FIRST LOOK The Apprentice 2018

A fleet of four black cars, sixteen wheelie suitcases, early morning phone calls and a bunch of bold claims. It can only mean one thing… The Apprentice is back!

This year’s series sees sixteen budding entrepreneurs put through their paces by business heavyweight Lord Sugar as the search for his next business partner begins.

Once again, Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner are Lord Sugar’s trusted advisors and his ‘eyes and ears’ on the tasks, reporting back on the candidates’ every decision in the boardroom.

For his first challenge, Lord Sugar sends the candidates abroad with a strong word of warning ringing in their ears; “Remember, this is NOT a holiday”.

Straight from the first boardroom, the business hopefuls jet off to Malta tasked with buying nine items at the lowest possible prices. How will they cope sourcing, negotiating and buying in a global business environment?

It’s not just foreign tasks that Lord Sugar has up his sleeve. For this series he is also sending the candidates around the UK; to Glasgow to sell art, Birmingham to clinch deals at a Body Building Expo and back to London to launch a budget airline.

This year's candidates come from a broad range of backgrounds; from Law, Tax and Arboriculture (tree surgery) to Fashion Design, Marketing and Sport. However, they all have one thing in common, a passionate desire to secure a £250,000 investment in their business plan and win a partnership with Lord Sugar.

Over the past seven years, Lord Sugar has invested £2m into eight fledgling businesses and last year’s shock decision saw him partner with both finalists. They each received a £250,000 investment, proves that anything can happen in the boardroom.

Meet the candidates...

Alex Finn

21, IT Analyst, The Wirral

“I know everything. Call me ‘Google’... it's my middle name.”

Alex believes his ‘gift of the gab’ is his best skill but admits that he can sometimes be too headstrong.

Alongside his granddad, who invented the ‘Finn Chocolate Coater’ (a machine mould to coat chocolate bars and biscuits), Alex credits Elon Musk amongst his role models because in business, he reaches for the stars, rather than everyone else who just aims to conquer the earth.

Camilla Ainsworth

22, Owner, Nut Milk Brand, Lancashire

"I’m a bundle of energy and creativity and certainly a one off… ain’t no Vanilla Camilla”

Camilla admits to being an adrenaline junkie and loves to try anything new and exciting; from skydiving to swimming with sharks.

She believes her people skills are her biggest strength, although feels her openness and willingness to overshare can sometimes work against her. She says she will be ‘keeping her cards close to her chest’ in the process.

Daniel Elahi

28, Owner, Lifestyle Brand, London

“I have the beauty and the brains, typically people only have one. I was blessed with both in abundance.”

Daniel set up his business in 2017 and likens himself to Jordan Belfort, the main character in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, because of his entrepreneurial skills and lavish, party lifestyle. 

David Alden

32, Tax Advisor, East Yorkshire

"My friends and family call me the Duracell bunny as I take on so much and never stop. I just keep going.”

David claims that he can speak to anyone about anything, though he gets frustrated when others don’t share his unwavering positivity. He also admits that being too trusting has been his downfall in the past.

Frank Brooks

27, Senior Marketing Manager, London

"There’s no need to watch your back when I’m already two steps in front.”

Frank is a self-proclaimed ‘trendsetter’ who says he likes to push boundaries with his humour. He claims to use charisma and charm for both negotiating and building morale within a group. Frank admits he can sometimes play people off against each other to get what he wants.

He says he can be brutal when he needs to be and does not stand for people who are lazy or shirk responsibility.