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Sir Alan purges boardroom ahead of the final

THERE were no gimmicks this week. No flash location, no cryptic clues, no splitting into teams. All the would-be Apprentices had to do was answer a few questions. <br /><br />Unfortunately those asking the questions were Sir Alan&rsquo;s infamous attack dogs, who arrived in a series of increasingly ostentatious sports cars (you could be forgiven for thinking that they were trying to make up for other, erm, inadequacies). <br /><br />As they prepared to be grilled, undermined and destroyed, the candidates boasted about their interview prowess. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m brilliant in every single area&rdquo;, proclaimed Yasmina. <br /><br />But not, apparently, finance. Yasmina didn&rsquo;t know the difference between net and gross profit, apparently having slept through the first day of her GCSE Business Studies class. At least it was an honest mistake; Lorraine was caught out for indulging in the time-honoured tactic of date-fiddling on her CV. Even with her famous intuition she didn&rsquo;t see that coming. <br /><br />Flawless Kate, a Stepford Wife with a briefcase, briefly faltered when her relationship with Durham&rsquo;s most eligible bachelor was brought up. <br /><br />Only Debra couldn&rsquo;t be rattled, even when her references were read aloud. It seems her previous bosses found her loud, obnoxious, aggressive and rude. They went on to confirm the Pope was indeed a Catholic. <br /><br />Back in the boardroom, a last plea from James fell on deaf ears: &ldquo;I know on paper I sound horrendous, I&rsquo;ve lost more times than anyone&hellip;&rdquo;. Sir Alan put him out of his misery. <br /><br />Next for the chop was Lorraine, fired for being difficult to work with, which is a bit like saying Henry VIII was hard to live with. <br /><br />With the candidates dropping like Cabinet ministers, the bloodbath wasn&rsquo;t over. Sparing RoboKate, Sir Alan had to choose between Reading&rsquo;s finest restaurateur Yasmina and Debra, the human embodiment of Munch&rsquo;s Scream painting. <br /><br />Perhaps prompted by strict Health and Safety guidelines on workplace noise levels, he let screeching Debra go, somehow resisting the urge to call out, &ldquo;Why the long face?&rdquo; as she accepted her fate. And with that, Sir Alan had his finalists.