Er, hi. Right, I’m pretty sure you’re the only stockist of top hats in London. No, no I haven’t done any research. Yes, I know this is Harrods. Look, can I just buy one please?
What do you mean, ‘that’ll be £5,000′? For a hat? Can’t we do a deal? I can offer you, er, £20. And this signed picture of Lord Sugar. Wait, don’t throw me out! I know you usually deal with the aristocracy, but I do have an extremely posh accent. My mum once met Camilla Parker Bowles.
Yes, hot on the heels of the traditionally silly ‘making an advert’ episode comes the almost-as-silly discount buying task. If previous years are anything to go by, our Apprentlings will roam the streets of London trying to work out what a ‘torque’ is, failing to comprehend that the docks are a cheaper place to buy fish than Kensington and generally making a proverbial monkey’s tit of, well, discount buying.
But hey, these are young people remember? They grew up with online shopping, Groupon vouchers and eBay. They know how to price comparisons and research, right? Right?
Oh, who are we kidding: they won’t have a bladdy clue. But it’ll still be fun to watch: and by ‘watch’ I of course mean ‘struggle to keep up with the action while frantically typing’.
I’ll be covering all the action from 9: don’t forget to refresh the page for updates and please do comment along- I get lonely.
Bye for now!
9pm: It’s starting! “Don’t try to pretend you know it all”, burbles Sir Lord Sugar, “because believe me, it’d be embarrassing”. What, he thinks knowing everything would be embarrassing? Doesn’t he know University Challenge contestants get all the hottest babes?
Oh wait, hang on…
9.05pm: 6.30am- Hayley answers the phone fully dressed and made up. She looks suspiciously perfect…
The imaginary secretary on the end of the line tells her she’s to meet Lord Sugar at Madame Tussauds. Hmm. Not any of the others: just her. Maybe she’s an escaped waxwork.
At Madame Tussauds, the youthful mini-Alans are told they’ll need to outfit 10 fake celebrities (that’s inanimate fake celebrities, that is. Not Big Brother contestants) in just 10 hours for a budget price.
Harry M, Lizzie, Hayley and Zara are moved to Kinetic- James, Haya and Harry H are shifted over to Atomic. It’s Battle of the Harrys! Let’s hope the episode ends with them having a showdown in the ‘Harry’ section of Madame T’s; using bits of Daniel Radcliffe to foil Cruciatus attacks.
9:09pm: Looking through the list of items, they immediately find the traditional ‘vaguely ethnic thing that no one’s ever heard of.’ This time, it’s a dashiki- the tunic like top worn by Nelson Mandela/ throughout Africa. Harry M’s team do a bit of ringing round to try and track one down, but Haya just launches her team out onto the streets of London like frantic discount hunting ballistic missiles. (Note to arms companies: if you’ve ever been in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street Primark on a Saturday afternoon you’ll know there’s literally nothing more lethal than a Hillhead housewife on a mission to buy discount harem pants. Nothing).
9.15pm: Haya heads to a guitar shop with James to bully, ahem, sorry, negotiate a discount on a left handed guitar with the increasingly bored and annoyed looking proprietor. He has a majestic moustache: if the task had been to find a new one for the Freddie Mercury waxwork, they’d be laughing.
But it’s not, and even Haya’s lie about it being for her brother who’s dying of something or other (possibly Lack of Guitar) will sway him. Almost certainly because it’s very obviously made up.
They pop to another shop and manage to get a similar one for much less: £89, which is a substantial discount- and suspiciously cheap for a musical instrument. It’s probably made of papier mache, rust and bits of flannel.
9.18pm: Hayley and Zara are pondering dashikis in the back of a car. Zara thinks it’s some kind of ‘clothingwear’. Are you sure it’s not foodeat, Zara? Or possibly bookread?
Denied use of the internet, they come up with a cunning plan- they phone a shop at random and ask them to look it up in a dictionary. Armed with the information that it’s a West African tunic, they go, er, to buy a solid gold pocketwatch from a women who looks like Dot Cotton. Hmm.
9.24pm: After encouraging Zara to go to a ‘porn shop’ instead (is that appropriate? She’s very young. Oh, sorry, ‘pawn’) Lizzie gets her to argue poor Dot Cotton down to £145 for the pocketwatch, not even considering her overheads- how will she afford sherry, chips, fags and tea?
Leaving Hayley and Zara to it, Lizzie and Harry M head off to find a ‘Justin Bieber’ sized suit: i.e. one with a 34 inch chest. Apparently he’s more hobbit than man.
Over in Team Other Harry, they manage to get a similar watch for £35. Ooh er. But Harry M did manage to blag a £100 discount on something or other earlier on so there’s still all to play for.
I’m not sure what said discount was on, but it looked like the deal was made a kitchen salesroom. Perhaps Madame Tussauds needed a set for their Gordon Ramsay waxwork to swear at and push over.
