After taking a break last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Apprentice is back on our screens tonight as Lord Alan Sugar searches for his next business partner.
This will be the 16th series of the reality TV show and Sugar will still have Baroness Karren Brady at his side to aide him in his decision and watch over the contestants during the tasks, however Claude Littner is to miss out this year due to his recovery from a cycling accident.
Instead, Tim Campbell MBE - who is a former winning candidate himself from the first-ever series, beating Saira Khan to win a £100k-a-year job with Alan Sugar - will help the Lord in his choices.
Every year without fail, the contestants boast about their business personality and what they could bring to the table if they were to go into business with Lord Sugar, and once the competition starts the audience learns it may all be a façade.
So, let’s take a look at what this year’s candidates have to say before their bullish personalities are stripped bare in the first boardroom tonight.
Hailing from the North-West, Chorley-born hopeful Aaron served in the RAF for 12 years as a flight operations instructor and wants to set up his own security business.
And apparently, he “can’t let anyone stand in his way”; well, we’ll see about that.
Akshay has always been destined for success if you buy the story that his first word was “profit” and doesn’t believe in sleep due to it being a “waste of time.”
The 28-year-old from London owns a digital marketing agency and says his “friends call me AK47 because I’m a killer salesperson.”
Surely everyone will want to be on his team, right?
Keeping gratitude diary companies in business is 25-year-old Brittany, who writes down what she’s grateful for every morning and night.
The self-described sociable and enthusiastic hotel front of house manager is looking for Lord Sugar’s help in launching the first alcoholic protein drink.
Mother of five and owner of a children’s day nursery Shama is hoping to be an example for Asian and South Asian women.
The 41-year-old from Bradford describes herself as loyal, outspoken and determined.
Former professional rugby player Conor aspires to be a “corporate panther” and vows to be Lord Sugar’s “perfect business partner.”
The London-born 28-year-old is a sales executive and is backing himself to win this year’s series already.
Akeem might not be fast on the trigger when it comes to sales and deals, as he’s a self-confessed “numbers guy” who thinks through things logically and methodically before coming to a decision.
This could be a desirable attribute to Lord Sugar, especially as the 29-year-old is also a people person, but he’ll of course have to prove himself in the tasks first.
Kathryn Louise Burn
Kathryn has “absolutely huge dreams” for her future career, and this quote definitely has no link to the fact that she owns an online pyjama store.
Hailing from Swindon, the “savage” businesswoman believes her products will be worn by everyone one day but maybe not by her fellow candidates, she isn’t there to make friends.
Francesca Kennedy Wallbank
“I’m a doer” Francesca from Surrey owns a sustainability company and is hoping to provide a product carbon footprint service for businesses from her own creation with help from Lord Sugar.
The mathematics graduate is highly confident she can win, given she’s “never lost anything.”
Well, there’s always time for a first…
Nicki Minaj superfan Navid is aiming to use Sugar’s money and expertise to help launch a pharmacy business.
He wants to stay true to his unique and quirky self throughout the competition, which hasn’t always helped candidates in the past, however the 27-year-old Londoner admitted he doesn’t get intimidated by anything.
Another competitor not looking to come out of the process with 15 more Facebook friends is Harpreet who wants to improve her highly successful coffee and cakes business to become a brand leader in the UK.
The West Yorkshire entrepreneur is funny, fearless and described herself as a born leader.
I don’t think the other candidates should be expecting any cake off her any time soon though.
The kindness of Harry’s grandparents have inspired him to get to where he is today and he wants to carry this on by helping and supporting people.
The regional operations manager from the West Midlands wants to be the “Asian version of Lord Sugar” and develop his bath bomb business.
East London girl Stephanie owns an online children’s store and wants Sugar’s help to develop her designer children’s wear store.
The 28-year-old is a self-confessed brutally honest, confident and decisive person.
When 48-year-old Amy “unfortunately has to be a bitch, I will.”
The entrepreneur from London takes her beauty brand very seriously and describes herself as a “tough boss,” but is enjoying what she’s doing after starting her business later in life.
Nick wants Lord Sugar’s backing so he can establish his name in the drinks industry with his line of flavoured water, and if his self-appointed title of “animal in the boardroom” is anything to go by, it seems like he’ll achieve that.
The 31-year-old from London is a finance manager working “in the shadow” of his family business.
Sophie from Cheltenham owns a boutique cocktail bar, and the businesswoman has plans to renovate it, so with “winning in her DNA” it looks like she might be able to give it a new lick of paint.
Having witch school qualifications and a positive attitude is apparently all the 32-year-old thinks it will take to win Lord Sugar over.
Alex “Ferrari” Short is the owner of a commercial cleaning company from Hertford and he “isn’t going to stop” (much like a Ferrari) until he gets where he’s going.
Comparing himself to the supercar, he describes his business style as “shiny on the outside” but “under the bonnet, there’s a lot of fire and I’m coming for you.”
Hopefully he doesn’t crash out of the competition.
The Apprentice begins Thursday, Janury 6th at 9pm on BBC One.
Words by Lucy Roberts for Female First, who you can follow on Twitter, @Lucy_Roberts_72.