The Apprentice – Sralan’s opening speech (annotated)

Good morning ladies and gentleman, welcome to my boardroom.

Morning Sralan!

Now then, the astute ones amongst you will have noticed that the chaps are one man short. There are eight girls and only seven boys and that’s because someone’s already bottled it. Believe it or not.

That someone is clearly a loser, but no back up contestant available?

You can’t even blame me, cos I’ve never met him

Embarrassing sycophantic laughter from the mass of Apprenti.

Pressure. That’s what business is all about. Pressure. Simple as that.

Um, this is where the central premise falls down a bit. Business is not ‘about’ pressure, it’s generally about running, or working for, an organisation that provides services or goods in the expectation of making money. This money is then used by the organisation to allow it to invest in it’s activities, pay shareholders, employees and cover it’s running costs. Depending on your industry (and seniority) the pressure levels can certainly be high, but it’s not business’ raison d’etre, and most businesses function better if people aren’t over-stressed. Stress causes bad decision making and illness.

Are you tough enough to put up with it? Cos matey wasn’t.

Yeah – what a loser! Ha ha.

This job interview is like one you’ve never had before.

This is very true. I can’t think of many job interviews that require relentless arguing with 15 other dimwits for 12 whole weeks in the full glare of television and other mainstream media to get an unspecified job position within a business whose main activity these days is not clear.

I’m gonna find out if you’re the real deal or just a bunch of empty designer suits and dresses.

Sralan, Sralan, they are exactly empty designer suits and dresses!! I thought that was the point, and fun, of the programme. Bit unfair to surprise them with this revelation now.

It could be, of course, that you’re here because you’re good with words, you know the right thing to say at the right time.

Like Sralan, I hate people who are good with words and are able to use them to express their thoughts at the appropriate time. Those people are wankers and Sralan should keep a beady eye for anyone who knows how to string a sentence together that suits a particular situation. Fuckers.

I mean I know the words to Candle in the Wind, don’t make me Elton John, right?

(nervous sycophantic laughter). A superb and funny…meaningless non sequitor.

I don’t care where you’re from, what you’re last job was.

Hear hear! Past experience of work should have absolutely no bearing on matters when being assessed for a new role.

Don’t tell me you’re a ‘Global Strategist’, cos all that means to me is that you’re talking a load of balls.

Bit tortured and only mildly amusing.

You think you can second guess or play me? Well, let me tell you I’m as hard to play as a Stradivarius.

Ha ha, now this was a great joke! I laughed very loudly and rolled around on the floor a bit.

And you lot, I can assure you, are as easy to play as bongo drums.

Hey now – referee! That is out of order! Bongos are as difficult to play as any other Western instrument you care to mention. This comment just harks back to unlovely ideas of primitive foreign cultures. We’ve moved on a bit since then, Sralan, get with the times – you should have said swanee whistle or kazoo.

All I care about is how you perform in the next 12 weeks. It’ll be the hardest job interview you’ve ever had.

True dat.

But for one of you, it might be the last one you ever need.

But what are all the past winners doing??? They never give us proper follow ups – it’s as bad as Dragon’s Den in this respect.

So, what am I looking for? Simple: a diamond. And remember a diamond started out as a lump of coal, but came good under extreme pressure.

Splendid rhetorical flourish, but not at all true. Diamonds and coal are both indeed created from carbon-bearing materials, but one is not created from the other. Coal is made from living matter relatively recently (400m years), but diamonds are created from non-organic carbon deep in the mantle and are much much older (2.5bn years). Shut up, this stuff is both interesting and important.

And trust me, you are going be under extreme pressure over the next twelve weeks.

Mos def.

So, it’s straight down to business…

Yey! I love this programme!!!

Disappointing catty arguments at the end of this first episode. Haven’t any of the contestants watched the programme before?

Anita – shut your mouth before he…oh, too late. Bye then!

The Apprentice on BBC iPlayer

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