Monthly Archives: March 2008

The Apprentice – Episode 1

Hoorah! The Apprentice is FINALLY back. And it’s just as good as ever.

The 16 contestants were thrown right into the deep end in Wednesday’s episode – they met Sir Alan, who explained their task, and were then told to go out there and do it. No settling in, no making themselves comfortable in their house, no getting to know each other. Straight in there. I like it. I like it a lot.

A few initial obversations. Firstly, the girls all seem to wear a surprising amount of make-up! I mean, I know they’re on telly, but surely gold eyeshadow (as Lindi was wearing) is a little OTT? Secondly, I said Lucinda was a Katie Hopkins lookalike, minus the crazy pink lipstick. I take this back. She is a Katie Hopkins look alike FULL STOP. Well, with a crazy dress sense, and a natty pink beret. And finally – is it just me, or is Sir Alan turning into a hedgehog?

So, after learning of the task, the two teams went off to mull over group names. The boys chose “Renaissance”. The girls, “Alpha”. Hmmm. Then off they ran to their vans of fish – for it was a fish-selling task, you see – to get identifying and labelling. The teams had to sell £600-worth of fish at a market…after they’d figured out what each fish actually was, and then pricing it all up. Both of these tasks are clearly harder than it seems, as both teams had trouble doing either. What also suprised me was that both teams chose Islington’s Chapel Market. We weren’t told what the other three possible locations were, but I think it would have been more interesting to see the teams operate at different markets.

Here’s a bit of advice for you: if you want your fish (head) battered, don’t ask Simon to do it for you. Because here’s what will happen: (40 seconds in)


Well, the girls won the task, bringing in more profit. The boys, meanwhile, not only lost but decided to go down in a blaze of glory, bickering and cat-fighting. Team leader Alex chose to bring in the poshos, Raef and Nicholas…the two that had bickered the most. And I was right. Hedgehog Alan…sorry, Sir Alan…clearly wasn’t impressed by Nicholas’s fancy qualifications, and uttered the two most scary words in the English language…”Marry me.”

No, I kid! Of course, it was: “You’re fired!”

Shipwrecked is nearly here!!


I’ve been waiting agggeeees for the new series of Shipwrecked to land on our shores (ho ho, did you see what I did there?). In the past couple of years, the show has aired on Channel 4 from late January onwards; this year, for reasons unknown, the station have decided to keep Shipwrecked under wraps until April. (I hope this doesn’t mean it’s going to be a really boring series!)

Even more mystifyingly, Channel 4 have been airing the mind-numbingly boring Vanity Lair, which annoying-voiced presenter Alexa Chung claims, in each episode, is a “social experiment”. If it is, then it’s the end of science as we know it.

I digress. Today Heat magazine has provided some rays of sunshine with a sneak peak of three new Shipwrecked “hunks”. Errr…I’ll wait to see the rest of the gang, thanks, before I pass judgement on these three specimens.

See for yourself at – Meet the NEW! Shipwrecked hunks.

Wow! This is bad!

And I don’t mean bad in that late-80s really-good-kind-of-way.

There’s a lot of bad music out there. People should be protected against it. I’d start some sort of association, but I’m too lazy. So instead, on Desperately Seeking Something, I’m going to bring you videos of songs that are truly awful. Take a listen to them – just once of course – and then protect your friends. Every time you hear these songs being played on the radio, MTV, wherever, cover your friends’ ears. Drag them out of the room. Throw a rock at the TV. Whatever’s necessary. They’ll thank you for it. Trust me.

Here’s Beeper by The Count And Sinden featuring Kid Sister. (So apparently it took three people to make something this bad.)


It’s Monday! Video Time!

Ahh, Guns n Roses. Axl. Slash. The blonde dude. The other blonde dude. Someone other guy as well. Do you remember, back in the early 90s, when they were THE biggest band in the world?

But let’s go back a bit further in time to one of  their earlier songs, Paradise City. This is a typical rock video – “live” concert footage, the band messing around backstage, fans going crazy – and misbehaving – in the crowd. Examples of the crazy rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle – random hotel rooms, Concorde. And then, best of all, at 3 minutes 32 into the song, a British rock fan with what looks like a Tesco carrier bag.

