Sir Lord Alan Bloody Sugar Gets Camp

Retro Camping TrailerEpisode 7 of The Apprentice was very camp (in part, thanks to Jason) for the selling task on the Camping and Caravanning Exhibition at The NEC. Each team had to pick two low-value items from a selection on offer as well as one high ticket (SLABS’ words, not mine) item. Seeing as winning the task depends entirely upon selling ability, I was very keen to see who was truly any good at flogging things.

This week, SLABS decided to “balance the teams up a little bit” instead of only “mixing the teams up”, so it was nice to see something a little different. I still don’t understand the relevance of team names at this stage as neither Evolve nor Endeavour have had the same team members in them since the very first episode. It would be far simpler to refer to them on each task as Team A and Team B.

Neil was project manager for Evolve (Team C) and Kurt was project manager for Endeavour (Team Z).

On the way to Birmingham, Jason stated that he’d never been to Birmingham before (it’s hardly Paris), that he’d never been caravanning before and that he couldn’t understand what people get out of caravanning. He soon found out what people get from caravanning once they’d arrived at The NEC as he became mesmerised by a small caravan at the show- Neil practically had to drag him away.

Trailer TentOn the motorway journey to Birmingham, Myles came to the conclusion that it’s the over-50’s who would be the main sales target on account of his and Alex’s caravan-spotting exercise. How you can correctly tell the age of someone towing a caravan in the other direction and passing you at 130mph is beyond me, but Myles and Alex managed it.

From the selection of smaller, cheaper products, Evolve wanted to pick an electric bike, which was priced at around £1,000.00 and a camping box of goodies, aimed at kids and costing around £100.00. Unfortunately, so did Endeavour but as we know, only one team can get each product.

Endeavour were rather disappointed that they lost out on both products and as cruel as it was, I couldn’t help but laugh at this- what are the chances of both teams choosing the same two products from a selection and for one of those teams to lose out on both? Kurt couldn’t believe their bad luck whilst Alex felt that Myles’ “nauseating enthusiasm” and lack of strategy was responsible, which I think was a little unfair because Myles put much more into it than any of the others. I wouldn’t go wasting your money on EuroMillions this week.

Endeavour were lumbered with a folding chair with built-in canopy (which despite being a novel idea, was still just a folding chair; something available en-mass at the camping and caravanning exhibition) and a roof box, the lid of which could be used as a boat. This was a little over-priced for what it was, which was ultimately a large, ugly box which you strap to the top of your car and which will drastically increase your fuel consumption due to it’s large, flat surface areas. Neither item was something which I would have chosen but neither were the electric bike and camping box of goodies, so my feelings for any of the products are totally irrelevant.

For the high ticket items, Kurt chose a retro trailer/caravan, made from an old VW camper van and which was priced at around £17,000.00. Neil went with a trailer tent, which was priced at around £11,000.00.

Inside the Retro TrailerI think Kurt realised quite quickly that the retro trailer/caravan was a great idea in theory but that in reality, it was a niche product, was very expensive for what it was and for it’s price/size, wasn’t practical in the slightest. The trailer tent was an entirely different kettle of fish and is something I would have chosen to sell myself.

Trailer tents are very nearly as good as a caravan; once set up and all folded out, it’s a similar size to a caravan and also has the same facilities. The only difference is that the sides and roof are made from canvas. Trailer tents can be preferable over a caravan because of their smaller size, lower weight and lower price. The trailer tent really was a no-brainer and Jason clearly loved trying to sell it.

Kurt seemed to lose his enthusiasm whilst trying to sell the retro trailer/caravan and even resorted to getting Leah over as “eye-candy”. I don’t know whether it was her candy or her sales patter, but she did a hell of a lot better than Kurt did at trying to sell the over-priced, ex-camper vans.

Jason ended up selling a trailer tent for £10,000.00 and Neil managed to sell one for £10,500.00. I don’t know whether or not Kurt, Leah or Myles sold a retro trailer/caravan or not because I ended up switching off the TV due to boredom, but I do know that Evolve won the task and that Natalie and Kurt ended up being fired from Endeavour. It wasn’t really surprising that Endeavour lost the task because they had picked the wrong high ticket product. I think they’d simply become so dejected after losing both of their first-choice small products to Evolve and once their confidence had been knocked because of this, there was no turning back.

Neil now only has an 87.5% chance of not winning this year’s The Apprentice but as I mentioned last week, he’s beginning to grow on me and part of me would like him to win. As long as Jason or Alex don’t win, I’ll be very happy.

Frank Sidebottom
Natalie Panayi
Neil Clough
Rebecca Slater
Sophie Lau
Tim Stillwell
Uzma Yakoob
Zeeshaan Shah
Francesca MacDuff-Varley
Jason Leech
Jaz Ampaw-Farr
Jordan Poulton
Kurt Wilson
Leah Totton
Luisa Zissman
Myles Mordaunt

Do you enjoy caravanning and if so, are you aged over 50?

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