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Sir Alan's drips.

Byline: richard arnold

GREAT news this week - green shoots of recovery are emerging in the economy.

I know, I didn't feel them either - and if the top firms of tomorrow are to be chaired by the new Apprentices, the chances are these shoots will wither faster than ex-RBS boss Fred the Shred Goodwin facing a baying mob at his local.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for young and thrusting. But this year's intake for the "job interview from hell" seemed wanting, and not just on their CVs.

They certainly aren't the most polished bunch we've seen being roasted in the boardroom - but then again this isn't America's Next Top Model - and who am I to talk?

No one has ever tuned in for my looks in the morning. That said, if we're going to make a date with the young and the jobless every Wednesday night for the next three months then surely it's not too much to ask for a smattering of folk who are easy on the eye.

After all, everyone has their office crush. As per previous series, the Apprentices aren't easy on the ear either.

"I'm a rough, tough cream puff," squawked Kimberly Davis, the one from NYC. "I am the complete package - I have a rainbow of skills," boasted Anita.

Too bad she never got to reach the end of her rainbow, fired after the first task laid on by Sir Alan in which he challenged the ladies and gents to valeting cars and cleaning Hummers.

As a former supermarket trolley boy, I have every sympathy for those who start at the bottom.

And it was great to see the guys get their hands dirty in their first task - but greater still to marvel at the incompetence as they blundered and blustered with their chamois leathers and power hoses.

At the end of the business day the London skyline shone better than any of the cars they cleaned - and the candidates for that matter. But it is early days.

Too much deliberation in the boardroom left me wondering if the format couldn't benefit from a bit more fly-on-thewall footage back at the teams' penthouse.

EVEN Sir Alan's right hand man Nick (as opposed to his screen left hand man, Margaret) said of the bickering: It's the same old, old story..." Which, of course, is why millions of us love it.

So it's game on again and bets have already been taken on which Mickey Mouse candidate will become the Sorcerer Sugar's Apprentice 2009.

My money is on Geordie Phillip, a possible reincarnation of Lee McQueen, who won last year despite a few glaring omissions on his CV (like the qualifications he never had).

Or perhaps Kate who speaks out of the side of her mouth - an obligatory skill for getting on in The Apprentice. That and speaking out of your... You get the picture!

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FROWNS: Axed Anita
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Mar 29, 2009
Words:485
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