The Apprentice 2017: Who are the new candidates?

The Apprentice 2017: Who are the new candidates?

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Tuesday, 26th September 2017
Karren Brady, Lord Sugar & Claude Littner. (Credit: BBC/Jim Marks)

Lord Sugar and his team will see you now.

Eighteen candidates will compete to win a life-changing £250,000 investment for their individual businesses. 

Lord Sugar is back with Baroness Karren Brady, one of the most influential female business leaders in the UK and Claude Littner, successful entrepreneur and businessman with over 50 years experience. They will be closely observing the candidates' every move across the 12 weeks.

This year, the series has attracted applicants from a range of business sectors, including fashion, construction and floristry.

Tasks this series will include creating a range of burgers, branding and selling robots and running a doggy day care. The candidates will be taken outside their comfort zones to showcase all their business know-how.

Lord Sugar said: "We’re in strange times now, with Brexit. But be under no illusion, in this process I’m the one who decides who’s going to remain and I’m the one who decides who’s going to leave - simple as that."

So, who are the new candidates?

Andrew Brady, 26 & Anisa Topan, 36

Andrew (left) and Anisa (right)

Andrew is a project engineer in the aerospace industry and says his best business quality is his relentless work ethic. He admits he can’t always hold his tongue, especially if people are not pulling their weight, which can get him into trouble.  “I don’t blow smoke up someone’s behind. If someone deserves credit, I will give them it.”

Anisa owns a fashion PR consultancy and is all action; she gets irritated if people are slow to grasp concepts. She admits she can find it hard to listen and sometimes misses things when she is excited about an idea. “I’ve got everything Lord Sugar needs in a business partner. I’m passionate, dynamic and persistent - he’ll love that."

Bushra Shaikh, 34 & Charles Burns, 24

Bushra (left) and Charles (right)

Bushra is the owner and designer of her own fashion label, creating luxury apparel for Muslim women. She believes her skills and determination are all she needs to succeed, but she’s known to be pushy to get what she wants. “I’ve been raised not to be a pushover; in the words of Destiny’s Child, I’m an independent woman.”

Charles has his fingers in many business pies, including a management consultancy, a watch trading company and a comparison website. He believes his best qualities are his passion and drive, but admits he can talk too much and doesn’t always listen. “When life throws you lemons, make and sell lemonade for a healthy profit.”

Danny Grant, 32 & Elizabeth McKenna, 39

Danny (left) and Elizabeth (right)

Danny believes his best quality is his loyalty, but warns he’s not a "doormat" and his trust shouldn’t be taken for granted. He runs an e-retail cosmetic business but admits to regularly leaving things to the last minute. “I don’t get on with people with a stick up their arse”.

Elizabeth describes herself as a "slightly bonkers country girl". She is a hands on practical person and will have a go at doing any job. “My big feet are good for two things; getting me into trouble as they’re as big as my mouth and I constantly get them stuck in it, but... they also kick butt.”

Elliot Van Emden, 31 & Harrison Jones, 27

Elliot (left) and Harrison (right)

Owner of a legal firm, Elliot is nicknamed ‘Tory Boy’ as he used to work in the office of David Cameron before he became PM. He aims to band together with who he thinks are the stronger candidates early on to secure his place in the final. “Sometimes to get to the top, you have to grease the pole behind you”.

Harrison started his own landscaping business at 19 and is currently working on a number of business ventures including property development. He believes he has exactly what is needed to make this happen. “I have a good work ethic and am always willing to work to full capacity to achieve my goals.”

Jade English, 25 & James White, 26

Jade (left) and James (right)

PR and marketing manager, Jade creates content to enhance her clients’ presence on social media. She believes she has the ability to pick up on people’s behaviour, and therefore finds it easy to build rapport. “I’m extremely emotionally intelligent and able to get the best out of people. I am a brilliant negotiator and I’m not all talk - I put every weird idea into action and gets results.”

James runs his own IT recruitment business and considers his drive and ambition to be his best qualities. He says he also has good energy, and his charming nature works well in business. “Intimidation is what motivates me. I want to be bigger and more successful than anyone else.”

Jeff Wan, 28 & Joanna Jarjue, 23

Jeff (left) and Joanna (right)

Jeff is a business analyst and semi-pro hip-hop dancer. He has even performed at the O2 Arena. He hopes to succeed in business and build a legacy as admirable as Lord Sugar’s empire. “I bring character, charm and swagger to the table. Coupled with my professional and educational experience, I am sure I will be able to separate myself from the rest.”

Joanna creates multi-channel strategies to improve the digital footprint of companies. She considers her best qualities as being determined and a great talker. She hates being patronised, but will remain resilient on the show. “My demeanour can be related to the saying 'don’t wake a sleeping lion' - if you underestimate me I might just bite.”

Michaela Wain, 33 & Ross Fretten, 29

Michaela (left) and Ross (right)

Michaela mostly works on the day-to-day operations of a construction magazine. She believes she is easy-going, seeing the positive in situations, but admits she can have a short fuse. Working as a woman in a very male-dominated industry, she despises men who talk down to her. “I have no patience for people who say stupid stuff, and I can’t cope with lazy people.”

Ross helps businesses launch and improve their digital products and services. He doesn’t have a role model, preferring to trust his own judgement. He plans to sit back and let people "dig their own graves" before burying them in the boardroom. “I’m usually the smartest person in any room and I’ll make sure people know that.”

Sajan Shah, 24 & Sarah Jayne Clark, 25

Sajan (left) and Sarah Jayne (right)

Alongside running his business supplying entertainment to events, Sajan works at a health and safety consultancy as the Head of HR. He claims that the majority of candidates will be using him as their role model after the series, and does admit that sometimes he doesn’t listen enough. “I am like a Chinese dish; potent, deliciously driven, full of flavour and I sure do sizzle.”

Sarah owns a ladies’ fashion shop and believes her loyalty is one of her best qualities. She loves being her own boss and cites that being herself and never letting her guard down will help her win. “I am the definition of a girl boss; I get things done and make things happen.”

Sarah Lynn, 35 & Siobhan Smith, 34

Sarah (left) and Siobhan (right)

Sarah created and leads a sweet gifting business that focuses on confectionery products for retailers and corporate clients. She doesn’t think she needs tactics to win, intending to simply be herself throughout the process. “Women are like tea bags, you don’t know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.”

Siobhan owns and runs a wedding service company for couples in the UK who want to get married in Dubai. She considers herself to be very direct, but concedes people sometimes take her honesty the wrong way. “I fly aeroplanes, scuba dive, jump off cliffs, paraglide; I’m a blogger and a mother. A lot of people call me superwoman.”


The Apprentice returns on BBC One every Wednesday starting on October 4.

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