Hit BBC business show The Apprentice returns to our screens next week for its 15th anniversary series which bosses say will be the “biggest and best yet”.
Once again, a host of entrepreneurial hopefuls are gearing up to impress Lord Alan Sugar with their business acumen in a series of tasks in a bid to get him to invest in their own ventures.
And for the 2019 edition, we will have a number of north west candidates aiming to impress Lord Sugar – while no doubt entertaining us with their bravado, business banter and boardroom bitching.
Here’s a look at all 16 of the candidates, starting with our very own Manc hopefuls, including a former Manchester City footballer, an “eccentric” account manager and an internet prankster.
Occupation: Account Manager
Iasha believes her “crazy, controversial, eccentric personality” will make her stand out, considering herself to be “the star that shines the brightest”. She says her “natural persona” will be enough to win the process.
Iasha hopes that the other candidates will underestimate her, and aims to keep her “enemies” close to her. “I can read people just by looking at their body language, they won’t realise it until it’s too late – and checkmate”.
From the looks of her Instagram feed, Iasha is a keen keep fit fan, and has posted a number of photos at her pole dance fitness classes. She also appears to enjoy Manchester’s dining scene, having recently posted a photo from The Alchemist bar at MediaCity.
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She says: “I’m one fierce businesswoman with both sass and class”
Occupation: Owner, Ice Cream Company
Lives: Greater Manchester
Before creating his alcohol-infused ice cream company in 2018, Kenna played semi-professionally for Manchester City before his football career was cut short by injury in 2013. He does however continue to play the game and recently signed for indoor five-a-side team Manchester Futsal.
Kenna believes he is enthusiastic with an “infectious personality”, which he hopes will aid him to befriend the strongest candidates to help him build alliances for the boardroom.
He says: “I combine a thirst to learn with entrepreneurial thinking, ready to win at all costs”
Occupation: Digital Marketing Project Manager
Lives: Haslingden, Lancashire
A self-proclaimed “maverick” who doesn’t like to follow the rules, Lewis is confident his competitiveness and determination will see him through the process. He admits he struggles to hide his true feelings in his facial expressions, and says his confidence is often mistaken for arrogance but says “I don’t think I’m better than anyone else”.
He’s also been a bit of an internet pranker in his time, with a video where he pretended he ended up in Syria after going on holiday to Ayia Napa ending up going viral. Not only that, he hit the headlines after taking a dip in the intu Trafford Centre‘s pool at The Orient – before being swiftly marched out by security.
He says: “I may not be the smartest guy in the room, but I’ll sure as hell work harder.”
And here’s the rest of the candidates that they will be up against in the new series:-
Occupation: Para Athlete and Motivational Speaker
Lives: South West London
Souleyman is a motivational speaker for schools and trains with the Great Britain Paralympic Olympic Team, specialising in sprinting. Having been diagnosed with retina pigmentosa at age six, he says that he’s inspired by late musician Ray Charles because “he made blindness cool and achieved immense success despite his disability”. Souleyman plans to be brutally honest, bold and fight for his place by trying to keep Lord Sugar’s attention on him.
He says: “The less sight I have, the more imagination I gain, because what you see is what you see and what you don’t see is when the magic begins.”
Occupation: Network Marketing Consultant
Lives: South East London
Jemelin considers resilience to be one of her best personal qualities, having come from a humble background in Venezuela. She describes herself as competitive and fearless in business, stating she is “1000% committed” to winning every task. However, she also warns that she can also be “next-level stubborn” and likes things done her way.
She says: “I never have problems, I only have solutions.”
Occupation: Owner, Recruitment Company
Lives: West Midlands
Throughout her successful career in recruitment, Scarlett has found her upbeat personality to be a strong asset in winning a business deal, claiming that “people will often buy into her as a person”. Although she considers herself to be a “very good problem solver” she also admits to struggling to accept help from others, acknowledging she often overestimates her workload. Scarlett plans to apply the same tactic she uses in all aspects of her life; “working the hardest and the smartest to be the best”.
She says: “I am an achiever. I have been the highest performer across every workplace I have worked within.”
