to play on the guilt factor. Grr like parents need anymore guilt heaped on them and if your 6 month old falls over as in they were stood unaided never mind walking, you have a prodigy on your hands so you need to call Mensa not stick a thud hood on them. (I trademark that name right now by the way)
James is now at the buggy take away and he likes the pram. Lorraine has decided she wants the pushchair and the birthing pool. Howard agrees and says only 2% of women have births at home so we'll go for the pushchair and to balance it go for the 'thud guard'. Lorraine corrects him that its 2.2% but whatevers.
Debra and Ben go for the horse, the horse, they are all about the horse. At gun point from James they are forced to choose something else, they suggest the pram. James compares the buggy that folds differently to a laptop that folds differently - like you'd be bothered. I'd LOVE to see a laptop that folded differently and anyway and he has kids? I'd kill for that pram! I can only assume he has never had to collapse a pram under pressure and the gaze of a whole bus full of cunts and then hold aforementioned pram for the whole journey. He plumps for the pool.
Back at Crackden Towers, Lorraine is trying to demonstrate the buggy, you know the one that comes up and goes down easier than a tarts knickers? She may have broken it. It's pissing her off. Howard says they need to be able to smoothly put it up and down. Thankfully the hat just goes on your head.
£1700 of horse next door. James' pep talk consists of - sell the bloody (bladdy?) rocking horse.
On the way to Earls Court James is determined someone will buy the horse. If sheer force of will alone can make it happen they'll be OK, they are all straining so much they appear constipated. Lorraines notes that if the other team have chosen the horse then 1 sale will blow them out the water. [A risky strategy but sometimes it works on this show - Rad]
At Earls Court they have prime sites and start checking out the competition, Ignite aren't worried - until they see another stand with the take away buggy. So not exclusive then. Lorraine is kicking herself for not checking whether others exhibitors would have it and shes kicking the buggy because she can't work it.
9.30am they have 7 hours to sell. Yasmina is selling the birthing pool by giving a ever so slightly graphic 'my brother was ripped from my mothers womb' birth story. Lorraine tries to demonstrate the buggy. Badly. Customers not impressed, Howard not impressed, Nick says Lorraine is making a complete 'Horlicks' of it. Not as good as codshit. Now the customers showing them how to do it. Face palm.
Customers are giving Empires 'stable' a wide berth - so they take the prices off.
Yasmina sells a birthing pool. It's pulling in the preggy ladies - in fact some look like they might need to use it there and then. James describes how it opens everything up so far the baby jumps out - have forgiven his labour impression but worry he may get done for false advertising when these women actually give birth.
The toddler hard hat is selling well - just my opinion here but actually like many similar products it's stupid and can actually be dangerous as it gives parents a false sense of increased safety. Howard seems to think it babysits and entertains the kids, 'just make sure hes still in the room' (but basically you can ignore him).
Horses not happening. They are still under starters orders and other such horse race inspired witticisms.
Lorraine's team have got finally got the buggy licked. Mr Fiona really wants one now, I am resisting the urge to google them.
Empire have now got kids on the horses, for free rides . Ben says its not just a rocking horse, but an heirloom. One dad pissed off cos he can't sit on it too. Debra is realising if they don't sell the horse its her and Ben that pushed for it.
O no! A customer tells them another stand is telling the buggy for £100 meaning that anyone who was interested earlier in the day and planning on coming back has gone to the competition. With 15 minutes to go another exhibitor is after a horse but wants £200 off. Debra pushes for full prices and pushes some more. She even offers to work for a day, for a week if he buys it at full price. Drop the price woman, they can't drop the price Debra says whatever and they loose the sale.
James feels like he's been dumped, his football team's lost and he backed a losing horse. Ho ho.
Oh James. I have grown to really like you. If he has sense he'll take in Debra and Ben 'if' he looses.
Ben lays straight into James. James confirms the products chosen, risky strategy says Sralan. James gives a surprisingly comprehensive reason for not choosing the pushchair - too expensive. And as noted earlier it is more expensive than for a basic stroller but I think he underestimated the USP.
Lorraine was a good team leader, Kate describes their strategy of high and low price items. Ben justifies why he didn't choose the head gear. Sralan calls Lorraine on getting totally busted by someone else under selling her
Empire - sale £722
Treat - National Portrait Gallery to meet Gerald Scarfe for a caricature each - quite cool but quite low budget. [Cool for us, rather than them, surely? A Scarfe caricature, whilst acurate, is rarely flattering. Still, better than Myleene playing the piano or Kathryn Jenkins warbling - Rad]
At the National Portrait Gallery - champagne, carnival of animals (- fossils) and a man with a voice like sex and a wicked pen.
Loser Cafe. Debra tells James they should have gone for the buggy and James should be fired. Ben also says we should have got the buggy not a birthing pool. What short memories these 2 goldfish/piranhas have. Like the horse wasn't a problem?
Sralan and Nick start on the everyone needs a buggy and 2% need a pool. Fuck that - its the horse that shit all over it. Debra takes it on her sizable chin and admits the horse was a distraction, suddenly Debra was pushing for the buggy? when? Debra and Ben have definitely decided to tag team James.
Yasmina says they choose the pool because the seller had a proven track record. They get into some random calculations. The pool was at a reduced price so people were coming to them.
Sralan doesn't understand why they couldn't give the reduced price for the horse. There was no special offer Ben, leaving a deposit is not a special offer Debra. £1500 is better than £0.
James is bringing back Ben & Debra but if he could he would take in Debra twice if he could. Sralan notes it's the 4th time all 3 have been in the last 3.
Mags doesn't know how they didn't ask for a discount, Ben thinks too much of himself, Debra is over powering and James is disorganised.
Ben is all don't fire me I have raw acumen and talent as per. Sralan say so like where? Ben gives more bluster with no back up. He can complete at world class level, bladdy sandhurst - Sralan NOT impressed: he was a Jewish bugler. [He also referenced Sandhurst types not being able to cook on a bean can a la 'cheese from Makro' Paul, which made me LOL - Rad]
James is a senior manager but he is a nice guy who makes sensible decisions. I can get on with people he informs Sralan, Debra would have half notamstrad on strike in a day. Sralan tells him not to worry his pretty little head about that and anyway there is no room for Mr nice.
Turning to Debra, Sralan tells her that Nick and Mags are not your fans. He continues that shes alienating people, causing aggro and is a BLADDY WOMAN. Debra responds that her personality might be abrasive but she is good at her job, passionate and fearless and 'that's me' - but she's not ruthless. She wants to go from a lump of coal to the diamond he wants - zirconia snorts Sralan.
Debra, after prompting from Sralan, takes responsibility for the horse while still managing to blame James. He responds by making the point that he would have been a shit PM if he had given them the mandate to choose items and then ignored their opinions.
Ben is showing promise, Debra - no one likes you and James you're nice but you are maybe too nice. There is light at the end of the tunnel, Ben shakes his head, but the light's gone and BEN is out!!
He sits outside and weeps slightly.
Debra has escaped because she is belligerent. Remind you of anyone?
Debra hugs Ben - god he is tiny
Coat watch - black and boring.
Mags says Ben's raw material is good. I am so confused, he wasn't that much of a cunt this week. I actually think it should have been Debra rather than him and I didn't think I'd ever hear myself say that! Everyone says they'll be shocked if Ben has gone and shocked they are.
In the taxi Ben is adamant he is better than James and he is still tearing up. All these babies has made me soft and for a second I feel a glimmer of compassion for him.
Next week: YES ITS TV SHOPPING CHANNEL WEEK PEOPLE.