Lord Alan Sugar is set to return to our television screens next week with a brand new series of The Apprentice, where hopefuls will compete to win a £250,000 investment in their business.

I say it every year, but the candidates look to be even more interesting – and deluded – than they were in the last series. They include an MEP, a former exotic dancer, a builder, a supermarket worker and a sailor. There’s even an events agency owner (already rooting for her) so it’s a mixed bag!

Lord Sugar will whittle down the bunch with the help of Karren Brady and Claude Littner, taking over from Nick Hewer.

As usual, the 18 candidates have all given statements about themselves. Humble David Stevenson, 25, says: ‘Me and Lord Sugar will work together because you’ve got age and beauty. Sugar’s got the age and I certainly am beautiful.’ The youngest candidate, 21-year-old Elle Stevenson, describes herself as a ‘geezer bird’ who is ‘a little insane’. She taught herself Latin and thinks Taylor Swift is ‘the best businesswoman of the 21st century’. Keen to see how Claude Littner reacts to that one…

The Apprentice starts next Wednesday at 9pm on BBC 1.