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Episode 7: Stuart gives his verdict

Stuart Baggs | 21:57 UK time, Wednesday, 15 June 2011

I love The Apprentice, but then again who doesn't love their maker. Think of me as Frankenstein and The Apprentice as Mary Shelley and you're not far wrong. After all without the show, I'd still be a credible small town businessman hidden far from public consciousness on the Isle of Man.

As it happens, I was the talk over office water coolers for months on end. There's a lesson to be learnt there. Accept the hand you're dealt in life and make the most of every opportunity you're given.

Just as Phil Taylor will forever have Pants Man shouted at him, I will forever live with a metaphorical field of ponies and carry the stigma attached to the unadulterated enthusiasm of youth. For one or two of this year's candidates, there is a much greater problem. The risk of being fired before showing their true colours.

Lord Sugar is not looking for a shrinking violet and after 7 series and 108 candidates you wonder why some still insist on hiding in the background, surely it's always better to be bold?

Enter stage left, Hip Replacement. A magazine with all the allure and appeal of a bag of German bean sprouts. The highly dubious title was backed up with the kind of patronising content designed for a primary school text book. That said, anything designed to cause widespread offence is usually right up my street.

Then we have Covered, a magazine that showed plenty of promise. As you'd expect from a 22 year old red blooded male, I had no objection to the liberal sprinkling of scantily clad ladies throughout the magazine.

 Unfortunately, somebody added rotten fish to the otherwise perfect  soufflé recipe in the form of business advice. Having both business and babes in the same magazine, is like combining love making and knitting. A potentially painful yet ultimately pointless activity. It's worth remembering The Apprentice isn't a democracy; Natasha should have stuck to her guns on this one.

So it's goodbye Glenn , who "engineered" his own exit. I have no doubt however, he'll go on to great things.

Thank's for all your comments from last week. I can see no one agrees with my thoughts on Zoe, especially todaymorning and oongmal. I am, however, willing to put myself on the line and say she is simply misunderstood (a feeling I know all  too well). Without wishing to sound like John Motson, it really is anybody's game to win at the moment. I honestly wouldn't put a penny on it.

Until next week, I'm off to learn the meaning of the word humility.

The Brand


  • Comment number 1.

    Our local pub serves over 60s meals to us RECYCLED TEENAGERS. A somewhat better name for a pensioners mag than Hip Replacement

  • Comment number 2.

    Interesting to hear that Lord "enterprise tsar" Sugar has never met an engineer who could turn their hand to a successful business. Perhaps we should have all cut our teeth selling overpriced tat rather contributing to society. He should be ashamed of this comment.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think Lord Sugar could have upset a few engineers with his comments about their business prowess. I don't think that Britain has such a glut of talent that a whole section of society should be written off on the basis of a few bad examples. Stuart you surprise me more every week. Your blog is eloquently expressed, topical and entertaining. Good to see you making the most of the hand you've been dealt.

  • Comment number 4.

    I still try and talk about you at the office water-cooler... much to everyone else's annoyance.

  • Comment number 5.

    Firstly let me say I am an over 50. Kindly folk may call me a "silver surfer", those less kind may say "old fart". Whatever, I am comfortable with both.
    I love The Apprentice ! I have been in business from lowly roots to dealing in multi million pound contracts.
    Getting to my point (as you can see not the attempt "silver surfer"), I watch this week episode and, as always, loved it (although I did think his lordship got it wrong).
    What struck me from the whole programme was the fact there is, as his nibbs said, a huge market of us old farts out there with loads of disposable income.
    Like Big Sugar himself we have lived a bit and made all the mistakes. So why not use us !
    As a firm believer of "what goes around, comes around" I strongly believe that no matter what people think they believe when they are 19 to 40 after 40 we ALL fall into the same mindset of being responsible, respectful and decent.
    This is clearly illustrated in Lord Sugar's book. Yes, he was a bit of a "jack the lad" and pulled a few strokes but at the end of the day his up-bringing kicked in and he became a decent human being.
    So my point is :
    Why are we not seeing Lord Sugar open the door to people who have been there and done that ?
    We see the same old 20 somethings who have not lived long enough to have experience of life.
    I am really surprised that Lord Sugar has missed a trick on getting "apprentices" who can tap into the over 50's market.

    PS My idea for the mag was N2O (Never Too Old). Hip Replacement was a non starter !

  • Comment number 6.