*makes devil horn sign*


Radio 1 Eats Itself

Radio 1

The powers that be at Radio 1 seem to be doing a darn good job of trying to ruin the station.

A year or so ago, they seemed to have settled on a decent enough lineup of DJs. The weekday lineup, for example: Chris Moyles provides the fun in the mornings – like him or loathe him, you can’t deny that he keeps upping listener numbers. (I hope that statement doesn’t prove to be the kiss of death for him.) Scott Mills provides enough random humour for drivetime, as everyone pootles home from work. Jo Whiley seems to have settled into some kind of woman’s coffee-morning type show (sorry Jo, it’s true) which is pleasant enough. Zane Lowe, on at 7pm, is so energetic and infectious you can’t really help but like him. And Edith Bowman…well, if you can’t say anything good about someone, let’s not say anything at all, huh? But I suppose she’s well known, so they gave her a radio show.

My big bug bear is the weekends. Here’s a few reasons why:

Fearne and Reggie They clearly aren’t very good DJs. Yeah, youth TV, whatever, but they’re rubbish on radio. They’re not entertaining. They’re not interesting. Listen to them for 20 minutes, and they’re jabber away about something totally inane, before giggling amongst themselves, and then repeating the same phrase over and over. A few weeks back, Reggie invited listeners to text in their opinions about songs. And some listeners, rather surprisingly, obeyed him. One girl said something vaguely bad about Amy Winehouse. “That’s harsh!” exclaimed Reggie. No it’s not, Reggie, it’s an opinion. 10 minutes later, on another subject: “That’s harsh!” Sigh. If you catch any of the adverts for Fearne and Reggie’s Chart Show, you can easily tell how bad they are. The ad will always be full of them laughing, with one “crazy” comment, and then lots of snippets of them saying stuff like “That’s up 10 places”, “We love this song”, “This song’s still in the charts”. They’ve been doing the chart every week since last autumn, and that’s the best advert Radio 1 jingle makers can create about them?!

Switch This is some sort of TV/radio crossover show, that’s one BBC2 on Saturday afternoons and Radio 1 on Sunday evenings. Presented by Annie Mac, except she’s now covering for Sara Cox who’s on maternity leave. So it’s presented by Grimmy. Grimmy?! GRIMMY?! Are we all 12-year-old boys? What kind of a stupid nickname is that? What’s wrong with the bloke’s real name? (Nick Grimshaw) Or perhaps it’s because the entire audience is 11-year-olds doing their homework on a Sunday night. BORING.

Annie Mac I’m sure she’s great on her Mash Up on Friday nights. But she’s not that great as a mainstream DJ. Especially not as a replacement for Sara Cox, who used to EASILY be the most annoying DJ on the planet, but who has now done a complete about turn and is actually one of Radio 1’s best. With Annie, you’ve got yet more nonsensical chat about…nothing.

All in all, the weekend shows make Radio 1 seem like some kind of amateur station. When I was nine years old, I had a “DJ toy” that consisted of a microphone, a tape player and a sound effects machine. My friends and I made fake radio shows by talking about crap, making weird noises, pressing all the sound effects buttons and playing Bros on loop. Weekends on Radio 1 seems like one step above what I was doing when I was nine. (Without the Bros on loop, obviously.)

Oh, and, putting on some of the night-time DJs on at daytime (today – Easter Monday), is one of the worst decisions ever made. I’ve never heard worse radio. The songs are apalling, the dialogue very strained, and the presenters all seem to have the charisma of an orange.

Even Edith Bowman would have been better.

The Apprentice 2008 – Part 3

Yay! Let’s take a look at the remaining contestants on the new series of The Apprentice.

