The Apprentice 2023: next episode, contestants, judges and everything we know

Lord Sugar stands in front of The Apprentice 2023 contestants gathered in two groups.
(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

The Apprentice 2023 is on the way, and a new bunch of candidates all hope to become Lord Sugar's next business partner.

Last season, Harpreet Kaur won an intense competition where she received a £250,000 investment in her dessert parlor, Oh So Yum! Harpreet's business is available in-store in three locations and online, and customers can purchase a variety of bakes and even sign up for a subscription. 

With a life-changing investment up for grabs, it's no surprise that there's no shortage of entrepreneurs looking to land a deal with Lord Sugar, and we've finally learned which budding businesspeople will be making up the line-up this time around. But it's no easy task of course, and they'll have to take on a number of tough challenges, face questioning from business professionals, and of course, survive the dreaded interviews, in order to impress Lord Sugar and his advisors.

Who's got what it takes to win the coveted investment to take their business to the next level? Here's what we know about the new series of The Apprentice so far...

The Apprentice 2023 release date

The Apprentice season 17 begins at 9 pm on Thursday, January 5 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, with new episodes set to air weekly at the same time. 

The next episode airs on Thursday, January 26, and will see the candidates heading to Brighton to secure nine items that are synonymous with the area.

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The Apprentice 2023 judges

As ever, Lord Alan Sugar is back and he's joined by his two trusted advisors: Baroness Karren Brady, who is the current vice-chairman of West Ham United FC, and Tim Campbell MBE, the first-ever winner of The Apprentice

We also know that Apprentice legend Claude Littner is back again this season, following his accident in 2021. A show insider told the PA news agency: "We were really pleased to have Claude back — he is a much-loved part of The Apprentice and Tim (Campbell) was a big hit with viewers last time so to have them both in the new series is a real treat."

The Apprentice 2023 contestants

This year's contestants have finally been revealed! Read on to find out a little bit about the 18 entrepreneurs vying for investment in their business ideas...

Avi Sharma

Avi Sharma for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: City Banker

Lives in: London

Avi says he's a confident and optimistic entrepreneur keen to escape the "rat race" of a city banking job, and says he's "the hardest working rat he'll [Lord Sugar] ever meet"!

Bradley Johnson

Bradley Johnson for The Apprentice

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Construction Company Director

Lives in: North Yorkshire

Bradley is a self-made man who started from nothing and has transformed it into a company that's turned over six figures and is proud of his "strong can-do attitude".

Dani Donovan

Dani Donovan for The Apprentice

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Hair Salon Owner

Lives in: Hertfordshire

Dani is out to inspire other people to launch their own businesses. Describing herself as "a different kind of business owner" and "more relatable", she wants to prove that being passionate about what you do is the true key to success.

Denisha Kaur Bharj

Denisha Kaur Bharj for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Financial Controller

Lives in: Leicestershire

Above everything else, Denisha believes her work ethic has allowed her to go far in life. When asked what her USP is, she said: "I’m a strong, motivated, hard-working woman. I know my worth and what I can achieve, most people don’t know that. I’m not scared of getting out of my comfort zone if it means being successful.

I have always known what I wanted in life. I know the dreams I want to achieve. There’s only one Denisha Kaur."

Emma Browne - Fired in Week 1

Emma Browne for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Senior Account Executive

Lives in: County Kildare

Emma is an "extremely competitive" businessperson who is determined to put in the hours to do whatever she needs to succeed, though she also says her biggest weakness could be that competitive spirit. She said: "I won't let anything get in my way. If I have an opinion and I think it's going to allow us to win the task, I will be sure to be straightforward with the other candidates."

Gregory Ebbs - Fired in Week 3

Gregory Ebbs for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Online Antiques Marketplace Owner

Lives in: Shropshire

Gregory is a local councilor who also owns an antiques business. He's also worked in Malta as a professional cannon-firer, and he says that his willingness to do things that are "unusual" is one of his biggest strengths!

