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“Pocket Rocket” and “Tasmanian Devil” in Lord Sugar’s latest Apprentice intake

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A business boss who likens herself to a “Tasmanian devil”, a self-professed “pocket rocket” and a salon owner who describes herself as a “hustler” are among the 18 candidates taking part in the new series of The Apprentice.

This year’s line-up of candidates include nine women and nine men between the ages of 24 and 38 and from a wide variety of business backgrounds.

The popular BBC One show returns for its 12th series on October 6, airing on Thursdays for the first time after previously being broadcast on Wednesdays.

Aleksandra King, 38, is a business consultancy owner who says she is “like the Tasmanian devil in the famous cartoon” because she will “torpedo” her way to win.

"Tasmanian Devil" Aleksandra King
“Tasmanian Devil” Aleksandra King

Giving her a run for her money will be children’s clothing company boss Frances Bishop, 25, who describes herself as “pocket rocket”, adding: “I’m quite fiery and live by the rule ‘kill them with kindness’.”

"Pocket Rocket" Frances Bishop
“Pocket Rocket” Frances Bishop

Natalie Hughes, a 30-year-old hair and beauty salon owner, said of her business technique: “I started at a young age, I’m a hustler, I’ve got the hustler’s ambition.”

Hustler, Natalie Hughes
Hustler, Natalie Hughes

The first episode will see the business newbies tackle a task testing their negotiation and selling skills.

Split into two teams, they will have to work together to pick out treasure from trash at a large lock-up containing antiques and collectables before selling them to the public.

The winning team will be the one that makes the biggest profit, meaning they will escape the threat of being fired by Lord Sugar and his wagging finger in the boardroom.

Other tasks in the series will see the candidates coming up with an advertising campaign for jeans, manufacturing a range of sweets and creating their own brand of gin.

The contestants will hope to impress Lord Sugar in order to secure his £250,000 investment in their business plan.

The business tycoon will be joined once again by aides Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner as the boardroom antics get under way.

Lord Sugar said of the competition: “You can compare this to being on a life support machine and one of your colleagues here pulling the plug out just to charge their mobile phone up. That’s how competitive it will get.”

He added that he is only interested in seeing “who’s got a good business brain” and that if people taking part are unable to tackle the process and want to complain and moan, they can “send me an email at lordsugar{”.

Lord Sugar added that his £250,000 investment will “change someone’s life forever” after previously investing £1.25 million in five businesses during the show’s run.


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