Occupation: Owner, Sports Management Agency
Founding his sports management company at the age of 15, Dean believes he is the “definition of an entrepreneur”. He states his confidence and emotional intelligence are “off the charts” and doesn’t think that he has many traits that would let him down in business.
He says: “I’ve definitely got the gift of the gab, I can persuade anyone to do anything.”
Occupation: Finance Manager
Lubna, a mother of two, reveals that good role models were lacking in her life so she decided to become her own. She enjoyed studying and focused on educating herself first, which gave her the confidence to pursue her dreams and aspirations. Now, she believes she “has the whole package”, book smarts and street smarts, and describes herself as “a dark horse”.
She says: “I came from a council estate… I have made myself into something good and I’m on my way to becoming something great”.
Occupation: Events Manager
Lives: South London
Riyonn sees his personality as his best asset; “I am fun, smart and always get on with everyone – I have never come across anyone who doesn’t get on with me.” Riyonn strives to live by the mantra “why work for someone else, when you can work for yourself and be the best at that”.
Amongst his work as a freelance events manager and other ventures, he has invented his own party card-based game and says he has “a little black book full of multi-million-pound ideas”.
He says: “I will use my poker face and tactics to always come out on top.”
Occupation: Chartered Engineer
Shahin credits Elon Musk as one of his role models because he “thinks outside the box”, a quality he prides himself in having and thinks that his imagination will make him stand out from the other candidates. He believes having a plan and being able to execute it well is key to success and admits he gets frustrated when people don’t follow plans through.
He says: “I love business more than sharks love blood… I’m ruthless in my pursuit of success.”
Occupation: Owner, Beauty Brand
Lives: Dublin, Ireland
Pamela attributes the success of her beauty company to her “entrepreneurial gene”. She describes herself as feisty and passionate with a charismatic personality, which enables her to excel in sales. Pamela acknowledges she can be impatient and demanding and often finds it difficult to delegate tasks.
She says: “I love to be the under-estimated person in the room.”
Occupation: Owner, Artisan Bakery
Lives: South London
Carina says she is a natural leader and that people latch onto her to benefit from the influence she carries. She believes it’s “written in the stars” that she’ll be Lord Sugar’s next Apprentice, warning that the other candidates shouldn’t underestimate her because of her South London accent as she knows how to “put on a suit and be the full package”.
She says: “I’m about 5 foot 1 inch tall – I’m like a pocket rocket, you don’t really want to mess with me.”
Lottie says she is “very cut-throat” and insists that she is no pushover. She believes her poise and her “powers of persuasion” are her greatest business qualities, noting that people with bad manners anger her and that she gets frustrated when things don’t adhere to her high standards.
She says: “I bring ‘class’ to everything and ensure nothing I do is half-standard or tacky.”
Occupation: Luxury Womenswear Consultant
Lives: South East London
As the youngest candidate, Ryan-Mark is ready to prove that age is irrelevant when it comes to business, describing himself as “a 60-year-old trapped in a teenager’s body”. He is an award winning public speaker and says Queen Elizabeth II is his role model, admiring her ‘no-nonsense persona’. Despite believing his best asset to be his ability to “forge a connection with anyone” he admits “he’s not afraid to be ruthless when it comes to the other candidates”.
He says: “I am the epitome of luxury.”
Occupation: Owner, Risk Management Consultancy
Lives: Stamford, Lincolnshire
Marianne moved from the US to the UK in 2017 and sees conflict management as one of her strongest skills. She admits that she doesn’t have a filter and may need to “dial down her American-ness” and take a step back, as she says she can be too direct.
She says: “I’m definitely the epitome of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ because what you see is not what you get.”
Occupation: Owner, Pillow Company
Lives: East London
Thomas showed entrepreneurial spirit from an early age. He started with a paper round at age 12 and was selling on the markets by age 16. Since then he has set up his own pillow company, attributing his business success to his “sharp”, “street wise” character and notes that being “a chancer” has worked in his favour more often than not. Confident in himself, he says he doesn’t have a role model stating, “I am my own person”.
He says: “I don’t plan – I just do everything on impulse. When I plan, I always get it wrong.”
The Apprentice returns to BBC One from Wednesday, October 2nd at 9pm