'The Apprentice' 2017: Meet The Candidates Hoping To Impress Lord Sugar

The winner's in here somewhere.

26/09/2017 14:41 | Updated 26 September 2017

The Apprentice’ returns for its 13th series on 4 October, which means we’re about to be introduced to a brand new batch of candidates all eager to impress Lord Sugar (and stab each other in the back along the way).

This year’s 18 hopefuls will be competing against each other for a £250,000 investment in their business - and Lord Sugar as their business partner.

'The Apprentice' class of 2017

As ever, Lord Sugar will be joined by Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner during the 12-week run as the aspiring entrepreneurs try - and often fail - to impress.

This year’s series has attracted applicants from a range of business sectors - from fashion and construction to floristry and engineering - all hoping to avoid the dreaded F word.


With tasks including creating a range of burgers, branding and selling robots, to running a doggy day care, we’re set for plenty of facepalm moments.

And it’s going to be tougher than ever, something Lord Sugar is quick to remind them of in the series opener.

“We’re in strange times now, with Brexit” he tells them in the boardroom. “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.”

Let’s meet this this 18 ‘Apprentice’ candidates...

  • BBC
    Name: Jade English
    Age: 25
    Occupation: PR & Marketing Manager
    Lives: Manchester
    In her role as PR and marketing manager, Jade creates content to advertise and enhance her clients’presence on social media. She believes she has the ability to pick up on people’s behaviours, and therefore finds it easy to make friends and build rapport. She thinks her greatest business skills are her creativity and passion.She says: “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."
  • BBC
    Name: Harrison Jones
    Age: 27
    Occupation: Sales Executive
    Lives: Watford
    Harrison started his own landscaping business aged 19 and is currently working on a number of business ventures including property development, a healthy eating brand and a luxury streetwear brand. Fully aware that he must work hard to be successful, Harrison genuinely believes he has exactly what is needed to make this happen.He says: “I have a good work ethic and am always willing to work to full capacity to achieve my goals.”
  • BBC
    Name: Joanna Jarjue
    Age: 23
    Occupation: Digital Marketing Manager
    Lives: Manchester
    In her current role, Joanna creates multi-channel strategies to improve the digital footprint of companies. She considers being determined and a great talker to be her best qualities. She hates being patronised, but will remain resilient on the show. She says: “My demeanour can be related to the saying ‘Don’t wake a sleeping lion’ - If you underestimate me I might just bite.
  • BBC
    Name: Charles Burns
    Age: 24
    Occupation: Management Consultant
    Lives: Manchester
    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, drive and determination but admits he can talk too much and doesn’t always listen. He says as long as it’s within the rules, he will stop at nothing to win.He says: “When life throws you lemons, make and sell lemonade for a healthy profit
  • BBC
    Name: Anisa Topan
    Age: 36
    Occupation: Owner, PR Fashion Agency
    Lives: Surrey
    Anisa owns her own fashion PR consultancy and by her own admission, is all action – and says 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, but is good at ‘winning’ in business.She says: “I’ve got everything Lord Sugar needs in a business partner. I’m passionate, dynamic and persistent – he’ll love that."
  • BBC
    Name: Jeff Wan
    Age: 28
    Occupation: Business Analyst
    Lives: London
    Jeff is a business analyst and semi-pro hip-hop dancer. Over the past 10 years he has trained several times a week, even performing at the O2 Arena. He hopes to succeed in business and build a legacy as admirable as Lord Sugar’s empire. He has been a fan of The Apprentice since he was a teenager.He says: “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 res
  • BBC
    Name: Sarah Jayne Clark
    Age: 25
    Occupation: Owner Clothing Company
    Lives: Derbyshire
    Sarah owns a ladies’ fashion shop and believes her loyalty is one of her best qualities. She thinks it’s vital to be determined and strong-willed in business. She loves being her own boss and cites that being herself and never letting her guard down will help her win.She says: “I am the definition of a girl boss – I get things done and make things happen."
  • BBC
    Name: Andrew Brady
    Age: 26
    Occupation: Project Engineer
    Lives: Cheshire
    Andrew, a project engineer in the aerospace industry, says his best business quality is his relentless work ethic. He cites his coal miner grandad as an inspiration as ‘he was the hardest worker you could ever know’, but admits he can’t always hold his tongue, especially if people are not pulling their weight, which can get him into trouble. Andrew believes that his confidence will see him go far in the process.He says: “I don’t blow smoke up someone’s behind. If someone deserves credit, I will give them 
