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The Apprentice Lord Sugar with his 2018 candidates
(Image credit: BBC/Boundless Taylor Herring)

The Apprentice candidates are dispatched to Malta as the battle begins

The Apprentice candidates are dispatched to Malta as the battle begins.

‘I’m after workers not shirkers and winners not whingers,’ declares a typically bullish Lord Sugar, as he faces the 16 brave souls hoping to become his latest business partner.

And it’s a corker of a first task, which combines two of our favourite challenges – going abroad and tracking down fiendishly difficult items.

But as the candidates head to Malta to bargain their socks off for nine things connected to its history, there are some naughty traps waiting for them to fall into…

Throw in some monumental bickering, delusional bragging and impressively sneaky railroading and the stage is set for a classic series opener.

As the aspiring entrepreneurs compete for a £250,000 investment in their fledgling business, Lord Sugar’s ever-observant eyes and ears – AKA Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner – will again shadow their every move.

The Apprentice: Lord Sugar with Karren Brady and Claude Littner

Lord Sugar with Karren Brady and Claude Littner

Here, Karren, 49, and Claude, 69, give TV Times an insight into what’s on the agenda…

What’s new this time? Karren: The tasks are more complex. Alan wants to check that they’ll actually be able to manage a business and adapt to a global environment.

So, in the first task, he sends them to Malta to negotiate the best price for nine items and get back to the airport in time. Not all of them can do that…

Claude: Yes, it’s a surprise that we start with an international flavour. People are finding their feet, so they have difficulty getting to grips with it.

What other tasks will we see? Karren: We go to Glasgow to sell art, then we’re back in London for the launch of a budget airline and they also create artisan doughnuts.

Then, in Birmingham, they sell things at a bodybuilding exhibition, which is hysterical.

Claude: I wasn’t bodybuilding though; I have a perfect physique!

This series is extraordinary – you start off with Malta, and then they’re designing comics and there are some incredible experiences.

The Apprentice: You're Fired follows on BBC2 at 10pm with host Rhod Gilbert.

TV Times rating: *****