The Apprentice is returning to our screens this week – with a whole new raft of entrepreneurs aiming to impress Lord Alan Sugar with their business acumen.
And this year there are plenty of northern contenders competing for Lord Sugar’s financial backing when the show returns to BBC One on Wednesday night at 9pm.
Here we take a look at the Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire contingent – who include two Manchester University graduates and a former Hollyoaks star – and who they will be up against when the show returns.
Occupation: Owner, Children’s Acting Academy
You may recognise Sarah from her previous acting roles on both Shameless and Hollyoaks. 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.
She says: “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.”
Occupation: Owner, Nut Milk Brand
Manchester University graduate 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.
She says: “I’m a bundle of energy and creativity and certainly a one off… ain’t no Vanilla Camilla.”
Occupation: Quality Controller
Lives: Chorley, Lancashire
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.
He’s already hit the headlines nationally after admitting that he and his girlfriend had previously been listed on an escort agency website.
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.
He says: “I won’t pussyfoot and waste time, as time is of the essence in everything. People will have to like it or lump it.”
Occupation: Professional Speaker
Professional speaker and Manchester Metropolitan University graduate 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.
He says: “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?”
Occupation: IT Analyst
Lives: The Wirral
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’.
He says: “I know everything. Call me Google…it’s my middle name.”
Occupation: Tax Advisor
Lives: East Yorkshire
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.
He says: “My friends and family call me the Duracell bunny as I take on so much and never stop. I just keep going.”
Occupation: Owner, Swimwear Brand
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.
She says: “I bring both the passion and the fire – in the boardroom, I will be merciless.”
Occupation: Owner, Lifestyle Brand
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.
He says: “I have the beauty and the brains, typically people only have one. I was blessed with both in abundance.”
Occupation: Senior Marketing Manager
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.
He says: “There’s no need to watch your back when I’m already two steps in front.”
Occupation: Sponsorship Consultant
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.
She says: “I’m not intimidated by anybody, or anything.”
Occupation: Learning and Development Manager
Lives: West Midlands
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.
She says: “All is fair in love and war…and business is war.”
Occupation: Owner, Eco Cleaning Company
Having run her own eco-friendly cleaning business for the past 3 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.
She says: “Whatever I say I’m going to make happen happens. I’m a serious Mumpreneur who doesn’t have time for timewasters and idiocy.”
Occupation: Law Graduate
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.
He says: “I’ll be honest, I don’t eat, sleep, breathe business but I do eat, sleep and breathe success.”
Occupation: Owner, Tennis Events Company
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.
She says: “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.”
Sarah Ann Magson
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.
She says: “I am used to laying down the law in the courtroom, but now I’m going to lay down the law in the boardroom.”
Occupation: Owner, Tree Surgery Firm
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’.
He says: “There are very few people that can genuinely say they’re going to make it – but I know that I’m going to.”