Thank you for the opportunity: Ex-Harrogate DJ Ruth, 47, bids for Apprentice cash

Ruth Whiteley, one of the candidates in this year's BBC1 programme, The Apprentice.
Ruth Whiteley, one of the candidates in this year's BBC1 programme, The Apprentice.
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A FORMER court reporter and disc jockey from Harrogate is among the candidates hoping to secure Lord Alan Sugar’s financial backing in the new series of The Apprentice.

Ruth Whiteley, 47, is the oldest of the 18 contestants hoping to impress Lord Sugar and his aides Karren Brady and Claude Littner, who replaces Nick Hewer.

Ms Whiteley, the owner of a sales training consultancy, previously worked as a DJ on a mid-morning show for a local radio station as well as a stint as a court reporter.

She said: “Lord Sugar might think I’m a bit gushing, he might find me over-zealous, but I think he’ll think I’m great.”

The popular BBC One show returns for its 11th series on Wednesday October 14, and in a new twist, the contestants will not be divided into male or female groups for the first show tasks.

Viewers will also be treated to a double helping of boardroom antics for the first week only, with the launch episode followed by another one on Thursday October 15.

Lord Sugar in front of the candidates fo this year's BBC1 programme, The Apprentice

Lord Sugar in front of the candidates fo this year's BBC1 programme, The Apprentice

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Lord Sugar said the “process works”, and revealed: “I’ve invested one million pounds in all four winners and all four of those people are doing fantastically well and I’m expecting the winner of this particular process to carry on that trend”.

He described the £250k investment from him that candidates win as “an acorn which we want grown into a great oak tree”.

The first episode will see the business newbies being tested on key business skills of product creation, negotiation and selling.

The mixed teams are sent off to Billingsgate Market, the capital’s famous fish market, to pick up seafood at the best price possible. They then have to turn their stock into lunch produce and feed hungry Londoners while making as much profit as possible.

Other tasks in the new series will involve creating an advertising campaign for shampoo, selling pet products, closing real estate and producing a new health snack.