The Apprentice returns New night, new candidates, new tasks…
The Apprentice returns to screens on Thursday 6 October for the twelfth series. Lord Sugar is once again joined by advisors Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner as they put 18 brand new candidates through their paces to secure his £250k investment in their business plan.
Airing on Thursdays for the first time, the series will follow Lord Sugar’s potential business partners as they set out to prove their business skills are ready for any challenge in the fight to the final boardroom. The nine men and nine women come from a range of careers and backgrounds, from bakeries and business consultancy to property and IT, each with different experience to draw from during the tasks.
Since Lord Sugar offered the opportunity to become his business partner, he has invested £1.25 million in five businesses – and he wants this year’s candidates to understand how tough they need to be to prove they deserve his investment.
Lord Sugar says: “I need to see who’s got a good business brain, that’s all I’m interested in. The winner gets a £250,000 investment and it will change someone’s life forever. You are going to learn more about yourself throughout the course of this process, I promise you that. Sometimes, some people can’t stand the heat, and they complain and they moan. If you want to moan you can send me an email at email@example.com.”
Lord Sugar wants the new candidates to be under no illusion how competitive the process will be: “You see 18 people here, and we’re here for 12 weeks - that tells you there are going to be occasions where more than one person is going (to be fired). And I don’t care how many it can be. I really don’t care. I’m very flexible and it is a very, very competitive situation. 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.’’
Once again aiding Lord Sugar in his quest are Karren Brady, who has been Lord Sugar’s advisor on the show since 2009, and Claude Littner, who returns for his second series to offer his observation and advice on the teams’ performances.
Lord Sugar kicks the series off with a task designed to test the candidates’ skills in negotiation and selling. The teams arrive at a lock-up containing antiques and collectables including furniture, vintage clothing, toys, ceramics, silver and glassware. They must spot the treasure from the trash, before they sell their chosen items to the public and trade. The aim is simple - make as much money as possible to avoid being in the firing line on the losing team in the boardroom.
Other tasks over the coming weeks include creating an advertising campaign for jeans, manufacturing a range of sweets, hosting ‘late night opening’ events at well-known attractions, designing virtual reality games and producing and creating their own brand of gin.
The candidates must also once again face the infamous interviews in the penultimate episode, where the semi-finalists are grilled by some of Lord Sugar’s most trusted colleagues about their business plans. The final will then see the finalists pitch their business plan to Lord Sugar and a host of industry experts, with help from a selection of this year’s fired candidates, as they aim to impress the most with their partnership offer in a bid for the £250,000 prize.
New to the Apprentice line-up this year is the host of companion show You’re Fired, Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert, alongside the business experts and celebrities who appear each week to discuss the outgoing candidates’ performance. You’re Fired will air immediately after The Apprentice at 10pm on BBC Two.
The official Apprentice website - www.bbc.co.uk/apprentice - is the destination for all fans of the show. BBC Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson is back as the online host, giving a humorous first look at the candidates in iPlayer exclusive Meet the Candidates
Additionally, fans can access candidates’ audition tapes and clips of each week’s best moments. The popular weekly ‘Honest Subtitles’ will also return, with a few other surprises along the way.
As always, you can keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter(#theapprentice). The Apprentice Snapchat channel (@theapprenticeuk) is launching this year, bringing highlights and extra content to an even broader audience.
The Apprentice is a Boundless production for BBC One. Cal Turner and Tom Garland are Executive Producers; Claire Walls and Paul Broadbent are Series Editors and Sarah Clay is Commissioning Editor for the BBC.