Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Wonga!

Two consecutive TV adverts today mentioning wonga. How crude.

One features a fat man poking his head through the screen, shouting, "Wonga!"

The other is for short term cash loans. It's fantastic! They won an award! Tide you over until pay day! Or until you can get a new pack of tights and a sawn-off!

Borrow up to £1,000 for 31 days. For example, borrow £120 for 9 days and it costs you only £16! Bargain! You can't fall off!

Hang on though... what's the small print? 2689% APR

A credit card is about 16.9%

Over two thousand percent!

So after telling people to avoid loan sharks for all this time, the government have obviously now changed their mind... as long as they can do it all legit, so that the government get their cut.

Watch out, John Prescott will be round to repossess your TV if you don't pay up.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

The Queen's Speech

Our sovereign, Her Majesty the Queen the Second, has addressed the nation today, so we thought that you would like to read our thoughts.

At this time of year it is traditional for the Queen to take five minutes away from plucking swans and shooting peasants, we mean pheasants, to remind us all that we are not free citizens of a democracy but the Monarchy's loyal subjects.

HMS Windsor's theme this week was sport. Or the bible. Or the history of the Monarchy. Or choir boys. Or our wonderful royal princelinesses prancing around in rugger shirts cos they're proper regular lads of the realm not isolated ponces who have no clue about the lives of ordinary folk like us. We often pop over to Africa for a rugger match with the local kids there.

Cintless thisands of people give up their time each week to play sports, and sport and games can teach important social skills, such as bribery, fighting and sacking the manager.

Not only do people compete in sports but they orften find that they like each other too. I wish the same could be said of the Royal family.

Her Majesticness's love of sport was apparent, not from her convincing and heartfelt message but from the fact that she was absent-mindedly watching a tennis match while talking to the nation. Cool multitasking.

And out of her 5 minutes, about 3 was taken up with choirs singing, people getting medals and lords-a-leaping. And Prince Andrew patronising some legless golfers.

And so we wish you and the people you care about a very Merry Christmas.

Anyone you don't care about, like tramps and foreigners, can get stuffed.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

What if?

What if Liz had not been fired earlier? She certainly would have been a tough contender in the interviews. Stuart blagged his way out of the firing line because his empassioned 'mini me' speech bought a tear to his Lordliness' eye.

But if Al had seen through Baggs' blag, and the interview line up had included Liz and not Stuart, then what a tough decision that would have been.

That would have meant having to choose the final two out of Stella, Chris and Liz.

A very difficult choice. It's a good job it wasn't fixed that way to make the interview process easier, isn't it?

Urbon warrior

As soon as Stella had the inspirational idea to call her drink, 'Urbon', we said, "She's just won it". And Dara said that same thing in the post-final autopsy.

Unfortunately, Stella didn't exactly have the idea all by herself. It appeared to be closely related to the one that Joanne had, about five seconds before Stella thought of it.

Ah well, at this stage of the game, it's no longer about winning. It's all about making sure your manager wins.

Finally, The Apprentice has become a model of corporate life. It's no longer every man for himself, fighting over every sales commission and good idea. Now, every good idea belongs to the boss and all that matters is being on the winning team so that your boss can get the credit and the job that they want.

Maybe that's why Stella got the job?

Although she was often criticised for her corporate starchiness, we think that Lord Sugar is being a bit optimistic if he thinks that Amsburger is not a corporate empire. Yes, he likes innovative people, who doesn't? And we've never met anyone yet who didn't say that their company is entrepreneurial and different and creative and unique. But make no mistake, Alan Michael Sugar Trading and its collected subsidiaries is a big company, and that means big company culture. Maybe not as rigid as a Japanese bank, but it still has its own ingrained culture.

Alan was hardly the model of entrepreneurial flair during Stella's interview. His jokes were awful, his manner flat and his insights shallow. Maybe he couldn't be bothered to make the effort, now that his political career is on the up. Or maybe he just didn't like it when Dara turned his back on him. It was a strange seating arrangement, though.

Here are the main points of the rival's attempts to win their dream TV career, erm, we mean job.


ChrisStella
Name Cube, no, PrismUrbon
Looks like After shaveOlive oil
Sounds likeA new ToyotaA factory made into a block of flats
Tastes likeCheap perfumeSick
AdvertCheesy man thanks the Lord that the drink has 3 ingredientsScooby and Shaggy buy Daphne and Velma a drink
Dance routineNine ladies dancingTen lords a-leaping
Pitch Vibrant and evocativePosh booze for city folk
Punchline Reflects every side of youVote for me!
Selling pointLooks good on the barCan't tell if it's for girls or boys
Downside The bottle could kill youCan't tell if it's for girls or boys

Yes, as soon as Stella or Joanne or somebody came up with the name, Urbon was the winner. With a good name, everything else follows. Whereas Chris was trying desperately to shoehorn everything together, all because a man in an off licence didn't like the name 'Cube'

Chris was upset that Liz and Slap-happy came back with a pink drink, and yes, we do think that clear would have been nice, but it would also have made the bottle look nondescript on a bar shelf, and that was the one redeeming feature of the product. However, boys don't drink pink, regardless of what Liz says. She was a top salesperson, remember?

