List of The Apprentice candidates (UK series five)
Candidates are listed alphabetically by series; individual candidate information is accessed by clicking on their name below.
Table of contents
Where a date of birth is not provided, the age given is as of the time the relevant series aired.
Rocky Andrews, 21, from Middlesbrough, is the owner of a chain of sandwich shops called Fatso's.  Andrews had previously played football for the Middlesbrough Academy but his promising career ended after he was diagonosed with arthritis. He was fired with regret in the second week after failing as project manager on a task related to his own business.
Debra Barr is a 23-year-old senior sales consultant from Surrey (originally from Glasgow), who holds a BA in English literature from Royal Holloway, University of London. She has been portrayed as one of the villains of the series, along with Ben Clarke and Phillip Taylor. Known for being gutsy and outspoken, Debra was awarded 'mouth of the year' at her office Christmas party. Some candidates have referred to her as being "six foot tall, seven foot tall with her mouth open". Her outspoken manner was most notable when she expressed frustration at Nick Hewer in week six for questioning whether or not she was responsible for closing a deal. However, Hewer added later that this was one of his personal highlights of the series: "My real highlight, and who wouldn't get a little frisson from it, to be ticked off by the lofty and beautiful Debra". She narrowly missed a firing in week one, eight and nine and was fired two weeks later in the interview task; finishing in third place overall.
Despite not making it to the final two, Alan Sugar asked Debra to "keep in touch" and made several remarks implying that firing Debra instead of Yasmina or Kate could be one of the biggest mistakes he's ever made.
On 11 June 2009, she appeared on This Week to discuss workplace bullying. In March 2010 Debra filmed a series of interviews for The Business Channel where she spoke with key figures in the energy sector about the Carbon Reduction Commitment.
She is currently sales manager at a firm called Stockshifters.com, specialising in the disposal of excess/unwanted & end of line stock into the channel.
Noorul Choudhury (born 1976) is the assistant director of teaching & marketing at The Macclesfield Academy. His interests include fashion and design, and business in tailoring. He currently has launched an online recruitment consultancy, owns a property business and a fabric technologist business. He was described as being "quiet" and "in the shadows" because of his lack of contribution to any of the tasks, before going on the show he said, "I am not all talk. I can manage a team of people, total strangers even, because I am feisty and have an attitude." His performance on the show was heavily criticised by series 4 runner-up Claire Young. In Week Four he was project manager, and his management was described as "poor" by Margaret Mountford. He was also, consequently, the first contestant from any winning team to have the title as "the one who got away" on the Apprentice's spin-off show "You're Fired", meaning it was predicted that he narrowly escaped the sack from Sir Alan despite his team actually winning. He was fired in week 6 due to lack of contribution over a number of tasks. After the show he described himself as the "life and soul of the party" instead of the quiet character seen on the show.
Benjamin "Ben" Clarke, 22, was a trainee stockbroker from Belfast, in Northern Ireland. He was educated at two senior schools: first at Campbell College, a state-maintained voluntary grammar school in his home city of Belfast, and then at Merchiston Castle School, a boarding independent school in Edinburgh in Scotland. He then went to the University of Durham, where he obtained an MBA, followed by the University of Oxford, where he studied Private Equity.
After leaving Oxford, Clarke went on to work for James Caan of Dragon's Den fame in his private equity firm, Hamilton Bradshaw alongside series 6 finalist, Chris Bates. He completed his undergraduate degree in economics and business at Northumbria University in 2007. He started an MSc in banking and finance at Newcastle University shortly after, before dropping out to take a full-time job offer at investment bank Brewin Dolphin after only applying for work experience whilst doing his masters. He states that he has 'a raw hunger to make as much money as possible' and that 'making money is better than sex'. It was revealed that just before the series had started, Ben had been fired from his job at a bank as he intended to take time off to take part in the show and also for his boasting about winning a place in the series. He has also claimed many times to have a scholarship from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, although Margaret Mountford pointed out that he had not yet attended the college in Week 6. Clarke is famous for his catchphrase "I've got a scholarship to Sandhurst." In reply, Sir Alan stated "I was in the Jewish Lads' Brigade, Stamford Hill Division, trainee bugler, but it didn't make me sell computers when I got older!" moments before firing Ben in Week 9, also mentioning how former contestant Paul Callaghan's Sandhurst scholarship did not save him from being fired. The quote also won "Quote of the Week" and received a lot of internet interest. He is also famous for his role as 'Captain Squawk' in week 5. On 7 November 2010, Ben tweeted that he had scored "100% in my trading and portfolio management exam"  after being trained by ex Goldman Sachs trader Anton Kreil who starred on Million Dollar Traders and now runs his Institute of Trading and Portfolio Management.
