Brace yourselves for more ridiculous quotes, savage firings and stress-inducing speakerphone conversations in the back of cars, because The Apprentice is back for a brand new season.


As ever, Lord Alan Sugar is searching for a business partner, and the successful candidate will receive a £250,000 investment to support their company, as well as guidance and expertise from the man himself.

Each week, the contestants will take part in challenges designed to showcase their business ability - then, one of them will have to grab their suitcase and head off in a black cab after being fired.

This time around, there are 18 new candidates to keep track of. One of them is Joseph Phillips, a safari guide who reckons he’s “the James Bond of the business world” (not exactly sure what that means? Us neither).

After studying zoology and animal behaviour, he now reckons he is “unique enough to succeed” in the show.

Here’s what we know so far about Joseph.

Who is Joseph Phillips?

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

Job: Safari guide, South Africa

From: Worcestershire

While many of the prospective candidates will have experience in sales or building their own business, Joseph brings something very different to the table: he’s been working as a safari guide in South Africa.

Joseph was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was at school. “I felt as if it was a weakness, something that was going to hold me back - and for a time, it did,” he says.

“At school, I really struggled to keep my head above water. But now, this perceived weakness which held me back has become a driving force for me to succeed and prove what I’m capable of.”

He says this eventually made him “fight harder to keep up with everyone else”.

What has Joseph said about joining The Apprentice?

Joseph reckons that he doesn’t “deserve Lord Sugar’s investment more than anyone else in the process” but (of course there’s a "but") he does believe that he “[has] something that they don’t”.

“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,” he adds. We’ll have to tune in to learn more about these eco-friendly balms.

When does The Apprentice start?

Lord Alan Sugar on The Apprentice.
Lord Sugar on The Apprentice. Fremantle Media Limited/Ray Burmiston

The first episode will be landing on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Thursday 5th January at 9pm, making it a great antidote to any back-to-work blues.

The new candidates will be wheeling their suitcases through airport security and heading off to Antigua to design, sell and run excursions for holidaymakers.

Lord Sugar’s trusted advisors Karren Brady and Claude Littner (who is set to take part in two episodes this season, with Tim Campbell appearing in the remaining 10) will be keeping a close eye on proceedings.

When the hopefuls eventually touch down on UK soil, it’ll be decision time for Lord Sugar, who must make his first firing of the season.

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.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times View From My Sofa podcast.