Besides, Chris wanted pomegranate flavour, and pomegranates are, well, pink.

Who should have won? It makes no difference really. Alan Sugar as good as made Chris a job offer on live TV. It reminded us of last year's final when the runner-up, Kate Walsh, claimed that Sir Alan Sugar wanted to hire her too but BBC red tape wouldn't let him. Those nasty bureaucrats.

Adrian Chiles interviewed Sir Alan about his decision, who said:

'Kate will be fine, I have no concerns about Kate, and I've given her my private email address and my phone number and told her that she can call me 24/7 if she needs any advice'

24/7? How nice for her. Honestly, if you do want to give out your private contact details to young girls, don't announce the fact on live national TV.

And don't forget that Kate had a brief romance with one of the other contestants, just to make sure that she was the cat amongst the pigeons in the penthouse.

As Adrian Chiles says in his blog, "she wasn't mourning for him once he'd left, was she?".

So what did Kate get out of being runner-up? Maximum publicity, Sir Alan Sugar's private email address and of course she doesn't actually have to work for him (as the winner does). All of the benefits of being on the show with none of the downsides.

What's Kate doing now? You remember Kate, the gobby Brummie who had the fling with Phil the estate agent from Newcastle in order to further her chances. Last we heard, she's one of the hosts on some TV chat show or other.

Whereas the winner? Go on, ten points if you can remember who won last year. No? Yasmina. Still not ring a bell? She works for Amscreen, selling televisions to doctors. Pregnant by a work colleague, apparently. Father had 3 wives at the same time, apparently. She worked alongside previous winner Lee McQueen. No? He just left to become a self employed sales trainer and gob on a stick.

Once again, The Apprentice is far closer to CassetteBoy's parody than to real life. The contestants really are there to further some sort of TV career. Get your mug on TV, play the game, answer the tiebreaker and take part in the celebrity showdown.

Stella now works for Viglen. We hope she's very happy as a product manager. What is this wonderful opportunity? It means that she looks after the marketing for new computers. She orders brochures, sets prices, organises trade shows, gives presentations to the sales teams, answers technical questions. That kind of thing. A far cry from creating a premium alcoholic drink for the over 25 market. Or buying truffles in Knightsbridge.

However, Chris has something far more valuable - a job offer, made live on national TV, from Lord Sugar himself. Is anyone going to turn Chris away now?

The only thing that Chris has to worry about now is deciding where he wants to work.

It has turned out, once again, that every cloud has a sugared lining.

A man who knows his onions.... oh wait, that might be a shallot

Gordon advised Alan that Stuart really knew his stuff, technically, and there might be a place for him in Amstrad. Figuring out user manuals for video recorders, perhaps.

The odd thing is that Gordon, in the interview with Stuart, quizzed the one man brand on whether he was fully licensed or not. It turned out that the answer was 'yes' in the context of 'Stuart's fantasy world' but 'no' in the context of 'Gordon's question'.

That in itself wasn't terribly odd, as Stuart has not exactly been a role model for integrity.

What was odd is that Gordon said that Stuart has a license to operate as an ISP. He knows what that means too. It means 'Internet Service Protocol', which is a communication format used in the Internet. Stuart nodded in delighted agreement. 'Yes, that's right' he eagerly chirped. He was so excited to find someone who could speak his techie language. Someone on his wavelength.

We thought that Gordon was just testing Stuart, saying something deliberately wrong to see how Stuart would react. But, astoundingly, no. Gordon really did appear to think that ISP means Internet Service Protocol, which it doesn't.

An ISP is an Internet Service Provider, a company that provides Internet services.

IP is Internet Protocol, a language used by computers to communicate over the Internet.

We suppose it's easy to confuse the two. It's like getting oil and a boil mixed up and putting the contents of the wrong one on your salad.

For a start, Stuart is 21. You'd expect him to be able to work an iphone and change the time on his microwave. That's what young boys with too much time on their hands, playing video games, are good at. It's no reason to hire one on £100,000 a year, though.

Gordon, we know what an ISP is. Can we have a job?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Official: Stuart Baggs wants to be a fish

Stuart says that his ridiculous comments such as...
  • The only thing that intimidates me is someone like me
  • I'm a big fish in a small pond (to which Claude replied, "You're not even a fish!)
  • I have to reign in my extreme masculinity
  • I'm Stuart Baggs the brand
  • Where's my spoon?!
...are actually just his humour, a strategy designed to dissipate stress. He is a straight up guy really, who doesn't take himself seriously and if you think that he's an annoying, irritating pratt, it's because you're trying to view him through a corporate filter, and he's quite unusual.

He always promised to work 24/7 but in every program he was the one peering out from under his duvet, groaning, "I don't want to go to school today!" Poor little kitten, he must have been up all night having fantastic ideas.

Karen Brady thinks that he will achieve anything that he wants in life. Fortunately, that involves him being in a pond.... face down?

Wherever I hang my head... that's my home

Joanne was so happy that Lord Sugar told her to leave with her head held high. "So that's what I done. And I took it home."

A good thing too, otherwise she would have nowhere to hang her pinny.

Tell us why you're the right candidate for this job...

It's interview time...

