'I look like an angel but have the heart of a lioness': Lord Alan Sugar reveals his 12 candidates as the Young Apprentice returns
10:37 GMT, 23 October 2012
Lord Alan Sugar has unveiled the 12 contestants who will battle it out on this year's series of Young Apprentice.
Hoping to win a 25,000 business development fund to kick-start their careers, the eclectic bunch hail from not only every corner of the UK, but also Kenya and Paris.
And with a former chip shop worker, a ukulele player and a fashion designer among the group, the eight episodes look set to make for interesting viewing.
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High-achievers: Lord Alan Sugar, assisted by his no-nonsense advisers Nick Hewer and Karren Brady, will choose one young business brain as the winner of a 25,000 career-development fund on this year's Young Apprentice
Former Head Girl and budding politician Navdeep Bual is already a high-achiever at the tender age of 16, not only having met former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, but also being the UK’s Young Ambassador for the Global Campaign for Education.
Navdeep – whose ultimate aim is to work for the UN – said: 'I’m probably the most competitive person I know but I see that as a brilliant thing because I thrive in competition. I think without it life would be pretty dull.'
Maria Doran may be a bubbly Irish girl with a passion for the theatre, but she warned the worst thing for her competitors to do would be to 'underestimate' her.
Business brains: Navdeep Bual (L) is UK’s Young Ambassador for the Global Campaign for Education, while Maria Doran (R) warned she has the 'heart of a lioness'
She said: 'I’m 5’1” and look like a little angel but believe me I have the heart of a lioness and will take apart anybody that tries to mess with me.'
Farmer's daughter Alice Smith has already earned herself a steady income by selling free-range eggs from the chickens on her farm in between her jobs as a waitress and working in a golf shop.
Meanwhile, Londoner Amy Corrigan's first job was working in a fish and chip shop, but she is already dreaming of the high life, and hopes to open her own nightclub one day.
Young entrepreneurs: Farmer's daughter Alice Smith (L) has already earned herself an income selling free-range eggs, while Amy Corrigan (R) dreams of owning her own London nightclub
Inspired by fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Ashleigh Porter-Exley has been in employment since she was just 13, while Paris-born Lucy Beauvallet boasts being bilingual and owning her own cake business as among her many talents.
When it comes to the boys, Kenyan-born David Odhiambo still does a paper round at the age of 17, despite already having chaired a number of committees and confessing to being a 'megalomaniac'.
He said: 'I have a disease called megalomania; this is a condition that means I am highly obsessed with wealth, power and omnipotence.'
Determined: Ashleigh Porter-Exley (L) has been in employment since she was just 13, while Paris-born Lucy Beauvallet (R) boasts being bilingual and owning her own cake business among her many talents
Elsewhere, at the tender age of 16, Max Grodecki trades vintage clothes and collectables, and has already made more than 1,000 after selling an unidentified Lowry sketch.
Steven Cole set up his first business at the age of 13, and has the lofty aim of hoping to have made 10 million by the age of 27.
Meanwhile, Wirral-based fashion designer Patrick McDowell was the youngest-ever recipient of the Young Textiles Designer of the Year at the age of 13, and boasts playing the euphonium and the baritone horn, as well as being in a brass band and swing band, as among his musical talents.
Cut-throat: Kenyan-born David Odhiambo (L) describes himself as 'highly obsessed with wealth, power and omnipotence', while Max Grodecki (R) already trades vintage clothes , art and collectables at the tender age of 16
But he's not the only Young Apprentice contestant to have already got an award under his belt.
Sean Spooner was named the World's Youngest publisher after setting up a magazine at the age of 14, while Huddersfield-born Andrew Tindall first started making money from his charity-based greeting cards business at the age of 10.
He warned: 'It’s not a team game; it’s working together but for me to win.'
Competitive: Steven Cole (L) set up his first business at the age of 13, while Wirral-based fashion designer Patrick McDowell (R) was the youngest-ever recipient of the Young Textiles Designer of the Year
The cut-throat competition will see the youngsters battle it out in a series of tasks designed to test their business acumen, including designing a new cookbook, sourcing props for the English National Opera and branding a hair-styling product.
Once again, the group will have a taste of the good life by living in a luxury mansion in Hampstead, North London, as they prepare to face multi-millionaire technology mogul Lord Sugar and his no-nonsense advisers Nick Hewer and Karren Brady in the boardroom each week.
Future stars Sean Spooner (L) was named the World's Youngest publisher after setting up a magazine at the age of 14, while Huddersfield-born Andrew Tindall (R) first started making money at the age of 10
Lord Sugar tells the hopefuls in the first episode: 'We’ve got whole countries going bankrupt and I believe it is young people like you who will bring prosperity back to this country.
'I don’t like teacher’s pets and I don’t like school bullies. This is about the real world. I’m not making you sit exams – the only grade you’ll get here is ‘F’ for Fired.'
Young Apprentice starts on November 1 at 8pm on BBC One.