Brace yourselves for a barrage of business buzzwords and cutting boardroom takedowns: The Apprentice is back on our screens for its 17th season, bringing with it a new cohort of seriously self-confident hopefuls vying for a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.


One of this year’s contestants is Avi Sharma, a banker who is hoping that Lord Sugar’s backing will give him a ticket out of the “rat race” of the finance world.

Avi is the youngest candidate taking part in the new season, but will he have youthful enthusiasm on his side or will his lack of experience compared to some of his more seasoned rivals be his undoing?

We’ll have to wait to find out - but in the meantime, here’s everything we know so far about Avi.

Who is Avi Sharma?

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

Job: City banker

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From: London

Avi describes himself as a “confident chap” which will certainly help him when it comes to some of the show’s infamous selling challenges, while his experience in the world of finance could give him the edge when it comes to balancing budgets. He promises that he “can bring a smile to the most miserable face” - but will he be able to make the famously hard to please Lord Sugar crack a grin in the boardroom?

As for Avi’s biggest weakness? The banker admits that “some say I’m delusional”, although he “prefer[s] the term optimistic”. We’ll have to wait and see him in action in the first challenge before we can make up our minds as to which word better describes him…

What has Avi said about joining The Apprentice?

Avi reckons that he should receive Lord Sugar’s investment because it will “help me escape the rat race of a banking job”, and believes he’s “the hardest working rat [Lord Sugar] will ever meet”.

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 Apprentice will be back on our screens on Thursday 5th January at 9pm on BBC One, when we’ll meet the 18 new candidates who will be jetting off to Antigua for the very first challenge.

Once they’ve touched down, they won’t have much time to relax and enjoy the island’s scenic views as they’ll be tasked with creating and selling excursions to tourists. What could possibly go wrong?

Casting their watchful eyes over the candidates’ progress will be Lord Sugar’s trusted advisors Karren Brady and Tim Campbell, while his right-hand man Claude Littner is also set to return for two episodes.

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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