By Claire West

Ben Clarke, the trainee stockbroker from Northern Ireland who idolises Hugh Hefner and thinks he looks like Gavin Henson introduced himself on The Apprentice by saying;

"To me making money is better than sex,"

Apparently Sir Alan agrees 'It depends,' he insists. 'You should’ve asked me 30 years ago. Definitely, now, making money’s my priority.'

Last night’s launch show attracted a record 8.1 million viewers who saw former lawyer and business strategist Anita Shah become the first to be fired by Sir Alan.

Reasons to be cheerful;

According to The Sun Sir Alan said he wants to introduce a National Happy Day during the recession; He said: “We should all stop moaning. There’s no point, is there? Maybe we should make Thursday a National Happy Day.”

Well The Apprentice certainly provides some escapism and has so little to do with real business — good old fashioned ‘shout-out’ TV.