oliver nohl-oser cumbrian sausage co the apprentice

Cumbrian Sausage Co owner Oliver Nohl-Oser

Awkwardness, sexism, passive aggression and rampant idiocy can only mean one thing. No, not a date with Donald Trump, but the return of The Apprentice (BBC1, 20 October, 9pm), which is back for its 77th series.

This week the candidates opened a sweet factory and tried to sell what they made. The manufacturing process was typically chaotic, but whenever the candidates pitch their wares to actual businesses it always exposes the weakest ones. Trying to sell blue and white sweets to Brighton FC, Sophiane combined clumsy assumptive closes with a repeated failure to listen and almost blew the deal before potential winner Courtney stepped in.

If he was bad, the other team was worse. Oliver was made team leader because he owns a sausage factory but it was all too much for him. And he wasn’t helped by Paul, who moaned from the outset. While everyone else tried to sell to shops, Paul skulked outside holding a big cardboard box full of sweets. Then he threw a strop afterwards because the team failed to sell enough profitable fudge (it was everyone else that was “crap”).

Worst of all, he failed to see the irony of berating his team for failing to sell while selling nothing himself. And he revealed his strategy had been to “stand back and watch” everyone else making mistakes, to prove his team’s strategy was doomed to fail.

The hapless Oliver brought this negative force back into the boardroom, but failed to nail him and got fired instead. Paul returned to the house, still glowering. He won’t last long.