The Apprentice 2010: Alan Sugar is back!

by Lisa McGarry

BBC One’s The Apprentice returns for a sixth run on Wednesday 6 October, as a new line-up of corporate contenders face Lord Sugar as they battle for boardroom supremacy.

From all corners of the country, 16 aspiring tycoons have come to London to face the biggest challenge of their careers to date – embarking on a 12-task job interview from hell with multi-millionaire tycoon, Lord Sugar. Selected for their entrepreneurial flair and burning passion for business – Lord Sugar has spotted something in all of them, but only one can succeed in becoming The Apprentice.

As Britain begins to recover from its toughest economic conditions in decades, for this year’s prospects it really is “crunch” time as they face a series of gruelling tasks designed to push their skills to the limit. They are risking it all by leaving what they know behind and venturing in to unfamiliar territory as they fight to become The Apprentice.

Failure is not an option and mistakes will not be tolerated as Lord Sugar wastes no time in telling them who is boss and laying down the rules: “I’ve read all your CVs and on paper you all look very good. But then again so does fish and chips… I need someone who is dynamic and ambitious and is not scared to take a risk. I’m not interested in any Steady Eddies or Cautious Carols. I’m looking for someone who is exceptional.”

Aided once again by no-nonsense adviser Nick Hewer, Lord Sugar will also be joined by top businesswoman and Vice Chairman of West Ham, Karren Brady. Karren knows first-hand the scrutiny the candidates will be under having taken part – and subsequently won – Comic Relief Does The Apprentice in 2007. Both Nick and Karren will be keeping a close eye on the proceedings and helping Lord Sugar to sort the wheat from the chaff to find his next Apprentice.

The candidates’ CVs reveal: an investment banker, a surgeon, an ex-Marine Commando, a cleaner, an unemployed graduate and two candidates who fell victim to the recession. The diverse line-up also includes an international candidate who hopes to eclipse her British counterparts, a candidate who once sang in front of President Bush Snr and a current Ironman 2 contender. All of them think they have what it takes, but can they prove themselves when the pressure is on?

Episode one follows the candidates as they set about making and selling sausages on the streets of London under the strict scrutiny of Nick and Karren who act as Lord Sugar’s eyes and ears throughout the process. Whether they opt for gourmet creations or cut-price, bargain bangers, only one factor will be considered in the first boardroom showdown – profit.

Series six will see egos collide and tempers soar as the cut-throat competition gets tougher with every task. The budding apprentices will open a fashion boutique, run a bakery, flog crisps in Germany, design and market a new cleaning product, treat unsuspecting tourists to open-top bus tours around the capital, and invent a new beach product in a string of merciless missions with no second chances.

With this year’s applicants desperate for a chance to reach the top of Lord Sugar’s empire, rivalry is fierce as the 16 challengers vie for a shot at Britain’s most sought after apprenticeship with a six-figure salary, on offer from one of the world’s most respected business moguls.

Lord Sugar pulls no punches as he makes his intentions clear to this year’s competitors: “It’s sink or swim, and you’ve probably picked up by now that I don’t do life jackets.”

Although the candidates will live in a luxurious London house and be given a taste of the high-flying life they dream of, the weeks ahead will be anything but glamorous as they roll up their tailored sleeves and embark upon weeks of hard graft with only one of them emerging victorious.

For these elite professionals it is make or break time in the most daunting challenge they will ever face. With gripping boardroom showdowns and ambitious candidates, this series promises to be the most tense and unpredictable yet.

One job. 16 candidates. Lord Sugar’s search for his Apprentice is about to begin…

Tune in at 9PM on BBC One, Wednesday 6 October

Lisa McGarry

Lisa has been watching reality TV for too long now. She won't do any housework unless 'Big Brother' announces it over the tannoy and everything she does has to be put to a public vote!