The candidates all vying for £250,000 worth of investment and Lord Sugar as their business partner are: Michael Copp, Azhar Siddique, Nick Hozherr, Tom Gearing, Duane Bryan, Adam Corbally,Ricky Martin, Stephen Brady, Laura Hogg, Maria O’Connor, Jenna Whittingham, Jane McEvoy, Bilyana Apostolova, Gabrielle Omar, Katie Wright and Jade Nash.
Aides Nick Hewer and Karren Brady will return to keep an eye on the new contestants as they compete to earn the investment from Lord Sugar.
The candidates’ CVs reveal everything from a professional wrestler, a show jumper and a shark diver to entrepreneurs in fields as varied as architecture, beauty, bridal, technology, fine wine and greengrocery.
In business, times are tough and investment is hard to come by. The 16 ambitious applicants are determined to win the backing they need, but to get funding they’ll face the fight of a life time.
Failure is not an option and errors will not be excused as Lord Sugar wastes no time in informing his 16 possible partners of his high expectations:
“This is not about a job anymore and I’m not looking for a friend, if I wanted a friend I’d get a dog. I’m looking for a partner, the ‘Marks’ to my ‘Spencer’, the ‘Lennon’ to my ‘McCartney’. This is about me investing £250,000 into a business with one of you and I’m expecting you, as the so called entrepreneurs, to make the money for me.”
“Some of you may come here with preconceived plans of how this is going to play out. Let me give you a warning, don’t try and hide. We’re not playing ‘Where’s Wally’ here. I’m not looking for Lord Lucan, I’m looking for somebody who is going to put themselves forward and show me that they have got the aggression and business acumen to be my partner.”
Episode one follows the candidates as they are split into two teams, boys versus girls, with Nick and Karren closely monitoring their every move.
Appropriately, in the first task the prospective candidates must start with a blank canvas. The teams are set the challenge of starting their own print businesses.
They must buy £500 worth of bare materials, from mugs to mouse mats, create designs to print on to them and then sell their unique products to the public. The decision of what products to choose and which customers to target is theirs but only one factor will be considered in the first boardroom showdown – who has made the most profit?
Series eight will see personalities clash and tempers soar as the cut-throat competition gets tougher with every task.
With each task based on new business opportunities, the candidates will design a new household gadget, produce a condiment, open a junk shop, create a fitness DVD, represent urban / street artists and promote English sparkling wine.