We're writing this live as we watch the show, so who's it going to be this week? Three candidates are leaving.

Some time ago, we said to each other that there are basically two types of contestant on The Apprentice; people who want to use the program to get their face on TV and people who see the competition as an escape route from their current situation. So the interview process weeds out the rare contestants who actually do want the job.

What it boils down to for this task is... who is not what they seem?

We reckon that, on that basis, Stuart and Jamie are definitely out. Chris is in. Which one of the girls? Could go either way. Both honest and professional, Stella more corporate, Joanne more entrepreneurial.

Not all of the contestants quite live up to the professional image they portray. Christopher was in trouble for firearms offences and fraud, Liz has starred in her own porn video and Joanne called a taxi driver a f*&$#@*g paki and knocked his tooth out. Stuart even went along to the Isle Of Man's Junior Chamber of Commerce Christmas drinks evening last week. Looooseeeerrrrr! Who let him in?

So let's see what pearls the interviewers can dig out of this bunch of swine.

Stuart made a 'defamatory statement' about a business rival by saying they had gone bust, and explained this by saying that he is a man of integrity. But you lied. Yes but I'm honest. I'm an honest liar. Somebody push him in the canal!

Joanne didn't know what companies Alan owns. She thought maybe Viggilen, or Vijlen, or Viglen. They sell computers. Maybe Amstrad. What about Amsummers?

Margaret accused Chris of bragging. Chris pointed out that he was in the top 5 students in the country for Theology, with a first class honours degree. 1:0 to Chris.

Claude accused Chris of being a quitter. He tried to fluster Chris, but Chris kept his cool and we think Claude looked quite impressed. 2:0 to Chris.

Jamie claimed to be solely responsible for sales, while his business partner disagreed. If he's an amazing salesman and could sell anything, why is his company only breaking even? Jamie said 'erm' a lot. Gordon accused Jamie of looking for an escape chute from his own failed business. As we said, some of the candidates see game shows like this as a form of winning the lottery, a way out of an unsatisfactory life.

Stuart wants to be Lord Sugar's business partner. Claude was quite riled by the one man brand. He said that he's going to work 24/7. He has hundreds of ideas buzzing round his head all the time. One of them is a device to help you find a cat. We just invented a device to find a cat too. It's a bowl of cat food.

Anyway, why would a cat need GPS? The cat is exactly where it wants to be. That's what makes it a cat.

So based on who are the more genuine candidates, it's not looking good for Jamie and Stuart. Stuart says that his company, BlueWave, is a licensed operator. Gordon asked Stuart if that was true. Stuart said yes. But Gordon had spoken to the telecoms regulator of the Isle of Man, who said that no, BlueWave is not licensed. You see, licensed means that the operator can provide voice services. And they can't. They're an ISP, supplying broadband. And anyone can do that. We could do it. So Stuart was lying? No, he was telling the truth 'within a context'. Yes, the context of fairy land.

"I am a key cog in a wheel... in a wheel... any wheel... I'm a key cog... really?" rambled Jamie. Jamie's putting in 99% of the effort and all his partner does is pick clients up from the hotel. Let me explain. No, let me explain. No, if I can just explain. Jamie's just a gobby opportunist who talked his way into a business partnership and now reckons he does all the hard work.

Stuart was quite rattled by the interview. Having tried to lie his way out of the interview, now he's trying to lie his way out of the argument with Lord Sugar, who told Stuart that he's full of shit. Strong words. Especially after Liz left last week. Alan is annoyed that he allowed himself to be conned by Stuart.

Stuart, you're fired.

Saints be praised!!!

What we're particularly happy about is not just Stuart being fired but him being revealed as a weasly little lying git who would raid his grandmother's life savings to promote himself. We would like for him to never work again, at least on this side of McDonald's counter.

Joanne's next, because Alan can't see where she would fit into his organisation. Well, behind a Hoover, obviously, because Alan suggested she make a go of her cleaning business. She leaves with her head held high.

Stella is in the final.

Jamie, you're fired. Yes!

So it's Chris and Stella to look forward to next week, trying to herd the gang of buffoons who are the fired contestants who will presumably come back to sabotage, we mean support, the finalists in the finality of the final.

And then, after Sunday's final, either Chris or Stella will be assured of a fantastic career ahead of them with opportunities galore and their wildest dreams brought to life.

The other will get to work for Amstrad.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Who would you give your marketing budget to? An Internet marketing expert or a bug munching celebrity?


As you may or may not know, we recently coined 'The Fry' as the standard unit of Internet authority.

But who should you spend your marketing budget with?

Is it a self-proclaimed Internet marketing expert or someone who is famous for eating giant caterpillars?

These marketing gurus all claim to be able to skyrocket your business to massive growth potential. They claim social media such as Twitter to be the latest and greatest new way that they are going to put your business on the map. And they claim to be experts in using Twitter to KO your competition and boost your profits to stratospheric levels. They even have photos of themselves standing next to sports cars and boats, just to prove it all works.

