The Apprentice Review: Ex-Slaughter and May man returns to scene of BCL triumph — no one cares

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Family lawyer beats City lawyer in Oxford tour face-off — but both march on to next round


After last week’s humiliation of Felipe — which saw the mildly portly ex-Slaughter and May solicitor appear in a ‘fat daddy’ fitness video — the focus of yesterday’s episode turned to the other solicitor on the show, Lauren. But try as producers might to hold him back, the former magic circle man (pictured above) keeps stealing viewers’ attention.

Having had a quiet series so far, it’s clear from the off that The Apprentice editors have decided to try to make this week about St Albans family solicitor Lauren (pictured below) as the show begins with her answering the phone while looking a little worse for wear.

At the glamorous venue of a service station (where Lord Sugar seems oddly at home among the Boost bars and petrol fumes), the teams are selected, and again Lauren and Felipe are placed together on Team Tenacity. Their task? To organise a coach trip.

While Felipe takes a back seat — so to speak — in the editors’ highlights, Lauren is charged with putting together an itinerary for the coming excursion. At the heart of her day out is a history tour — which she herself will lead. In true nerdy solicitor style, she spends hours swatting up on her lines. Viewers brace themselves for a detail-obsessed performance that completely misses the bigger picture. But she’s excellent, charting the story of Blenheim Palace without notes in her charming Brummie accent to an engaged audience. Lord Sugar’s right-hand man, Nick Hewer, is wowed.

Felipe, meanwhile, gets a cameo leading the boat ride through Oxford which the team also organise. Having done the prestigious BCL (Bachelor of Civil Law) in the city in 2005-2006 — for which he bagged a distinction — this is familiar turf for the lad. But his musings on his experience of Oxford University legal education unsurprisingly fail to inspire tour guests. Try as he might to engage with people, Felipe lacks the human touch of Lancaster University graduate Lauren.


Happily, the other team, Summit, are doing an appalling job, belting out a rendition of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ as they seek to keep their customers amused with the sheer charm of their unoriginal antics. This lot really are morons.

The teams head into the boardroom. Both Felipe and Lauren issue fairly robust justifications of their position — as an insurance policy against an upset — to the almighty Lord Sugar as they await the results of which team won. “Flannel is for the bathroom, not the boardroom,” muses Sugar, cryptically.

The Essex-based business wizard’s underlings read out the two teams’ figures. Despite lower sales, Lauren and Felipe’s Team Tenacity win thanks to a much greater profit margin. This is commercial awareness in action. The solicitors march on. Their prize? A terrifying abseiling trip. Which seems a fitting metaphor for the relentless journey of working life.