  • BBC
    Name: Bushra Shaikh
    Age: 34
    Occupation: Owner, Clothing Company
    Lives: Surrey
    Bushra is owner and designer of her own modest fashion label, creating luxury apparel for Muslim women. Inspired by Coco Chanel, she believes her skills and determination are all she needs to succeed in The Apprentice, but she’s known to be pushy to get what she wants.She says: “I’ve been raised not to be a pushover-in the words of Destiny’s Child, ‘I’m an independent woman.”
  • BBC
    Name: Danny Grant
    Age: 32
    Occupation: Owner, Online Retail Store
    Lives: Kent
    Daniel 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 being disorganised and regularly leaving things to the last minute. He prides himself on being straightforward and honest,but can sometimes rub people up the wrong way ‘because the truth is hard to hear’.He says: “I don’t get on with people with a stick up their arse”
  • BBC
    Name: Michaela Wain
    Age: 33
    Occupation: Business Owner, Construction
    Lives: Bolton
    Michaela mostly works on the day-to-day operations of a construction magazine, alongside her role at several other companies in the building sector. She believes she is very easy-going and tries to seethe positive in all situations, but admits she can sometimes have a short fuse. Working as a woman in a very male-dominated industry, she says she despises men who talk down to her.She says: “I have no patience for people who say stupid stuff, and I can’t cope with lazy people."
  • BBC
    Name: Ross Fretten
    Age: 29
    Occupation: Digital Product Consultant
    Lives: Essex
    In his current job, Ross helps businesses launch and improve their digital products and services. He doesn’t have a role model, preferring to trust his own judgement and forge his own path rather than following in the footsteps of others. He plans to sit back and let people ‘dig their own graves’ before burying them in the boardroom.He says: “I’m usually the smartest person in any room and I’ll make sure people know that."
  • BBC
    Name: Elizabeth McKenna
    Age: 39
    Occupation: Owner Florist Chain
    Lives: Nottinghamshire
    Elizabeth describes herself as a ‘slightly bonkers country girl’ and has a love of dogs and horses. She is a hands on practical person and will have a go at doing any job. She thinks her killer business instincts mean she’s good at making snap decisions, she says what she thinks and shoots from the hip.She says: “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.”
  • BBC
    Name: James White
    Age: 26
    Occupation: Owner, Recruitment Firm
    Lives: Birmingham
    James runs his own IT recruitment business and considers his drive and ambition to be his best qualities – he believes no one has ambition like him. He says he also has good energy, and his charming nature works well in business. He used to have the nickname ‘Del Boy’, and enjoys white collar boxing as a hobby.He says: “Intimidation is what motivates me. I want to be bigger and more successful than anyone else."
  • BBC
    Name: Siobhan Smith
    Age: 34
    Occupation: Owner, Wedding Company
    Lives: London
    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. Her role model is Colonel Sanders, founder of KFC – as ‘at the age of 65, he had knocked on over 1,000 doors over a period of two years trying to sell his recipe before getting his first yes, he never gave up on his dream.’
    She says: “I fly aeroplanes, scuba dive, jump off cliffs, paraglide; I’m a blogger and a mother - as well as running my wedding planning business. A lot of people call me superwoman."
  • BBC
    Name: Sajan Shah
    Age: 24
    Occupation: Owner Event Company
    Lives: London
    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 believes his greatest quality is his ability to read people, but does admit that sometimes he doesn’t listen enough.He says: “I am like a Chinese dish – potent, deliciously driven, full of flavour and I sure do sizzle."
  • BBC
    Name: Elliot Van Emden
    Age: 31
    Occupation: Owner Legal Firm
    Lives: London
    To his mates, Elliot is nicknamed ‘Tory boy’ as he used to work in the office of David Cameron before he became Prime Minister. He believes ‘what you see is what you get’ with him, and he aims to band together with who he thinks are the stronger candidates early on to secure his place in the final.He says: “Sometimes to get to the top, you have to grease the pole behind you
  • BBC
    Name: Sarah Lynn
    Age: 35
    Occupation: Owner Confectionery Company
    Lives: London
    Sarah created and leads a sweet gifting business that focuses on confectionery products for retailers and corporate clients. She considers herself to be a ‘people person’, and believes her ability to sell is one of her greatest assets. She doesn’t think she needs tactics to win, intending to simply be herself throughout the process. She says: “Women are like tea bags – you don’t know how strong they are until you put them in hotwater.”

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