Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Apprentice Ben survives without ruffling feathers

Ben Clarke
Ben at work on a challenge in The Apprentice

Apprentice hopeful Ben Clarke has once again avoided the sack and another showdown in the boardroom after finally finding himself on the winning team.

The trainee stockbroker, who said he prefers making money to sex, was out of the firing line — the first time in two weeks — after his team Empire last night beat Ignite in the latest challenge.

The ambitious Belfast boy still remains in the running to be Sir Alan Sugar’s Apprentice after he transformed into a “Parrot Pirate” for a television advert — and didn’t ruffle any team mates’ feathers.

Instead, it was New Yorker Kimberly Davis who became the latest candidate to be sacked from The Apprentice — and said in the real world she would have fired Philip Taylor and Lorraine Tighe.

Last night's show saw candidates tasked to create a cereal brand, a character, design packaging, put together a marketing campaign and film a TV advert.

Team Empire, led by Kate Walsh, came up with the idea of the “Parrot Pirate” for their cereal campaign.

While Ignite, headed by marketing consultant Davis (33), bickered but created “Pants Man”.

Ben, who last week was told by Sir Alan “either you alienate people or you're no good,” appeared to heed the millionaire’s warning and demonstrated he can be a team player.

He was key in creating the idea of the cereal and donned the bright parrot costume to perform for the advert — despite almost passing out under the hot lights.

And when Kate Walsh decided to change the voiceover of the advert at the last minute, Ben stepped in to give a voice to ‘Captain Squawk’.

However, when watching the winning advert Sir Alan joked about his Northern Ireland accent, saying: “I thought I heard a hoarse Ian Paisley there.”

Speaking after the show, Davis, who took feuding Taylor and Tighe back into the boardroom, said: “If this was the real world, I had my own company and if any of these behaviours started up in the real world I would have had one conversation with them, I would have given them a warning.

“And if they'd kicked off again I would have dismissed them... I do not tolerate that kind of behaviour in the real world.

“But unfortunately this is a game and you have to keep in mind that you have to keep your team motivated and you have to try to stay positive and have to try to get them to get along because if you don't, you know, that breaches the rules of the games.”

Having spent so much time arguing, Ignite left themselves no time to design their own box and in a last-minute panic left the designers to come up with the idea.

With no design on the back, Ignite were left to rely on “Pants Man” and Taylor's jingle.

Sir Alan told Davis: “Kimberly you have a marketing background, you should have walked this.”

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