Monthly Archives: June 2007

The Spice Girls Reunite For Tour

Spice Girls 

On Thursday the Spice Girls announced they were reforming and embarking on a world tour in December and January. But will they be successful? Don’t hold your breath. I don’t see anything about them that will make all the fans rushing back. The Spice Girls were four women in their early 20s, and Geri Halliwell (oh come on, you would have used that joke too!), promoting “Girl Power” and acting ever-so-slightly cheekily and naughtily. The fact that they weren’t the world’s best singers or dancers – by a long shot – didn’t matter because they were YOUNG AND FUN!! I wasn’t a fan myself, but I would assume the majority of their fans back in the mid to late 90s were girls in their early teens and younger who liked all that boisterous pop music.

So now we have five 30-something year old women who would look a bit silly dressed up in pig-tails, Union Jack mini-dresses, leopard print catsuits, trackie bums and trainers, and whatever Posh used to wear. (That’s five separate outfits, by the way…it would look horrendous all at once…I think). Their nicknames aren’t really suitable anymore. Girl Power? Pah, we’ve been there, done that, and achieved something even better. And their fans? I don’t think many of them will snap up tickets even for nostalgia’s sake. Take That, they ain’t. Girls – ahem – women may still get hysterical because Gary Barlow will forever hold a special place in their heart but I don’t think you can say the same thing about Sporty. I don’t think, at least…

ITV1’s Tycoon A Disaster!

If one of the projects presented to Peter Jones on ITV1’s Tycoon was a TV show that was a poor imitation of The Apprentice, no doubt he wouldn’t invest! And sadly for him, the great British viewing public have decided to do just that. Only 2 million people watched the series opener, so the show has been pushed back from its prime-time slot of 9pm to 10pm and will now be only half an hour long. I guess Peter Jones will now be making snappier decisions?

Dragon’s Den star’s show Tycoon axed from primetime slot

Katie Hopkins nearly in Big Brother 1

It has emerged that everyone’s favourite Apprentice contestant took part in a trial run of Big Brother seven years ago – the year the very first Big Brother aired in this country! 

The two week trial stint is often done before the actual show to make sure the house is live-able, and in some years those that take part go on to be stand-bys for the actual show (if someone drops out) and, in some cases, actually appear in it.

Big Brother 1, of course, featured “Nasty” Nick. I wonder how Katie would have sorted him out? Perhaps she’d have been the hero of the whole show? “Nasty” Nick, if you remember, was thrown out for writing things down on bits of paper which ISN’T ALLOWED in the BB house. (Oh alright, he was trying to sway people’s voting…)

Apprentice’s Katie Hopkins was in Big Brother

ITV1 Tycoon – Don’t Bother Investing (Your Time)

Tonight saw a new The Apprentice-style (read: The Apprentice rip-off) start on ITV1. Dragon’s Den alumnus Peter Jones invests his own (got that? His OWN) money into six new business ideas, as well as mentoring each business’s founders. Then he invests some more money. Then someone wins, or something. Quite frankly, the programme’s a bit hard to follow, and really not that interesting.

The schemes featured on the show are: clothes and accessories for female/male/child gardeners; a free student newspaper; clip-on hair extensions made from natural hair; a remote controlled mini helicopter; a vodka/fruit drink; and a eco-friendly plastic bag dispenser.

Things of note from the programme:

  • Peter Jones seems a lot nicer on this then on Dragon’s Den – perhaps ITV are paying him wads more cash?
  • He doesn’t, however, seem to have a proper meeting room, instead meeting the contestants at various cafes and restaurants around the South Bank
  • The “firing” of contestants appears as if it will take place on a riverside pier. Perhaps he’s going to chuck them in the Thames afterwards? Not even Alan Sugar did that!

Muse at Wembley Stadium – 17th June 2007

Pretty damn awesome…!

Muse at Wembley

A great set, they really rocked out for just over 2 hours. Wembley Stadium
looks fantastic as well, and I don’t think there were any problems with the
sound at the venue. (Apparently, there were complaints from attendees
at the previous weekend’s George Michael concerts – perhaps that’s a word
of warning against going to see the former Wham-er!)

Muse at Wembley Stadium

On The Apprentice? Get A Website!

