All change in the boardroom as The Apprentice gets tougher
The new, tougher series of The Apprentice starts next week – and after each episode, our very own ex-candidate – Lohit – will be giving us his insider view on what’s been happening in the boardroom.
The new series starts on Tuesday 10 May, with a fresh line-up of corporate contenders ready to face Lord Sugar in the battle for boardroom supremacy. Cue dirty looks, passive aggression and, um, aggressive aggression.
I’ll be here at every step to give you my own ex-candidate’s view of the latest episode.
Back in 2006, I made it all the way to the terrifying interview round in series three of the show. Here’s how I described the experience to Adrian Chiles:
So what can we expect in the new series?
Injecting a new spin into the life-changing opportunity, this year’s successful Apprentice will no longer win a six figured salary job working in one of Lord Sugar’s businesses. Instead the winner and their business idea will found the basis of a partnership with Lord Sugar, with an investment to the value of £250,000.
The candidates will face a series of gruelling tasks based on a start up business, and designed to push their skills to the limit.
Lord Sugar said:
“I’m going to inject £250,000 worth of cash and value into a business, your business, and you’re going to run it. And I say you’re going to run it because don’t expect me to be doing all the work because I’m not looking for a “sleeping” partner. I’m not Saint Alan, the patron saint of bloody losers…”
Charming as ever then. All we can do is wish the best of luck to this year’s crop…
Alex Britez Cabral
Occupation: Estate Agent Manager
Alex is an estate agent (always a firm favourite with everyone). He describes himself as “ambitious, driven, and extremely focused” and says “fear is a great motivator”. Just as well, really.
Half British / half Afghan Edward’s first job was as a gardener, aged 12. He describes himself as a “wheeler dealer who accidentally became a finance professional”. An easy mistake to make.
Occupation: Managing Director – Opticians
Passionate football fan Gavin owns an online opticians and two high street stores. He describes himself as “all mouth. I’m a doer. I’m a leader”. Hm, we’ll see about that.
Occupation: Senior Design Engineer
Glenn took apart and rebuilt an entire computer aged just eight. He cites Mark Zuckerberg as his inspiration and says “aggression is the best form of strength”.
Er, no – ripping a phone book with your bare hands is.
Occupation: Sales and Marketing Manager
Lives: Northern Ireland
He says: “I’m not a show pony or a one-trick pony, I’m not a jack-ass or a stubborn mule, and I’m definitely not a wild stallion that needs to be tamed.”
We say: “what’s with all the bizarre equine metaphors, Jim?”
Occupation: Fast Food Marketing Entrepreneur
Action-packed Leon survived a near-fatal fall from a tree aged 12, and recently completed the Great North Run for charity. He cites Richard Branson as his inspiration, and is working on his own mini-beard (OK, we made that bit up).
London-born Tom’s first job was working on a farm sorting agricultural bulbs from mud. He describes himself as “creative, adventurous, loyal and enthusiastic” – and covered in mud, presumably.
Occupation: Sales Manager – Telecoms Software
Half-Belgian and half-Swiss, Glasgow-born Vincent is a film buff and frequent traveller with a penchant for theatre. He says: “My positive approach and very good looks make me stand out from the crowd.” We say: “Ooh, get him”.
Occupation: Business Psychologist
Psychologist Edna holds two Masters degrees and says: “weak people in business are a waste of space and a limp handshake is unforgiveable.” We say: good luck to Edna’s patients – so much for her bedside manner.
Occupation: Managing Director – Construction Recruitment
Golf lover Ellie describes herself as “positive, fun and driven” and once chased a burglar out of her house at 17. The burglar couldn’t be reached for his opinion.
Occupation: Entrepreneur Creative Arts
She says: “Lord Sugar will probably find it difficult to ever say anything negative to me because I always turn it round to a positive.” We say: “ha ha ha ha ha ha ha”
Helen Louise Milligan
Occupation: Executive Assistant to CEO
Stockport-born Helen describes herself as “calm, loyal and tenacious” and enjoys reading in her free time. Not sure she’ll get much calm reading time once she’s up at 6am, being shouted at repeatedly.
Occupation: Founder & Director – Global Youth Consultancy Business
Melody can speak five languages, and says “don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” No, we’ve no idea what she’s on about either.
Occupation: Divisional Manager – Recruitment
Avid fitness fanatic, Natasha says: “I’m like a really fine tuned switch. If I need to turn it down then I turn it down. If I need to turn it up then I turn it up.” We say: “why don’t you try turning it off?”
Occupation: Natural Skincare Entrepreneur
Susan’s first ever job was working on a market stall selling skin care products. She says: “I’m short, sweet and smiley” We say: sweet and smiley just won’t fly with Sugar.
Occupation: Project Manager – Drinks Manufacturer
Zoe, who bought a house with her sister at the age of just 12 (12?!), describes her attitude as not “why” but “why not”. Clearly.
Come back after every episode for my insider’s view on what’s been happening in the boardroom.
The Apprentice – Tuesday 10th May at 9pm on BBC1
What do you think of this year’s contestants? What are your favourite moments from past series? What are your favourite Sugarisms? Let us know below.
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