This show could perhaps have been entitled ‘Bankers Repent’ or something similar. Given that most of us believe it was the error of banking ways that set us firmly on the road to ruin, economically speaking, then those responsible should make amends by rights, and in this show, two banker types did just that by dragging two ailing businesses back on track.
However, the two ex-bankers chosen for last night’s show were far from apologetic, and in fact one of them, the feisty Griselda Anderson Wheeler pretty much put all the blame on store cards and their reckless owners. In particular, a Dorothy Perkins store card that belonged to a restaurant manager.
Griselda had been charged with turning around the fortunes of a Blackpool hotel while the second ex-banker, Amit Patel was given the same remit for a dairy farm in Herefordshire.
The owner of the hotel in Blackpool, Pat Mancini, put the blame for declining bookings firmly on the likes of Griselda and Amit’s shoulders and said, “The bankers have put this country on its backside” while Amit boasted that his “most memorable” meal cost around £10,000.
Yet despite Amit’s cockiness and Griselda’s habit of speaking as though she were about to be tested on her vocabulary, there was something very likeable about the pair. Perhaps it was the fact that they were prepared to get their manicured hands dirty; Griselda changed beds and served in the hotel’s restaurant while Amit milked cows at 4am and generally got stuck in to farm work.
And they were pretty funny in their poshness too, especially Griselda who, whilst cleaning one of the hotel rooms, remarked, “Every receptacle has been used for some kind of libation” and she wasn’t pleased about it either. Filthy proletariat, plebeian oiks, using receptacles for libations willy nilly. I ask you.
But it all turned out alright in the end. Amit helped the farm’s owner to secure £200,000 worth of investment so he could buy lots of shiny new machinery to speed up and generally bring into the 21st century his moo cow operation, and Griselda shed a little tear as she left the hotel with the tips and tricks needed to get back on its feet.
The concept of this show, whilst perhaps seeming new, was something along the lines of The Apprentice and The F Word in that it had elements of ‘if you can’t sell your business to me, how can you sell it to anyone else’ as well as sound advice on improving said business. It was more entertaining than I’d expected it to be and I’d definitely tune in again, if only to see the open hostility that occurs when the evil doer bankers meet the struggling business owners… and to see the hooray Henry sorts getting their hands dirty of course.