The Apprentice 2016: Who are the Final Five?

Meet the candidates set to face the final challenge to gain Lord Sugar’s investment

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This week’s episode of The Apprentice saw Trishna Thakrar fired, leaving the series with its annual “Final Five” candidates who will face the interview challenge next week before they’re narrowed down for the final.

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The final five candidates will also be the subject of a documentary that will fill us all in on their personal lives – but before then, here’s everything you need to know about remaining candidates Jessica, Alana, Courtney, Frances and Grainne.


Jessica Cunningham

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Age: 29

Occupation: Online Fashion Entrepreneur

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Lives: Derbyshire

Follow on Twitter: @TheProdigalFox

She says: “A motto I live by is: there is no competition if you’re already winning.” 

Not content with running her own online fashion company, Jessica is also the Operations Director for a PR and marketing agency. She believes her positive, helpful attitude will propel her through the tasks, and says she wants to get close to the other candidates to find out how they operate, analyse their strengths and weaknesses and attempt to use them to her advantage.

However, despite apparently being a very capable business person, Jessica is definitely up for “a laugh”. She describes herself as a female Jim Carrey, and throughout the process her unconventional business style and sense of humour has divided viewers and her fellow candidates.


Alana Spencer

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Age: 24

Occupation: Owner, Cake Company

Lives: Ceredigion, Wales

Follow on Twitter @Alana_Spencer

She says: “I am incredibly hard-working, driven, and I’ll stop at nothing to get what I want.” 

Describing herself as determined, creative and charming, Alana started her first business, a chocolate company, aged 17 before moving on to selling cakes. She believes she is an adaptable businesswoman who will not shy away from any task Lord Sugar sets.

Early in the process, Alana struggled with the pressure, but now believes she has come out the other end stronger. After all, if she’s broken once, she can hardly break again…right?


Courtney Wood

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Age: 29

Occupation: Owner, Novelty Gift Company

Lives: Essex

Follow on Twitter @courters_wood

He says: “How would I describe myself in one sentence? I’ll give you one word: awesome.”

Designing novelty gifts for national and international retailers, Courtney describes himself as fun with a positive attitude and believes his confidence is one of his strongest attributes. He says he is not one to sit back and plans to assert his authority in the process. He thinks his cutthroat tactics will help him reach the top.

Over the weeks Courtney has struggled with pitching and public interaction, but hopes to show his worth elsewhere going forward.


Frances Bishop

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Age: 25

Occupation: Owner, Children’s Clothing Company

Lives: Doncaster

Follow on Twitter @franbishop_

She says: “I’m a pocket rocket. I’m quite fiery and live by the rule ‘kill them with kindness’.” 

Frances is the owner of a children’s clothing boutique and describes herself as talkative with a feisty personality, which she believes is what has got her so far in the business world. She wants to impress Lord Sugar with her strong positive outlook.

Notably, Frances has been on the losing side the most often of the remaining candidates – however, when project managing she has triumphed.


Grainne McCoy

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Age: 31

Occupation: Owner, Makeup Studio

Lives: Northern Ireland

Follow on Twitter @grainnemccoy_

She says: “I need guidance and a little bit of mentoring to help me make that first million.” 

Grainne works throughout the country on projects from film sets to fashion shows. She says her hunger and passion push her to succeed and she puts maximum effort into everything she does. She is confident that her self-belief and strong-mindedness will see her through the tasks. 

Over the course of The Apprentice process, Grainne’s organisation, pragmatism and level-headedness have been praised, but recent weeks have seen her more out of her depth. Can she turn things around in the interview stages?

The Apprentice continues on Thursday 15 December, 9pm BBC1

The Apprentice 2016: meet the candidates

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Trishna
Thakrar

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Sofiane
Khelfa

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Samuel
Boateng

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Rebecca
Jefferey

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Paul
Sullivan

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Oliver
Nohl-Oser

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Natalie
Hughes

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Mukai
Noiri

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Michelle
Niziol

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Karthik
Nagesan

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Jessica
Cunningham

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JD
O’Brien

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Grainne
McCoy

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Frances
Bishop

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Dillon
St. Paul

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Courtney
Wood

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Aleksandra
King

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Alana
Spencer