    I am particularly offended by the reason Alan Sugar gave to fire Glen on this weeks Apprentice. To quote the reason for firing him as 'I have never known an engineer be successful in business' is absolutely ridiculous. I feel Engineers already get a generally bad press without people like Alan Sugar who is generally respected in business quoting such nonsense. As an engineer who has gone into business, I found comments like this damaging and generally offensive. I feel this comment should never have been made in the first place, but if it had been by a slip of the tongue that the BBC should have edited this comment out before showing on air.

  • Comment number 7.

    I am particularly offended by the reason Alan Sugar gave to fire Glen on this weeks Apprentice. To quote the reason for as 'I have never known an engineer be successful in business' is absolutely ridiculous. I feel Engineers already get a bad press without Alan Sugar who is generally respected in business quoting such nonsense. As an engineer who has gone into business, I find comments like this damaging and generally offensive. I feel this comment should never have been made, but if it had been by a slip of the tongue, that the BBC should have edited it out before showing on air.

  • Comment number 8.

    Tonight's episode was deeply depressing for the following. We all know that The Apprentice is an entertainment show and that most of the tasks are drawn from a very narrow sector of industry such as media or very simple products.

    But how deeply depressing to hear Alan Sugar say that he has never met an engineer who is good at business. If true then perhaps he doesn't mix in a world of true entrepreneurs. The most vibrant part of the world's economy is the high technology sector.

    So, Alan Sugar. Ever heard of Microsoft (Bill Gates, Engineer), Apple (Steve Jobs, Engineer), Google (Larry Page/Sergey Brin, Computer Scientists), Intel(Robert Noyce, Engineer) to name but a very few. I could go on to include hundreds of Silicon Valley companies - but you get the drift. All these companies are more successful and make a greater contribution to society than anything Alan Sugar has achieved, notwithstanding his success.

    Here in the UK we have in Cambridge one of the most successful breeding grounds in the world for the development of new technology companies. They are in fields such as telecommunications, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, computer science and so on. And almost of all them started by engineers and scientists; all of them highly entrepreneurial.

    So I am afraid Alan Sugar that your comments represent a stereo-typical view which is deeply flawed and ignorant and expresses nothing more than a complete misunderstanding of the most vibrant part of the world's economy.

    It would be nice to think that The Apprentice might include contestants from this sector. But I guess that they would be too busy creating real wealth and success to get involved in the trivial showcase for wanabees.

  • Comment number 9.

    In recent history there was a German-Austrian politician who completely failed reaching his goals. As historians claim, this was caused by not listening at all to his engineers.

    By the way:
    The man who was not fired was much worse. It is hard to find someone who blames others more. Must have the real business spirit.

  • Comment number 10.

    From someone who is only fifty four! I thought an apt title for a new magazine would be "BACK TO THE SIXTIES", lots of fond memories to bring everyone together and feel young again.

  • Comment number 11.

    An idea for a magazine title

  • Comment number 12.

    I have to say that I'm with amanda896 and keithhoward14 on this one. As an engineer I think that while Alan Sugar was right to fire Glen (who wasn't much of a contributor really) he was wrong to write off an entire section of highly trained professionals and say that engineers make terrible business people.

    Having watched You're Fired last night Nick gave the reason why Alan Sugar is anti engineer entrepreneurs. Apparently he's had some bad experiences when working with engineers and that's influenced his beliefs. Fair enough, we all have bad experiences from time to time. Surely though if Alan Sugar was smart he would not make such sweeping statements and write intelligent people off before they have a chance to prove themselves. That can only end badly.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    How sad that Sir Alan Sugar , had the arrogance and bl00dy mindleness, with a distinct lack as forsight to make such a sweeping statement, veiwed by thousands. I have excellent negotiation and change skills, great Business acumen, utilising my soft people skills empathetically and creativity to deliver results, as I have a system mind I am always looking at the bigger picture, elevating effieciences and streamlining process, but Im from an IT engineering background, so thanks Sir Sugar.

  • Comment number 15.

    How's this for a trendy over sixties magazine title... "One foot in the rave!"

  • Comment number 16.

    My name was "New for Old"

    Pet food episode was "Cats Choice" and "Doggie Delight "

  • Comment number 17.

    Another over sixties magazine name..... "Old Scool" :)

  • Comment number 18.

    Why are people finding what Lord Sugar said so offensive. This is a entertainment show.Everything is set up just like a drama. And so was that comment. Probably not Lord Sugar actually believe. So let it go.
    But even when setting up all the details, name HIP Replacement was a joke. Will anyone in common sense would have gone for it, let alone "The Britain'a elite young entrepreneurs" :).

