ANOTHER episode of The Apprentice reveals another hidden talent for one of the two break-out stars from this massively entertaining series of the BBC1 show.
It’s Lottie Lion, the 19-year-old librarian who wasted no time at all, during episode one’s vineyard escapade, telling us she was one of Britain’s great undiscovered sommeliers, with all the fragrant cobblers that accompanies that job.
“Take your time with the wine. Get to know its personality.”
Last week, the ninth of the run, Lottie pulled another surprise, right at the start of Sugar’s music licensing task, when she announced she was a childhood prodigy, very much in the Mozart mould, but more versatile.
“I’ve been playing the viola for 15 years and other stringed instruments,” she began. “I’ve dabbled in the piano, I can also nail a Kendrick Lamar album.
“And I don’t want to call it a talent,” she added, about to do just that, “but it is a talent.”
It didn’t stop there, either. As the episode progressed, Lottie also let slip, “I can read and write music, I can overlay”, and she can probably yank your chain as well.
What she can’t do is play Sugar like a fiddle. He clearly hasn’t warmed to her, but then Lottie’s given him no reason to at all.
STOP HIMSELF BLUBBING
She’s Katie Hopkins minus the charm. Such a top-to-toe piece of work, she’s even got passive-aggressive eyebrows (don’t stare at them directly).
Nor does she make any bones about the fact, boldly declaring, earlier in “this process”, that her aim was: “Not to get on with everybody.”
On which basis, she’s been incredibly successful.
But in terms of the show itself, Lottie’s also filled the pantomime baddie role to perfection and remains one of the two big reasons why The Apprentice has been the only member of reality TV’s big four (see also I’m A Celeb, Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor) which hasn’t bored me into submission this year.
That wouldn’t have been the case, though, if they hadn’t also found her polar opposite, Cockney pillows magnate Thomas Skinner, an enthusiast for life and all the random tasks Sugar puts in front of him.
Safaris? “Bosh!” Ice lollies? “Bosh!” Rollercoasters? “Bosh!” Thomas loved ’em all.
Though my favourite episode was seven, where he had to try to rebrand Finland as an alternative, Scandinavian gay holiday resort — without recourse to the slogan “Fed up of Norwegian wood?” — and he fell in love with that task as well.
Statistically, of course, Thomas wasn’t much use at many of them, losing eight of the nine, but he was honest and chivalrous to the point he volunteered to replace Pamela when he also helped screw-up the corporate away-day on a train challenge.
Sugar clearly liked Thomas and his old-school values. The extent of his admiration, however, didn’t become obvious until Thomas lost last week’s music licensing task and there was no avoiding the inevitable.
World War One and the trenches got a mention in the preamble. His Lordship then got a bit misty-eyed at the “with regret” bit and, I’d swear, the old bruiser had to throw his head heavenwards, to stop himself blubbing, after he’d done the actual firing.
By which time, I couldn’t say with 100 per cent certainty if Thomas Skinner had saved the franchise single-handed, but he’d most certainly passed into Apprentice legend.
Who said the following: “Once these dik-diks are paired up they never leave each other’s side.”
A) The Secret Life Of The Zoo narrator Tamsin Greig introducing miniature deer?
B) The X Factor: Celebrity presenter Dermot O’Leary introducing Max & Harvey?
Corbyn proper cuckoo
CONSPIRACY theorists could’ve had a field day with Tuesday’s BBC1 Six O’Clock News, which claimed Andrew Neil’s unforgettable interview with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn: “Starts at 7:30.” It was 7pm.
By 7:30 Neil had performed the greatest TV demolition since Fred Dibnah took down the chimney at Arkwright’s Mill.
A necessarily brutal and one-sided affair as Corbyn, despite being 70 years old, was confirmed to have the brain of a 14-year-old boy.
A really thick and petulant 14-year-old boy who doesn’t understand the basics of public finance or that his crackpot socialist fantasies would evaporate the moment everyone with enough money and brains left the country, about five minutes after he took office.
A tiny part of me thought that maybe, just maybe, in the bloody aftermath, Corbyn would actually have the grace to admit he could no more run Britain’s economy than he could piggy-back Diane Abbott up and down the West Highland Way.
The unapologetic old anti-Semitic fool was back, a couple of days later, on much safer ground, at Channel 4’s climate debate, where he appeared to be listing things he’d spotted down the allotment.
Standing second right next to the daffy bird from the Green Party.
GOOD Morning Britain, Wednesday.
In typically adorable fashion, Piers Morgan tells a stunned nation: “I am a multi-millionaire. I’ve got it through hard work, commitment, dedication, work ethic . . .” Morgan & Platell, a walk-on part in Hollyoaks, authoring To Dream A Dream: The Amazing Life Of Phillip Schofield, cameo roles in Gemma Collins: Diva Forever and Peter Andre: My Life, guest panellist on The Wright Stuff, Hell’s Kitchen diner (FOUR times), identifying the letter O as a consonant on The Chase: Celebrity Special and announcing, “If Susan Boyle doesn’t win Britain’s Got Talent, I’m a doughnut”, among so many other highlights.
