npd kitchen chefs

If any doubt remained that The Apprentice (BBC1, 9pm, 9 December) couldn’t care less about capturing entrepreneurial spirit, at least not at the expense of a good laugh, then this week’s cringeworthy episode proved it once and for all. Tasked with dreaming up a healthy snack for the supermarket shelves the remaining six contenders didn’t have a clue.

Team Versatile, headed up by ex-Navy Charlene, went for bars packed with superfoods they couldn’t pronounce, chucking in berries, seeds and baobab. Little surprise then that overblown nutrition claims were discreetly felt-tipped over to avoid a lawsuit.

Team Conexus weren’t much better, soaking their dehydrated vegetable crisps in lashings of vegetable oil with a touch of “mad science” from Vana. Supermarket buyers were less than impressed at the next day’s pitches, with more than one reaching for a roll of kitchen towel after spooning a sopping wet Red Onion crunch (how ironic) into their mouths.

Poor Gary even had to pitch to ex-employer Tesco, bluffing enthusiasm for crumbling cereal bars so dry buyers gulped water after a single bite.

So incompetent were both teams that for the first time in 11 years’ of tasks neither secured a single order, leaving Lord Sugar to pick his victim at will. They all deserved to go but that would leave the BBC with a big scheduling gap and so it was “honourable man” Brett who took the fall for spouting phrases like “iconic vegetable”.

It all goes to show breaking into this industry is no easy task, whether on or off screen.