News

The Apprentice review: Lord Sugar’s dire jokes, two teams of twerps… time is up for this tosh, writes CHRISTOPHER STEVENS


 The Apprentice (BBC One)

Rating:

 Gymnastics: A Culture Of Abuse? (ITV1)

Rating:

Move over, Michael McIntyre. Shut your mouth, Lee Mack. Gag mer- chant Alan Sugar is in the house, and he’s got them rolling in the aisles.

But either I’ve suffered a sense of humour failure or he’s surrounded by sycophants, because although his lackeys were splitting their sides on The Apprentice (BBC1), the good lord’s scripted ad libs seemed even more dire than usual.

This year’s crop of exceptional incompetents were in for an ear-drubbing after the annual treasure hunt. Previous intakes have been sent as far afield as Dubai, but cash must be tight in Sugar Towers during this cost-of-living crisis because the two teams of twerps had a day trip to Jersey instead.

As usual, they were challenged to spend as little as possible on a shopping list of puzzles that included Jersey wonders (a sort of knotted doughnut), shucked oysters (that is, ones that were open) and a knitted jersey with an anchor design.

This year's Apprentice contestant on the annual treasure hunt. Previous intakes have been sent as far afield as Dubai , but cash must be tight in Sugar Towers during this cost-of-living crisis because the two teams of twerps had a day trip to Jersey instead

This year’s Apprentice contestant on the annual treasure hunt. Previous intakes have been sent as far afield as Dubai , but cash must be tight in Sugar Towers during this cost-of-living crisis because the two teams of twerps had a day trip to Jersey instead

Tim Campbell MBE overseeing this week's task. In the boardroom, Following one of Lord Sugar's jokes, Tim slowly slid off his chair in helpless hilarity

Tim Campbell MBE overseeing this week’s task. In the boardroom, Following one of Lord Sugar’s jokes, Tim slowly slid off his chair in helpless hilarity 

At the end of the meeting, he called in seven candidates for expulsion, instead of the usual three. It¿s just a shame they weren¿t all kicked out

At the end of the meeting, he called in seven candidates for expulsion, instead of the usual three. It’s just a shame they weren’t all kicked out

One team walked straight past a jersey on a market stall, three times. ‘Never mind Jersey wonders,’ chortled Lord S, ‘Stevie Wonder would have noticed that.’

Hang on, I need a splint to bind my aching ribs.

But his chuckle-ometer hit maximum when he learned that team lieutenant Noor let one of the juniors, Paul, do the negotiating for the oysters. ‘That was very unshellfish of you,’ Alan told her.

To his right, Baroness Karren Brady threw back her head and brayed. To his left, Tim Campbell MBE slowly slid off his chair in helpless hilarity.

What wit. What timing. What’s on after this?

Despite such an unbeatable explosion of laughter, the inquest dragged on. Both team leaders, Raj and Jack, had been determined to haggle aggressively — one expected a discount of 50 per cent, the other 75 per cent. The boss called one of them a ‘brain surgeon’ and decided they must have attended the same ‘school of silliness’.

At the end, he called in seven candidates for expulsion, instead of the usual three. It’s just a shame they weren’t all kicked out. The end of this creaking, servile nonsense can’t come soon enough.

While the BBC was airing a load of tosh, a truly appalling scandal was being exposed in Gymnastics: A Culture Of Abuse? (ITV1).

Following a two-year inquiry into bullying and predatory sexual behaviour by British Gymnastics coaches, this documentary pulled no punches. The author of the report, Anne Whyte KC, said that intimidation and molestation of children were so widespread that ‘abuse was normalised’.

The sickening behaviour of some coaches has been an open secret in the sport for decades. One whistleblower described how he reported a trainer named David Schadek to the authorities for plying an underage girl with alcohol. The response was dismissive: ‘That’s up to him. Don’t get involved.’

Schadek was eventually jailed for sexual assault… but not until 20 years later.

Victim Nikki O’Donnell described how she was groomed and abused by her coach, former Olympian Stan Wild, before finally building up the courage to tell him to leave her alone — whereupon he barred her from his gym.

Victim Nikki O'Donnell described how she was groomed and abused by her coach, former Olympian Stan Wild, before finally building up the courage to tell him to leave her alone ¿ whereupon he barred her from his gym in Gymnastics: A Culture Of Abuse? (ITV1).

Victim Nikki O’Donnell described how she was groomed and abused by her coach, former Olympian Stan Wild, before finally building up the courage to tell him to leave her alone — whereupon he barred her from his gym in Gymnastics: A Culture Of Abuse? (ITV1).

Wild has now been suspended from the sport, but denies the allegations and has not been charged with any criminal offence. Nikki has had to live with trauma and its corrosive effects: by 16, she was an alcoholic with a life-threatening eating disorder.

Though this programme represents a good start, by all accounts there continues to be a horrific undercurrent of child abuse in gymnastics.

‘Today, right now in a gym,’ said coach Carlton Webster, ‘some kid is being verbally abused, physically abused — God forbid it, sexually abused. Today. Fact.’



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button