We Recommend: The Young Apprentice
If you missed the opening credits you could be forgiven the BBC were showing a Panorama special on upper middle class child exploitation, but in actual fact it's the the return of Young Apprentice, Lord Sugar's attempt to find an employee who'll work for less than minimum wage.
It's easy to see why the Junior version of the show isn't buried on the CBBC channel as the tasks are no easier just because the contestants are 16 and 17. In fact, aside from a few of the fresh-faced boys half of the candidates look and sound like they've visited Zoltar in an attempt to skip childhood and get ahead in business.
The good news for hardcore apprentice fans is the kids are just as annoying as their counterparts from the main show. Scarily they are still so young — just imagine how much of a knob they’ll be in the future.
The teams, Kinetic and Atomic (no prizes for guessing which is the boys and which is the girls), set upon their first task of the series, making and selling ice-cream. In true Apprentice form we saw tantrums, arguments and cock-ups aplenty along the way.
My theory is that the whole show tonight was all a big set up for when Lord Sugar quipped in the boardroom "Never mind Ben and Jerry, it's more like Tom and Jerry!". It's got everything, doesn't it — the ice cream reference, the dig at their childishness, teeth-grindingly awful wordplay...It could only have been more perfect if Nick had pulled a glacé cherry from his pocket and placed it gracefully on top of the joke, before dusting the whole thing with a generous sprinkle of hundreds and thousands.
Anyway. From what we saw of the potential apprentices tonight we should be in for an interesting and somewhat tempestuous few tasks. Of the candidates that stood out we have James, who is essentially Jim Jr., but instead of the gift of the gab he just spews a steady stream of crap, public school boys Harry H and Harry M who are so posh they'll probably end up firing Lord Sugar, Hayley who thinks she's bossy but I suspect we'll see in tears...a lot, super-bitch Gbemi who is going to step on everyone and enjoy it and Lewis the cheeky scouser.
The rest of the job hunting gaggle were all fairly generic aside from good old Mahamed who, along with his bling, was fired tonight after practically flinging himself into traffic to sell ice cream like some sort of extrovert dairy pusher and then claiming he had thought of everything. At one point I was sure he was going to claim he invented ice cream itself. Mahamed does win the award for the most supervillain-like exit from a TV show ever, for vowing that Lord Sugar would one day regret firing him whilst being driven away in the back of a Bentley stroking at cat and cackling maniacally.
We definitely recommend tuning into this if you get the chance, we know it's reality TV but it's the Harrods of the reality TV world. Nobody has to sing, and watching young people get fired before they even have the job is at least topical, right?
You can catch up on the first episode of Young Apprentice on iPlayer here.