  • Comment number 19.

    Something to lighten the mood regarding the engineering comment: http://bit.ly/iM015B

  • Comment number 20.

    Lord Sugar will probably regret his comment.

    Came across this today The Apprentice – Sugar caned by Engineers infographic http://www.elevatelocal.co.uk/blog/10-engineers-that-made-it-bigger-than-lord-sugar-16063346

    it is pretty funny...

  • Comment number 21.

    No mention was made of the most important thing of all the circulation how many copies were going to be printed & distribution - which is what the price of advertising relates to. It is hard to believe that they could achieve the ad revenues they did for a new untried mag just like that with a pitch to media buyers.

  • Comment number 22.

    I know I might be in the minority but for me this series is being spoiled by Karren Brady. Her comments don't offer insight or guidance, just cheap points scoring against the candidates (and last night against Nick too). She behaves more like a candidate than a judge, and not the kind of candidate who'd last very long. Come back Margaret!

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm frustrated and sad that The Apprentice has become another over-produced run of the mill reality show with very little reality. In the titles, Lord Sugar insists that he doesn't want yet another sales person, yet again, the task is won or lost on the sales aspect of the project. This week's task would have been a great opportunity to judge on creativity for example. Yet it all came down to sales. Again.

    As for the production - why can't the production team give an open, unbiased view of what happened. If one team are worse than the other all the way through, then why not show it? In the interest if "exciting telly", we, the viewers are not allowed to know. We have to be kept guessing. We were shown almost no criticism of last night's fire-ee, yet the other two were hauled over the coals. And in what appears like a sudden about turn, he goes and fires what we have been led to believe is the safest.

  • Comment number 24.

    Well, it was certainly tense last night. On learning that Team Venture, the Project Manager of which was Jim, had lost, I had that sinking feeling. I've always considered Jim the interesting, talented candidate and his eviction would, I believe, have detracted from the programme. In fact, I had promised with some seriousness not to watch any more in the event of Jim's firing. He has a real gift for talking, charming, even manipulating his way out of trouble; he recognises that accepting accountability might be noble, but is nearly always exploited in the boardroom. Errors are errors whether you admit to them or not and, with but a few exceptions, the team leader who prevaricates and obfuscates out of a desire for self-preservation fares better than the one who is open, full of compunction, but lacking any credible defence to the attacks of his colleagues.
    Glenn perhaps didn't deserve to leave in relation to his performance on this task, though his contribution was minimal and, as we know, a reluctance to subscribe to the major challenges of a task can give a false impression of acceptable proficiency allied to an agreeable temperament; but Lord Sugar fired him presumably because he was the weakest of the three sitting before him when the decision was required of him.
    The aforementioned criticism of Glenn could perhaps be said for Susie also, but her citing of age discrimination and indignation at being largely ignored thereby saved her for a second successive week. Admittedly, she had, in a moment of wisdom, impressed upon the team the importance of negotiating with and offering discounts to the less enthusiastic prospective buyers; it's not her fault Jim chose not to concur.
    I recognise Jim cannot be trusted any longer, but I shall continue to support him. He entertains and that's enough for me. How much longer can he survive, though, when Lord Sugar is aware that he's increasingly fallible? What's more, he is a hypocrite! Did anyone notice that he suggested Zoe's conception 'Hip Replacement' was responsible for the defeat? Is this the same man who claimed that naming a brand was irrelevant if the creation had been endorsed by the rest of the team and if it hadn't yet been superimposed with a viable marketing strategy? For Every dog there's a Hip replacement, if you discern my allusion.

  • Comment number 25.

    @ J0hnB0y in Post 14:
    I honestly haven't a clue what half of the things you claim to have even are. Is there a business speak dictionary somewhere that I can borrow? (Meant tongue in cheek, i'm not criticising)

  • Comment number 26.

    On a totally separate subject, I have to say that Natasha, while being incredibly annoying with her cliche ridden speaches, is an absolute dead ringer for the bad guy in Kindergarten cop. Especially when her hair is in a pony tail. Google it. Richard Tyson was the actor as "Cullen Crisp Sr" hahaha DEAD RINGER I TELL THEE!!

  • Comment number 27.

    I thought maybe "Swinging 60" would have been ok for the magazine title until my other half implied it could easily be mis-interpreted.


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