Week 11 of The Apprentice made me change my mind about Debra

First things first.

This blog has not been nice about Debra Barr.

No, no. I can admit my mistakes, even though that’s not something you could ever say about Debra, 24.

But her tears in the boardroom weren’t for herself when Sir Alan Sugar  fired her but for plucky clown James McQuillan, 32, who went first.

That was nice and the kind of personality flip that has me doubting my entire world view.

The other one to go was Lorraine Tighe, 36, who though a tactfree-zone, was never nasty during the series.

The two left standing were Kate Walsh, 27, and Yasmina Siadatan, 27.

Yasmina is grimly determined.

If she was an item of confectionery she’d be a well-chewed piece of Juicy Fruit embedded in the tread of your trainers.

I think Yasmina will make it in the final this Sunday.

Sir Alan will surely realise the ever-grinning Kate is not as nice as she seems – which doesn’t seem very nice to me at all.

Mind you, he may be dazzled by her allure. Or her teeth. Old fool.

Week 11 is my favourite of all the episodes.

It’s when Sir Alan’s attack dogs are let loose on the candidates during interviews that owe much to that scene in Reservoir Dogs where the policeman gets his ear cut off.

I worship Paul Kemsley (see last week’s YouTube clip. He’s the bloke Sir Alan invites to ‘p*** off’ at the end).

Paul once told a would-be Apprentice: ‘What you call your international trading company is a computer in your mum’s back bedroom, ain’t it?’

Property tycoon Paul was absent last night. Probably counting his millions.

But his place was admirably filled by Claude Litner who shares Paul’s er, rough charm.

In his analysis Lorraine was ‘delusional’, James was ‘exceptional, exceptionally bad, that is’, Kate was ‘Little Miss Perfect’. That wasn’t a compliment, by the way.

Claude also ruthlessly exposed Yasmina’s ignorance of the difference between gross and net profits.

Yet she exited the interview claiming that he was a ‘really nice man.’

Must be Stockholm Syndrome.

The episode taught us there are golden rules to interviews.

1. Never lie on your CV – Lorraine fudged the dates of her employment;

2. Don’t use jargon – James was pilloried for writing ‘gibberish’;

3. Don’t use rude words – James made yet another reference to bodily fluids;

4. Don’t joke – James again, I’m afraid. 

But there’s not much you can do when asked to provide references.

Debra’s former workmates gleefully leapt at the chance of revenge.

She was ‘loud’, ‘foul mouthed’ and ‘aggressive’.

‘People hate her,’ was a somewhat redundant observation.

But in the end you sensed that Sir Alan, who’s kept faith with Debra throughout despite her venomous ways, hated to see her go and so did I.

‘Keep in touch,’ he told her as he sent her packing.

Me and Sir Alan: we’re just an old softies at heart.

Gillian Crawley