The Apprentice: What could I find from the Brighton episode?

Arriving at The Argus office this morning, it wasn’t long before I was called into the boardroom and assigned to today’s assignment.

Contestants on the BBC’s reality game show The Apprentice took to the streets of Brighton for the episode, which aired on Thursday.

The 14 hopefuls were tasked with buying nine obscure Sussex-related items at the best price and by a deadline.

The Argus’ response to Lord Sugar, better known as my editor, decided to find out how I would do on the challenge.

I had two hours to find as many items as possible.

The list

  1. 1 kg of fresh asparagus
  2. A nautical barometer
  3. A doll from a Punch and Judy show
  4. An ombre lace front
  5. 50 pallets
  6. The Eurovision winning song from 1974 at 45 rpm
  7. A dozen Sahara desert roses
  8. A lifelike resin cast of a team member’s body part
  9. A Sussex deception.

The stopwatch started and the pressure was high.

With no mobile phones or help from the internet, I had only years of Brighton knowledge to guide me.

Due to the eclectic selection of items, my first port of call was of course Snoopers Paradise in Kensington Gardens.

I explained the challenge to the helpful staff who, with their analytical understanding of the many stalls in the store, pointed me in the general direction of sea barometers and Eurovision winning singles.

Unfortunately, what I initially thought was a one-stop shop became a no-stop shop as the particular products were out of stock.

But all hope was not lost as the staff’s knowledge stretched beyond the four walls of the chaotic store and gave me a number of suggestions for my next port of call.

The Argus: Alan ChildsAlan Childs (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

In 1974 the Eurovision Song Contest took place in the Brighton Dome, which the Swedish pop band Abba won with Waterloo.

The North Laine is a rich vein of independent record stores and The Apprentice teams flocked to Across The Tracks on Gloucester Road to secure their copy of the hit.

Great minds think alike so my next stop was exactly the same beautifully presented record store.

I explained what I wanted to owner Alan Childs and asked if he could “give me gimme gimme an Abba single”. However, it seemed that The Apprentice’s team, Apex, must have secured the last record in stock.

I wouldn’t give up that easily, but after six record stores and a multitude of charity shops later, I called it quits.

The search for Abba had led me to the Open Market on London Road, where my attention turned to the other items on my list, largely due to the distinct aroma of seafood, as I passed Andrews Fish Shop.

The Snoopers crew had kindly told me that palourde is shellfish, so I lined up and explained the task at hand.

I asked if they had any palourde up their sleeve, no doubt butchering the pronunciation in the process.

“It’s just clams.” I was told.

This was hardly the mysterious delicacy I was expecting, but it did mean I’d secured my first item of the day, well over halfway through the challenge.

The Argus: The store had a choice of frozen or thawed clamsThe store had a choice of frozen or unfrozen mussels (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

It was the motivation I needed to keep going and not two minutes later my eyes were sparkling as the day’s second purchase of the day was in sight.

London Road greengrocer Tropical 4 You stocked over a kilogram of fresh asparagus that felt as close to Ambrosia as I could get.

Argus: I've never looked forward to holding up asparagus so muchI’ve never been so excited to hold up asparagus (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

I then leisurely browsed through the variety of shops in the Open Market to find nautical barometers, dolls and lace fronts, among other items.

However, I was aware that the clock was ticking and I should not neglect the importance of punctuality in business. My relaxed browsing cost me because a glance at my watch told me I had 25 minutes to find the remaining seven items.

I decided to cut my losses and head back down Sydney Street via the mystical Gaia’s Magick. I had learned from the TV episode not to repeat Team Apex’s mistakes by looking for a dozen Sahara desert roses in florists.

They are in fact crystals formed in North Africa over several months and sold at the Metaphysical Supply Shop in North Laine.

The Argus: My last discovery of the dayMy last insight of the day (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

With a sense of accomplishment, I returned to the office with a minute to spare, but only three out of nine items were secured.

Hope I don’t get fired anytime soon… The Apprentice: What could I find from the Brighton episode?

Fry Electronics Team

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