It’s that time of year again when the Beeb rounds up the most egotistical, power-crazed children in the country. Yes, I am of course talking about Young Apprentice. Check out the loons taking part in this year’s show.
Waitress Amy claims to possess the charm and business acumen to sell someone an apple for £100 – so if she doesn’t impress Lord Sugar she will surely have no trouble finding a job in one of the organic eateries of Stoke Newington. She’s currently studying for A-levels in media and double business so she’s clearly not the sharpest potato peeler in the kitchen drawer but she used to play rugby for her local team, the Croydon Hurricanes, which means she’ll at least be able to batter the living shite out of anyone who double crosses her in the boardroom.
DAVID ‘THE DICTATOR’ ODHIAMBO
Like seemingly all of this year’s candidates, Kenyan-born A-level student David, who now resides in luscious Luton, claims to spend much of his spare time doing volunteer work in the local community. I’m not sure I’d trust him with the money raised from his mum’s bake sale, though, since he says he is “highly obsessed with wealth, power and omnipotence”. He also states that he hopes one day people will be studying him in history classes. Is the BBC nurturing a future dictator?
When not fronting post-snoozewavers The XX, Steven enjoys a round of golf and a few games of FIFA with his pals (some of which aren’t even imaginary). The 17-year-old, who says he is known as the Alan Sugar of Kent (form an orderly queue, ladies), has been “fiddling about with businesses” from the age of 13 (haven’t we all, mate – if you consider trading Sylvanian Families figurines with your two younger sisters to be a business). By the age of 27 he aims to have made £10m and be wearing tailor-made suits, a Rolex on his wrist and driving an Aston Martin. He may not know this yet but it seems his dream it to be James Bond – which isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. There’s definitely something Daniel Craig-esque about those protruding ears and frown line-riddled forehead.
Uber-camp fashion designer Patrick’s future in the limelight is guaranteed. Regardless of what happens on this year’s show, the 16-year-old is guaranteed a career as a Paul O’Grady impersonator. The brass band member will certainly need a career back-up plan since, judging by what’s going on on the lapels of his jacket, his talent clearly doesn’t lie in designing clothing for anyone under the age of 80. It’s a shame Margaret isn’t on the board anymore as Patrick’s range of post-war wares would surely win her over.
Farmer’s daughter Alice earns an income by locally selling free-range eggs from the chickens on her farm and says she isn’t too bothered about making money. The poor girl doesn’t stand a chance. I wouldn’t be surprised if she implodes in week one and has to be carried out of the boardroom by producers while splayed out across the table in front of Lord Sugar neighing like a horse.
SEAN ‘DON’T CALL ME SPOONER’ SPOONER
At the age of 14, Northamptonshire lad Sean was named the “world’s youngest publisher”, pushing Conrad Black, then 66, into second place. The diminutive 16-year-old plans on launching a new men’s magazine at the end of the year, but it’s hard to see how the interests of someone his age will cross over with those of his audience – it’s a known fact that everyone who reads lads’ mags has the mentality of a toddler. “I’m not a normal 16-year-old,” Sean claims. “I’ve done a lot more than most people” – going through puberty obviously not being on his list of achievements.
ANDREW ‘DON’T CALL ME ANDY’ TINDALL
Andrew claims to be “a bit of everything”: a great judge of character, a charmer and all-round smart guy who can pick up any skill easily. He says he doesn’t plan to make any friends on the show – which, judging by the fact he’s a ukelele-playing Derren Brown fan, shouldn’t be too hard a task. “It’s not a team game,” he states. “It’s working together but for me to win.” That’s the spirit!
Paris-born Lucy is “quirky”, “witty”, “really interesting” and has “a bit of a vibe about her” – but enough about what the 16-year-old has in common with me. She says she won’t “cradle” others on the show or “sing them lullabies” – which leads me to believe that she may have muddled up the words “apprentice” and “au pair”. If she attempts to bottle-feed Sean in week one my suspicions will have been confirmed.
Working-class hero Ashleigh has worked as many as four jobs at once (she doesn’t say what these jobs are so let’s imagine they all involve awful tasks like clearing dead budgies out of coal mines – just to ramp up the sob factor). “My life would be nothing without business; it’s what I was born to do and be,” she says, making the miracle of her existence sound no more profound than some insignificant little enterprise, like an online company selling cheap grey plastic postage bags, which will just end up in a rubbish dump anyway because life is so, so fucking cruel. Are you in tears yet?
When she’s not flogging designer gear on the internet, Maria, who describes herself as a “unique selling point”, loves playing piano accompaniments to popular songs (her ragtime version of ‘Gangnam Style’ is something to behold, I hear!). The pocket-sized Belfast lass claims that despite looking like a “little angel”, she has “the heart of a lioness who will take apart anybody who tries to mess with her”. She says that she’s often described as a firework: “fun, colourful, creative”. I think they mean loud and irritating, Maria (please don’t hurt me).
MAX ‘MAXIMILIAN’ GRODECKI
Max is nothing like his tennis-playing brother Greg (mainly because they aren’t brothers and have different surnames). The 16-year-old cello-playing opera fan, who has something of a young Boris Johnson about him, expounds the importance of natural charisma and people skills in being victorious in Young Apprentice. Going by this reasoning, he doesn’t stand a chance.
Glancing at Navdeep’s impressive CV (she was the UK’s Young Ambassador for the Global Campaign for Education and is currently studying for A-levels in maths, chemistry and biology, among others) it’s hard to comprehend at first why this clearly very intelligent 16-year-old would want to waste her time bickering with children. But listen to her speak for a few minutes and it’s clear that there are iniquitous motives behind her appearance on national TV. She proudly boasts of her plans to become a leader who will “utilise” the other candidates. “They’ll never forget who I am – which is important,” she states ominously. It seems that it’s Navdeep, not David, who has intentions of running a dictator state and she’s clearly just using Young Apprentice as a vessel by which to indoctrinate the public. “In five years’ time I see myself in newspapers, headlines, all around the world, people seeing my everywhere.” Holy shit, someone needs to make an intervention before it’s too late!