Last season’s winner of The Apprentice Alana Spencer will give new contestants a surprise on Wednesday when she returns to the board room to bring them some words of encouragement.
She will update hopefuls – and viewers – on her progress since claiming her £250,000 investment from Lord Alan Sugar when the new series launches on BBC One.
Joining returning business experts Lord Sugar, Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner on the safe side of the table, she tells the show: “I really didn’t have an idea of how to grow a big business until I sat down with Lord Sugar and his team and put together a plan that, if I can pull it off, is going to be great.”
The hit programme’s 13th run will see a fresh batch of 18 keen entrepreneurs battle it out for a partnership with business mogul Lord Sugar, starting off with a meaty first task.
Among them are “Tory boy” Elliot Van Emden, who owns a legal firm, and Michaela Wain, who already turns over millions with her two companies.
But their confident entrance to the competition will quickly be rattled when they are challenged with starting their own burger lines by constructing a business ethos, negotiating meat prices, cooking the food and selling it – all in one day.
The women’s team, naming themselves Graphene, opt for “luxury” offerings of chicken and beef to be sold to city workers in Canary Wharf, while the men, Vitality, aim to shift their healthy patties of buffalo and turkey around Brixton and Shoreditch.
After a 2am start, tensions will develop among the men when candidate Charles refuses to follow the instructions of project manager Danny, even after the trade team arrive too late for the lunchtime rush.
Meanhile Siobhan and Elizabeth struggle to see eye-to-eye while serving their hefty wave of customers.
As always, Lord Sugar will show no mercy as he begins his quest for a new business partner and welcomes them with the simple statement: “We’re in strange times now, we’ve got Brexit.
“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.”
The Apprentice returns to BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday, when one business hopeful will be fired from the contest.