The Best Job In The World Review: Trouble In Paradise

July 1, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD: Thursday 2nd July, BBC1, 9pm Alert Me

Apprentice fan?

Missing your weekly fix of green besuited sycophants polishing shoes with Suralan overlooking proceedings?

Then tune into this one-off show that documents the search for the perfect candidate for a role branded the “Best Job in the World”.

In case you missed it, this search for a “caretaker� of an island in Australia went underway earlier this year. The job entails feeding the fish, looking after the coral reefs and cleaning your own swimming pool.

It sounds idyllic. And did I mention the salary is a comfortable ÂŁ70,000?

Anyone could apply and some 35,000 did, sending their 60-second videos of them being zany, outdoorsy and a bit more zany jumping around in bikinis, skiing off cliffs, scuba diving with sharks et al.

We follow the 4 British hopefuls who have made it to the final 50, and their bids to land more votes on the competition website. Self-proclaimed Jane Austen-type Holly blags an interview on national radio station talkSport and unwittingly nets herself a date with one of the producers.

“Big fish� Ben, 35, plans to do some swimming in a big tank outside the Tate Modern for extra coverage, though upon receiving zero sponsorship settles for a Little Tykes paddling pool outside a pub on the Thames. He scrapes together 3 bottles of bubbly for passers-by to drum up votes. “There’s plenty of bottles!� he yells with enthusiasm.

Eventually 50 candidates become 16, and the lucky few are carted off to Australia for the final tests.

Then the show takes an interesting turn.

Although no caretaker has officially been chosen from the 16, the Queensland island has already made biatches of them all. They undergo demeaning tests in the very public eye to reveal their island-maintenance capabilities; swimming laps, blogging, psychometric tests.

Really.

All this while donning matching blue t-shirts that scream “BEST JOB IN THE WORLD�.

A little cynicism goes a long way watching Best Job in the World. The name of the programme offers little. The format is confused; at first we were watching the candidates’ progress and excitement at the prospect of being granted the job.

Then the nature of the potential job changes as selective process quickly reveals itself to be a marketing exercise in increasing tourism to the area and flogging sports gear.

At least they got a free holiday.

Leonie Mercedes