First, let's check out our sell-ebrities' Fry ratings...
Celeb Fry rating
Aggro 2.8
Alison 5.8
Britt 7.1
Dom 33.3
Gillian 8.8
Jenny 9.8
Kayla 4.1
Lembit 6.7
Linford 3.7
Nigel 0.13
Shaun 2.0
Sheryl 0.15
Stacey 114.0
What about Internet marketers? Here are the top ten, according to their Google rank for the search phrase "Internet marketing expert".

Remember, a negative rating means that they contribute anti-news. They actively reduce the amount of interesting information in the world.
Ex-spurt Fry ratingSays
Mark Attwood 0.55"I regularly get feedback from our students that we have literally “changed their life” with what we teach! .... yeah, they have much less money now
Terry Bains N/A"Hi It’s Terry Bains here. I hope you like my new Internet Marketing Blog."... no we don't. Terry doesn't even have a Twitter account, anyway
Chad Pollitt 0.05"Chad Pollitt has harnessed the power of internet marketing for more than 80 companies and organizations while amassing over $10 million in client ROI with Search Engine Optimization alone." ... Wow! Chad is an ex-soldier, having served in 'Operation Invade a Foreign Country'. He was decorated. Now he's magnolia with a floral border.
Gary Brewer 0.03"President of an Internet Marketing company"... aren't we all? He invites his cat to the board meeting to make the numbers up...
Keith Dougherty -0.07"the perfect choice to help you make the turnaround in life or business. Best of all, Keith has a spirit and a heart."... We were really looking for someone with all of their vital organs...
Brian Hancock 0.16"uses over 12 years of Internet Marketing experience to make other people money"... yeah, other people. Not you.
Dave Conklin 0.05"other people seem to think I may be an alien life form or something" ... why would they think that? Do the antennae give it away?
Javier Ramos -0.07"My wife and I are very happy and excited for the future and the goals we are accomplishing and the financial freedom we’re obtaining"... how nice for you...
Trent Brownrigg0.04"you are always invited to make money with me!" ... or stand there and watch me make it... from you!
Jed Wylie 0.05"I live and work in the heart of the beautiful forest of Cannock Chase" Yeah, we know Cannock Chase. Dead coal mines, grey houses and grey faces. The classy people shop at Poundland. Nice.
Michael Tasner -0.09"His true specialty is his mastery of the Internet as a complete tool"... we're speechless...
Paul Moran 0.3"THERE IS ONLY ONE PAUL MORAN. All other Paul Morans are imposters!"... Bah! Foiled again!
Ewen Chia 0.05"While I'm better known as a world-famous author, speaker and internet marketing guru, this blog has nothing to do with those topics." ... of course not, why would it?
What can we deduce from these remarkable discoveries? Well, 8 out of the top 10 Internet marketing experts are less important, less valuable and contribute less information than even the most media hostile of our jungle celebrities.

The other two? The second most valuable expert rates roughly equal with an ex-footballer's ex-wife.

And the number one Internet marketing expert?

Left in the dust by 11 out of the 13 jungle celebs.

But wait, we hear you say. There are 13 experts listed above. Well, the top ten in the list are 'Internet marketing experts'. The final three? They are the top three people who come up in a Google search for 'Internet marketing guru'.

According to dictionary.com, and 'expert' is "a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field", whereas a 'guru' is "an intellectual or spiritual guide or leader, a leader in a particular field". 

If we wanted some Internet marketing, would we give our hard earned cash to an Internet marketing expert? Or Aggro Santos?

A bona fide guru, though? Well, one of our self-proclaimed gurus just noses ahead of the kind faced young rapper, so we would have to look to Linford to give our top guru a clean pair of heels.

So who should you spend your marketing budget with? Someone who reckons they know all about social media, or someone whose opinion is actually worth something?

Let's have a bush tucker trial to find out...

Has Stuart Bagged it?

Stuart Baggs, the self proclaimed queen of the universe and one man brand, is apparently a telecoms millionaire at the age of 21.

Now, either he has achieved this in complete secrecy, or he has been looking in the mirror, snarling, "You're a tiger!" at his own reflection and mistaking himself for Peter Jones again.

Why?

Google "Stuart Baggs" and see what happens.

Nothing.

For such a rampant self publicist, he is veeeeery quite on the Internet. How can this be?

We've been checking out the contestants' Twitter authorities, and found that not many of them have Twitter accounts, so presumably they have some kind of gagging clause in their contract until after the final is aired. Because, of course, they all knew who won The Apprentice many months ago. That's why you can't place a bet on it at the bookies.

Why wouldn't Stuart have an obvious website for his telecoms company? Social media profiles? Etcetera, etcetera?

Because he has already won.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Oh... that's who he is

We saw a documentary about Take That's return, and half way through, a tramp in a shell suit shuffled in to the recording studio and chatted to the lads for a bit before shuffling out. We thought, "Who was that tramp? What was he doing in the studio?"

Piers Morgan held the answer for us tonight.

It was Elton John.

He says that if he had David in his life and his friends then he could just go away and live a very simple life. He would like to just buy a caravan somewhere, but it's gone too far, he's too famous.

Believe us, Elton, you could walk down any High Street in glorious anonymity. No-one would recognise you.

The reality? He wants to be recognised, of course.

X Factor - Finally over

We think we have finally figured out what is going on - the judges are as tone deaf as the contestants.

