Many a hardened traveller will turn their nose up at group tours and last night’s Apprentice will only strengthen their conviction. The teams had two days to create their own coach tours, persuading punters to pay premium prices for second-rate day trips to tourist attractions outside London. “Coaches are money making machines,” said Alan Sugar. Sadly most of this year’s contestants are not.
Sugar gave his trigger-happy trigger finger a bit of a rest this week, only picking off one unlucky traveller. Hitherto Jemma Bird was so quiet and unassuming, you’d be forgiven for not noticing her but, after this week’s challenge, her failings were so glaringly obvious to the boss that she was duly dumped.
On Bird’s resumé she said she was the girl who nearly always wins but this is far from the truth this time; she wasn’t even close. She summed up the story of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII as “they grew apart”. Bit of an understatement there. By contrast, Team Tenacity’s Lauren Riley was rather impressive with her fluent knowledge of Blenheim Castle in Oxfordshire, having only prepared the evening before.
What can’t be overstated is James Hill’s penchant for the perverse. The Team Summit member seemed a little obsessed with his genitals and, at one point, exclaimed to the unlucky passengers that the toilet “isn’t in the best condition right now – avoid for ten minutes”. He then treated them to off-key renditions of the Wheels on the Bus. Where’s Brendan Sheerin when you need him?
Tenacity was victorious. Apart from Felipe Alviar-Baquero’s coma-inducing facts about Oxfordshire – did you know it has more pigs than people? – most of its tour ran smoothly. As Mark Wright negotiated an entrance fee to Blenheim Palace at 60% cheaper than standard, the team came away with the higher margin.
But it wasn’t without its faults. Its frankly ludicrous price of £99.50 didn’t entitle punters to a beverage with their pitiful lunch and team leader Daniel Lassman had lost the support of all team members before the buses even set off. Wright quipped: “The best thing he sold all day was himself to us and then nothing since.”
Surely either Hill or Lassman will be next to go.