Wednesday, April 30, 2008


From the very first minute of this week's episode Kevin 'Daffyd' Shaw's card was marked. This time round I saw who was going to get the boot a mile off.

The reason why Kevin's team lost are numerous; chiefly amongst these reasons though, was that the idea was crap. plain and simple. As soon as they gleefully embraced the 'send an eco card' idea, I turned to me other 'arf and I could see on her face the same bemused expression that was no doubt on mine....

...why the feck would someone eco-aware want to add to their carbon footprint by sending a bleedin' card with a message about not adding to one's carbon foot print?

The other reason Kevin's lot lost, was somewhat more painful to watch....Kevin's child-like performance pitching a concept he clearly wasn't particularly au fait with, and hiding behind grown up business words and phrases like 'market positioning' and 'retail foot print' and 'the'.

But the biggest question I have about this evenings show...and this is the one that has me seriously doubting the whole Apprentice set question is this -

Did Tesco really place an order for 6,000 of these eco cards? Re-e-e-ally?

Hmmmm. I'm a little sceptical of that.

I for one shall be scouring Tesco's gift card shelves for these, no doubt very elusive cards, and should I actually manage to find one....I'm buying it. And I'm going to hang on to it for a while. It's going to be a collectors item...heck I might even eventually flog it on ebay.

Anyway Kevin's more Daffyd material for me then. Bugger it.

GRAND THEFT AUTO 4 - a pscho's wet dream

I intend to buy it....just as soon as the dust has settled on the stampede of zitty chavs and wannabee gangstas.

As a piece of game design it's unsurpassed. As a graphics showcase, it's jaw-dropping. It's a game I want desperately to own, because of the free-form structure of the game, and because it's also a perfect research tool for a book I'm writing set in Brooklyn.

But, I gotta say...watching the Youtube movies of various kiddies playing the game, I'm genuinely chilled by what they're doing. If you can judge by these gameplay movies what it is the feral chavvies and gangsta wannabees want to get out of the GTA4 experience, it seems to be the opportunity to blast at woman's breasts and genitals at close quarters, to shoot at passing cars through the winddshield to get that rewarding blast of a horn as the dead driver's forehead slumps forward onto the steering wheel.

Don't get me wrong, as en ex-game designer and now an author, I absolutely DO NOT WANT TO CENSOR creative mediums....but observing the movies of gameplay thus far, I'm deeply worried about the nascent pyshosis displayed by a generation of hooded sociopaths planning their next virtual bloodbath as they lie in bed, presumably whacking-off as they reminisce over the last business woman they shot a dozen times in the vagina.

If there's any opinion beginning to form in my head now, any call to's not to ban any particular game, or to apply limits on what can and cannot be depicted...but for us grown-ups to take a long hard look at the mental health of the generation growing up beneath us - our kids.

I can't help thinking that the gameplay movies I've been watching this morning, were put together by lads very similar in mindset (and most probably appearence - bullet-headed and dull-eyed) as the feral creatures that beat up Robert Maltby and beat to death Sophie Lancaster.

Bugger...I think I've almost talked myself out of buying the game now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Okay...I like Lucinda, I really do, she's nice. But, I really expected her team to tear her to pieces and eat her alive this week. I thought Lucinda simply wasn't psychotic enough to lead them. So...what a pleasant surprise that someone taking the lead in such a pleasant, courteous, consultative way, managed to get a general thumbs-up from her team.

It just goes to show, that after being nominated project manager, you don't have to sit every one down and give one of those 'I'm-the-bleedin'-BOSS-geddit?!' type speeches, to get a team pulling behind you. A little bit of courtesy seems to get the job done just as well.

Lucinda...the Queen of 'Nice'......ahhhh.

On the other hand, we had Jennifer, the Ice Queen. Actually though, perhaps that's a little unfair. She's slim, attractive and cool - sadly, that means she's guaranteed to be portrayed as a bitch. There's no escaping it.

Poor lass. But just know it makes for the perfect tabloid headline, doesn't it? Something along the lines of....

'Apprentice: Nice Queen Vs Ice Queen'

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The wrong pair of nuts got lopped off this week in my humble opinion. I genuinely thought Sergeant Simon Smith was a contender for the last three, but seems that from the very first moment, his tenure as Commander-in-Chief was in danger from a combined Claire and Alex (or Kerry Katona and James Blunt) pincer movement.

Yup. The pair of them had it in for him from the get-go.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say...I suspect they actually sabotaged his project, or at the very least, dragged their heels as much as possible. I think they knew, that if their team failed, the entire team would be united in condemning Sergeant Smith's parade ground management style.

I'd hate to manage someone like Claire, really hate that....I think it would make every working day, a nightmare. Someone like her would grind me down very quickly. Someone like her would give me a nervous the very least, a severe facial tic.

So it was with some pleasure, that I enjoyed the non-plussed look on her mug when slimey young Alex stuck the blade in from behind at the last possible moment.

Made me chuckle, that. wasn't enough. She got through. (Obviously a Production call - we all know a bitch like that makes for great she's safe for a while.)

Aww nuts. I like Simon.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Well, I think I've nailed the apprentice I consider to be the biggest's good old Kevin Shaw.

A long time ago, I used to work in telesales, and the cubicles were full of guys like Kevin, who talked a good game, bigged themselves up, said they could do anything they put their mind to, and then left after couple of weeks, with cheeks blotchy-red from embarressment and egg running down their chin after failing to hit the basic sales target.

Hell, I failed too...but the difference was, I never trumpeted myself as a Gordon Gekko or a Jerry McGuire.

Basically then, Kevin seems to be something of a less-than-honest little weasel (as they all do I suppose at one point or another)....

Before: 'I know Italian food, guys. Yeah, certainly....I'm ideal being head chef. Oh yeah.'
After: 'Umm...No Sir Alan, I catagorically didn't want to be head chef. No Sir. No sirrreee. Nope.'

As for Simon, hmmm...I quite like the chap. I can why Alan quite likes him too. I suspect he considers Lance Corporal Simon Smith might be cut from similar cloth; a rough diamond with a bit of savvy. We'll see.

Prediction for a finalist? Well, it's still pretty early to make a call, but if I was going to shove some money on a couple of candidates they would be Lee McQueen (tall fella, dark hair...a poor man's Clive Owen) and Claire Young (Kerry Katona's marginally more attractive sibling)