Who are the The Apprentice 2022 candidates? The 16 contestants looking for Lord Sugar’s investment revealed

The new Apprentice contestants include “an animal in the boardroom” and “a Nicki Minaj superfan”

It’s not long until The Apprentice returns, with the sixteenth series of the business competition series coming to BBC One on Thursday 6 Jan at 9pm.

With 16 new entrepreneurs getting ready to enter the boardroom, you’re probably wondering who they each are – but even more than that, you’re probably wondering which of them are going to be the biggest characters.

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It’s part of the appeal of The Apprentice, after all. The more serious, straightforward candidates might be more sensible hiring choices, but this is a show that lives and breathes on exactly how eccentric and arrogant the assembles business hopefuls all are.

So, here’s everything you need to know about The Apprentice candidates for Series 16 – ranked by just how ridiculous they all are.

Stephanie Afflek

Stephanie Afflek (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s she from? Kent

What does she do? Owner, Online Children’s Store

How did she introduce herself? “I’m an East London girl, and I’ve got that no nonsense sort of work ethic. I’ve got grit, determination and I’m determined to be successful.”

How ridiculous is she? Not very. Stephanie will make it through to week 10, but you will never actually learn her name.

Shama Amin

Shama Amin (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s she from? Bradford

What does she do? Owner, Children’s Day Nursery

How did she introduce herself? “Being a lady of colour, wearing a headscarf as well, and the challenges that we face on a daily basis, I just want to be a living example for the Asian women and South Asian women out there.”

How ridiculous is she? The least ridiculous of them all, really – she will probably deserve to win but get blamed for something early on by the rest of her team.

Aaron Willis

Aaron Willis (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s he from? Chorley, Lancashire

What does he do? Aaron is a Flight Operations Instructor who wants to start his own security business

How did he introduce himself? “My strongest point is that I can sell, to anybody and I think that’s the reason why my business will be a success, because people will buy from me.”

How ridiculous is he? So far, so basic, but this master salesman will surely come undone the inevitable moment someone doesn’t buy from him.

Kathryn Louise Burn

Kathryn Louise Burn (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s she from? Swindon

What does she do? Owner, Online Pyjama Store

How did she introduce herself? “My dreams in my head are absolutely huge and I believe I can achieve them.”

How ridiculous is she? Not even slightly. She’d probably be more at home on Dragon’s Den.

Harpreet Kaur

Harpreet Kaur (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s she from? West Yorkshire

What does she do? Owner, Dessert Parlour

How did she introduce herself? “I’m definitely not in business to make friends, I’m here to make money, and I’m pretty sure Lord Sugar isn’t looking for a new mate.”

How ridiculous is she? I mean, are they ever looking to make friends? Maybe they should, it’d probably make for a more fulfilling experience. Anyway, Harpreet will be gone by week 7.

Amy Anzel

Amy Anzel (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s she from? London

What does she do? Owner, Beauty Brand

How did she introduce herself? “I can be nice when I need to be, but when I unfortunately have to be a bitch, I will...”

How ridiculous is she? Hardly – they all think they’re tough, after all.

Akeem Bundu-Kamara

Akeem Bundu-Kamara (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s he from? London

What does he do? Strategy Manager For A Financial Firm

How did he introduce himself? “My growing up has made me who I am, I’m able to converse with everyone, but also be able to show that financial, business side to myself.”

How ridiculous is he? He’s a self-described “numbers guy”, which means he will get caught out on basic facts twice a week – not the most ridiculous, but certainly potential for a boardroom meltdown.

Francesca Kennedy Wallbank

Francesca Kennedy Wallbank (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s she from? Surrey

What does she do? Owner, Sustainability Company

How did she introduce herself? “There are two types of people in the world – there’s people that say they are going to do things and people that actually do them, and I’m a doer.”

How ridiculous is she? If you told me that Francesca had been a candidate on every single previous series of The Apprentice already, I would believe you. I know that’s not possible, but it feels very true.

Harry Mahmood

Harry Mahmood (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s he from? West Midlands

What does he do? Regional Operations Manager

How did he introduce himself? “Everything I’ve looked into achieving, I’ve achieved. I’ve literally done everything I’ve put my mind to.”

How ridiculous is he? Not even slightly. I believe him completely when he says he has achieved literally everything he’s ever thought to try.

When did Harry Mahmood leave the Apprentice? Harry left in week one, which is an achievement of sorts.

Nick Showering

Nick Showering (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s he from? London

What does he do? Finance Manager

How did he introduce himself? “In business I’m a bit of a force to be reckoned with. I know what I’m talking about, I know how things work and I’m extremely experienced. So, I’m a bit of an animal in the boardroom.”

How ridiculous is he? The animal reference helps, but it’s much better if you pick a specific animal – Nick could probably learn a thing or two from Connor in that regard.

Alex Short

Alex Short (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s he from? Hertford

What does he do? Owner, Commercial Cleaning Company

How did he introduce himself? “I would compare myself to a Ferrari, shiny on the outside but under the bonnet, there is a lot of fire and I’m coming for you.”

How ridiculous is he? Oh, clearly very – how does he think cars work? – but he’ll probably flame out early on. Really, the moment he said he was like a fiery car someone wrote down “he’ll flame out” and pencilled it in as narration for his exit in week 5.

Sophie Wilding

Sophie Wilding (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s she from? Cheltenham

What does she do? Owner, Boutique Cocktail Bar

How did she introduce herself? “Failure is not an option, winning is part of my DNA.”

How ridiculous is she? “Winning is part of my DNA” isn’t that encouraging, but Sophie also has a “positive attitude” and “witch school qualifications”, so hopefully we’ll see her put a hex on someone at least once.

Brittany Carter

Brittany Carter (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s she from? Bristol

What does she do? Hotel Front of House Manager

How did she introduce herself? “My motto for life is ‘always look on the bright side and be grateful for everything’– every day when I wake up, I write 10 things that I am grateful for and when I go to sleep, I reflect on 5 things I am grateful for from that day.”

How ridiculous is she? Brittany seems like a basically very nice and pleasant person, which wouldn’t be ridiculous at all – apart from the fact she’s going to be a candidate on The Apprentice. It will either crush her like a bug or turn her into one of history’s greatest monsters.

Conor Gilsenan

Conor Gilsenan (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s he from? London

What does he do? Sales Executive and former Professional Rugby Player

How did he introduce himself? “I’m going to be the corporate panther in the boardroom, I’m going to get it done, and I’m going to be Lord Sugar’s perfect business partner.”

How ridiculous is he? “Corporate panther” is exactly the sort of nonsense you want from The Apprentice. Hopefully Conor works as many hyper-specific big animal references into the boardroom as possible (“I didn’t do that, you’re lion” etc)

Navid Sole

Navid Sole (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s he from? London

What does he do? Pharmacist

How did he introduce himself? “Nothing intimidates me because I just feel like I’m a strong character, strong person, strong mindset.”

How ridiculous is he? You don’t get much of a sense of it from his introduction, but Navid also described himself as “quirky”, “unique”, and “a Nicki Minaj superfan” – all of which he will no doubt go to some lengths to show off repeatedly.

Akshay Thakrar

Akshay Thakrar (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Where’s he from? London

What does he do? Owner, Digital Marketing Agency

How did he introduce himself? “My friends call me AK47 because I’m a killer salesperson.”

How ridiculous is he? That is a fantastically rubbish attempt at seeming cool, so you can guarantee that Akshay is going to be one of those candidates. Very likely a fan-favourite in the making.

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