Can you really laugh at the candidates in Junior Apprentice?

The answer of course is “yes”. Of course you can. I laughed out loud last night when Zoe declared ecstatically about Tom Aikens:  ”He is, like, my favourite chef”. It was hard not to. Do all 16-year-olds have a favourite Michelin starred chef?

Zoe impressed me most last night. I will let Binna Kandola’s analysis – which will appear soon – address who is truly in contention of winning the series, but from my living room, Zoe demonstrated natural leadership and a dynamism rare in one so young. 

Zoe also told us that “you can’t do a deal with ugly people”. So, yes, you can really laugh at the candidates; I’ve answered my own question.

My point however is that, if you can ignore Lord Sugar’s lame jokes, if you can tolerate the intolerable personalities of those who enter the grown-up Apprentice, then the main reason you find it entertaining television is laughing at how stupid they are. It’s schadenfreude viewing.

But how much can you laugh, without feeling mean, when the candidates are still children? At what point in human development does innocent naivety become plain stupidity?

I enjoyed last night’s programme, and I was relieved that Lord Sugar sacked (as gently as possible) Jordan as I felt he had less to offer than Tim or Rhys. But on more than one occasion – may be it’s the parent in me – I felt my laughter was assuaged by compassion.

I still laughed at Zoe, at Rhys, at Jordan, and I nearly fractured something at prematurely hirsute Tim’s pronouncement: “Wind is my least favourite weather type.”

It’s mine too Tim, mine too.
Rob Moss

About Rob Moss

Rob Moss has been editor of Personnel Today since 2010. Before that he was online editor.

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