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New series of BBC’s The Apprentice leaves a bad taste...

Originally posted @ Blog in the life of a London MBA:

So, I’ve managed to overcome my unease at watching BBC’s The Apprentice. The problem with it was that seeing a bunch o’ city boys n’ girls arguing just reminded me a little too much of group meetings during the MBA (some of them at least). People fighting to be heard and lots of talking over each other combined with some monumentally bad ideas seen through to completion used to make for uncomfortable viewing, now it just makes me laugh. For the most part I am enjoying the series so far.

the-apprentice-108 His beard is made of pubes

The one thing doesn’t sit well with me at all though lies at the very heart of the program and that is the “greed is good” mentality that Sir Alan Sugar is such an advocate of. Meanwhile, his 15 acolytes are responsible for some of the most sickening and reprehensible sound bytes I’ve ever heard. Here a just a couple:

“…when I wake up in the morning I can taste success in my spit!”

“To me making money is better than sex!”

“Being successful is more important than being popular, you don’t have to make friends on the way up when you’re not coming back down”

In the current economic climate, caused at least in part by this level of blind ambition and ethical ambiguity, I find it hard to relate to any of the characters in the program. I love to hate most of them and just plain hate the rest but it is enough to keep me watching, albeit with a slightly bad taste in my mouth. I’m also somewhat convinced that these people don’t actually exist and are just some kind of manifestation invoked by Sir Alan calling upon ancient spirits buried deep in the East-end of London… Guv’nor.

PD*27595776 This series’ contestants

In a video on the BBC News website Sir Alan says that this series is taking the recession into account with certain tasks. One in particular is to restore a seaside town which has been hit by the recession. However, I’m not sure I’m convinced. How much economic rejuvenation can actually occur in the 2-3 days they have to complete a task?

In my opinion this whole series should have have been reworked thematically to draw more attention to corporate social responsibility and steering away from the usual capitalism on steroids mentality. Additionally, I think every task should be focused on beating the recession either by encouraging investment and/or by helping struggling local businesses to thrive. Then again, ask yourself next time you decide to watch it whether or not you would trust any of these lot with your flagging business. I certainly wouldn’t.

Let me know what you think…

Ask your questions

A number of people have read this blog and then emailed me to ask me specific questions about the MBA. Rather than reply individually I thought it might be best to address as many of the general questions I can under this post as comments.


So if you have a question please post here and either me or my colleagues will respond to you as soon as we can.