A woman in Essex made a pizza shaped like Matt's face, and Stacey Solomon said it was the most beautiful pizza she'd ever seen. We think Pizza Hut should start a new line in celebrity face pizzas. I'll have a 10 inch Gillian McKeith please, with the hidden spices in the base and the mealworm topping. And also a 6 inch Gordon Ramsay. Oh no, wait, that's not a pizza, that actually is his face.

Anyway, Matt warbled and wailed. He was as sharp as our wit. And we don't mean sharp as in spot on, we mean sharp as in woefully out of tune.

Did the judges pick up on this? It was all over Matt's face, he knew his performance was shocking. No. They all thought he was fantastic. Again. Everybody's fantastic. Everyone's a winner.

Cheryl said that no other man would sing the women's songs that Matt has attempted. There's a reason for that. It's because men sing like men, and ladies sing like ladies. Ladies don't sing, "I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK" and men don't sing,  "And Iiiiiiiiiii will always love yoooooooooooooooou". Matt isn't brave to sing a girl's song. It's because he's got an out of tune, high pitched whiny voice. But who knows, that might be the latest fashion amongst today's pop pickers.

We don't think his case was helped by making him sing with Ronald McDonald who towered over him in those big clown shoes and that big red wig.

One Direction unfortunately got lumbered with the pub drunk, a fate last bestowed on Olly last year, and look what happened to him. He was forced to sing a stupid reggae version of Barney's 'I love you, you love me' wearing a pork pie hat. Poor boy. We're sure the call centre has kept his chair warm.

In the final, Robbie's four new minders turned up to haul him off. "Come on, Robbie, time to go home. Your nurse will be worrying about you". Honestly, Cruella De Ville is more of a team player, and better dressed too.

Somebody off Coro was in Doncaster, and the crowd there were cheering for someone, but it was too noisy and her voice too whiny and grating for us to figure out who.

Rebecca may have sang a song, it was hard to tell. It could have been a shop dummy. In the opening song, she was waving her arms up and down like a Nan at a disco, trying to dance to Agadoo by copying everyone else, so her arms are up when everyone else's are down and she stands there with a look on her face as if she should be enjoying herself but isn't quite sure what's going on.

Of course, the judges think she's fantastic, and we should all ring up and vote. Vote for everyone! They're all wonderful!

Somebody called Colleen Rooney in Liverpule said, "That's what we call the X Factor here in Liverpule!" Yeah, that's what we call it here too, luv.

Week after week, the judges were nasty to Wagner, saying that they couldn't understand why the public kept voting for him. They even accused someone of trying to derail the show by block voting for Wagner. But hang on a minute, who put him through from the first audition?

Then, after making fun of the really bad acts, they had them all back on to sing together in one big congealed lump of wailing, just so we can all mock them some more. And who says it isn't a freak show?

At some point we can look forward to all of the contestants coming back on stage for one big knees up. Really, we don't think there will be any difference between that and the rubbish ones.

Now it's time for Leery to announce the first round of phone vote money laundering. Matt does his best Johnny Vegas impression.



Johnny Vegas


Matt Cardle

The second act through to the finale? Rebecca.

Right, so let's vote out the sweet faced, musical, talented, in tune group and put through a whiny, grating boy who can't sing in tune, and a whiny grating girl with a voice like Manuka honey. One spoonful and you think, "Ooh! That's different!", two spoonfuls and you think, "No, actually, it's quite sickly". Three spoonfuls and you get to see your breakfast all over again. And all over your shoes.

We think that, career wise, it's better for someone to not win the X Factor. They get all the PR with none of the contrived manufacturing of a winner. We hope they will go far, they deserve to.

It's definitely fixed. Why? Well, last week, they put Mary and Cher in the bottom two sing-off. Mary could out sing most of the other contestants, so it was a liability to have her in the final. She wiped the floor with Cher, but the judges obviously heard something that we didn't. The sound of a cash register, we think.

So now the group who should have won are out, leaving the bookie's favourite, Matt, and Rebecca. So, conveniently, Matt doesn't have any competition. But let's have another phone vote anyway, just in case Simon Cowell's wallet has any space left in it.

This year, they get their own single. Last year, the two finalists, Lil' Joe and Olly, had to sing the same song, which was conveniently written in a key that suited Lil' Joe's vocal range, but was way too high for gruff ol' Olly.

This year, Matt gets a, "I'm great, believe in me, vote for me and I'll come round your house with presents" song. A big screeching finish that suits Matt right down to the ground. Which judging from his song with Rhianna, isn't very far.

An old lady in Colchester says, "Matt, Essex is behind you!" Yes, you are right, old lady, within 12 months Matt will deny that he every lived there.

Now it's Rebecca's turn to warble for England. "I'm just a dreamer", she wails. Yes, Rebecca, you can only dream of winning.

Colleen back in Liverpule asked two girls for their views. We think that their incomprehensible babble contained the word 'win' somewhere near the end. Then a man in a red glittery cowboy hat added his encouragement. Come on Rebecca. Encouragement from a man in a red glittery cowboy hat. Isn't that worth pulling your finger out for?

To be fair, Rebecca's performances are in tune. It's just that the X Factor isn't fair.