Kimberly Davis is a 33 year old marketing consultant originally from New York, making her the first candidate to come from the United States. Before the Apprentice, she appeared on the Friday Night Project, asking a question to the guest host David Gest. Kimberly was fired in week 5 after creating an extremely weak advertising campaign involving the now infamous pantsman. Although the initial idea belonged to Philip Taylor, Kimberly let it continue resulting in a partially completed box design and slightly bizarre advert. These were torn apart by both the client and Sir Alan Sugar, and despite bringing Phil into the boardroom, Kimberly was fired.
Howard Ebison is a 24-year old retail business manager from Ashtead, Surrey. He was educated at the state comprehensive Therfield School in Leatherhead, Surrey and at the University of Warwick, where he studied mathematics. An award-winning dancer, and area manager of ten pubs, Howard describes himself as 'a credible businessman who wants to go far'. He was the first project manager on the men's team, having led his team to victory on the first task. He was fired in week 10. Since then, he has become the Business Development Manager of No.1 Traveller.
Adam Freeman, a 30-year-old internet entrepreneur, withdrew from the programme a day before filming of the show began. He cited family reasons for his untimely departure, however Sir Alan Sugar implied that Adam was intimidated by him, stating to the contestants on the first episode that he had 'bottled it'. Video footage of him was shown during the first episode of The Apprentice: You're Fired!.
Paula Jones, an HR manager, was the project manager in the fourth week. tasked to create and sell shower products derived from natural sources, and made what Sir Alan described as "a very good product". However, during the manufacturing process she confused cedar wood with sandalwood - the latter being much more expensive - and a mix up with quantites caused Empire to accidentally spend over £700 on fragrances. This caused Empire to return to the broadroom with a loss. Paula stated she had a poor grasp of costings, and had chosen Yasmina (a former restauranter) and Ben (a stockerbroker) specifically to assist with the manaufacturing to ensure no mistakes were made. She consequently brought both into the broadroom, where they were deemed to be equally at fault, but Paula was ultimately held responsible as project manager, and was fired.
Mona Lewis, 28, is a senior business manager, single mother to son Ryan and former Tanzanian beauty-queen who lives in Sittingbourne, Kent. No stranger to confidence, Mona states "I knew I would be selected, not to sound big-headed ... I've succeeded in the companies I've worked for because I work hard and I'm honest." She was project manager in Week One and was partly responsible for the loss of the team. However, she won the Week 7 task when team leader. She was fired "with regret" on week eight, after a task to rebrand the town of Margate for showing lack of skills and creativity. Mona said after she left The Apprentice,"At no time have I ever claimed to be a creative person! The whole reason I signed up was to put myself out of my comfort zone. I put my hands up – I’m just not creative."
James McQuillan, 32, is a senior commercial manager from Surrey. He was educated at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in Holland Park in central London, one of the top Catholic comprehensives in the country, before graduating from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh with a MA (Hons) in economics. He is a former child chess champion and member of Mensa, James describes himself as 'astute and shrewd and smart ... maybe blunt at times'. He is also a "sports nut" and has been a football referee since he was 16. Prior to appearing in The Apprentice he was a commercial manager at a telecommunications company. Whilst in The Apprentice, James narrowly escaped the boardroom twice, in weeks two and three, and was observed to be very emotional by other candidates. Sir Alan commented on his narrow escape as " [him] being so far out of that door, you don't know." Additionally, Sir Alan has regularly branded James as being a "court jester" and "[a village missing an] idiot", despite his being of supposed high intelligence. He is also only the second candidate in Apprentice UK history - the first being Saira Khan in Series One - to lose twice as project manager and remain in the competition. Following Howard's sacking in Week 10, James became the only male candidate in the final 5. Despite this, he was "regrettably" fired after the interview task.
