Who is The Apprentice candidate Aaron Willis? Everything you need to know about Chorley man bidding to win Lord Alan Sugar's backing

Chorley’s Aaron Willis is one of the candidates looking to impress Lord Alan Sugar as The Apprentice returns to our screens.

By Adam Lord
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 2:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 2:06 pm

The 16 hopefuls are looking to win a life-changing £250,000 investment in their business as the show returns for the first time since 2019.

Who is Aaron Willis?

The 38-year-old from Buckshaw Village previously worked as a milkman, horseman and butcher before serving in the RAF for 12 years as a Flight Operations Instructor.

Aaron Willis is looking to impress Lord Sugar

Aaron, described as an outgoing salesman who is "hungry for success", is now looking for Lord Sugar's help to start his own security business and currently works for Vulcan security in Wigan.

What has Aaron said ahead of the show?

"My strongest point is that I can sell to anybody, and I think that's the reason why my business will be a success - because people will buy from me," he said.

Who are this year’s The Apprentice candidates?

Lord Sugar with this year's candidates

Candidate Harry Mahmood, 35, a regional operations manager from the West Midlands, has described himself as the “Asian version of Lord Sugar”.

He said he hopes to work with Lord Sugar to develop his business and become “the bad boys of the bath bomb world together”.

He is up against Alex Short, 27, the owner of a commercial cleaning company in Hertford. Short left school after the first year of sixth form and is on route to tripling his turnover.

He said: “I would compare myself to a Ferrari, shiny on the outside but under the bonnet, there is a lot of fire and I’m coming for you”.

Shama Amin has said she wants to “be a living example for the Asian women and South Asian women out there”.

The 41-year-old mother of five and children’s day nursey owner from Bradford added that “being a lady of colour, wearing a headscarf,” means she understands the challenges they face.

Ashkay Thakrar, 28, the owner of a digital marketing company, is hopeful that his ability to speak seven languages will serve him well on the show.

He said his friends “call me AK47 because I’m a killer salesperson” and has claimed that his first word as a newborn was “profit”.

The other candidates on the show include Akeem Bundu-Kamara, a strategy manager for a financial firm, beauty brand owner Amy Anzel, hotel front of house manager Brittany Carter and Conor Gilsenan, a sales executive.

Additionally, Francesca Kennedy Wallbank, a sustainability company owner, Harpreet Kaur, a dessert parlour owner, online pyjama store owner Kathryn Louise Burn, pharmacist Navid Sole, finance manager Nick Showering, boutique cocktail bar owner Sophie Wilding and Stephanie Afflek, the owner of an online children’s store, will take part.

What is in store for The Apprentice candidates in 2021?

The contestants - who were all double vaccinated before taking part in the series - are set to face the toughest challenges ever due to many businesses across the UK having been negatively affected by the pandemic.

When is The Apprentice on?

A Meet the Candidates episode of The Apprentice is available now on BBC iPlayer, ahead of the series starting on Thursday (January 6) at 9pm.

It will then air every Thursday night on BBC One while also being available on the iPlayer. Former winner Tim Campbell has joined Baroness Karen Brady as one of Lord Sugar’s aides.

Tom Allen will host The Apprentice: You’re Fired which airs on BBC Two immediately after the BBC One show.