Who’s who: The Apprentice 2016 | Virgin Media
Who’s who: The Apprentice 2016

Who’s who: The Apprentice 2016



Booming classical music, endless shorts of the Gherkin, and Lord Sugar’s wealthy, weathered face. Yes, The Apprentice is back on Thursday 6th October on BBC One for another round of banter, backstabbing, and business. Behold the candidates who’ll be making you cringe hard enough to hernia…


Alana Spencer

Who?: Like 90% of contestants on The Apprentice, Alana describes herself as “hard working” and “driven”, but at least she has a cheeky streak too. “It’s much better to ask for forgiveness, than it is for permission”, apparently.

Business Credentials: Starting out at the tender age of 17 with a chocolate business, Alana now runs a cake baking company – but will she rise to the occasion here? (Sorry, that’s a pun that really belongs in Bake Off.)

Most Likely To: Bribe fellow contestants with baked goods, and sugar-coat her mistakes during heated boardroom arguments. 


Aleksandra King

Who?: Aleksandra is ultra-confident and fearless – except when it comes to “tsunamis, volcanoes, and ebola”. The big wuss.

Business Credentials: Aleksandra runs a “business consultancy”, whatever that means. She’s also fluent in eight languages, including cat.

Most Likely To: Use aggressive selling tactics on bewildered tourists, and get side-tracked during tasks by having lengthy conversations with felines.


Courtney Wood

Who?: He’s got a boy band face and girly name, and is “awesome”, apparently. The Essex lad views his confidence as his biggest asset, by which we mean he believes he’s slightly handsomer than Leonardo DiCaprio.

Business Credentials: Courtney mans his very own novelty gifts company, and is threatening to make football-themed underpants for Lord Sugar. There’s a mental image for you.

Most Likely To: Annoy the entire boardroom with his young buck cockiness – probably before episode 2.


Dillon St. Paul

Who?: Dubliner Dillon plans to utilise charm, manipulation, and lashings of mascara to win this year’s competition. He’s famous for the “truth bomb”, which we presume is like a regular bomb, only much more annoying.

Business Credentials: Creative Mr. St. Paul is a freelance art director for a fashion magazine, and is all about “girl power”, because it’s 1997 apparently.

Most Likely To: Attempt to use his sparkly white teeth and fluttering eyelashes to make Lord Sugar swoon. With mixed results.


Frances Bishop

Who?: Self-described “pocket rocket” Frances left the Miss Nottingham and Miss Great Britain pageants crownless, so is now seeking metaphorical headgear on The Apprentice instead.

Business Credentials: Married to a Scunthorpe United player, Frances sees herself as the “anti-WAG”. Instead of shopping she spends her days selling, in her very own children’s clothing boutique.

Most Likely To: Make Scunthorpe seem unfeasibly glamorous by association. 


Grainne McCoy

Who?: Northern Irish Grainne wants “guidance and a little bit of mentoring” to help her make that first million. Because Lord Sugar is such a patient and willing teacher, obvs.

Business Credentials: Miss McCoy owns a successful make-up business, which is pretty good going given she had a kid at 16.

Most Likely To: Have the least shiny face in the boardroom, even when things get all stressed and sweaty.


JD O’Brien

Who?: JD has been intimidating London with his gravelly voice since childhood. He compares himself to Braveheart, and says he’ll get upset with fellow contestants who don’t know their er… behind from their elbow”.

Business Credentials: JD certainly knows his behind from his elbow, because he runs a men’s beachwear company.

Most Likely To: Paint his face blue and gallop through tasks on a horse while hacking opponents to pieces with a sword. Otherwise we’ll be disappointed.


Jessica Cunningham

Who?: Describing herself as a “female Jim Carrey”, energetic Jessica is never short on words - all of which come with frantic facial expressions and animated gestures. But is she a liar, liar?

Business Credentials: As well as her online fashion company, Derbyshire girl Jess is also the operations director for a PR and marketing agency. Get her.

Most Likely To: Jabber frantically in the boardroom while everyone rolls their eyes and waits for it to end.


Karthik Nagesan

Who?: Karthik “The Big K” Nagesan is determined to make billions. He also sees his spectacular/frightening monobrow as a symbol of his individuality.

