The Apprentice 2014: what to expect from new candidates
Extra faces give us more people to laugh at and adds an extra sense of jeopardy in the Apprentice boardroom
The Apprentice is back tonight for its tenth series, with no fewer than 20 new candidates desperate to become Lord Sugar's business partner.
This year's pool of hopefuls, which has increased from the traditional 16, include a match-making hypnotherapist, a pub quiz company founder and a dance teacher.
And with the series running for 12 weeks, it looks likely that Lord Sugar will have to dispose of more than one candidate at a time.
The opening episode has "everything thrown at it", says The Guardian's John Plunkett. "The extra faces not only means there are more people to laugh at, it also adds an extra sense of jeopardy at each boardroom finale. Now it's not only who he's going to fire, it's how many.
"As always with The Apprentice, the idiots are easier to spot on the first outing than the potential winner, and it's no spoiler to suggest you'll be spoilt for choice."
New tasks include designing a wearable technology product, creating an online video channel, manufacturing and selling a new board game, and running package coach tours.
In the first episode, candidates have to sell products that have appeared in the last nine series of the show, including sausages, flowers, coffee and fruit.
The task is "simple enough", says the Daily Telegraph's Gabriel Tate. "Yet simplicity once again proved far beyond the ken of the nation's greatest young business minds" and one team spends "so long procrastinating that you could almost hear the money gurgling down the drain".
The increase in candidates seems unlikely to counter accusations that The Apprentice lacks sympathetic participants and repeats itself both in character archetypes and tasks, says Tate. "But for all this, the first episode of the series retains its visceral, shuddering horror: unwatchable in the best sense, and still brimming with promise."
Meet the girls
Sarah Dales,32 (front row, left)
Executive assistant for a top financial firm, who also runs a match-making business and a hypnotherapy practice on Harley Street.
Lauren Riley, 28 (front row, second left)
Solicitor specialising in family law, who insists she is "absolutely not a shrinking violet" and regrets not having the idea for Facebook.
Lindsay Booth, 29 (front row, centre)
Swimming instructor who founded the Aquatic Swimming Academy in Leicester. Booth describes herself as "compassionate and ambitious".
Jemma Bird, 24 (front row, second right)
Dance teacher who looks to Simon Cowell as a business role model. Her proudest business achievement is founding an entertainment cabaret agency.
Pamela Uddin, 23 (front row, right)
Assistant brand manager from Dublin who has worked for Nike and Paddy Power. "I am street and people savvy as well as being business savvy," she says.
Katie Bulmer-Cooke, 27 (back row, left)
Personal trainer who creates and markets her own fitness DVDs. She describes herself as "a little stealth bomber".
Ella Jade Bitton, 23 (back row, second left)
Bitton works for her family's interior-design company and apparently owns 100 animals – predominantly sheep.
Roisin Hogan, 32 (back row, centre)
Accountant from Dublin, responsible for launching Skinny Girl Cocktails. Hogan admits she is "not very patient" and finds it difficult to bite her tongue if she sees something is being done incorrectly.
Nurun Ahmed, 36 (back row, second right)
Marketing officer and fashion retailer, running three businesses. "I'm the type of person that doesn't take five hours to do one job, I do 20 jobs in five hours," she says.
Bianca Miller, 25 (back row, right)
Londoner who regrets not becoming a scientist so she could clone herself and "be more successful in half the time". Her branding company was named as one of the top 100 start-ups of 2013.
Meet the boys
Steven Ugoalah, 25 (front row, left)
Canadian social worker who spent a year travelling the Arctic for a community development project. "I can deliver in minus 50, I can deliver in plus 10," he says. "If we went to Mars right now, I'd find a way to be excellent."
Felipe Alviar-Baquero, 33 (front row, second left)
Columbian-born solicitor at an international law firm who has unwisely declared his allegiance to Arsenal in front of Lord Sugar.
Scott McCulloch, 24 (front row, centre)
Scottish "clinical development strategist", who sees himself as a "mix between Gandhi and the Wolf of Wall Street".
Chiles Cartwright, 35 (front row, second right)
Company director for a consultancy business and a building materials supplier. Cartwright has a black belt in karate.
Solomon Akhta, 22 (front row, right)
The youngest contestant this year. Akhta works at a creative agency and runs his own social media tech company.
Mark Wright, 24 (back row, left)
Australian who has been working in sales for the digital health and fitness industries for nine years. He describes himself as "very, very aggressive" and says he "will not leave the room without getting a sale".
Daniel Lassman, 27 (back row, second left)
Runs his own pub quiz company. Lassman also worked as a market trader in his family business and played for Hornchurch FC for a year before getting injured.
James Hill, 26 (back row, centre)
Owner of multiple businesses, starting out with his own hand car wash. "Me and Lord Sugar could build an empire together," he says. "I think I am him when he was my age."
Sanjay Sood-Smith, 27 (back row, second right)
London bank manager who says he is not here to make friends. "If I had to choose between friendship and profit I'd choose profit," he says.
Robert Goodwin, 25 (back row, right)
Marketing manager who claims to be "fearless". He started out as a tennis coach at the age of 15 and worked in his uncle's art shop.
- The Apprentice returns on Tuesday 14 October 2014 at 9pm on BBC One