What now? Oh Jesus, the pub drunk has staggered back in. Look at his face. Smug gimp. He's using them, he's swaggering round like the star of the show. Don't get us wrong, we like many of his songs, he's just too much of a smug, attention seeking, selfish twat. And he has to shout, "Come on!" It's not a football match, you lout. And while Leery is talking to Howard and/or Jason, he starts chanting "Wagner! Wagner!". And then he wanders off and says hello to all the judges! The elephant on Blue Peter was better behaved.

What the hell is wrong with you people? Why are you buying his records? Why haven't Take That trusted their instincts not to rely on him? It will end in tears, mark our words. Mark them well. Beware the Ides of March.

Votes made after the closing time won't be counted but may still be charged. That's 'may' as in 'will' because, while we have the technology to handle millions of incoming phone votes and count them instantly and precisely, we're a bit hazy on when exactly we'll close the vote, and when, at a later time, we will stop charging you. Just don't say we didn't warn you.

The lines are closed and the vote is in. Here's a funny thing, Matt was supposedly a decorator. Matt! Geddit? Although apparently he wasn't really a decorator, he has already released an album.

The nation has voted. The winner is....

(Pause for 17 minutes for dramatic effect)

Matt zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

How predictable. How dull.

Poor old Johnny can't believe it. "Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the judges, I'm so happy, and Mrs Evans in Colchester, I'll be round to finish your hallway on Tuesday"

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Apprentice shock - Liz is Hired!!

Although that is cockney rhyming slang for fired, unfortunately.

Big surprise, though.

Stuart showed that he will really scrape the bottom of his moral barrel to make a quick bit of cash. You'd think that Lord Paint the Town (Paint the Town = Brown = Brown Sugar = Sugar, it's rhyming slaiing innit?) would frown on such low tactics, but we think he came over a bit dewey eyed as Stuart got him reminiscing on his own happy childhood, pushing a wheelbarrow full of computers round the mean streets of East London, the city where, according to Jamie the tour guide, the Thames is the second largest river.

Stella pushed for the Cockney Tour but then didn't actually know where anything was, and lost the jellied eels stall. Mind you, Tubby of Tubbys jellied eels looked distinctly bemused when Liz and Stuart asked him to do a gor blimey Mary Poppins impression for the benefit of the tourists. We think he was probably French and it was all way over his head.

However, even though Chris gave away 20% of all profits, he made a smart move because he knew that more tickets were going to be sold through the ticket shop than anywhere else. On top of that, their blue uniforms did make them look like bus conductors, whereas the other team's red uniforms made them look like children's entertainers.

Regardless of who lost, every single one of them made major tactical errors:

Jamie - acted like a spoilt brat and would not listen to Joanne, risking tourists asking for refunds because he didn't actually know anything about the tour.

Chris - failed to find out what the shop's standard commission is and consequently gave the ticket shop 20% of all revenue, not just shop sales.

Joanne - went back to the ticket shop to try and wriggle out of Chris' deal, risking upsetting the manager and making them pull out. Also did an appalling job of managing Jamie.

Stuart - failed to find out the market rate for tickets, set a price so high that the shop knew they wouldn't earn any commission anyway and then just cut prices to make up for it, and resorted to some very sleazy sales tactics. Don't buy anything from this boy.

Stella - ducked out of the hard part of the task but didn't even do her cop-out tour guide Barbie job properly.

Liz - failed to find out the market rate for tickets. Did a smashing sales job as usual, but that doesn't make her an Apprentice.

We were quite surprised by Al's positive comment about Chris' negotiation tactic, which wasn't actually a negotiation tactic at all. He offered a wildly attractive deal and the shop bit his hand off. However, we think that his Lordship saw a spark of genius that could make Chris a serious contender.

We're disappointed that Stuart pulled on Alan's heart strings and is still in the game, because he annoys us immensely. If you see him in the street, give him a smack in the chops from us.

Who would we employ? Chris or Stella.

Chris is solid, direct and mature. He keeps on listening and takes feedback on board.

Stella is shrewd, intelligent and cool. She takes feedback and works hard.


All good qualities.

As for you? You've been merged and acquired.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Ex-factor

Poor old Mary Byrne was in tears singing her little heart out in the sing-off, meanwhile Cher Lloyd won't change her singing style for anyone, because she is who she is and people should accept her and she is a unique artist in her own right she's not going to change for anyone and she's special and.... oh, it turns out she can totally change her style if there's a sing-off involved.

And despite Mary's empassioned performance and Cher's pathetic, weak, off-key warbling, the panel of judges voted to boot Mary out on her considerable arse.

Hewey, Dewey and Louie told Mary that she's never going back to her job at Tesco. No way. Not after her fabulous performances, her new found confidence and her taste of the high life. There's no place for Mary on the checkouts. It's the cosmetics counter in Boots for her.

Let's face it, she ain't going to sell the kind of records that Simon Cowell wants to sell, so they've been looking for a way to get her out while not looking like they're biased.

They have mostly achieved this by telling every contestant that they're the best, they'll definitely be in the final, it will be a travesty if they're not, it's their best performance ever, it's the best performance they have ever seen in their entire lives, oh everyone is so so marvellous. How lovely.