9.28pm: Harry H is now investigating The Dashiki Controversy, which I think should definitely be made into some kind of high-octane thriller starring Matt Damon. Having been told by a passer by that it’s a sort of arabic dress, they’re trawling Indian market stalls in a flat panic, finally concluding the man they asked lied to them.
Matt Damon wouldn’t stand for that, and neither should you, Harry.
9.30pm: Lizzie isn’t doing well: she and Harry M trawled the streets of London looking for a size 10 red stilleto shoe (for Elle McPherson, apparently. I’d have guessed Eddie Izzard) but barely made it in time for closing. Surely they’re not hard to find: shoe shops are a lot more common than dashiki-and-left-handed guitar emporiums.
But what’s worse: she handed over the cash without bothering to negotiate a discount. Nick sucks in his cheeks so hard he literally turns inside out. Yes, literally.
9.32pm: It’s ‘Frantic Last Minute Dash Time’, and in the final minutes of the task Team Lizzie manage to find a dashiki and Team Haya find a HobbitBieber MiniSuit. They’ve each failed to find some of the items- it’ll be won or lost on penalties like one of them games of ‘foot ball’ I’ve heard is so popular nowadays.
9.35pm: Team Haya complain that they couldn’t possibly find out what a dashiki was given they were only armed with a copy of the Yellow Pages, a phone, a limo etc. Lord Sugar isn’t interested in their complaints: “I wouldn’t have known who Justin Bieber were”, he grumbles, “but I’d bloomin’ well ‘ave made it my business to find out.”
Cue pleasing mental image of Alan glowering his way through a pile of Just Seventeens in the corner of WH Smith. Actually, that sounds dodgy. Never mind.
9.39pm: Hayley claims she got a good deal with the guitar, negotiating it from £140 to £110. “Was it a good deal?,” asks Lord Sugar. She immediately backtracks. Zara gets in the neck for spending a fortune on the pocket watch- spending over £100 more than the other team. It’s not looking good for Team Lizzie.
9.41pm: Due to the bad call with the watch and generally not ripping off small businessmen, Team Kinetic-or-possibly-Atomic lose.
Despite never figuring out what a Dashiki is, Haya’s lot are off for their treat: a makeover and photoshoot. With two boys. That’s really not ideal- not to be too gender-generalising, but teenage boys don’t tend to like having foundation slathered over their faces. Also James really doesn’t need any lipstick: his lips have been the terrifying colour of a freshly killed lamb’s heart for the last 5 weeks.
Which, incidentally, is the latest shade of gloss from L’Oreal’s new range of makeup for wolves.
9.47pm: Sorry, internet went for a bit of a lie down for a while. Can’t say I blame it: this bit is so dull I accidentally liveblogged the History of Shelves over on BBC4 for a bit before realising my mistake.
We’re back in the boardroom: ”I didn’t think you could buy suits in a market”, says Harry, a.k.a. King Harry the Clueless. Has he really never been to a market? Where does he get his pick and mix, shell suits and fake perfume (Channel Number Four)?
Hayley points out Harry’s been on every losing team so far. He says that has no bearing on his actual performance. Hmm. Despite the massive ‘clearly ripe for firing’ neon sign over his head, Lizzie frees him to fail another day, bringing Hayley and Zara back into the boardroom.
9.53pm: Zara: “I’ve never given any less than 100% in any task”
Only 100%? That’s not good enough, frankly. Also I’m annoyed, if she’d have said 110% I could have had a drink. Nothing drinkworthy has happened yet: Suralun hasn’t even said ‘resyoumay’. Tsk. Right, I’m changing the rules: you can now drink every time he says ‘utterly useless’, ‘dashiki’, ‘the’ and ‘and’.
9.55pm: Time for Sugar’s Summing Up: Hayley is polite, quiet and nice. Zara isn’t quiet. Lizzie is medium quiet…but as it’s not just about the volume of their voices he also points out that she’s made some Earth-shattering, idiotic, terrible, foolish mistakes.
Wait, no, sorry: it IS about the volume of their voices. Never mind that Lizzie paid £3000 (I’m guessing) for a pair of shoes, he don’t want no wallflowers. And by ‘wallflowers’ he means ‘nice, normal, well spoken young people who don’t throw wobblers and massively sod things up’. This can only mean one thing- he fires…
Hayley! Who did absolutely nothing wrong. Lizzie was entirely to blame in this task, closely followed by Zara for not realising you can get a perfectly good ‘solid gold’ pocketwatch from Claire’s Accessories for £1.29. Made by orphans.
Bit annoyed about that, actually- Hayley seemed like a Nice Young Lady and entirely deserving of £25,000. Although not as deserving as me, obv.
But what do YOU LOT think eh? Yes, you. Let us know in the comment box below
I’ll see you next week. I’ll be the one wearing a dashiki under a 34″ men’s suit, wearing one red stiletto and carrying an overpriced pocket watch while gently strumming Dance of the Knights on a left handed guitar.
You can follow Hilary on Twitter. If you want. No pressure though.