A Monaco marketing firm boss who spent a season as a racing driver, the owner of a cupcake shop and a property company chief who idolises Napoleon are among hopefuls aiming to win this year’s The Apprentice.
They are among the 16 wannabes aiming to catch the eye of show boss Lord Sugar when the BBC1 series returns next week.
Also among the contestants – hoping to win £250,000 of investment from the electronics tycoon – are a jazz singer and an analyst whose first deal was selling kittens at school, aged six.
Monaco-based Myles Mordaunt, 39, has previously featured in an ITV show hosted by Piers Morgan – Sugar’s arch-rival on Twitter – when the presenter toured the wealthy territory.
Also taking part is Luisa Zissman, 25, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, who runs her own cake shop. She once posed naked for charity, and says she combines the sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit with the intellect of Einstein.
Zeeshaan Shah, who was brought up in Pakistan but is now based in London, began as a waiter but is now the CEO of a property firm. Speaking about his inspirations, the 27-year-old said: “I take inspiration from Napoleon; I am here to conquer.”
The oldest contestant is Jaz Ampaw-Farr, a 41-year-old former teacher who now runs a literacy company and lives in Milton Keynes.
The group also includes jazz singer Natalie Panayi, 30, who is also a qualified make-up artist and lives in Rickmansworth and works as a recruitment manager.
Business analyst Jordan Poulton, 26, who lives in London, said he got his first taste of business selling a litter of kittens as a child. He says he is passionate about encouraging young people to start their own businesses.
BBC1 viewers will see the group being put through their paces over 12 weeks and hoping to avoid being fired in a boardroom confrontation with fearsome Lord Sugar when the ninth series of The Apprentice begins on Tuesday, May 7.