The Apprentice candidates are tasked with selling antiques as Lord Sugar's search for a 12th business partner begins on BBC1

A cake company owner, an online fashion entrepreneur and the owner of a novelty gift company will be among the 18 candidates hoping to avoid the firing line when The Apprentice returns to BBC1 on Thursday night.

Lord Alan Sugar will send the contenders hoping to become his business partner out to sell collectables for as much money as possible under the watchful eye of his advisers Claude Littner and Karren Brady.

Over 12 weeks Lord Sugar will whittle down the candidates until he chooses one to become his business partner and receive a £250,000 investment.

After one team wastes time at the valuers while another fails to sell their products in shops, one entrepreneur will be the first to hear the dreaded words ‘You’re fired!’ in tonight’s episode.

In the show, marketing agency owner Paul Sullivan will make a successful bid to be project manager of one of the teams after declaring his passion for antiques comes from watching Bargain Hunt.

The Apprentice 2016
Expect typical hi-jinks as series 12 of The Apprentice kicks off (BBC/PA Images)


However, one of the teams find themselves without their crucial stock on a visit to an antique dealer when they fail to tell the van driver of a change of destination. Schoolboy errors abound!

Series 12 of The Apprentice premieres on BBC1 at 9pm.