The owner of a children's day nursery, a flight operations instructor and a mathematician who has created an equation to measure carbon footprint are among the candidates competing in the latest series of The Apprentice.
The business reality show returns to BBC One at 9pm on Thursday 6 January with 16 aspiring entrepreneurs competing for an investment of £250,000 and mentoring from 74-year-old magnate Lord Sugar.
This year's hopefuls also include a former professional rugby player and an American actor who appeared on the first ever series of dating reality show The Bachelor.
It is the 16th series of The Apprentice, which last aired in 2019, when it was won by artisan bakery owner Carina Lepore.
Lord Sugar revealed that a selection of candidates had been recruited for the show back in March 2020, but the show had to be delayed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the candidates for 2022:
Shama Amin - WITHDREW (Week 3)
Amin is a 41-year-old owner of a children's day nursery from Bradford.
The mother-of-five said: "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.”
Sadly, Amin decided to leave the show in week three as she was struggling to balance the physical demands of the tasks with her rheumatoid arthritis.
Read more: All the Apprentice winners so far
In the episode, she was shown telling Lord Sugar: “I would just like to say something, Lord Sugar if that’s Okay. I suffer from a condition called rheumatoid arthritis.
“Because of medical reasons, due to this process being so physically demanding, despite the efforts the whole team has made to support me, I’ve had to make a difficult decision to leave the process.”
She later told cameras: "Mentally, I was strong enough to carry on. But my body wasn’t allowing me to carry on. So I had no choice but to make a difficult decision like that."
Aaron Willis - FIRED (Week 10)
The 38-year-old Flight Operations Instructor from Chorley in Lancashire served in the RAF for 12 years and has worked as a milkman, horseman and butcher as well as starting his own security business.
He said: "My strongest point is that I can sell to anybody."
Francesca Kennedy Wallbank - FIRED (Week 5)
This 26-year-old maths graduate from Surrey owns her own sustainability company. She claims to have created a simple equation that will enable her to provide a product carbon footprint service for businesses.
The eco-conscious mathematician said: "I've never lost anything, I always win."
Conor Gilsenan - FIRED (Week 2)
A 28-year-old former professional rugby player from Ireland, Gilsenan retired from sport for medical reasons in 2020. He now wants to launch a chain of "quirky" food and beverage stalls aimed at music and sports events.
He said: "I’m going to be the corporate panther in the boardroom."
Amy Anzel - FIRED (Week 6)
The 48-year-old American-born actor has changed careers later in life by launching her own eyebrow shaping beauty brand. Anzel competed in the first series of dating reality show The Bachelor and her film credits include Kick-Ass 2.
She said: “I can be nice when I need to be, but when I unfortunately have to be a b***h, I will…”
Alex Short - FIRED (Week 4)
This 27-year-old from Hertford did not complete his sixth form education but now owns a successful commercial cleaning business.
He said: "I would compare myself to a Ferrari, shiny on the outside but under the bonnet, there is a lot of fire."
Kathryn Louise Burn - RUNNER-UP
The 29-year-old former mortgage advisor from Swindon has worked in events management and now owns her own online pyjama store, which she says will one day be “worn by everyone”.
She describes herself as kind, but often "savage".
Harry Mahmood - FIRED (Week 1)
The 35-year-old regional operations manager from the West Midlands wants Lord Sugar's help to develop his bath bomb business and become “the bad boys of the bath bomb world together.”
He describes himself as, “the Asian version of Lord Sugar”.
Brittany Carter - FIRED (Week 11)
A 25-year-old hotel front-of-house-manager from Bristol, Carter wants to launch the first alcoholic protein drink, and is confident she will make it to the final.
Her motto for life is: "Always look on the bright side and be grateful for everything."
Akeem Bundu-Kamara - FIRED (Week 10)
This 29-year-old strategy manager for a financial firm from London described himself as a "numbers guy" who claims he is calculated about every move he makes.
He said: "My growing up has made me who I am, I’m able to converse with everyone, but also able to show that financial, business side to myself.”
Harpreet Kaur - WINNER
Kaur, 30, owns her own dessert parlour in West Yorkshire and wants to build her coffee and cake business into a leading UK brand - much like 2019 winner Carina Lepore.
She said: "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.”
Akshay Thakrar - FIRED (Week 9)
The 28-year-old owner of a digital marketing agency from London speaks seven languages and claims his first word as a baby was "profit".
He said: “My friends call me AK47 because I’m a killer salesperson."
Sophie Wilding - FIRED (Week 7)
This 32-year-old from Cheltenham boasts her qualifications from 'Witch School'. She owns her own boutique cocktail bar which she wants Lord Sugar's investment to help renovate.
She said: “Failure is not an option, winning is part of my DNA.”
Navid Sole - FIRED (Week 3)
The 27-year-old pharmacist from London wants Lord Sugar's backing to create his own pharmacy business.
The self-confessed Nicki Minaj superfan said: "Nothing intimidates me because I just feel like I’m a strong character."
Stephanie Affleck - FIRED (Week 11)
The 28-year-old from Kent owns her own online children's store selling pre-loved designer clothing, which she hopes to expand.
She said: “I’m an East London girl, and I’ve got that no nonsense sort of work ethic."
Nicholas Showering - FIRED (Week 8)
Showering, 31, is a qualified accountant who has been working "in the shadow" of his family business, but is now ready to step into the spotlight by launching his own brand of flavoured water.
He claims his plan to beat the other candidates is to “kill them with kindness.”
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