A new cohort of business hopefuls will be grabbing their wheelie suitcases and hoping to catch Lord Alan Sugar’s attention for the right reasons in the 17th season of The Apprentice.


Once again, Lord Sugar is on the hunt for a business partner, who will receive a £250,000 investment in their company - but in order to receive that quarter of a million pounds sum, they’ll have to succeed in a series of tasks designed to test every aspect of their business nous.

Lord Sugar’s advisers Karren Brady, Tim Campbell and Claude Littner (who’ll return to the show for two episodes after sitting out last season following a serious cycling injury) will watch from the sidelines during the challenges. As always, they’ll be silently observing who is really pulling their weight and who is just full of hot air before reporting back in the boardroom.

Among the 18 candidates vying to impress is Denisha Kaur Bharj, a financial controller whose ambition is “to create an empire and have it all”. The first step in her masterplan? Secure the investment from Lord Sugar so she can “be mentored by the best, to be the best”.

It seems that Denisha can certainly talk the talk, but can she walk the walk? Here’s everything we know so far about the Apprentice star.

Who is Denisha Kaur Bharj?

The candidates for The Apprentice season 17
Meet the candidates of The Apprentice season 17. BBC

Job: Financial controller

From: Leicestershire

Instagram: @denishakaurbharj

Denisha describes herself as “a strong, motivated, hard-working woman” who is “not scared of getting out of my comfort zone if it means being successful”.

She promises that “there’s only one Denisha Kaur” and says that she’s adept at handling high-pressure situations, as she has “been tested a number of times both professionally and personally” and is “always constantly thinking ahead”.

Denisha, who has her own fake lashes brand called Empress of Lashes, adds that she has always had clear goals and dreams and hopes to “be an inspiration to young women”.

What has Denisha said about joining The Apprentice?

Shortly after The Apprentice 2023 line-up was revealed, Denisha posted on Instagram to confirm the news, telling her followers that she was “so excited to finally announce what I have been up to!”

She admitted that the series is “the only show I watch every year without doubt” and described herself as “full of dreams, drive and ready for a £250,000 investment opportunity”.

When does The Apprentice start?

Lord Sugar, Karren and Claude on The Apprentice.
Lord Sugar, Karren Brady and Claude Littner on The Apprentice. BBC/The Apprentice/Twitter

The first episode of season 17 will kick off on Thursday 5th January, airing at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Starting the new season in extravagant style, the candidates will be travelling to the Caribbean island of Antigua (which marks a bit of a step up from last year’s excursion to north Wales).

Once they've touched down, the contestants won’t have much time to relax and enjoy their surroundings, as they’ll soon be tasked with creating excursion packages and selling them to tourists.

Karren and Claude will have their eyes peeled as the candidates negotiate with suppliers, holidaymakers and, of course, each other. Then, when they return to Britain, the winning team will be revealed - and Lord Sugar will decide which contestant’s Apprentice journey has come to an end.

More like this

The Apprentice will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Thursday 5th January 2023. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide, or visit our dedicated Entertainment hub.


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