With a new year comes a new season of The Apprentice – the BBC's long-running reality competition in which business hotshots compete for a life-changing investment from Lord Alan Sugar.


The show is back on Thursday for its 2023 season and while Karren Brady is joined by Claude Littner as an aide for episode 1, he's replaced by season 1 winner Tim Campbell for the subsequent episodes.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com about Littner's reduced role, Lord Sugar revealed that Littner would be taking a step back from the show due to "medical issues" but will return for the interviews stage of the competition.

In the meantime, there are 18 The Apprentice candidates to meet ahead of the season 17 premiere – including bridal boutique owner Shannon Martin who claims she can make Lord Sugar millions of pounds.

With the Yorkshire-based entrepreneur competing against financial controller Denisha Kaur Bharj, salon owner Dani Donovan, senior sales representative Simba Rwambiwa and antiques entrepreneur Gregory Ebbs among others, here's everything you need to know about Shannon Martin.

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Who is Shannon Martin?

Job: Bridal boutique owner

From: West Yorkshire

Instagram: @shannonmartin_dotty

Million-pound business owner Shannon Martin wants to be the first business partner to bring Lord Sugar into the bridal industry.

Based in West Yorkshire, Shannon says that she can make Lord Sugar "millions", although her biggest weakness is struggling to prioritise.

"When I come up with an idea, I want to just do it there and then and take everybody along with me on the ride," she said. "It can cause a bit of stress because I just want it today, I need to learn to be a bit more of a planner."

What has Shannon said about joining The Apprentice?

The candidates for The Apprentice season 17
The Apprentice season 17 candidates. BBC

Shannon has said that she deserves Lord Sugar's investment because her business is all based in the UK.

"There are not many other businesses that design, and manufacture wedding dresses made solely in the UK, which is exactly what my business plan is," she said.

"I think it’s a really good opportunity for him; he’s never been in the bridal business before."

When does The Apprentice start?

The Apprentice is back with its 2023 season this week, with episode 1 airing on Thursday 5th January at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

The season premiere will see 18 new candidates head to Antigua for their first task, where they'll need to sell and run bespoke tours of the Caribbean island.

The Apprentice airs on 5th January at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Entertainment coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide for more to watch.


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