Helene Speight (32) bored me. Actually, really, truly, bored me. I read her blurb on the Apprentice website, and couldn’t think of anything to say about her. Sorry. No doubt she’s actually the life and soul of the party, so I hope to be proved wrong when I watch the programme on Wednesday. Verdict: …zzz…

Ian Stringer (26) wins top prize for having THE most annoying quote out of all of the contestants on the BBC website. Ian says: “there are two kinds of people in the world. Winners and… I don’t know how to spell the other word. I can’t say it…” ARGH! It’s losers!! LOSERS!! It’s not flipping hard. If this bloke can’t even say certain words, he’s going to be rubbish at leadership, negotiations, brainstorming…pretty much everything. Verdict: Won’t be able to defend himself against Sir Alan in the boardroom – out week one.

Shazia Wahab (35) says she’s “a stubborn cow who wants to have the last word”. I like her already. Anyone that describes themselves as a stubborn cow is great. The poor cow…er, girl…thinks however that she’s underestimated and is desperate to prove her worth. Considering that she’s self-employed and is director of her own company, I’m not too sure who’s underestimating her. Best of all, though, is that she’s worried people will find her aggressive as “what she’s thinking is often revealed on her face”. Wow! Does she have a magic LED panel in her forehead that flashes up certain words? “ANGRY…ANGRY…ANGRY” “BORED…BORED…BORED” “THIRSTY…WANT COCA-COLA NOW…” Amazing. Verdict: Will be in the last five.

Alex Wotherspoon (24) is someone I wonder about. Well, not often, just for the purposes of writing this post. First of all, can he not afford a comb? What kind of ridiculous hairstyle is that? Secondly, Wotherspoon? I wonder if he’s done a David Walliams (whose real surname is Williams) style name change, to make himself more interesting. He admits he can be forgetful. Which isn’t great. He might get fired by Sir Alan, forget about it, then turn up for the next task. Verdict: Will get fired in the first few weeks. Then will forget he’s been fired, so will probably appear in the final.

Claire Young (28) provides a nice little ditty as her quote: “I’m just as happy watching the rugby in the rain as I am sipping champagne”. She doesn’t say what happens if she’s watching rugby when it’s actually quite sunny. Or if it’s a bit cloudy, say, with just a threat of rain. Oprah Winfrey is her role model, as Oprah is a successful businesswoman who gives back to the community…as well as being a yo-yo dieter like our Claire. How mean of you, BBC website, for revealing that! Go pick on someone your own size. (Which may well be Claire and Oprah, if they’re having a bad month.) Verdict: Sounds quite down-to-earth, could go far.

Remember to tune in on Wednesday, 9pm, BBC1. I can’t wait!

The Apprentice 2008 – Part 2

Okay, let’s take a look at some more of these pesky Apprentice contestants, shall we?

Lee McQueen (30) believes “if you missed something in the earlier part of your life, you’ll find it again before your time is up”. Aww, that’s nice. Very positive. Looks a tiny bit scary, no? Verdict: Will probably make it quite far, sounds like the kind of guy dip under the radar the first few weeks before making an impression.

Lindi Mngaza (22) apparently doesn’t quite seem to get what the show is all about. Her quote (all the Apprentice contestants have given a quote which is displayed on the BBC website) is the following: “I have Royal blood. My nickname amongst my friends is African Princess as I am a Royal descendant”. Riiiight. So, nothing to say about your business experiences? Achievements? Your ambitions for the show? Seems like she’s been brought on to provide a bit of glamour. Verdict: Sir Alan will probably think she’s too young.

Kevin Shaw (24) …dear me, where to begin? He’ll “take no prisoners in the boardroom and will nail anyone who gets in my way”. I mean, honestly – NAIL them? That’s a bit harsh. Sir Alan certainly won’t like all the blood involved in that. And this kid thinks he’s “fun to be around”. Anyone that says that about themselves is clearly dull as ditchwater. Or is it dishwater? I never know. Maybe Kevin is as dull as both ditchwater AND dishwater. Verdict: Will get fired early on.

Simon Smith (35) “hopes to win The Apprentice by winning every task because of his ability to think on his feet”. EVERY task? Now that would be impressive. Clearly, the rest of them might as well go home now. (Despite the fact that this series was probably filmed last summer – you still know what I mean.) Verdict: Possible semi-finalist.

