The Apprentice 2016: Meet The Contestants | Mr Nutcase Blog

The Apprentice: Meet The Contestants


The Apprentice is back and to say we’re excited is an understatement. Quite frankly, we’ve missed Karren Brady, Claude Littner and most importantly, Lord Sugar, gracing our TV screens and putting 18 business minded (and some not-so-business minded) candidates through their paces. As with all new series, the 2016 series of The Apprentice will bring us all new tasks, all new business plans and a brand new lineup of contestants fighting it out for the £250,000 investment fund. So if you’re as excited as we are and can’t wait to until tonight to meet the new contestants, check out our blog and get to know the 2016 lineup a bit better.
1. Rebecca Jeffery
Rebecca Jeffery
Image source: BBC
Age: 31
Occupation: Owner of a design and marketing agency
Lives: Greater Manchester
Rebecca works as both the Account Manager and Creative Director at her own design and marketing agency. Rebecca prides herself on an enthusiasm that is get’s people motivated but states this enthusiasm is often mistaken for silliness and naivety. Could people's perception of her enthusiasm make her the dark horse of the competition? We’ll have to wait and see, but Rebecca does admit that she won’t be the strongest candidate when it comes to numbers and calculations. We doubt this will hold her back though, after all she claimed to be “proof that you can get things done without whinging”.
2. Mukai Noiri
Mukai Noiri
Image source: BBC
Age: 36
Occupation: Digital Marketing Manager in the fashion sector
Lives: London
Before residing in London, Mukai Noiri lived in over six countries across three continents. But will this understanding of different cultures help him succeed in the array of tasks Lord Sugar has lined up? He recently gave up his successful career as a Senior Communications Manager to follow his dream and pursue his own business plan. And he isn’t shy about his determination. In a recent interview, Mukai stated “I feel sorry for Lord Sugar because previous applicants have been weak”. Confidence or cockiness? You decide. He thinks he’ll get far due to his straight talking, honest personality, although admits some may find this trait insensitive.
3. Trishna Thakrar
Trishna Thakrar
Image source: BBC
Age: 28
Occupation: Recruitment Agent
Lives: London
Trishna currently works as a Recruitment Agent within a large IT company, so it’s likely she has good inside knowledge of what it takes to succeed. Before this, she played football semi-professionally, which might have given her a success driven mentality. Although she doesn’t have a strong business background, she says “My only tactic is to be myself; this alone will make sure I win”. Confidence isn’t something new to The Apprentice, but will her self professed best business skill, charm, be enough to get her to the end? We’ll have to find out. She’ll sure fight for it though, making sure others know that if they cross her, she won’t hold back.
4. Oliver Nohl-Oser
Oliver Nohl-Oser
Image source: BBC
Age: 33
Occupation: Owner of a food distribution business
Lives: Wiltshire
Oliver is the founder and owner or a sausage manufacturer that supplies supermarkets in both the UK and abroad. With a solid understanding of what it takes to run a business already under his belt, Oliver is sure to be a strong contender this year. However, he admits he won’t be befriending his candidates as he wants full focus on the prize. Will this be a set back? Possibly. But he states his greatest business skills lie in his marketing ability and his powers of persuasion, which he believes will see him through the competition. He also has a humorous side, stating “Sometimes I feel like James Bond when I’m in my suit”. Let’s just hope we don’t see any dramatic 007 scenes.
5. Michelle Niziol
Michelle Niziol
Image source: BBC
Age: 35
Occupation: Owner, property consultancy
Lives: Oxfordshire
Michelle has already proved herself to be quite the business woman, being the founder and owner of three companies in mortgages, property and lettings. However, her self-admitted weaknesses may hold her back. Michelle consistently works 15-17 hour days and is a self confessed workaholic, but admits she has issues in letting others take control - not always the best trait to have when it comes to working with others. She believes her straight talking, passionate and honest personality could see her win the competition, but only time will tell.
6. Paul Sullivan
Paul Sullivan
Image source: BBC
Age: 38
Occupation: Owner of a marketing agency
Lives: Chigwell
Paul is the current owner and director of a marketing agency which focuses on finance, construction, technology and property and appears to be a driven business man. Paul stated that he would play the team when he needed to, but admitted his main focus is to win. In an interview he stated “I’m here to win, not make up the numbers”. We like his confidence, but could his lack of self passion set him back? He stated that he didn’t need a USP to win the show, but is this a cop out for not being able to think of any stand out features? Time will tell!
7. Jessica Cunningham
Jessica Cunningham
Image source: BBC
Age: 29
Occupation: Online Fashion Entrepreneur
Lives: Derbyshire
Jessica is a busy business woman, owning her own online fashion company and being the Operations Director for a PR and marketing agency. Perhaps she found her success through her self-proclaimed life motto: “There is no competition if you’re already winning”. Unlike the other applicants, Jessica’s strategy is to get close to her fellow contestants and find out how they operate whilst analysing their strengths and weaknesses. She said she would use this information to her advantage. Is this business woman a genius or simply setting herself up for a fail by getting too close to people? We’ll find out. But she believes her positive attitude will see her successfully through the tasks.
8. Karthik Nagesan
Karthik Nagesan
Image source: BBC
Age: 33
Occupation: Owner, IT consultancy
Lives: Northamptonshire
Business man Karthik Nagesan owns his own IT consultancy firm and believes his peers would describe him as a natural born leader who takes charge and blazes a trail. He see’s himself as a polite yet firm individual, which naturally makes him a human magnet. But he’ll need to be careful as his manners could see him left behind in the competition. He cites Alexander the great as his role model as he is a master strategist and a brilliant tactician. Karthik is quite the joker too. In an interview he stated: “If I wanted to be like everyone else, I would have waxed my monobrow”. 

