The Apprentice episode 8 review: Mark Moseley's lack of interest gets him fired after immersive event task

Marnie and Avi bicker about their experience running immersive events. (BBC)Marnie and Avi bicker about their experience running immersive events. (BBC)
Marnie and Avi bicker about their experience running immersive events. (BBC) | BBC
Mark Moseley was fired in week 8 after totally losing control of the balance sheet

This week The Apprentice teams were tasked to run immersive events in a Victorian Village and in Shrewsbury Jail, competing to make the most profit and minimise the number of angry customers demanding refunds.

Avi Sharma wanted to be Project Manager again as he’s not happy unless he’s talking. Marnie Swindells said she would let him because she could deal with him as PM whereas he wouldn’t be able to cope the other way round, deftly undermining him and asserting her control even as he congratulated himself on his persuasive powers.

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Off the leash, Avi’s puppy-like charms occasionally wore thin and a grandiosity peeped through.  Patronising and man-splainy, he bestowed his wisdom “let me give you some advice….here’s a tip for you… to me profit is revenue minus cost..” as though these were precious insights known only to the chosen few, rather than self-serving, self-evident guff.

The Apprentice fires candidate after immersive experience task (BBC)The Apprentice fires candidate after immersive experience task (BBC)
The Apprentice fires candidate after immersive experience task (BBC) | BBC

On the other team Mark Moseley, who has previously performed well, reluctantly accepted being PM but showed little interest or energy in leading it.

He told potential customers that the expensive immersive prison experience he was trying to flog, involved people jumping out at you and there may be a magician who will blow your socks off – or there might not, depending on how much they paid. Dani, shouting in the town square “anyone want to go to prison?” didn’t make the offer any more compelling and it’s no wonder the good citizens of Shrewsbury decided they had better things to do with their weekend.

Finally, they persuaded some businesses to offer up their employees for a corporate away day, they’ll do anything to get away from the office. Imagine their surprise when they were forced to wear prison garb, stand in line and be shouted at by an unsmiling Megan Hornby and Simba Rwambiwa who were clearly enjoying their Shawshank power. “I thought we were here for a history tour not to be shouted at,” said one confused lady.

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Mark Moseley from London owns a pest control company. He was fired in week 8 after totally losing control of the balance sheet.Mark Moseley from London owns a pest control company. He was fired in week 8 after totally losing control of the balance sheet.
Mark Moseley from London owns a pest control company. He was fired in week 8 after totally losing control of the balance sheet. | BBC

But as the day progressed, weirdly, the guests loved it. They were ready to play-riot when the food was late, but incarceration looked like the most fun some of them had had in a while.

Similarly, the other team’s Victorian life immersive experience, saw strict Schoolmistress Marni discipline her class and take the cane to naughty schoolboy Avi. The guests loved it and couldn’t wait to have their own photos taken whacking each other on the behind.

I’m not sure what this tells us about the great British public but it’s clear that Mark’s team could have won this task hands down if he’d been cannier about monetising this weird seam of customer delight. 

If he’d forked out for rubber gloves and a flashlight, his prison team could have mopped up.  How about upselling weekend breaks offering communal showers instead of en-suite, dirty protest and punishment themed events?  The customer audience may be niche but you could see why a certain well-heeled clientele might want to beat their way to Shrewsbury jail.

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In the end it was Mark’s lack of conviction as PM that propelled his exit from the competition. He’s been a reliable and capable team-mate but seemed disengaged as PM and in this competition if you’re not prepared to go full in, you might as well go home.

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