Michael Sophocles (25) apparently wishes he’d left school at sixteen and not gone to university, so he could begin his lucrative career earlier. This guy, however, studied at Edinburgh. At the very least he could have gone to uni in England where courses last a minimum of 3 years, not 4. That would have given him one whole year to get started on his lucrative career. Ahem, clearly doesn’t think things through properly. He also “admits to jealousy when others are more successful than him”. Well that’s going to completely scupper his chances on The Apprentice then, isn’t it? Verdict: Will throw toys out of pram spectacularly in week 3.

Final part tomorrow!

The Apprentice 2008 – Part 1

The Apprentice is back. Hooray! Here comes Sir Alan in his big, black menacing car, getting driven around scenic bits of London when in fact his Amstrad office  is in some crappy bit of Essex. Here come the new contestants, installed in another ludriculously over-the-top house again (this time in Battersea) where we’ll see them drinking wine in the kitchen and having arguments in their underwear. And here come (hopefully) exciting new tasks, designed to distinguish the winners from the losers, when all we really want is for the contestants to get hopelessly embarrassed and ridiculed. The show next Wednesday, 26th March, on BBC1 at 9pm.

So, let’s look at some of the contestants:

Raef Bjayou (27 years old) believes he has the charisma to win The Apprentice. Hmmm, it’s literally oozing out of his photo, isn’t it? *yawns* He’s a former estate agent. Nuff said. Verdict: Could be last year’s Adam. Remember him? No, me neither.

Jenny Celerier (36) is a single mum to Simon, who’s 17. Sounds like a self-made woman. Sounds a bit like last year’s finalist, Kristina! Verdict: Could go far.

The Apprentice
Nicholas de Lacy-Brown (23 years old) was born plain old Nicholas Brown, but added the “de Lacy” bit to make him sound more sophisticated. The Apprentice website says he “feels most comfortable in the role of an artistic, country-hopping lord”. For his sake, let’s hope there’s a task where they have to pretend to run a country manor. The website goes on to say “he supplements his earnings with a mixture of artistic endeavour and property development”. In other words, he creates party flyers in Microsoft Office, and once painted a mate’s living room as a favour. Verdict: The kid won’t last. Sir Alan will hate him.

Sara Dhada (25) apparently decided to save the family company – selling cars – by taking over the reins from her brothers. Her brothers were a bit crap, then? She likes “socialising and baking” – hey, we’d probably be friends! I like socialising and eating! She “recently challenged herself to drive from Leicester to Mumbai in seven days”. Only the other day, I challenged myself to ride from Bromley to the moon by bike – in 4 hours. I’m not going to bother trying, but it’s at least important to challenge yourself to do things, don’t you think? Verdict: Mid-table.

Lucinda Ledgerwood (31) …wait a minute! That’s just Katie Hopkins from last year! All she’s done is scrub off her hideous blue eye make-up and cover up her pink cheeks with foundation! So not only was she the first contestant to turn down Sir Alan, but know she wants to be the first to do it all again! Weird. Verdict: Sir Alan won’t be fooled again.

Jennifer Maguire (27) says she can “sell anything. I can sell pieces of paper for £50 and making a living out of it”. These “pieces of paper” intrigue me. What are they? Are they blank A4 sheets, suitable for inkjet printers? Do they have long-lost Picasso sketches on them? What about if these magical pieces of paper are £50 notes? Then you’d only be breaking even. Except you’d most likely have overhead costs, so then you’d be making a loss. Jennifer clearly hasn’t thought this through. Verdict: she could use these pieces of paper to wrap up the competition, ho ho ho.

Tune in for more tomorrow! 

New Madonna Music

Madonna’s new single got played on French radio over the weekend and, of course, is now out there on the Internet. Listen to 4 Minutes To Save The World.

Doesn’t the backing beat sound like something from an 80s computer game? I’d consider myself a Madonna fan, but that just gave me a headache. And now I feel nauseous. Uh oh. This isn’t going to turn out well.

Listen at your peril!