The Apprentice is Back!

Series 13 of The Apprentice starts on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday 4 October 2017. Once again we have written biographies of all The Apprentice candidates, as well as Lord Sugar, Karren Brady, Claude Littner and Rhod Gilbert.

This year’s bunch of candidates looks strong, with many already having a track record in business. Who will thrive is unpredictable due to the disproportionate emphasis placed on sales ability. Additionally, there is Lord Sugar’s habit of confounding expectations with his firings!

Many of the candidates are interesting. Michaela Wain, for example, is the sister of Ex on the Beach’s Joshua Richie. Can someone help me confirm she is the same Michaela Wain whose puppy Rooney was saved by firefighters after being trapped in a sofa!?

Apparently, the two Sarahs are the bookies’ favourites, but I think Elizabeth McKenna might be worth a shout.

Time will tell.


Strictly Come Dancing 2017: All You Need To Know

When does Strictly start?

The launch show, including a special group routine tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth, is scheduled for 7.00pm on BBC1 on Saturday 9 September 2017.

Who are the celebrities?

As usual has biographies of all the celebrities, professional dancers, presenters, and judges. Click on a name below to call up their biography:

Chizzy Akudolu

Gemma Atkinson

Alexandra Burke

Susan Calman

Richard Coles

Brian Conley

Davood Ghadami

Charlotte Hawkins

Mollie King

Ruth Langsford

Joe McFadden

Debbie McGee

Aston Merrygold

Jonnie Peacock

Simon Rimmer

Who are the professional dancers?

OUT: Natalie Lowe, Joanne Clifton and Oksana Platero

IN: Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, and Amy Dowden.

You can access all the professional dancers’ biographies from our Strictly Come Dancing 2017 page.

Who are the presenters?

As with last year, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be presenting, with Zoe Ball hosting Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.

Who are the judges?

OUT: Len Goodman

IN: Shirley Ballas

Shirley joins Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood.

I’m A Celebrity: Who are the celebrities and who will win?

ITV have just confirmed their line-up for I’m A Celebrity and it looks an interesting bunch! Of course, new celebrities may be added but what follows is my take on the celebrities going into the jungle and their chance of winning I’m A Celebrity.

Don’t forget to read our biographies of all the celebrities by clicking on their name!

Jordan Banjo – from Diversity – an outsider in my view – probably doesn’t have the support base in the public at large

Wayne Bridge – footballer – another outsider! Nice chap, but not sure he will be the one people will want to watch

Joel Dommett – comedian – in with a real chance and will possibly the one to be least bothered by the conditions. Probably end up around 4th. May well end up a co-presenter of the sister show next year.

Ola Jordan – dancer – also in with a chance, she won Strictly with Chris Hollins, but came last with Iwan Thomas. Probably upper middle.

Larry Lamb – actor / broadcaster – should be popular, has charm, and my prediction to end up in the running

Scarlett Moffatt – from Gogglebox – probable winner, could be fun and may attract the same sort of voters who made Vicky Pattison Queen of the Jungle last year.

Sam Quek – won gold in Rio, but don’t think she’ll match that. Mid table.

Lisa Snowdon – broadcaster – scored a record 80/80 in a Strictly final but ended up third. Mid-table.

Adam Thomas – Emmerdale actor – could surprise and be popular in a Joe Swash type of way – probably 2nd.

Carol Vorderman – broadcaster – very personable and should make the Countdown – I think she’ll take third spot

So, in summary

  1. Scarlett Moffatt
  2. Adam Thomas
  3. Carol Vorderman
  4. one of Larry Lamb / Joel Dommett / Ola Jordan

The Apprentice is back – BBC1 set to dominate the ratings?

Series 12 of The Apprentice kicks off on Thursday 6 October. Having looked through all the candidates’ auditions, it looks like one of the better line-ups.

With Strictly and Bake Off already running. It looks like BBC1 is set to dominate the ratings war over the autumn and winter.

What Strictly and Bake Off show is that seemingly old-fashioned areas like ballroom dancing and baking can be reinvigorated and made popular in the 21st century.

We’ve also seen the likes of pottery shows and pottering on canals shows. What would be another good idea to pitch to the TV channels? Stamp collecting? Trainspotting?


The Conservative Party follows Henry the Eighth

Theresa May has survived the Conservative leadership contest, bringing to mind the old rhyme about the wives of Henry VIII: divorced, beheaded died; divorced, beheaded, survived.

Boris Johnson – did not stand after break-up with Gove – Catherine of Aragon – divorced
Liam Fox – eliminated by vote – Anne Boleyn – beheaded
Stephen Crabb – stood down – Jane Seymour – died
Michael Gove – eliminated by vote – after losing favour after falling out with Johnson – Anne of Cleves – divorced
Andrea Leadsom – stood down – Catherine Howard – beheaded
Theresa May – survived – Catherine Parr – survived

Alright, it doesn’t quite work! However, I believe the only major fly in the ointment is that Leadsom and Gove should be reversed to make the analogy work better.

The 2016 Conservative Party Leadership Election

Harold Wilson said “A week is a long time in politics”. How right he was!

Following the shock Referendum result for Britain to leave the European Union, Boris Johnson became the firm favourite to become the new leader of the Conservative Party. However, when the runners and riders were declared he was not one one of the five candidates. Instead his erstwhile friend Michael Gove had put himself forward, having discovered in the preceding couple of days that Boris did not have what it takes.

The in-fighting had begun. Or, maybe, it had started a long-time ago with rumours of long-running feuds through the party.

Meanwhile the Labour Party were in turmoil with Jeremy Corbyn receiving a resounding vote of no confidence from his fellow MPs in the Parliamentary Labour Party.

To find out more read our Conservative leadership contest special.

Interesting times ahead!