They should have Jim Bowen as a judge next year. Great. Smashing. Super.

Top Secret: Announcing brand new series for ITV's 2011 schedule

Following the runaway success of Channel 4's Come Dine With Me, they have announced a few spin off series.

A special edition of the show for cannibals: Come Dine On Me

A version for morbidly obese chefs: Come Dine Around Me

An Australian spin-off: Come Dine Under Me (you have to say it out loud)


We've seen adverts on TV for a new Australian series of Master Chef too.

"Welcome to our first contestant, what are you cooking Bruce?"

"Barbie"

"And our next contestant, what are you cooking, Bruce?"

"Barbie"

Riveting....

Warning!

We found a dangerous looking packet of mustard in a cafe the other day.

As you can see, there is a health warning on the back, stating that the mustard may contain..... mustard.



We know that people always say things seemed bigger when they were children; sweets especially. Wagon Wheels used to be the size of actual wagon wheels.

We remember when the adverts for Topic used to say, "a hazlenut in every bite". Now they're so small, the adverts say, "may contain nuts".

Stacey crowned queen of the jungle 2010!!!!!!!!!!


Hooray. What an anti-climax.

But remember, it's not the winning that matters, it's how entertaining you are along the way. Let's review.

Aggro Not very entertaining. Some people have called him a wimp for escaping from his underground trial. It was pitch black in there, though, so don't be hard on the boy.
Alison Entertaining solely for provoking Shaun.
Britt Not at all entertaining.
Dom Immensely entertaining, thanks to his relentless goading of the other contestants, especially Kayla.
Gillian Most entertaining at first, but we quickly tired of her. We hope not to see her whinging pathetic face on our screen again.
Jenny Immensely entertaining, not because of her stoic attitude to the challenges and her overall good humour but because of her luvvie fit when asked to do what she does for a living. She retired to bed and whined about not being funny. She might as well have cried, "Get my agent on the phone".
Kayla Not at all entertaining, apart from when she was having a paddy and burned her letter. We're sure that she only lasted as long as she did because she was entertaining to a certain segment of society i.e. prison inmates.
Lembit Indirectly entertaining, but only for the exasperation that he caused the other inmates. We mean contestants.
Linford Not at all entertaining, and we do wish he would put the female contestants down for five minutes lest he give ex Olympic athletes a bad name.
Nigel Very entertaining indeed. At first we thought he proved himself to be a good chap, but he actually turned into a bit of a dirty old man and all round luvvie. What a shame they didn't want him in the final line-up. We liked him standing his ground over the electric shocks, but we didn't like him giving in to the producers and returning. We think the others should have walked out in support.We wished some of them had anyway!
Shaun The most entertaining of all. What can we say that hasn't already been said? We enjoyed every minute of Shauns f*&%$£3g stay in the b@$&?#d jungle. What a smashing t#$t. We'd love to have him round for afternoon tea.
Sheryl Not very entertaining, and not a celebrity in any sense of the word that we are familiar with. We saw a celebrity once. Does that qualify us for next year's show?
Stacey The second most entertaining celeb, but not for her bravery or buoyant humour. We found Stacey interesting because she totally contradicted the airhead image that the X Factor producers bestowed upon her and tackled some heavy intellectual arguments around the camp fire, more than holding her own against the likes of Lembit, Linford and Dom, the three alpha male silverbacks of the camp. Ugh! Lembit make fire! Linford gather wood! Dom make jokes!

Friday, 3 December 2010

The last Eclair in the cake shop

Jenny is shocked and delighted to be in the final three, but now it's all over for her.

We think that it's interesting that the celebs who made it furthest are the ones that seem genuinely, well, genuine. They didn't seem to have hidden agendas or games or be all out to win.

Maybe that explains why Aggro (who?) got so far? He did seem like a nice young man.

Oh, scrap that though. It doesn't explain Kayla.

OK, the celebs to bet on next year are:

  1. Ones who seem like genuine people who are prepared to learn from their own personal journey of self discovery
  2. Anyone in a tight swimsuit

So now it's time to vote for your king or queen of the jungle. As we said before, we think it would be more interesting to vote for the king or queen of England.

We predict that the next big reality TV show will be... the royal wedding.

Ladbrokes are already taking bets on who the bridesmaids will be....

Here's one we prepared earlier

Oh My God!

Oh My God!

Oh My God!

That was the general consensus as the celeberitees got back to the hotel. Big rooms, swimming pool, bacon and ice cream awaited them. And a massive tub of Maltesers for Alison, of course.

We saw the crew's dining tent, the transportation, the guides, the hotel and so on and so forth.

We also got a clue that all of the contesterants' families had been at the hotel since the start of the show, ready to wait, tearfully, for their loved ones should they be kicked out at a moment's notice. We did wonder how their families got to the end of the bridge so quickly. It turns out they were there all along.

Who is paying for all that?

You!

Calls may cost considerably more from mobiles, because room service ain't cheap, you know.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Kayla-la-la-la

Shaun enjoyed worrying goats more than  fannying about in a cape and daft underpants, apparently.

Kayla has to convince Shaun and Stacey that Dom and Jenny have fallen out because Jenny didn't thank Dom for sacrificing his letter from home in favour of Jenny's.