Truly, you are an inspiration to us all, Chunk.
Vixen's final insult
A SURREAL moment, early on at The X Factor: Celebrity final, on Saturday, as an apparently sincere Simon Cowell claimed: “This could’ve been an absolute disaster” with, “No one singing in tune”.
Yeah, it could.
And if you opened your eyes and ears it was still just about possible to see millions of viewers running for the hills and pigeons dropping from the studio gantry as Jenny Ryan honked her way through Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
I’ll try, thanks, Jenny, but it’s been made slightly more difficult by subsequent events at the final, which included Max & Harvey’s destruction of Last Christmas and Dermot O’Leary asking Mark “The Beast” Labbett if Nicole Scherzinger’s name scored more at Scrabble than Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh’s combined, without specifying if she was sitting on a triple letter score or not.
Admittedly, things did perk up a bit with the half-time entertainment when a reformed Pussycat Dolls (the Spearmint Rhino years) did an updated version of their classic hit, Don’t Cha Wish Your Next Step Wasn’t HRT.
At the end of it all, though, “the inaugural”, not to mention last ever X Factor: Celebrity champion was declared to be professional singer Megan McKenna, who won her first recording deal since the last one she had.
Irishman Louis Walsh did at least, however, have a few parting words for “The Vixen”.
“Jenny Ryan, you are a national treasure and I really believe you should represent the UK in The Eurovision Song Contest.”
Too harsh, Louis. Far too harsh.
Great TV lies and delusions of the week
- The X Factor: Celebrity, Louis Walsh: “Jenny Ryan, I didn’t want that to end.”
- I’m A Celebrity, Jacqueline Jossa: “There’s never a dull moment with Andrew around.”
- And Elton John: Uncensored: “Liberace and Fats Domino were two people who played with a lot of rings.” Leave Fats out of this, Reg.
Andrew Neil treating Jeremy Corbyn with the contempt he deserves.
BBC1’s The Man Who Saw Too Much documentary about 106-year-old concentration camp survivor Boris Pahor.
The used-nappy-in-a-motorcycle-helmet scene on Giri/Haji.
And a befuddled Judge Robert Rinder waking up, during Michael McIntyre’s Midnight Gameshow segment, to discover Sooty & Sweep were at the bottom of his bed and they’d stolen something.
“Was it an award?” Sooty shakes head. “No, I haven’t got any awards.”
Though a few will follow for this episode of Big Show, if there’s any justice.
Great sporting insights
Compiled by Graham Wray
- Robbie Savage: “When shove comes to push, Vardy usually scores.”
- Chris Kamara: “There wasn’t any way back at the start, but there’s no way back now.”
- Charlie Nicholas: “Every Palace player, nine of them, was in front of the striker.”
Unexpected morons in the bagging area
Tipping Point, Ben Shephard: “Snooker player Judd and US President Donald share which surname?”
The Switch, Sanjeev Bhaskar: “When referring to a cash machine what does the letter A stand for in ATM?”
Ben Shephard: “In what part of the human body is the soft tissue known as marrow found?”
Mastermind, John Humphrys: “Which British snooker player gained the nickname “The Whirlwind” because of the speed of his play?”
Jane: “Hurricane Higgins.”
- All contributions gratefully received
Random TV irritations
I’m A Celebrity introducing the very last thing this dull-as-ditchwater series needed, care packages.
Russell Kane wearing a Miami Vice jacket at the ripe old age of 44, on The Apprentice: You’re Fired.
Former Scotland international Chris Iwelumo missing an easy chance during Pointless Celebrities, just when I’d started to bury the ghost of Norway 2008.
Renault Clio making a convincing bid for the most nauseatingly woke advert of the decade (Hey look everyone! We like gay people).
And Channel 4’s farcical Climate Debate reaching peak nuttiness when the bloke from Plaid Cymru confessed: “I’ve convinced my partner we’re going to give it a go with reusable nappies.”
Honestly, is there no end to the depravity of these people . . ?
I'm A Celeb 'highlights'
MEAGRE highlights from the second week of what’s shaping up as one of the dullest ever series of I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here . . . !
- Ian Wright interrupted Roman Kemp taking a dump
- Andy Whyment revealed playing Kirk Sutherland really isn’t that much of a stretch
- James Haskell lost his rag about Saturday’s Dingo Dollar challenge
- On day 12, Andrew Maxwell claimed: “For the last four or five days I’ve been becoming quieter and less funny. . .” Though how the hell the rest of us were meant to notice is anyone’s guess.
THIS week’s winner is Strictly’s Anton du Beke and Super Dave, from Daredevil For Hire.
Emailed in by David McGuire. Picture research: Marta Breese.
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