Alan Sugar has warned his new apprentices not to try to worm their way into his good books.

In the first show, screening on Wednesday, March 28, he says: “The worst kind of schmooze that I can’t stand is ‘Sir Alan, I’m just like you – I came from a humble background and worked my way up’. Well, don’t lay that rubbish on me.”

He adds: “I am looking for someone who is drop-dead shrewd. This is the job interview from hell. This is no gameshow – there won’t be some busty blonde waiting outside to hug you so that you can sob into her bosoms.

“What there will be is a black cab waiting to take you to the station.”

Challenges in the new series include selling British produce at a French farmers’ market, designing accessories for dogs and selling sweets at London Zoo.

Each week one of the new 16 apprentices will hear Sir Alan’s famous catchphrase: “You’re fired.”

The two teams will live together in a multi-million pound mansion in Notting Hill.

BBC One controller Peter Fincham said: “The Apprentice returned in style last week with an incredibly successful Comic Relief special and I’m delighted that BBC One is the new home for one of the most compelling formats of recent years and the redoubtable Sir Alan Sugar.”