Last Night: The Apprentice, BBC1

An apt name for someone told to pass an alcohol test
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The Independent Culture

Well, Baggs made it as a brand. One tabloid ran a headline reading "Avram Grant is the Stuart Baggs of football", confirming that he's successfully established himself as the face of over-promise and under-delivery. Oddly though, he didn't make it to the final of The Apprentice. Either his roasting last week proved so painful that he couldn't bear to return, or Lord Sugar wouldn't let him on the premises – but when firees filed in for team selection Baggs was among the missing, and the episode was a whole fieldful of ponies short of comic potential.

The task was to find a new way to cash in on the £40bn drinks market, devising a spirit-based product for the discerning binger. On Chris's team, Alex was brainstorming British themes. "Crumpets?" he said tentatively, tantalising us with the prospect that they might go for the first dough-based liqueur – an undeniable gap in the market. Stella settled on a flavoured bourbon. Both team leaders, assuming that marketing was everything and taste an afterthought, delegated the brewing to their lieutenants. Chris busied himself designing an "iconic" spiked bottle that could kill you if it fell from a high shelf, while Stella concentrated on misspelling the word "urban" in a way that would make it redolent of aspirational chic.

Both soon discovered advertising regulations prevent you from saying virtually anything except that the product comes in a bottle and may be drinkable. Chris worked on his pitch delivery – trying to get the "low-flying bomber" of his voice to perform a few modest acrobatics. Stella was hunting through a thesaurus to find synonyms for "edgy" and "trendy". At the presentation itself, cutaways showed drinks experts sipping at the free samples and then wincing. The Apprentice itself has been watered down.

Karen Brady is no match for Margaret Mountford and the architecture of the programme has come to feel over-predictable. As Lord Sugar's advisers weighed up the pros and cons of the finalists, you got the strong sense they were only going through the motions. He'd already made up his mind. Despite losing control of her mouth in the final minutes, Stella wasn't made to eat her words. I doubt she'll be celebrating with a glass of Urbon.

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