When he’s interviewed Sir Alan on the Jonathan Ross show he’s always been interested in the ins and outs of what goes on.
He made his bid to be project manager, luckily wiser heads (thanks to Jack Dee) prevailed and the one person with business experience (Gerald Ratner) was given the job.
That didn’t stop Jonathan eagerly bulldozing forward with a fabulous idea that he’d had. And it was extremely creative and just the sort of thing that any child would love – the Swap Belt.
Project manager Gerald kept trying to reign in the enthusiastic Ross to what seemed like no great avail!
Meanwhile over in the girls camp Michelle Moan had been almost immediately declared project manager, despite her own misgivings, because she fixes on a goal and nothing prevents her from getting there – hmm. sounds a bit like a Mr Ross bulldozer…
The Apprentice Boys Game’s Afoot
The boys team (pushed with extreme enthusiasm) by Jonathan Ross decided to go for a Swap Belt. You wear the belt and attach little characters, called Swappies! to it, and swap them and collect them. Hmm, lots of little figures are invented by Jonathan.
Sounds like a lot of fun.
However, there are immediately obvious issues here:
- The cost of making a vast array of tiny (but detailed figures)
- The marketing of the swap belt and the figures
The boys get the figures designed and when they see them they all fall in love with them.
The editing shows Jonathan playing the fool to Jack Dee’s straight man – are they the new Eric and Ernie. (Remember you heard it here first!)
Gok Wan produces a sumptuous set and costumes for the launch of the toys to an assembled group of toy industry experts.
If Gerald Ratner was allocating tasks to the lads he did such a good job that he was hardly ever in the show! As opposed to Michelle Moan who was shown getting Patsy’s back up in no uncertain terms. Ah, well she had warned the girls.
The boys present well and the whole event is very professional and looks good. Alan Carr’s contribution to the advert is well received too.
The Apprentice Girls Stick Together
Congratulations to Ruby Wax for coming up with a rather nice idea of velcro suits so that children can throw themselves at each other and stick together. Quite a bit of fun. That said they’d obviously not thought of what might happen if two heads clash as they crash their suits together.
Anyway, well done Ruby!
Michelle splits the team up. She’s watched previous Apprentices doesn’t she remember that there’s a severe danger of people feeling left out. Cue Patsy Palmer who is out of the in crowd, that includes Michelle.
Give Patsy her due after a bust up with Michelle she was good enough to get back in and contribute, after all it’s only a few days of your life but potentially massive for helping others less fortunate.
The girls presentation wasn’t as well done as the boys team but the message got across. And after Ruby and Carol Vordeman demonstrated their Sticky suits they were warmly applauded.
Unfortunately when the girls had talked to their focus group they hadn’t listened to one lad who said he wouldn’t want to hug a girl. And yet when asked the question about whether boys would have a problem hugging anyone Patsy Palmer – who’d been at the focus group – said that 5-8 year olds wouldn’t have a problem!
The other thing is they over complicated the whole thing by trying to make it like Twister and using a dice to decide what bit of body should attach to someone else’s.
The Apprentice Winner
I preferred the boys offering but it didn’t really have a lot going for it in cost terms. That was immediately obvious when Sir Alan pointed out the cost of the tooling to make each character. And of course the other point how would you market it without spending oodles of cash – hmm. BBC TV? BBC radio? BBC web site? All the celebs web sites?
Anyway, the point was that Gerald as the only true business person and the project manager should have looked at the costs to see whether it was viable at an early stage.
So the girls won with their sticky suit.
Will Gerald Ratner Gets Fired on Comic Relief Night?
“So Who Will Go On Comic Relief Night?”
My money is on Gerald. It was a massive mistake to not rein in Jonathan’s fantastic imagination and to check the cost of producing the figures.