Medium shot. Sixteen business types strut across London’s Millennium Bridge to the accompaniment of a revved up version of Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights. The business types are not ordinary business types – they are GP business types.
Voiceover: It’s the job interview from hell. From across the country, Britain’s brightest GP commissioning prospects head for London.
Cut to smug GP business type, large phallic buildings in background.
Smug GP: There’s absolutely nothing mediocre about me. I’m supremely intelligent, ambitious, I’m an all round gifted individual.
Cut back to candidates on bridge.
Voiceover: Chosen from thousands of applicants, sixteen candidates, they’ll fight it out for a top commissioning job worth millions. But to succeed, they’ll have to impress the boss, Lord Sugar.
Cut to second smug GP business type, even larger phallic buildings in background.
Second smug GP: I’m fantastic, at the top of my game, quite unbeatable.
Close up of candidates on bridge.
Voiceover: On the hunt for a new commissioner, he’ll put these GP hopefuls through a punishing selection process. Sixteen top GPs, twelve tough weeks, one job.
The boardroom, candidates already in place. Lord Sugar enters and takes his seat. His face has an orange cast.
Sugar (gruffly): Morning
GPs (singing gaily, as one): Good Morning, Lord Sugar.
Sugar: Well – welcome to my boardroom. Over the next twelve weeks, I’m going to find out whether you lot have got what it takes to do health service commissioning. I’ve read all your CVs. On paper, you all look very good. But then again (pause for effect) so too did Lehman Brothers.
Nervous titters from candidates.
Sugar (face very orange): Every week I’m going to set you commissioning tasks. The idea is to get the maximum amount of healthcare, for the minimum price. Each week, one team will win, and the prize will be to keep any savings you have made; and in the loosing team, one of you will get fired.
Several candidates appear as if they might brown trouser themselves. The rest look even smugger.
Sugar (face now bright orange, like a Belisha beacon): Don’t start banging on about medical college, either. I went to college too, in Hackney, got an O level in Biology and cut up a frog once – but that don’t make me Christiaan Barnard. (stares bullishly at GP candidates) You may think you are high flyers, but, as sure as I have got a hole in my arse, all but one of you is going to get pushed out of the plane. And when you do, you’ll find – I don’t do parachutes.
Candidates are all back to looking smug; each one knows for sure they won’t be needing a parachute anytime soon.
Sugar (has taken on an added blue fringe, as if wired up to a Van de Graaff generator): We are in tough economic times, and in this climate you need to stand out from the crowd. I need someone who is dynamic, and ambitious, and has got the courage to take a risk. I’m not interested in any steady Stevies, cautious Carols, or lippy Liams. I’m looking for someone who is exceptional.
The candidates all do their best to look exceptional.
Sugar: So – let’s get down to business. I’m sending you off to Covent Garden – London’s historic flower, fruit and veg market. That’s because the point of this task is to commission aromatherapy treatments. Aromatherapy is one of the nation’s favourites. It sells by the bucket load. So there will be no excuses if you lot don’t negotiate heavy discounts. The team that negotiates the best discounts will win, and in the loosing team, one of you will get fired. I want you back here this time tomorrow. Off you go!
Candidates get up and leave boardroom as one. Fade in Dance of the Knights.
Voiceover: Sixteen GPs, twelve weeks, one job…