Wednesday 6th July

Today’s previews by Ceri Thomas

The Apprentice

9pm, BBC1 ★ ★ ★ ★

The Lord of Sugar has been adamant this time out: he does not just want a salesman to be his new business partner. He’s said things like “I don’t want no salesmen!” over and over again. Fair enough. So what’s tonight’s task? Er, well, it’s basically selling stuff…

apprentice-natasha

Giving each team a pallet full of £250-worth of stuff from a warehouse full of tat, Sugar tells his six remaining hopefuls that “I expect you to sell that stuff, smell the best seller, buy some more and just keep going…” So off they trot to flog Union Jack nodding dogs, pricey pressure washers, flimsy umbrellas, cheap sunglasses and more to the folk of the big city.

It’s an episode that’s going to leave you jaw-dropped at the groaning ineptitude of the candidates. Yes, Jim unsurprisingly is great at flogging things and even Tom the boffin has a good go, but their ability to marry marketplaces to products and use their cash wisely is woeful. And as for “smell the best seller”? This lot can’t sniff anything out past the rank odour of desperation…

As a result, it’s another great episode. After doing nothing and still surviving last week’s challenge purely because Jim turned his oirish charm on and flogged some of their sickly star biccies at the last minute, Natasha lives to fight again tonight. Literally – the pinch-featured one has a good old snarling match with passive-aggressive Susan The Mouse in this one. Meanwhile, one candidate grabs some kip on the job, others get teary and there’s even something we’ve never seen before: one candidate trying to oust another as project manager, mid-task.

It all leads, unsurprisingly, to another ferocious boardroom display of incompetence and simmering dislike (this year’s crop of survivors really do hate each other, don’t they?). Or fun, fun, fun, as we like to call it…

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ROUND-UP…

Her cuddly dominatrix schtick is ancient history, thankfully, but the former Supernany is still a reliable source of solid parenting advice in Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance (8pm, Channel 4). Aside from ditching the riding crop and stiletto heels, the big change on this new series is that Frost now handles more than one case a week (as well as running a travelling roadshow, Gok wan-style, and highlighting one big bad-behaviour issue a week), but otherwise it’s basically business as usual. She visits parents, films the way they let their kids run riot, and then explains calm, sensible, eminently practical ways in which they can correct their brats’ behaviour. It’s twitchily entertaining telly, but also packed full of undeniably useful tips for being a better parent. It should be made compulsory, legally enforced viewing for anyone with ill-behaved kids.

The Beeb’s string of Wednesday night docus about the war in Afghanistan haven’t basically painted it as a hellhole of bombs, corruption and firefights, but tonight’s Afghanistan: The Unknown Country (9pm, BBC2) presents a different slant on the country. As reporter Lyse Doucet travels through the wilds Afghanistan she meets everyone from warlords to poets, and highlights the land’s great cultural history and stunning chunks of natural beauty. It’s a film that leaves you both impressed and saddened.

You’ll probably need cheering up after it so give The Perfect Suit (9pm, BBC4) a go. In this light-hearted docu, art journalist Alastair Sooke basically tries to buy himself a new suit. Alright, it’s slightly more complicated than that – a decidedly casual dresser, Sooke not only tries on whistles from across the high-street (from trendy Top Man efforts and water-resistant M&S outfits to clobber courtesy of Sir Paul Smith), but also tries to dig into the history and changing place in fashion of the suit. He doesn’t turn up too many surprising revelations, but Sooke – who we really liked on last year’s art show Modern Masters – makes for cheerful and engaging fashion victim in this one-off docu.

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ALSO ON TONIGHT…

Waterloo Road – 7.30pm, BBC1

Poms In Paradise – 7.30pm, ITV1

Embarrassing Bodies: Live From The Clinic – 8pm, BBC2

The Removal Men: Pickfords – 8pm, Channel 5 New Series

24 Hours in A&E – 9pm, Channel 4

NCIS – 9pm, Channel 5

Nikita – 9pm, Sky Living

The Apprentice: You’re Fired – 10pm, BBC2

Desperate Housewives – 10pm, Channel 4

Supernatural – 10pm, Sky Living


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SOAP BUBBLES

Emmerdale – 7pm, ITV1

“I’m not saying anything until it’s definite,” growls Alicia when Leyla grumpily tries to get her to tell Justin about her plans to move to Spain. As he sister points out, that’s rich since she’s been blabbing about the idea almost non-stop since it first popped into the empty echoing cavern of her skull in the middle of last week. Speaking of those with an aching gap between the lugholes, Nicola and Jimmy are still feuding over their kid. She’s trying to stop him going to the kid’s singing concert tonight which leaves her dad Rodney baffled at her inability to see sense. Really? Seems like standard Nicola behaviour to us… (Ceri Thomas)

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THE REEL THING

Star Trek – 9pm, Sky Action/Adventure


startrek

Welcome to the desert of mediocre movies that is the midweek TV schedules. Forget finding good movies on the terrestrial channels, you’d struggle to find any movies at all on the lower reaches of your telly dials. Since the best flick on Freeview this evening is probably The Thin Red Line (9pm, Film4) which is well-acted, worthy, and just ever-so-slightly dull, we’re recommending wading into Sky’s movie channels if you’ve got ‘em. JJ Abrams 2009 re-boot of the Star Trek franchise is bright, exciting and clever, with enough sly wit to keep fans and non fans happy. And it’s always worth a rewatch. (Ceri Thomas)

Worth A Look…

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World – 8pm, Sky Premiere

The Thin Red Line – 9pm, Film4

Sherlock Holmes – 9pm, Sky Crime/Thriller

American Pie – 10pm, ITV2

The A-Team – 10pm, Sky Premiere

Kick-Ass – 10pm, Sky Showcase

The Evil Dead – 11pm, Syfy

Up In The Air – 11pm, Sky Drama/Romance

The Pelican Brief –11.55pm, ITV2



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