Business Credentials: While The Big K clearly doesn’t own a pair of tweezers, he does own an IT consulting company.

Most Likely To: Ruin sales tasks by scaring off potential buyers with his forehead-foliage.


Michelle Niziol

Who?: Michelle views herself as a relentless workaholic and a fearless businesswoman. She also firmly believes that “50% of a big pie is better than 100% of a small pie” – though Mr. Kipling would probably disagree.

Business Credentials: Michelle has her fingers in three pies, with companies in property, mortgages, and lettings.

Most Likely To: This alpha woman will surely dominate her team, and quite possibly the opposing team as well.


Mukai Noiri

Who?: Onomatopoeia fan Mukai describes himself as “pizzazz, bang, whoosh, and ping pong!”. He’s also lived in over 6 countries. To win he’ll be using charm aplenty, and when needed, some straight talking too.

Business Credentials: Mukai recently ditched a job as a senior communications manager, to focus on new things. Which will now include being ritually humiliated by a finger-jabbing angry man on TV.

Most Likely To: Wear a bow tie all the damn time.


Natalie Hughes

Who?: Natalie likens herself to potty-mouthed ladle-botherer Gordon Ramsey – the difference being that you wouldn’t know if she was swearing thanks to her thick Glaswegian accent.

Business Credentials: Natalie’s two beauty and clothing businesses have scored her a couple of shiny awards. Impressive.

Most Likely To: Have communications issues with gravelly JD and cat-speaking Aleksandra.


Oliver Nohl-Oser

Who?: Unlike nearly every other contestant in the history of The Apprentice, Oliver thinks honesty is the best policy when it comes to business. He also says he’s got a temper, but we’re not sure we believe him.

Business Credentials: Oliver is the founder and director of a sausage manufacturer, which sells bangers to supermarkets both nationally and internationally.

Most Likely To: Surprise us with said temper when we’re least expecting it.


Paul Sullivan

Who?: “I'll play the team when I need to be part of the team, but I'm here to win, not to make up the numbers.” Unless of course he’s fibbing about sales figures in the boardroom, eh?

Business Credentials: Paul owns and directs a marketing company that handles finance, technology, construction, and property. So all the exciting stuff really.

Most Likely To: Cosy up to Lord Sugar by constantly referring to how he also started his career on a market stall. 


Rebecca Jeffery

Who?: Rebecca is the first to admit that she talks too much, admitting “I can’t cope with silence, I have to talk, and I like to talk”. Oh joy.

Business Credentials: Rebecca is the account manager and creative director of her marketing and design company. Way to make us all feel lazy, Rebecca.

Most Likely To: Fill that awkward silence just before Lord Sugar says “You’re fired”.


Samuel Boateng

Who?: Nicknamed “Mr President” by his wife, Samuel thinks it’s his creativity, passion, charm, and likeability that make him the “perfect guy”. However, we think it’s his modesty.

Business Credentials: Mr Boateng is a sales manager for a major car brand, and possesses a “God-given gift” to sell.

Most Likely To: Coerce people into buying things with his somewhat pushy car salesman demeanour. But in a nice way. Probably. 


Sofiane Khelfa

Who?: Sofiane came to Britain 13 years ago with nothing but £180 in his pocket (and presumably a pair of trousers). He also likens himself to Charles Darwin, and says he’s “simply the best”. Tina Turner might disagree.

Business Credentials: Sofiane works in a high-end retail store, negotiating technology sales with high-profile clients. So basically he works in a shop.

Most Likely To: Pontificate on the genetics of wildlife on the Galapagos Islands. Or did he not mean that Darwin thing literally?


Trishna Thakrar

Who?: Tomboy Trisha used to play semi-professional football, and sees herself as a bit of a geezer with the ability to charm men and women equally. “My only tactic is to be myself, this alone will make sure I win”. Yeah, that always works.

Business Credentials: Trishna works for a big IT company, providing internal recruitment services and other things that will lull you to sleep.

Most Likely To: Get stuck into tasks with sporty enthusiasm, and wind everyone else while doing so.

The Apprentice starts on Thursday 6th October at 9pm on BBC One. Also available after broadcast in Catch Up on BBC iPlayer.