In previous years of The Apprentice, almost all contestants suddenly spring up websites that celebrates how great they are, what fantastic money-making schemes they’re involved in, how they didn’t want to be The Apprentice anyway... So, as the latest series has just finished, let’s take a look at what the current crop are up to, web-wise.

Simon Ambrose‘s site features a cool dude – not Simon – holding a globe and doing a thumbs up in a wacky Paul McCartney kind of way. Cheers mate!

Kristina Grimes is ultra clever, she’s clearly making a lot of money with those pay-per-click ads! Oh wait, it’s a parked domain…

What’s pantomime villan Katie Hopkins got? She’s gone down the same route as Kristina… I thought they were bitter rivals, but who knew they shared a mutual appreciation for PPC ads?

Tre Azam does much better, his website is actually about his company, IDMM. However, he loses marks by using his official photo from The Apprentice as his photo on the site, although he’s added his company logo in the background…and it looks like he’s going to be engulfed by a lot of smoke any second now…

Lohit Kalburgi is a relief! Go to his website and you see his lovely smiling face. Find out his thoughts on the show! What he’s doing next! His mobile number! (Not really)

Naomi Lay has quite a few pop-art style photos of herself (and one of Sir Alan, how flattering!) but, much more interestingly, has a blog for her time in The Apprentice. Worth a read if you want a behind-the-scenes perspective.

Week 8’s casulty, Ghazal Asif, tries to show that she means business with a harsh grey background to her site, but is a girly-girl at heart – wow, that’s a bright pink colour! Oh hang on, scratch what I said about business. Her “Let’s Talk Business” doesn’t feature anything, but will be up and running soon.

Jadine Johnson has another parked domain, the rotter! Although the top ad on it does state “Get Laser Eye Surgery Like Simon Ambrose”. He’s helping to shift products by association already!

Your favourite carsalesman and mine, Adam Hosker, has acquired some serious glasses for his website, and he now means BUSINESS. Or something. I don’t know what he actually means, because he doesn’t say much on his site. But he does get a few points for getting new photos of himself done, and not merely using the one from the show.

Katie’s one-time paramour Paul Callaghan has decided to go into wedding photography. Interesting career move. Oh, alright, it’s not the same one Paul Callaghan. Can’t find a website for him. Shame on him! That’s a business opportunity wasted, you’re fired! Oh, he already is…

Natalie Wood has a more personal touch on her website, with lots of talk about her (one of her middle names is Tryphina!), her studies and her babies. Aww…

Dr Sophie Kain‘s website is called “Sugar Kain”. Oh ha ha, I see what’s he’s done there. BUT she does do a well-written commentary of each episode (sadly, not beyond episode 8 – yet, I hope!) and provide interesting insider comments so well worth a read.

Gerri Blackwood is perhaps trying to market herself to the pre-tweens? “Funky” music accompanies her website (luckily, you can turn if off) with cartoon stars heading different sections. I actually like this site, quite chatty and fun. Not sure about the weird brown background though.

Rory Laing has gone down the tried-and-tested domain parking route, but with a different provider. Zzzzzz… Come on, you could be talking about your “famous” spats with Tre!

Ifti Chaudhri‘s website, much like his appearance on The Apprentice, is permanently “coming soon”. Ho hum. Was he even really “on” The Apprentice?

Now, by looking at this website, I think – thinkAndy Jackson might have made it himself. And that’s not just because I heard him on Radio 1 saying so. But judging by his press and business pages, he seems like a busy lad so I’m not going to hold that against him.

The Apprentice Final

Simon, The Apprentice    Kristina, The Apprentice

So, down to the last two candidates – 36-year-old Kristina Grimes, a pharmaceutical sales manager, and 27-year-old Simon Ambrose, an “Internet Entrepreneur”. (Although quite frankly, who isn’t?) 

What exciting task would Alan Sugar come up for them to prove their worth in the final battle? He’s apparently recently required a building on London’s South Bank for £120 million (ooh, the show off!) that he plans to develop. The job for each candidate, therefore, was to come up with – in four days – a conceptual idea of a new building for that space, and present that idea to a roomful of “property experts”.

And, as always, the final sees former contestants come back to help with task. After being re-introduced to them, two teams formed: on Simon’s there were Tre, Jadine, Lohit and Rory, whilst Kristina found herself with Paul, Adam, Natalie and Naomi.

