The Tripe Marketing Board has accused the BBC of "blatant pro-fish bias" after the opening episode of their popular The Apprentice programme featured two teams tasked with creating and selling a variety of fish-based products.
Last night's show - which drew an estimated audience of over 7 million people - included lingering shots of fishcakes, squid and fish fingers as teams fought it out to make the most profit from the challenge.
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was disappointed that fish had been chosen as the focus for the first programme in the series. Speaking from his Lytham home after the show aired, he said: "We have lobbied long and hard for tripe to be featured. We know from bitter experience just how hard it is to persuade people to buy tripe".
Sir Norman went on to outline plans for a new show that is being pitched to Lancashire TV. The Understudy would follow a similar format to The Apprentice but would focus more regularly on the difficulties of marketing tripe. The winner would be offered a six month internship in the chairman's office, where they would be personally mentored by Sir Norman. "Fish is easy - but tripe would sort the men out from the boys," he said.
Sir Norman later clarified that the show would be open to women, as well as men.