Sophocles stays philosophical
AS A one-time male escort, Michael Sophocles ought to have been in familiar territory on this week’s Apprentice on BBC1 as he plunged into the spiritual home of footballers’ wives — Bluewater Shopping centre in Essex — to take professional pictures of customers.
Though Sir Alan Sugar shuffled the teams, Michael remained in his original group, Renaissance, and as arguments began at the start of the task, the “nice Jewish boy” kept quiet, stayed off-camera and observed.
On-camera, however, Michael was dismissive of his team’s direction: “The theme we’ve decided on creatively isn’t a theme. ‘Glamour! Beauty’! It’s generic. Miscellaneous — what does it mean? It’s not a theme, it’s just words.”
Working closely with team leader S i m o n S m i t h , Michael chatted up women to persuade them to come and have their picture taken. But it was not a successful ploy and his team made a loss of £73.81. The other team profited with £145.10.
Luckily, Michael survived the boardroom by highlighting a “communication problem” between the other members; team leader Simon placed the blame for the loss on two other team members, Claire and Alex.
Former Apprentice contestant Sam Judah is convinced Michael is playing the right game. “Another quiet episode from Michael, which means either he was playing a smart game by letting others cause more problems in the eyes of the project manager, or he didn’t actually do much that was camera-worthy,” he told the JC. “Sometimes just getting on with the job in hand is [visually] boring and doesn’t make the cut. I believe the truth lies somewhere in between, based on the little evidence that we did see of Michael in the episode.
“However, The Apprentice is a show where you can run but you can’t hide, and eventually Michael will have to step into the limelight . When he does, we will really see if he has got what it takes to be Sir Alan’s apprentice.”
Sam, who made it up to week seven in the second series, had “a bittersweet affair” with The Apprentice. He says: “The famously belligerent atmosphere creates a climate of fear, which makes it difficult to practise the principles I believe are important in modern business.
“The scheming and backstabbing is testament to that. I still find it difficult to believe that some people really think this is a valid way of operating in business. If I did this my clients would never come back!”
Sam has set up a post- Apprentice business selling and distributing an innovative portable multi-gym, Versatile Resistance Trainer ( www.shadowboxer.co.uk). It has been adopted by top athletes and endorsed by boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. CRAIG SILVER
Sam Judah, the JC’s expert
Michael Sophocles ( centre) gets earache from his team-mates