The first day on this final task seemed very chilled out. Both teams went on school field trips. Naomi and Adam went to the Science Museum. Lohit, Rory and Jadine talked about nature at Kew Gardens. Simon and Tre went to the Aquarium and even brought Mummy Margaret Mumford along for the ride. I joke! They weren’t on field trips, they were doing “research” of course… Of course, silly me.

But down to the nitty gritty: designing buildings. Both teams ended up with initial ideas that were subsequently scrapped. Simon (in strong collaboration with bestest bud Tre) came up with a ship design. With much persuasion from Rory, and in discussion with the proper architects the next day, this was changed to a building consisting of three waves. Kristina’s team thought up a “long building” with two angels at either end, also changed to a big spikey-shaped thing (im my eyes, anyway) that was supposed to symbolise a phoenix rising from the ashes. Or something. (In reality, a brand-spanking new building replacing an old one. Ahh, see what you’ve done there. Clever.)

So, blah blah blah, they both made presentations to Sir Alan and his assembled property experts. And the next day, back it was to the boardroom for the final decision. The interesting thing about this task was that there was no way to clearly judge the winner; no “X made a profit of £500, Y made a profit of £1000”.

I thought both contestants had fair claim to becoming The Apprentice, both had positive and negative points throughout the entire series. Certainly in the final task, they performed equally well. Both were likeable – unlike, say, the Series 1 Final, where quiet and calm Tim was up against gobby Saira.

They were also quite different: Kristina being the more mature, having more business experience, and being a very good salesperson. Simon seemed incredibly enthusiastic in most task, and at his young age would be more easily moulded into what Alan Sugar wanted of an apprentice.

So, who won? Simon! The halls of Amstrad will be a much brighter place with his colourful socks…

Katie…You’re Fired

So despite potentially being hired by Alan Sugar, it now turns out that The Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins has actually been fired from her real job. Although working at The Met Office since September 2006, she has been let go as she “failed to pass her probationary period”. So nothing to do with her behaviour on a popular TV show, or her selling her love life to the tabloids then? I expect they’re all at it at The Met Office. Selling stories to the tabloids, I mean*…I’m not trying to imply anything else…

*Not really

It took me an absolute age to come up with the title of this post. Let’s see, she was on The Apprentice and she’s now been let go from her real job…”Katie, please go to your desk and pack up your things”? “Apprentice contestant no longer working for the weather people”? No, I seem to be missing something very obvious…

BBC News: Apprentice contender Katie fired

Shipwrecker of the Year 2007

Did we have one of these competitions for Shipwrecked last year? I can’t remember. Anyway, the six rather surprising finalists, battling for £15,000 prize, were Lianne, James, Jane, Ben Lunt, Lucy and Paul. That’s five Tigers and one Shark. I can understand v ery few of those choices, given some of the other characters we had on the show. James? He didn’t seem to do much except look pretty. Jane, hmm? She was funny at times, but as a later arrival she didn’t really get too much screen time. And Lucy?? The 18-year-old whose views caused another racial furore for Channel 4 back in January. Sure, she may have “matured” during her time on the island. But so what? She’d have done that even if she’d been stuck back home in England, she’d have had to to survive in life!

The big favourite was the undeniably entertaining Ben Lunt. And guess who won? PAUL!

Ha, I’m just joking. It was Ben Lunt.

The Apprentice’s Katie Hopkins – Her Story

So, only four days after walking out of the The Apprentice (okay, so a lot longer in real life, but only four days since the episode of her turning down a place in the final aired), Katie Hopkins tells her side of the story in the News of the World in an article titled I’m 10 Out Of 10 In Bed.

Well, when I say “her side of the story” I mean her story of lots of romantic liasons and “romps”. So this is a woman who is supposedly incredibly clever; has a high-powered, high-earning job; and would have been a finalist on The Apprentice. And now she seems to be making some kind of career out of having lots of affairs and talking about them? Hmm, classy.

One saving grace, however: they’ve involved her in a semi-glamourous photo shoot and FINALLY wiped off that hideous 80s make-up. The woman’s 31 years old! Who on earth still wears sky blue eyeshadow and frosted pink lipstick?!

News of the World