James has since followed on from previous series' candidates Ruth Badger, Katie Hopkins and Raef Bjayou in appearing in 8 Out Of 10 Cats the week after the final of The Apprentice. Since leaving the show he has said that he hopes to be involved in public appearances, conferences, after-dinner speaking, PR events, sport, charity work as well as general business. It was also reported that he would consider a career as a horse racing pundit.
In July, James was said to be working on a new racing TV programme. He had done some screen tests with the aim of becoming a regular presenter on a racing show. James also started working on a book about pregnancy. He also has his own website.
Majid "Maj" Nagra is a 28-year-old Business Development Manager from Coventry. His grandparents were Iranians of Sunni Baloch ethnicity. Having been previously expelled from school, he describes his attitude as 'never say die'. Just before his ninth birthday, his brother, sister, brother-in-law and cousin all died in a car crash and he cites this as the reason why he was expelled from sixth form. He later went to the University of Coventry. He was fired in week three for what Sir Alan Sugar viewed as "hanging around on the periphery". After The Apprentice he continues to run his arranged marriage website Ejori.com and his car hire company. He was adamant that James McQuillan should have been fired instead and even joked that Margaret "fancied James".
Anita Shah was born in Birmingham, West Midlands and is a 36 year old woman who attended the state comprehensive Lordswood Girls’ School & Specialist Centre for Media Arts in Harborne, Birmingham. She was the first candidate to be fired from the series because of her poor recognition of money spent and lack of contribution and participation. Anita is an avid cricket fan and is currently looking to pursue a career in media. Interested in writing, Anita is working on her debut novel, Friends in Law, and contributed a regular column for The Telegraph's website about the 2010 series. She could also be heard on BBC WM with Joanne Malin on a Thursday morning, commenting on the previous night's episode of The Apprentice. Anita also works voluntarily for BHBN Hospital Radio in Birmingham, hosting a request show on a regular basis.
Yasmina Siadatan (// see-AD-ə-tən) is a 27-year-old British-Iranian restaurateur from Kingston upon Hull. She was educated at Kendrick School, a selective state girls' grammar school in Reading, Berkshire, before reading economic history at the LSE. She describes herself as dominating yet adaptable, having spent time living in Los Angeles and Iran before settling in London. She also says: "Business is about a simple formula. Make more than you spend. That's what I do, I keep business simple and it works. I'm good at it." She currently runs a restaurant called 'Mya Lacarte' in Caversham, near Reading which was a replacement for her former restaurant 'Medies' in Kidderminster.
She was the team leader in the second week and consequently won the task, and has since gone on to manage two other tasks successfully, making her the first in Apprentice UK history to hold a 3-0 record as PM. (This record has since been equalled by Helen Milligan of Series 7.) She was hired as the winner of the fifth series on 7 June 2009.
Philip "Phil" Taylor is an estate agent from Durham, who describes himself as the Elvis Presley of the business world. He attended Tudhoe Grange Comprehensive School in Spennymoor and revealed on The Apprentice: You're Fired that he holds a BSc in civil engineering from the University of Chester. Philip formed a relationship with fellow contestant Kate Walsh after meeting her on the show and admits he spent more time flirting with her than on his tasks. He has subsequently met Kate's parents and although rumoured, they are not engaged. He was fired in week seven for his arrogance, cockiness and "bravado attitude", after which he left the boardroom calling his firing 'a joke'.
In 2010 Philip Taylor founded Rocka Fitness Ltd and released his first product The Body Rocka which was originally conceived in Episode 3 of Season 5 of The Apprentice. The Body Rocka is a portable core training unit which uses the concept of instability training to engage and work the core muscle groups.
Lorraine Tighe //, 36, is a national accounts manager from Kent. A single mum who left school at 16, Lorraine has risen to the top sales role in every company she has worked for. She says "I've fought against all the odds. I'm a single mum with no education and I've had a very hard time. It is tough, but to have the confidence I have I should be very proud of myself." She has once been referred to as the 'Cassandra' of the competition by Sir Alan's aide Margaret, as she has had trouble getting other team members to listen to her views, which attracted some sympathy from former contestant Lucinda Ledgerwood. She found herself in the bottom three in weeks 5, 7, and 10, but escaped being fired, and won the most tasks in that year with 6 wins. Throughout the course of the series she referred to her powers of 'intuition'.
