The Apprentice Week Two Review: Interior Design

The Apprentice Week Two Review: Interior Design

12 October 2017

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Photo Credit: BBC / Jim Marks. 

Oh dear. Given that our plucky business hopefuls couldn’t successfully make and cook burgers last week, I have no idea what Lord Sugar was thinking allowing them to re-decorate rooms in a luxury country hotel. It was never going to end well, was it? It was still Girls versus Boys this week, and we may well have final proof that being good at business is not actually a requirement for The Apprentice …

Unfortunately for the painfully upmarket Stoke Park hotel, Teams Graphene and Vitality were dead set on splashing the £13,000 interior design budget on ruining two of their rooms. The prestigious hotel was tastefully decorated in muted tones and extravagant furniture. However, the contestants completely ignored this and decided to perform their own version of Changing Rooms. You know, the show where most people ended up crying in disgust.

The girls team was headed up by Bushra, who surrounded herself with the more placid females, leaving sub-team leader, Sarah, to deal with clashing personalities of Siobhan, Michaela and Elizabeth. It was very much a case of “good luck with that”. Meanwhile, the boys were headed up by Ross – purely because no one else was (a) willing and (b) interested in interior design.

When tasked with something so out of their comfort zones – and an unusually generous budget – you would think that it would occur to either of these teams to sit down with a hotel manager (or a housekeeper, bar tender or receptionist … Anyone with half a clue) to get to grips with a creative brief and understand the type of room they were looking for and how much the going rate was. But no. That did not happen.

Instead, the teams plunged headfirst into creating moodboards and themed rooms. The girls eventually plumped for a golf theme since, y’know, there was a course attached to the hotel whilst the boys opted for Destination: Britain in case the guests woke up and forget which country they were staying in.

Watching these teams attempt to measure, paint and shop for furniture was absolutely exhausting. No one seemed to understand how a tape measure functioned or that you should paint around the edges of a wall first, rather than just slathering a roller all over the place. At least the girls were able to comprehend that their £13,000 budget was to include their design fee – unlike the boys, who blew their entire budget on ugly furniture, leaving absolutely no profit.

When the hotel manager and interior designer finally got to view the rooms, there weren’t enough eye rolls in the world for their evident disgust and disappointed. “Shall we guess the theme?” they said drolly, whilst they clearly wished they had never agreed to the project in the first place.

The best of the night came in the boardroom, when the embattled Ross attempted to explain his design decisions. Mid-sentence, Lord Sugar cut him off in order to deliver another dry one-liner. Ross was having none of it – holding his hand up he said “I’m trying to explain myself. Uninterrupted would be really helpful.” Karren Brady’s eyes nearly fell out of her head and Claude drew a hearty gasp.

Miraculously, Ross hadn’t signed his own death certificate as it was the break-dancing mathematician, Jeff, who bit the dust for failing to do his sums.

The Apprentice is on BBC1 on Wednesdays at 9pm.


Written By Mary Palmer


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