Joe Phillips

Joe Phillips for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: South African Safari Guide

Lives in: Worcestershire

Joe Phillips has been described as the "James Bond of the business world" and believes his Zoology degree gives him a unique edge in the competition. As for his business idea, he said: "If Lord Sugar wants to invest in a business to help save the ocean, one lip balm at a time, then I'm his guy."

Kevin D'Arcy - Fired in Week 2

Kevin D'Arcy for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Accountant

Lives in: Dublin

Kevin launched a water sports equipment business during lockdown alongside his financial services career. His sports gear is now stocked in some of Ireland's biggest stores, and he thinks his business will make a splash if he can expand into new territories. In his own words, he said: "With Lord Sugar as my business partner, I know we can ride that wave into the UK and beyond."

Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Pest Control Company Owner

Lives in: London

As a former soldier, the boardroom isn't intimidating to Mark. He has total faith in his own business, and says his business has the most potential. "Out of all the candidates on paper, I am the one who can grow the business the quickest. If Lord Sugar doesn't pick me, then he's missing a trick."

Marnie Swindells

Marnie Swindells for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Court Advocate

Lives in: London

Marnie is a gold medal-winning boxer who's ready to put up a fight to make her business work. Although she says she can comes across as "headstrong", she's relying on her passion and eagerness to succeed to make herself and her business a success.

Megan Hornby

Megan Hornby for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Sweet Shop & Cafe Owner

Lives in: East Yorkshire

Megan says her unique selling point is her honesty and believes she "always give[s] one hundred percent truth, even if it's hard to hear", calling honesty "the most important thing in business". 

Reece Donnelly

Reece Donnelly for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Theatre School Owner

Lives in: Glasgow

Reece is determined to be the first Scottish candidate to land a deal with Lord Sugar. In his own words: "I'm here to prove that Scotland is filled with forward-thinking entrepreneurs and that we are not in fact a haggis-eating, kilt-wearing nation" whilst securing investment to enable him to expand his business beyond the border.

Rochelle Anthony

Rochelle Anthony for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Hair Salon & Academy Owner

Lives in: Bedfordshire

Rochelle prides herself on her business intuition and says "I'm always being compared to the Kim Kardashian of the business world because I'm doing business with a hint of glam." 

Shannon Martin - Withdrew in Week 2

Shannon Martin for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Bridal Boutique Owner

Lives in: West Yorkshire

Shannon says she hopes her million-pound business will soon be turning into a multi-million-pound business in the coming months and is determined to be the first business partner to bring Lord Sugar into the bridal industry. 

Shazia Hussain

Shazia Hussain for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Technology Recruiter

Lives in: London

Shazia has made it clear she's got one goal in mind: "I don't need any friends in business. I am here to win this", she said, but she will be hoping to form a working relationship with Lord Sugar as she aims to encourage more neurodiverse people like herself (she has ADHD) to try and enter the business marketplace.

Simba Rwambiwa

Simba Rwambiwa for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Senior Sales Rep

Lives in: Birmingham

As a self-described perfectionist, Simba always wants to get things done properly, and has full faith in his skills as a salesperson. Asked what his USP was, Simba said: "My USP is myself. If people can't buy into you, they'll never buy anything from you."

Sohail Chowdhary

Sohail Chowdhary for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Martial Arts School Owner

Lives in: Southampton

Sohail is perfectly happy to admit that he's had to fight hard to lead the comfortable life that he has achieved so far and says he wants to keep the other candidates "wary", adding "I am calm and collected, but if they do come at me? I will bite and I will sting, and I will leave my mark."

Victoria Goulbourne

Victoria Goulbourne for The Apprentice 2023

(Image credit: BBC/Fremantle Media/Ray Burmiston)

Occupation: Online Sweet Business Owner

Lives in: Merseyside

Flight attendant-turned-business owner Victoria started her sweet business during the lockdown, and it's since taken off on social media. She thinks her background has given her "unrivalled" customer service skills, adding: "My business took off quickly and with Lord Sugar's investment I know it could fly."

Is there a trailer?

There sure is! This year, it looks like the contestants will be jetting off on a trip to Antigua, but it's no holiday and they'll still need to impress Lord Sugar and his advisors if they're in with a chance to secure that investment.

Take a look below...

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress