List of The Apprentice candidates (British series 11)

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Main article: The Apprentice (British TV series)

The following is a list of candidates from the British reality television series The Apprentice (British series 11).

Candidates are listed alphabetically. Where a date of birth is not provided, the age given is as of the time the series aired.

Mërgim Butaja[edit]

Age: 23; Sales account manager. Became noted early on in the first episode for attempting to sell fish to a vegan restaurant before annoying his fellow candidates and Lord Sugar in the boardroom. He managed to sell several copies of a children's book to the focus group in week five. Butaja was fired in Week 6 after performing a number of DIY tasks to a very poor standard and his infamous “I’m screwing a nail” line. He was one of three candidates that were fired at the end of that week. Prior to his firing, he was one of the candidates alongside Richard and David to have one of the best track records, winning five times in a row.[1]

Brett Butler-Smythe[edit]

(6th Place) - Brett Butler-Smythe, aged 28, is a Builder from Plymouth. He was close to being fired in the first episode for being the primary cause of the delay selling fish but was ultimately fired in Week 10.

Dan Callaghan[edit]

(18th Place) - Daniel Callaghan, aged 23, is a fragrance retail director from Manchester. He previously worked as an MEP at the European Parliament in Belgium, where he also Iived for one year. Callaghan was fired in week 1, for his poor performance in sales and as a chef.[2][3]

Sam Curry[edit]

(10th Place) - Age: 23; Private tutor. Curry was fired in Week 7 for making an incorrect calculation, only selling a small amount of products, and his bad performance as project manager in Week 5.[4] Following the show, Curry along with fellow candidate, Elle Stevenson wrote a Children's Book, Gobble Gruff.

Natalie Dean[edit]

(14th Place) - Age: 25; Corporate account manager working in telecoms. Dean claimed that "If I set my mind to something I won’t quit until I have done it". However, Lord Sugar told Dean that "she's immature" and that "I'm not sure you think before you speak". Lord Sugar fired Dean in Week 5.[5] She was the only candidate that eventual Series 11 winner Joseph Valente never worked with during the series.

Jenny Garbis[edit]

(16th Place) - Age: 23; Student. Garbis claimed that "You will see my name in lights – Jenny Garbis, don’t forget that. That’s going to be a global name".[6] However, Claude Littner described Garbis as "not very good" so she was fired after the third task.[7]

April Jackson[edit]

(11th Place) - Age: 26; Occupation: Owner of a Jamaican boutique. Jackson claimed that "I’m Jamaican - we come first ... we will win in the boardroom", however Jackson was fired in Week 6 and was the last candidate to be fired that week.[8]

Aisha Kasim[edit]

(17th Place) - Age: 30; Occupation: Inventor and hair extensions specialist. Kasim was project manager in week two and was fired.[9]

Vana Koutsomitis[edit]

(2nd Place) - Age: 27; Social media entrepreneur. She was runner-up in the final, where she was beaten by Joseph Valente.

Gary Poulton[edit]

(4th Place) - Age: 34; Programme manager. He was fired in week 11 because of his unreliable business plan.[10]

Scott Saunders[edit]

(8th Place) - Age: 27; Senior account manager in sales. Saunders claimed that he "is the best" and that he "puts in a hundred million per cent effort".[11] However, despite being on a winning team, he quit the show because he felt that he and Lord Sugar simply wouldn't work well together and that he was lucky to last as long as he did.[12][13]

David Stevenson[edit]

(9th Place) - Age: 25; Owner of a sports marketing company. Stevenson stated that he "wants to change the world of business" and was an ideal candidate because he "wears tweed",[14] however during the Week 8 Stevenson was criticised for lack of contribution to the task and making an error which caused his team to lose, and so was fired.[15]

Elle Stevenson[edit]

(11th Place) - Age: 21; Construction operation executive. Stevenson stated that she "I’ve never been the person that comes second",[16] and was proven correct when she was fired in Week 6, coming 13th overall.[17] Stevenson was fired after failing as project manager in a construction task, during which she admitted that she had performed so badly that she would have fired herself "given half a chance".[18] During her time on the show, she had never been on the winning team, and became the candidate to survive the longest without winning a task (six weeks). Following the show, Stevenson along with fellow candidate, Sam Curry wrote a children's book, Gobble Gruff.

Joseph Valente[edit]

(1st Place) - Age: 25; He won season 11 of The Apprentice. Owner of a plumbing business. Valente claimed that "I am the definition of success. I’m the godfather of business",[19] however Lord Sugar described this as a "stupid comment to make".[20] He was hired due to his better knowledge in the final. Prior to being crowned the winner, Joseph was not in a good place, in one of the books he wrote he noted that he was expelled from his school Stanground College at 15 and had got into trouble with the police but that didn't stop him from becoming a successful businessman. In 2017, in his second year working with Lord Sugar, the duo split for personal reasons.[21]

Charleine Wain[edit]

(5th Place) - Age: 31; Hair and beauty salon owner. Wain was involved in a catfight with Selina Waterman-Smith after being in the boardroom during the third episode.[22] Charleine was Fired in Week 11 after her aspirations for business were described as unrealistic.[23]

Charleine was the only candidate that Brett Butler-Smythe never worked with during the series.

Selina Waterman-Smith[edit]

(7th Place) - Age: 31; Owner of an events agency. Waterman-Smith was involved in a catfight with Charleine Wain after being in the boardroom during the third episode.[22] and since appearing on the show has reported to have broken contract with the BBC accusing them of making her out to be a pantomime villain. Waterman-Smith claimed that she could enter "wonder woman mode", however Lord Sugar described her as "invisible women".[20] She was fired in Week 9 for failing to make a sale, and for not being able to get along with her fellow candidates, and she was the only fired candidate so far to not appear on the spinoff show You're Fired! for largely personal reasons (Ella-Jade Bitton did not appear on You're Fired due to her father's death but returned in the final) [24]

Ruth Whiteley[edit]

Age: 47; Sales training consultancy owner. Whiteley claimed of Lord Sugar, that "he’ll think I’m great". However, during the fourth task Whiteley, a sales training consultant, failed to make a single sale. Moreover, Lord Sugar thought that Whiteley's personality was unsuitable if she was to work with him so fired Whiteley.[25]

Richard Woods[edit]

(3rd Place) - Age: 31; Digital marketing agency director. Woods claimed "I’ve got everything highly tuned and highly chiselled" and had the best track record of all the candidates winning eight out of ten tasks. However, during the interviews Woods admitted that he had "just flowered my business plan with the most amount of bullshit you’ve seen". Therefore, Sugar fired Woods in Week 11.[26][27] Woods has gone on to run several business within the Lead Generation space and publish two best selling books - Digital TrailBlazer and Brexitpreneurship


  1. "Boardroom bloodbath! Lord Sugar fires THREE contestants in rare hat-trick seen just once before on The Apprentice's 10-year history". Daily Mail. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  2. Tim Liew. "The Apprentice 2015 episode 1: 17 things we noticed as Dan was fired". Metro. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  3. Joanna Crawley (15 October 2015). "'I can't sell, I can't cook — shoot me': Dan Callaghan is the first candidate to be fired by Lord Sugar on The Apprentice after his team's 'disgusting' £1.87 profit". Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  4. "Temper tantrums, bad blood, and bitchiness. And that was just the men. An 'outrageous' firing by Lord Sugar capped The Apprentice, by Jim Shelley". Daily Mail. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  5. Jim Shelley (5 November 2015). "'You're a liar!' is followed by 'You're fired!': The task of creating a children's book had an unhappy ending for Natalie in The Apprentice". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  6. "The Apprentice, Series 11 — Jenny Garbis". BBC One. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  7. Becky Freeth (21 October 2015). "'I bet he'll be knocking on my door soon': Jenny Garbis slams Lord Sugar as she is fired from The Apprentice for being 'just not very good'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  8. Ben Travis (11 November 2015). "The Apprentice 2015: Elle Stevenson, Mergim Butaja, and April Jackson fired in shock triple sacking". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  9. Joanna Crawley (15 October 2015). "'You were project manager of a disaster': Aisha Kasim is the second candidate to be fired by Lord Sugar after her over-fifties shampoo fails to impress on The Apprentice". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  10. "The Apprentice 2015: week 11 – as it happened". Guardian. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  12. "Scott Quits Show during Boardroom Mistreatment". Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  13. "'Lord Sugar will kick himself... I have no regrets': Scott Saunders remains defiant as he QUITS The Apprentice during boardroom showdown". Daily Mail. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  15. "'I was a cheap scapegoat': David Stevenson is fired after botched t-shirts and 'poisoned' birthday cake lead to bitter boardroom battle on The Apprentice". Daily Mail. 25 November 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  16. "The Apprentice, series 11: Elle Stevenson". BBC One. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  17. Nicola Agius (11 November 2015). "Lord Alan Sugar fires Elle Stevenson, Mergim Butaja and April Jackson in shocking triple Apprentice elimination". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  18. Emma Daly (11 November 2015). "The Apprentice's Elle Stevenson: I would have fired myself given half a chance". Radio Times. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  20. 20.0 20.1
  21. "No longer a pipe dream! Plumber Joseph Valente walks away with Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment as he pips Vana Koutsomitis to the post in The Apprentice". Daily Mail. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Richard Spillett (25 October 2015). "Apprentice hopeful brands her rival 'an embarrassment to women' after boardroom row escalates into bitter catfight outside Lord Sugar's office". Daily Mail. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  23. "The Apprentice: Gruelling interview week sees three of five candidates torn to shreds". Irish Independent. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  24. "'I was a cheap scapegoat': David Stevenson is fired after botched t-shirts and 'poisoned' birthday cake lead to bitter boardroom battle on The Apprentice". Daily Mail. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  25. Joanna Crawley (28 October 2015). "Selina Waterman-Smith narrowly avoids a firing after fighting her corner in the boardroom as Ruth Whiteley is sent packing after pet show failure on The Apprentice". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  27. "And they're out! Lord Sugar fires Charleine Wain followed by Gary Poulton and Richard Woods as they fall at the last hurdle before The Apprentice final". Daily Mail. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.

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