The Apprentice returns to BBC One this week with 16 ambitious new entrepreneurs battling it out for Lord Alan Sugar’s £250,000 investment in their business.
With the loser’s cab on standby, there’s no easing gently back into boardroom life and the stakes are higher than ever before.
Each task will end with the candidates being summoned in to fight their corner in the boardroom, with Lord Sugar, Karren Brady and previous winner Tim Campbell watching their every move.
A former rugby player, dessert parlour owner and a pharmacist are among the contestants taking part in this year’s series. Let’s meet them.
Location: Chorley, Lancashire
Occupation: Flight Operations Instructor
‘My strongest point is that I can sell, to anybody and I think that’s the reason why my business will be a success, because people will buy from me.’
Occupation: Strategy Manager For A Financial Firm
‘My growing up has made me who I am, I’m able to converse with everyone, but also be able to show that financial, business side to myself.’
Occupation: Owner, Digital Marketing Agency
‘My friends call me AK47 because I’m a killer salesperson.’
Occupation: Owner, Commercial Cleaning Company
‘I would compare myself to a Ferrari, shiny on the outside but under the bonnet, there is a lot of fire and I’m coming for you.’
Occupation: Owner, Beauty Brand
‘I can be nice when I need to be, but when I unfortunately have to be a bitch, I will…’
Occupation: Hotel Front of House Manager
‘My motto for life is “always look on the bright side and be grateful for everything”– every day when I wake up, I write 10 things that I am grateful for and when I go to sleep, I reflect on 5 things I am grateful for from that day.’
Occupation: Sales Executive and former Professional Rugby Player
‘I’m going to be the corporate panther in the boardroom, I’ m going to get it done, and I’m going to be Lord Sugar’s perfect business partner.’
Francesca Kennedy Wallbank
Occupation: Owner, Sustainability Company
‘There are two types of people in the world – there’s people that say they are going to do things and people that actually do them, and I’m a doer.’
Location: West Midlands
Occupation: Regional Operations Manager
‘Everything I’ve looked into achieving, I’ve achieved. I’ve literally done everything I’ve put my mind to.’
Location: West Yorkshire
Occupation: Owner, Dessert Parlour
‘I’m definitely not in business to make friends, I’m here to make money, and I’m pretty sure Lord Sugar isn’t looking for a new mate.’
Kathryn Louise Burn
Occupation: Owner, Online Pyjama Store
‘My dreams in my head are absolutely huge and I believe I can achieve them.’
‘Nothing intimidates me because I just feel like I’m a strong character, strong person, strong mindset.’
Occupation: Finance Manager
‘In business I’m a bit of a force to be reckoned with. I know what I’m talking about, I know how things work, and I’m extremely experienced. So, I’m a bit of an animal in the boardroom.’
Occupation: Owner, Boutique Cocktail Bar
‘Failure is not an option, winning is part of my DNA.’
Occupation: Owner, Children’s Day Nursery
‘Being a lady of colour, wearing a headscarf as well, and the challenges that we face on a daily basis, I just want to be a living example for the Asian women and South Asian women out there.’
Occupation: Owner, Online Children’s Store
‘I’m an East London girl, and I’ve got that no nonsense sort of work ethic. I’ve got grit, determination and I’m determined to be successful.’
The Apprentice returns on Thursday 6 January from 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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