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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
34, Sponsorship Consultant, London
“I'm not intimidated by anybody, or anything.”
Having sold her company in 2016 and published a business book in 2017, Jackie says she is a trailblazer within the sponsorship industry and wider business community and credits her success to her positive attitude.
She admits she can be very opinionated and isn’t good at taking criticism, but hopes her commercial mind will see her through the process.
34, Learning and Development Manager, West Midlands
"All is fair in love and war… and business is war.”
Jasmine has built her career on training others to better themselves and develop their skills and says that she loves enabling and empowering people. She credits American philanthropist and life coach Tony Robbins as her role model and admires how he has built a global empire and success whilst also improving people’s lives.
Jasmine admits to being very stubborn and says she likes to get her own way, however aims to use her charm and charisma to see her through the process.
26, Professional Speaker, Cheshire
“I’m not here to razzle dazzle and hit you with buzzwords like ‘I’m so motivated, passionate’… anyone can say those things and I’m not anyone, I’m Kayode Damali. If you’re not your own biggest fan, who do you expect to be it for you?”
Professional speaker Kayode delivers talks to inspire young people all over the country. Brimming with ideas, Kayode throws himself into new ventures.
With his name meaning ‘he brings us joy’, he believes his positive personality and natural likeability will lead to success in the boardroom.
28, Owner, Eco Cleaning Company, Lincolnshire
“Whatever I say I’m going to make happen happens. I’m a serious Mumpreneur who doesn’t have time for timewasters and idiocy.”
Having run her own eco-friendly cleaning business for the past three years, Khadija considers her people skills to be her best business asset. She says her friends would describe her as being quick-witted, motivational and genuinely wanting to help others but she can have a bit of a ‘hot head’.
Khadija looks up to Richard Branson in business for ‘his success and willingness to assist others’ and plans to be likeable but focused, though says she can be cut-throat when required.
22, Law Graduate, London
"I’ll be honest, I don’t eat, sleep, breathe business but I do eat, sleep and breathe success.”
Kurran believes he has a keen creative eye and is confident that he’ll cope well with ‘managing egos’. He is inspired in business by his father who started his own airline.
Kurran gets irked by people who are out for themselves rather than working collectively for the team and gets especially rattled by people who lie. He says that simply being himself will help him to breeze through the process.
33, Quality Controller, Lancashire
“I won't pussyfoot and waste time, as time is of the essence in everything. People will have to like it or lump it.”
Rick says that one of his best qualities is his confidence and assertiveness and that being able to separate business from pleasure means he is good at getting the best from others.
Rick believes befriending all the contestants will set him in good stead to get their backing in a task but warns he is a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ and will use this to his advantage.
22, Owner, Tennis Events Company, Middlesex
“I am a mix of Willy Wonka drinking an espresso martini… classy and sophisticated on the outside; inside, a little bit crazy and wacky but full of brilliant ideas.”
Sabrina has had her eye on making money from the age of 14, when she set up a business selling retro sweets as part of a Young Enterprise Scheme. She cites Emma Watson as one of her role models because she’s ‘always clear-headed and makes good decisions, whilst still having elements of fun’.
Sabrina says she can walk into a room and capture an audience but admits to sometimes making ‘silly comments’ before thinking. She plans to throw herself feet first into the process and use her positive energy to get involved in everything.
29, Owner, Children’s Acting Academy, Manchester
"I am me, I don’t have a posh accent or pretend to be anyone else. My personality sells me, my passion to succeed and work ethic.”
Sarah owns and runs an acting academy for children. Sarah says she wants to be a role model to her young daughter and hopes her hard work and life experience will aid her in the process. She admits she’s not good with business terminology and is angered by people in business who turn their noses up at the working-class demographic.
Sarah hopes her charm and persuasive skills will see her through to the end and believes her creativity will be her biggest strength.
Sarah Ann Magson
37, Solicitor, Teesside
“I am used to laying down the law in the courtroom, but now I’m going to lay down the law in the boardroom.”
Alongside her role as Director at a law firm, Sarah Ann has also run her own nursery furniture business since 2016.
Although she says timekeeping and organisation aren’t her greatest strengths, Sarah Ann believes her loyalty, commitment and ability to remain calm under pressure are her best qualities and thinks that her skills and charm will outwit any of her competitors.
25, Owner, Swimwear Brand, Leeds
“I bring both the passion and the fire - in the boardroom, I will be merciless.”
Sian owns and runs a swimwear fashion brand, with clients including celebrities and celebrity stylists. She identifies with Coco Chanel as a role model in business, as she ‘came from nothing and worked her way to the top’.
She believes she has been brought up to win and every task will see her being calculated, collaborative and ruthless where necessary.
28, Owner, Tree Surgery Firm, Southampton
“There are very few people that can genuinely say they’re going to make it - but I know that I’m going to.”
Having struggled at school, Tom now runs a successful arboricultural (tree care) business. He says he’s drawn to situations that intimidate him and believes he can rise to any challenge.
Tom believes his loyalty is one of his best qualities along with the fact he loves not knowing what is around the corner but admits he finds it difficult to ‘switch off’.
The Apprentice returns Wednesday 3rd October at 10pm on BBC One