Last Night's TV: The Apprentice/BBC1
Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance/Channel 4
This World: Italy's Bloodiest Mafia/BBC2

Well, it's been a quiet news week so far, but here's a big story: Shock Apprentice Format Change! In previous series, the penultimate episode of Lord Sugar's talent search has seen the surviving candidates subjected to a kind of mini-cab rendition. They're plucked at dawn from their luxury rental and taken to some anonymous corporate shed in the outer suburbs, where Sugar's trained interrogators are unleashed on them. It's Abu Ghraib in pinstripes – humiliation, psychological torture and helpless curriculum vitae thumbscrewed until the blood runs. It's the episode that you usually think is going to be a bit dull, until the first bead of sweat appears and you realise that it's actually a relief to get a break from the standard format. But not this year. Although the candidates were talking about interview suits as they scrambled for their morning pick-up, the producers had pulled a switch on them. They were going to have to come up with a concept for a new fast-food franchise, serving up crap to others rather than being forced to eat it themselves.

Jim seized the reins at once: "I've got two girls on board who'd probably appreciate a bit of direction," he said grandly, sensibly ensuring that the directionless didn't actually overhear this remark. They then settled on a concept rather as if they were deciding where they were going to eat themselves: "I've eaten in quite a few Mexican restaurants... I'd definitely recommend Mexican," said Susan, whose tendency to frame banal experience as specialist expertise has been one of the reliable pleasures of the series. On the other team, Helen and Tom opted to wave the flag with an all-British pie restaurant, their patriotic branding only mildly let down by their decision to name one of their products after Christopher Columbus. "He's British... isn't he?" said Tom, with worrying uncertainty.

Susan's in-depth knowledge of Mexican cuisine wasn't proving to be quite the asset she'd suggested either. She vetoed the use of peppers in the branding of the restaurant on the grounds that they had nothing to do with Mexican food and pressed hard instead for the groundbreaking concept of a sombrero. This, she later claimed, was to bring a bit of "personality" to the brand. Tom and Helen, meanwhile, had modelled themselves on British Airways corporate design – ending up with a surprisingly plausible explosion of red, white and blue and the trade name MyPy – serendipitously arrived at by Tom. "I've just dyslexically misread something and come up with some genius ideas," he excitedly told his colleague, allowing Nick an opportunity to put his eyebrow muscles through a vigorous workout.

Genius or not, Tom and Helen's operation – which actually managed to get food in front of the customer before it had gone cold – triumphed over the other team, which couldn't. And despite a performance of stammering incompetence from Jim when he was questioned about his business plan it was Natasha who was finally released. On Sunday, three more of them receive parole and one poor bastard gets an extended sentence.

Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance is a rather promising title. "Give the insolent little sod a clip round the ear" perhaps? Or "Chains and handcuffs can be a solution to poor sleep discipline"? But as it happens "extreme" doesn't mean anything at all, apart from the addition of a roadshow section that offers the parents of Britain the opportunity to humiliate their offspring in front of a live audience. This week, Nanny Frost was dealing with a nine-year-old who wouldn't eat anything but custard creams (presumably signed up after a hot bidding war with BBC3's Freaky Eaters) and a seven-year-old girl who was being bullied at school. Frost's advice is always sensible and she has a velvet hand inside the iron glove, a stern tenderness for both child and parent that can be rather touching. But the programme she's in has been formatted almost to death, with each storyline cut into baby portions and scattered across the hour, so that every time it returns you have to be told all over again what's going on. As in quite a lot of format television these days the ratio of recapitulation to narrative advancement has diminished to the point where you wonder whether there's any point in tuning in before the final quarter of an hour, when you generally get again everything that's happened in the preceding three-quarters.

If you saw Matteo Garrone's wonderful film Gomorrah then much of Marc Franchetti's film This World: Italy's Bloodiest Mafia will already have been familiar. It was still worth watching, though, partly because it gave a prominent place to some of the few brave souls who dare to oppose the pervasive power of the Camorra, including a young law student whose mother had been killed by turf-war crossfire and the son of a Camorra gang boss who'd turned his back on his patrimony. But also because it offered a corrective to some of the overhyped rhetoric of the last week in relation to systemic corruption and power elites. If you want to see what corruption really looks like then you can't do much better than Naples, with its street full of rotting garbage and its street signs pierced by bullet holes. Things might have got sleazy here, but nobody yet has ended up underneath a sheet on a city street, with a runnel of blood leading to the gutter just because they dared speak out.

Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
musicReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Arts and Entertainment
‘Dawn of Planet of the Apes’ also looks set for success in the Chinese market

film
News
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight

tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

books
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

film
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

books
Arts and Entertainment
Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

music
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

music
Arts and Entertainment
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

music
Arts and Entertainment
The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

books
Arts and Entertainment
Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

music
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
    Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

    Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

    The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
    Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

    Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

    The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

    Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

    Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

    Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

    The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
    The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

    The Open 2014

    Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?