9. Grainne McCoy
Grainne McCoy
Image source: BBC
Age: 31
Occupation: Owner of a Makeup Studio
Lives: Northern Ireland
Grainne owns her own makeup business and keeps busy by working on projects from film sets to fashion shows, throughout the country. She has a hunger and passion to succeed but admits that she’ll need some guidance and mentoring to help her take her first million. That doesn’t seem like too much of a task for Grainne though, who believes her strong-mindedness and self-belief will see her excel in all tasks. Is Grainne’s gritty determination enough to see her become the victor? Possibly. She certainly won’t give up without a fight, stating that she puts 100% effort into everything she does. 
10. Courtney Wood
Courtney Wood
Image source: BBC
Age: 29
Occupation: Owner of a novelty gift company
Lives: Essex
Courtney owns a business which designs and creates novelty gifts to be supplied to international retailers. He believes he has got this far by not being someone that sits back, which is sure to help him in the competition process. He also plans to assert this authority over competitors to ensure he reaches the top spot. He proclaims himself to be fun, positive and confident. He certainly wasn’t shy of showing this confidence when he stated “How would I describe myself in one sentence? I’ll give you one word: awesome”. He’ll need to be careful when treading the fine line between confidence and cockiness though.
11. Alana Spencer
Alana Spencer
Image source: BBC
Age: 24
Occupation: Owner of a cake company
Lives: Ceredigion, Wales
Alana might seem young, but business isn’t something that is new to her. In fact, she started her first business, a chocolate company, aged just 17. She then moved onto running her own, successful, cake company. She’s described herself as determined, creative and charming, which could be the winning combination, although others may not see her as a threat. She also believes that she is an adaptable business woman who is driven and won’t shy away from any of the tasks.

12. JD O’Brien
JD O’Brien
Image source: BBC
Age: 37
Occupation: Owner of a beachwear company
Lives: London
JD is the owner and founder of a successful beachwear company and is based in London. He’s a confident man who believes he can make the best of any situation whilst still being “the good bloke”. JD reckons his consistent hard work will see him make no mistakes in the apprentice, but we aren’t so sure. In fact, we can’t remember a contestant that didn’t have an off day. In an interview, he didn’t hold back, stating “I won’t suffer fools. I will get upset by other candidates who don’t know their a*se from their elbow”. Fellow contestants, watch out!
13. Frances Bishop
Frances Bishop
Image source: BBC
Age: 25
Occupation: Owner of a children’s clothing company
Lives: Doncaster
Frances is the successful owner of a children's clothing company. She believes she’s got this far by having a talkative but feisty personality, which she’ll use to see her through to the end of the competition. In an interview, she states “I’m a pocket rocket. I’m quite fiery and live by the rule ‘Kill them with kindness’”. She’s keen to impress Lord Sugar with her positive outlook, but she’ll need to remember that these are group tasks and her feisty personality could see her falling out with contestants. 
14. Dillon St. Paul
Dillon St Paul
Image source: BBC
Age: 37
Occupation: Art director at a fashion magazine
Lives: Dublin
Dillon uses his self-proclaimed super-creative personality to be a freelance art director at a popular fashion magazine. He describes himself as talented, kind and very funny, but says he’ll tell white lies to get through the competition if he has too, which is very different from fellow contestants ‘honesty is the best policy’ approach. And he’s certainly not afraid to be himself. In an interview he stated: “Sometimes batting the eyelashes can get you a lot in business. Hence, the mascara comes in handy so they can see those lashes”. Well, he’s probably not wrong.
15. Aleksandra King
Aleksandra King
Image source: BBC
Age: 38
Occupation: Owner, Business Consultancy
Lives: London
Aleksandra owns and runs her own business consultancy company, based in London. She describes herself as extremely confident and altruistic, which she’ll use to see her through to the end of the competition. And she’s not shy of showing her agenda. In her interview, she stated: “Like the Tasmanian devil in the famous cartoon, I will torpedo my way through to the win”. She believes she has a gift for spotting a good business opportunity and can sell to anyone. Well, we’ll soon find out if she has the gift of the gab too...
16. Sofiane Khelfa
Sofiane Khelfa
Image source: BBC
Age: 32
Occupation: Senior Sales Executive, Technology
Lives: Essex
Sofiane negotiates technology sales with high profile clients for a high-end retail store. He believes the best survivors in the world are people who adapt and claimed that he is the best at adapting. In a quote, he said “I’m like a chameleon. I adapt to anything, anywhere, anytime”. His belief in himself is strong, and thinks he has the ability to deliver and build lasting relations with business people. However, his friends have admitted that he can be overzealous sometimes. 
17. Natalie Hughes
Natalie Hughes
Image source: BBC
Age: 30
Occupation: Owner of a hair and beauty salon
Lives: Glasgow
Natalie is a busy business woman, owning and running two beauty and clothing companies. Starting her business at a young age, Natalie believes her experience will be enough to see her win the competition, stating: “I’m a hustler, I’ve got the hustlers ambition”. She believes her best qualities include her ability to think on her feet, her persuasive nature and her motivation to win. She insists she’s never embarrassed, but we’ll have to see…
18. Samuel Boateng
Samuel Boateng
Image source: BBC
Age: 27
Occupation: Sales Manager
Lives: London
Samuel is a salesman and is responsible for managing and attaining new business for over 700 companies in London. He’s certainly got his eye on the prize and is certain about getting there. In his interview he said “My creativity, my passion, my charm, and my likeability all roll into one, creating one perfect guy”. He says he is particularly proud of his public speaking ability and admits he’ll be on the charm offence, but will need to be careful not to get caught out.

Categories: TV shows

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