The Apprentice fans, saddle up—the cutthroat reality series is finally back on our screens after a two-year-long hiatus.
The popular BBC show returns tonight for its sixteenth season, with Lord Alan Sugar welcoming 16 new entrepreneurs into his boardroom for a chance at a £250,000 investment in their business.
This year's competition will see the British finance mogul and former Apprentice winner, Tim Campbell, challenge the driven candidates to 12 grueling tasks over the next three months—starting with a marketing assignment for a cruise ship liner. Each week, one contestant will be eliminated and sent off in that infamous black cab, until it's down to the last person standing.
And without further ado, here's everything you need to know about the upcoming series and its exciting lineup.
When is The Apprentice 2022 returning to TV?
The Apprentice 2022 returns for its 16th season tonight (6 January) on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 9 pm.
What happened to Claude from The Apprentice?
Claude Littner, who has starred as Lord Sugar’s trusty sidekick on The Apprentice since 2015, will, unfortunately, be absent for the 16th series.
The business executive was forced to withdraw from the show after falling off his electric bike near his London home last April. The brutal accident, which almost cost the 74-year-old his leg, required him to undergo nine surgeries and cancel all planned work projects.
He is currently undergoing intense physiotherapy to learn to walk again, and hopefully, resume his place in the reality competition next year. In the meantime, he has been temporarily replaced by Tim Campbell, the first-ever winner of The Apprentice.
Who are The Apprentice candidates for 2022?
With the candidates for The Apprentice 2022 bringing a whole host of different strengths to Lord Sugar’s boardroom, it looks like the stakes are high for this year’s competition. Here's a rundown of the upcoming lineup ahead of tonight's premiere.
Hailing from Chorley, Lancashire, 38-year-old Aaron is on a mission to set up his own security business—and nothing is going to stop him. With over a decade of experience as a Flight Operations Instructor for the RAF, this extroverted salesman “can’t let anyone stand in his way” when it comes to accomplishing his goals.
Self-confessed ‘numbers guy’ Akeem works as a strategy manager for a financial firm, and knows just what it takes to get results in the business world. While he loves interacting with others, the 29-year-old hopes his ‘calculated point of view’ will give him the edge over his fellow contestants.
If there’s one thing you need to know about Akshay, it’s that he hates sleeping. The 28-year-old Londoner has dismissed snoozing as a ‘waste of time’, investing every ounce of his energy into his job as a digital marketing agency owner. Now that’s what we call commitment.
Alex may not have a university degree, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a threat in this competition. The 27-year-old from Hertford founded his own commercial cleaning company after leaving school in the sixth form, and is now on route to ‘tripling his turnover.’
Londoner Amy started her own beauty company a little later in life, after learning the business ropes working in sales, showbiz, and jingles. Now 48, this ‘tough boss’ comes to the competition armed with a wealth of experience—and the resilience necessary to withstand its ruthless challenges.
Brittany works as a Front of House manager at a Bristol hotel, and at just 25, is already pining to build her own company.
She hopes that, by impressing Lord Sugar in the competition, the British magnate will support her idea to launch an alcoholic protein drink. She’s also consistently positive—a trait that will likely benefit her throughout the series.
“My motto for life is ‘always look on the bright side and be grateful for everything’—every day when I wake up, I write 10 things that I am grateful for and when I go to sleep, I reflect on 5 things I am grateful for from that day.”
Sales Executive and ex-rugby player Conor has also joined the series with a passionate business proposal—a fleet of quirky food and beverage vendors aimed at music and sports events. The 28-year-old, who describes himself as a ‘corporate panther’, is confident that he’ll sail through the competition and land that coveted prize as Lord Sugar’s apprentice.
Mathematician Francesca, 26, has jumped on board with the hope of gaining investment in her next project—‘a product carbon footprint service for businesses with a simple equation of her own creation.’
The Surrey native hails from a line of accomplished entrepreneurs and has little doubt she’ll be able to carry on her family’s legacy. “There are two types of people in the world—there’s people that say they are going to do things and people that actually do them, and I’m a doer," she says,
Harry, 35, dreams of working with Lord Sugar to develop his bath bomb business, and, more specifically, become “the bad boys of the bath bomb world together.” The regional operations manager, who lives in the Midlands, is proud of his heritage and even describes himself as an ‘Asian version’ of Lord Sugar.
Harpeet, 30, is already the owner of a successful cakes company—but is now looking for the icing on top. The West Yorkshire entrepreneur is on a mission to turn her desserts business into a leading UK brand, and believes that with Lord Sugar’s help, she can turn this dream into a reality.
Kathryn, 29, established her online pajama store after dabbling in a range of different jobs, and is now determined to grow her venture into a retail giant. The Swindon native insists she’s not here to make friends and can sometimes even act a little ‘savage’—especially when it comes to business.
Navid, 27, is a qualified pharmacist and hopes Lord Sugar will help him fulfill his dream of building his own line of chemists. “Nothing intimidates me because I just feel like I’m a strong character, strong person, strong mindset,” the Londoner reveals.
Finance manager Nick, 31, has a goal of creating his own line of flavored water, and like his competitors, is desperate for the advice of Lord Sugar. As a qualified accountant, the Londoner is likely to have an advantage when it comes to crunching those all-important numbers.
Sophie, 32, is the proud owner of a boutique cocktail bar in Cheltheman and aspires to make it even more special with a grandiose renovation. She believes winning is “in her DNA” and won’t stop at anything to get what she wants.
Shama, 41, is the owner of a children’s day nursery in Bradford and a loving mother of five kids. She hopes to prove that she holds the “skillset that is required to be one of the best, successful businesswomen in the early years sector” and is particularly proud to be “a living example for the Asian women and South Asian women” in the workplace.
Stephanie, 28, is hoping to expand her online children’s store by entering The Apprentice. She is particularly passionate about “pre-loved fashion” and hopes her “grit” and determination will see her through the competition.
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Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.
Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.
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