The Apprentice: ‘Extreme masculinity’ Baggs gets busted

I’m not a fan of Lord Sugar, but to his credit, he has working for him a pack of professionals so formidable, if there were an Olympic gladiatorial sport of savaging fools, I’d back this lot. And last night was the moment we’d all been waiting for this whole, rather marvellous series. This is the one episode of The Apprentice that makes the agony of watching earlier ones bearable. CV day is always going to be fun, because of the magnificent line-up of killer Claud, the ice-blue eyed Viglen boss, Bordan, litigator Alan Watts, regular sidekicks Karren and Nick, and our knowledge that every speck of self-deluded blagging previously uttered by the candidates will be used to wipe the floor with them. But my joy was unconfined in anticipation of the return of the metaphorically leather clad and whip wielding Margaret Mountford, a woman who it is not hard to imagine wears steel underwear. And she did not let her fans down. On his way to The Apprentice Careers Fair from Hell day, Stuart Baggs talked of needing ‘balls and minerals’. We knew what was coming. I could taste it before she opened her mouth. “Margaret!” Stuart gushed. “Do I know you?” she slashed back, like Zorro. “Ms Mountford?” he countered, tentative for perhaps the first time in his life.

Now I cannot help, with the rest of the country, being reasonably amused by the chutzpah (for which read also, ‘unadulterated drivelling bollocks’) that has emerged from Stuart Baggs. But after Lord Sugar’s lack of judgement last week keeping him in over Liz, and after seeing his utter lack of scruples in action time after time, more than anything else, I needed to see his comeuppance. And boy did we get that last night.

Highlights for me:

  • Claude to Stuart “You’re not Stuart Baggs ‘the Brand’, you’re a 21 year old boy”
  • Margaret, with that look where she’s shrivelling the extreme masculinity of any man, to posh boy Chris on his claim (on the basis of an RE A’ level) to be a ‘revered theology scholar’: “Do you know what ‘revered’ means? It’s when people hold you in awed respect”
  • Margaret to Jamie, on his claim on his CV to have a third nipple, “Is that supposed to be funny?” (pause as even the very thick skin on his scrotal sac withers a little, until she slamdunks him) “It’s puerile.”
  • Alan Watts to Stuart “You’re not very nice are you? You’ve got no ethics.”
  • Stuart, in putting forward his business proposal to a dubious Margaret about inventing tracking microchips for pets: “No-one is like me. I’m the only candidate who can take Lord Sugar out of recession.”
  • And this is my favourite. Claude to Stuart: “You’re not a big fish. You’re not even a fish.”

In terms of any other business, I found myself getting distressed on behalf of Joanne, who is the one out of all of them that I’d employ because she’s not arrogant, she doesn’t have that public school Ring of Confidence, she’s smart and she’s willing to learn. But then again, she’s in need of nurture and I’m not sure Lord Sugar has any interest in nurturing anyone. Stella did well and held her own against being told she’s a jumped up PA.

But after the fun of all the grown-ups talking about the kiddiwinks to Sugar Daddy was over, lo it came to pass that Lord S realised what a silly, sentimental old Hector he’d been allowing himself to be fooled by Baggs and his bad pony metaphors the week before, and Baggs got very short shrift and the sharpest, most jabby finger pointing I’ve ever seen. Conversely, Sugar’s dismissal of Joanne was done quite tenderly, for him, and it was also right that Porshe driving, Cypriot estate agent wideboy Jamie, who blames everyone else for his failings, should hit the dust too.

So it’s Stella and Chris now. But actually, after that show, I think we’ve had the most fun we ever could, until Margaret becomes a guest judge on the X Factor.

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Posted by Inkface


Filed under The Apprentice

7 responses to “The Apprentice: ‘Extreme masculinity’ Baggs gets busted

  1. Tim

    Stuart’s firing was brutal, wasn’t it? But let’s face it, it’s the moment we’ve been waiting 11 weeks to see – and Sugar didn’t disappoint. My only surprise was that he didn’t press the button under his desk that activates the trapdoor under Stuart’s seat …;-)

    I think Sugar picked the right two finalists, although I have to have sympathy for Joanna, who received the gentlest firing in the history of history itself, but still burst into tears anyway. I was half expecting Sugar to race round the table and offer her his hankie. (He’d have only tried to charge her for the service, though.)

    Oh, how we’ve missed Margaret! She delivered THE soundbite of the night as she talked about Chris’s academic achievements: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he put his certificates in frames and his idea of a fun night is to sit and admire them.”

    Bring on the final. But what will we do after Sunday?!?

  2. Qwerty

    Excellent Inky. Love your highlights – they’re the same as mine. God I love Margaret – she ought to have her own show, except the marvelous thing about her is that she wouldn’t want to.

    I too was thrilled about the manner of Stuart’s departure; but then I saw him on ‘You’re Fired’ and I felt uncomfortable about the whole thing, which was clearly staged to maximise good telly and too bad about the impact on Stuart (and Liz come to that). Stuart is certainly an ass but I don’t think he deserved public humiliation from such a powerful figure as Shugs (‘You’re FULL OF SHIT’). On YF Stuart looked fed up and not at all revelling in his notoriety as one might expect. He was, to be honest, no more full of shit than, say, Chris and his excruciating bragging about his RE ‘A’ Level.

  3. Tim

    Qwerty, I haven’t seen You’re Fired yet, but I can just picture how it went.

    To be honest, I don’t have much sympathy for Stuart. Yes, the magical lens of TV has a distorting effect, but the fact is he entered the process focussed more on self-promotion than success. I’ve seen an interesting comment from Jamie this morning, where he says that Stuart would always get over-excited whenever a camera was near. I think that says it all.

    If I were a customer of his, I would have watched his antics on the show with horror. Here is a man whose attitude to pricing has – in more than one task – been to work on the basis of charging as much as he thinks he can get away with.

    Regardless of how much things have been exaggerated, it is clear that Stuart was not entirely truthful about his telecoms company and – more importantly in my eyes – not only defamed a competitor but bragged about it on his application. This is a man who does not think that the conventional rules of the world apply to him. He may have a degree of justification in the way he has become the pantomime villain this year – but he brought it on himself.

    He has been great entertainment, but it was time for him to go.

  4. inkface

    I agree with both of you (she said, wetly). Stuart did come across as an immoral, self aggrandising arse, but as Qwerty says, he is also very young man. People are monumentally self regarding in their early 20s, but can and do grow out of it. If this experience hasn’t changed him, he’s a hopeless case, but it probably has. It’s just that the press would have no interest in a decent, down to earth Stuart, so he’s mostly shot himself in the foot without realising it.

    I enjoy your, always very thorough blog Tim, but I’m also going to post a link to the very funny ‘Poke’ Apprentice review by Jake Yapp. In this one he dresses up as the exceedingly scary Bond villain, Claude:

  5. pauseliveaction

    Bordan’s eyes are green, aren’t they?

    • inkface

      I thought you were always going on about the blue eyed man from Viglen? Have I got the wrong man or am I misremembering?

      • pauseliveaction

        No, they’re lovely eyes, but I paid special attention on the “Why I Fired Them” programme, and they are green.