How convenient! Dom's only going to pretend to be upset, of course. Still, it was a handy way for him to vent his resentment that he sacrificed his letter while Kayla's childish dancing directly caused the loss of his letter.

Shaun and Stacey fell for it completely of course. Why? Was it because of Kayla's porky pie skills? We don't know. Maybe it's because they're luvvies and it's more unbelievable that they haven't fallen out over something.

Maybe we should give Kayla more credit. After all, it was her very very firstest ever lie.....

Jenny was so angry that she transformed, right in front of our eyes, into Gillian. She channelled the spirit of Gillian McKeith! We thought the shifty shit sniffer had snuck back into camp!

Stacey's reaction to the treat was "Oooooooohh I love cup-a-soup!" Dom was moved his tears. It was his favourite flavour!

Dom sold his flat in London to Salman Rushdie, apparently. Stacey's reaction was, "Oooh! Who's that?"

He should be on next year's Celebrity...

Now, a while ago, there was a big fuss in the news about Salman Rushdie being in trouble about a book what he wrote.

According to Wikipedia, "In the Muslim community the novel caused great controversy for what many Muslims believed were blasphemous references. As the controversy spread, the book was banned in India and burned in demonstrations in the United Kingdom. In mid-February 1989, following a violent riot against the book in Pakistan, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader of Iran and a Shi'a Muslim scholar, issued a fatwa calling on all good Muslims to kill Rushdie and his publishers, or to point him out to those who can kill him if they cannot themselves. Or just let us know where he used to live."

Suffice to say that if anyone is still looking for Salman Rushdie, just look in an old London phone book under "Joly, D" and Bob's yer uncle. We thought that, at some point, someone would indeed reveal the secret hideaway of Salman Rushdie, we just didn't think it would be Dom Joly while sitting on a sofa in the backwoods of Austraaaaaaalia on International television.

"You're a tasty bird, but you're a skinny tasty bird". No, Shaun, wasn't talking about the latest bush tucker trial or even the ostrich they had for dinner. He was talking about Stacey. What a charmer!

The second celeeb to go? Might be Jenny, Might be Dom. One or the other. Come on, it was obvious really. And Dom is out.

Dom's gift from home in an earlier treat package was a camera, so we would say that he's planning a book. He figured out that Stacey was favourite (Ladbrokes have her at 1 to 1.33) so he couldn't win, so just get as far as he can. Pity, that will knock a couple of potential chapters off the book.

Another 'celebrity' gone... in the loosest sense of the word

Ant asked Kayla, "What was the worst thing that you had to put in your mouth?"

She said a stick insect....

She's hated the weather for the last few days, it has been too cold for her to take her clothes off. For the last challenge, Dom warned her to wear something sturdy because of the water jets. What did she wear?

Oh! My swimming costume fell off! And the pizza delivery man has just arrived!

Dec said, "We've enjoyed having you and we've loved watching you"

Hmmm....

Iceberg Letters

When ya gooooooo will ya send baaaaaaaaack a letter from Australia

Take a looooooook up the railtrack, it's perfectly safe because all the trains are cancelled due to snow on the line.

Kayla got a load of sympathy from Jenny because she felt it more important to have a paddy and jump up and down than get on with the task and therefore her letter from home got burned. In fact, not hers but hers and Dom's, after Dom legitimately won his but gave Jenny hers instead out of pure kindness.

Shouldn't Jenny have been consoling Dom?

For the record, we don't believe their letters were actually burned. Some copies will mysteriously turn up at some point.

It might be Affro. It might be Kayla.

Who is it going to be? We can't stand the suspense.

Aggro! Who?

At least he can go back home with his head held high and say that he, Aggro (who?) chewed on a Kangaroo's private parts. As he himself said, it's something to tell his grankids about when he's older.

Mommy, is that a Werther's Original that Grandad's chewing?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I didn't do it...

Whingy Laura is gone at last. She's been on borrowed time, really.

Her catchphrase is, "If I could have another chance I can prove myself"

If she wants to prove herself so much, she should go and stand in the airing cupboard with a tea towel on her head....

It's always unfair for Laura. Outrageous. Someone else's fault. Everyone else's fault.

The girls' downfall  was truffles. Instead of buying them from a wholesaler, they bought them from a restaurant in Knightsbridge. Smart move. And then, knowing the price should be £2,000 per kg, Laura and Stella negotiated a round £200 for 50g. Now, let me think. £2,000 per 1000g, so for 50g that's erm.... 25... erm... carry the three... hang on a bit.... oh yes. £100. So they paid £100 over the odds, and they lost by £70.

Shame.

But that's not the worst of it. Liz, the PM, told them expressly to call her before agreeing a price. And what did they do? They got all excited and bought the truffle, then called Liz afterwards and told her that they tried to call her but couldn't get through. What fibbers!!!

Laura said that she has never had the chance to speak up for herself. When she was PM for a task, she set a new record for the boardroom - zero orders.

We think she was better off keeping her gob shut.

Try it free today

The TV advert for 'GoToMeeting' starts with a woman saying, "When we want to touch a customer, we use GoToMeeting".

Don't do that. You're invading my personal space.