At the time of The Apprentice, Lorraine Tighe was a single mother of two children. Lorraine and ex-husband Theodore Apostolov split up a few years before she went on The Apprentice. Tighe was born in London, but when she was six, her parents, James and Loretto Tighe, moved back to Ireland, and Lorraine attended Rathowen N.S, before going on to the Loreto College in Mullingar. On several occasions during the programme, Lorraine has been noted to slip from her Home Counties accent into a broad Irish one, especially during stressful moments.
Kate Walsh is a 27-year-old licensing development manager from Staffordshire. She has a BSc honours degree in psychology and management from Aston University, Birmingham. Ambitious and gutsy, the indie music fan lists cooking, snowboarding and gym workouts as passions she pursues with relentless enthusiasm. She says: "My CV speaks for itself. I've always excelled academically and I have really achieved within a corporate environment across sales, marketing and a number of different aspects of business." She cites Samantha Jones from Sex and the City as her top business idol. It was rumoured that Kate had a relationship with fellow contestant Philip Taylor after entering the competition which she confirmed on the final You're Fired show. Walsh was runner-up in The Apprentice 2009.
Since rejection by Sugar, Walsh has hosted a women's fashion segment on GMTV. Walsh presented a programme on Channel 5 called Live From Studio Five with Ian Wright and Jayne Middlemiss. The first episode of the show was broadcast on 14 September 2009.
- Series One Contestant profiles — the men at BBC
- Series One Contestant profiles — the women at BBC
- Series Two Meet the Boys at BBC
- Series Two Meet the Girls at BBC
- Series Three Meet the Boys at BBC
- Series Three Meet the Girls at BBC
- Series Four Meet the Boys at BBC
- Series Four Meet the Girls at BBC
- Series Five candidates at BBC
- Series Six candidates at BBC
- Series Seven candidates at BBC
- Series Eight candidates at BBC
- Series Nine candidates at BBC
- gazettelive Administrator. "Fatso's boss Rocky Andrews expands his empire". gazettelive.
- Anita Singh, Showbusiness Editor (2 April 2009). "The Apprentice loser Rocky Andrews speaks out". Telegraph.co.uk.
- The Apprentice Candidates - Noorul Choudhury BBC. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- Lorna Cooper (1 March 2009) "You're Fired!" Noorul Choudhury MSN UK. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- TV star shows serious side in poverty mission Manchester Evening News (The Asian News). Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- The Apprentice: Claire Young's Verdict
- Another Apprentice bites the dust BBC News (BBC). 29 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- The Apprentice: Noorul Choudhury fired Telegraph. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- "Ben Clarke fired from the Apprentice despite Sandhurst boasts". The Daily Telegraph (London). 2009-05-21. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
- Banks-Smith, Nancy (2009-05-21). "Last night's TV: The Apprentice". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-04-09.
- Will Payne (19 April 2009). "Apprentice's Howard Ebison wants to turn Margate into gay resort". Daily Mirror.
- Howard Ebison. "About Howard Ebison". Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- "Mona Lewis fired from The Apprentice". Now Magazine. 14 May 2009.
- Apprentice Interview: Mona Lewis
- James McQuillan - Post Apprentice
- "James to take punt on fame". The Sun (London). 4 June 2009.
- Colin Robertson (2 July 2009). "Apprentice James gets a turf job". The Sun (London).
- James McQuillan - Welcome
- TIMES MAGAZINE: Apprentice star reveals his Iranian roots. 22 February 2010 - Aydin Peshavari
- Dan Evans (2009-03-29). "You're fired, said school". The News of the World.
- "'Gobby' Apprentice hopeful fired". BBC News. 2009-04-09.
- "Nagra: Sugar's a softy really!". Eastern Eye. 2009-04-17.
- "Maj: I think Margaret fancied James". 2009-04-11.
- Majid Nagra (2009-04-09). "Majid Nagra on why life in the Apprentice house". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- "The first Apprentice wedding? Kate Walsh and Philip Taylor fuel engagement rumours as they shop for rings". Daily Mail (London). 2009-07-03.
- [dead link]
- "Apprentice loser to host TV show". BBC News. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10.