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The Apprentice is back: meet the 2015 candidates

Lord Sugar, Karren Brady and Nick Hewer’s terrifying replacement Claude Littner have been assigned their latest batch of The Apprentice candidates ahead of the show’s highly-anticipated return.

Eighteen potential business partners - nine men, nine women - will be vying to win a £250,000 investment into their proposed new company, so expect plenty of showy displays of ruthless ambition.

The aspiring entrepreneurs come from a mix of careers and backgrounds, from hairdressing, construction, plumbing and telecoms to fragrance retailing, sports marketing, events management.

Despite the tough challenges that lay in store, confidence is running high. “Pressure makes diamonds. It’s something I responds well to, I think it’s go hard or go home,” says hair extensions specialist Aisha Kasim, while builder Brett Butler-Smythe insists he has “no negative or bad traits”.

Self-confessed “geezer bird” Elle Stevensen “hates anything mediocre”, plumber Joseph Valente describes himself as “the definition of success, the godfather of business” and sales account manager Megrim Butaja promises not to “suck up” to Lord Sugar.

The first episode will see the contestants haggle for first class fish and seafood in Billingsgate Market, before mass manufacturing their stock into lunch items to sell to Londoners.

The team that makes the most profit will avoid the drama of the boardroom and escape Lord Sugar’s wrath.

Other tasks to look forward to include selling pet products at the National Pet Show, party-planning, creating a new health snack, starting a DIY company and coming up with an advertising campaign for a new shampoo.

Tune in to The Apprentice at 9pm tonight on BBC One.

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