BBC Knowledge is finally bringing the UK version of The Apprentice to Hong Kong (Mondays at 9.20 pm starting tonight). I have mentioned this version of the show once or twice before (notably here), and I have to say that I prefer it to the Trump original (much more on The Apprentice here). The US version got carried away with its initial success, and the 3 hour live special at the end of series two (or three?) was a sign that all was not well. It got cancelled (no, no, of course what I meant to say was that Trump quit) and then they changed their minds and did a 7th series, with, er, celebrities. I believe that is coming to TVB Pearl soon. I can hardly wait.
The UK version is more solid and (so far at least) free from gimmicks. It benefits from a total lack of Donald Trump, his bad-taste apartment, his business chums and his idiot children.
Alan Sugar is also annoying, but in a different way. He started out as a market trader, and made his fortune in consumer electronics, mainly by finding ways to make "hi-fi" equipment as cheaply as possible.
Amstrad (Alan Michael Sugar Trading) was also one of the early manufacturers of home computers, but whilst the likes of Sinclair and Acorn were being innovative, they created ingenious products such as the PCW8256, which was basically a dedicated word processor (with a printer attached), using obscure 3" floppy disks that Sugar apparently got on the cheap.
I can understand someone wanting to work for Donald Trump, but why anyone would want a job working for Alan Sugar is a bit harder to comprehend. The "six figure salary" is actually a job for one year on a salary of £100,000. Not bad, but not exactly life-changing - though giving up a high-paid job to be on the show might just be.
Anyway, the first task for the two teams is to buy £500 worth of flowers at a wholesale market, and then sell them in a street market (or door-to-door). The problem at the beginning is that there are so many contestants - and generally the ones who stand out do so for all the wrong reasons, what with being idiots and all that. We shall see.