Peterborough business boss puts his talent to the test against Lord Sugar as The Apprentice returns tonight

Joseph Valente

Joseph Valente

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A Peterborough plumbing boss will put his business skills to the test as he comes face to face with Lord Alan Sugar when The Apprentice returns to our screens tonight.

Joseph Valente will be hoping to win the backing from Lord Sugar - and avoid the dreaded ‘You’re Fired’ from the businessman - in the latest series of the reality TV Show, which starts on BBC1 at 9pm tonight.

Lord Sugar and this year's Apprentice candidates (back row left to right) Natalie Dean, David Stevenson, Mergim Butaja, Richard Woods, Vana Koutsomitis, Ruth Whiteley, (second row left to right) Scott Saunders, Charleine Wain, Jenny Garbis, Brett Butler-Smythe, Elle Stevenson, Sam Curry, (front row left to right) April Jackson, Joseph Valente, Selina Waterman-Smith, Aisha Kasim, Gary Poulton and Dan Callaghan. Picture: Jim Marks/Boundless/BBC/PA Wire SHOWBIZ_Apprentice_090449.JPG

Lord Sugar and this year's Apprentice candidates (back row left to right) Natalie Dean, David Stevenson, Mergim Butaja, Richard Woods, Vana Koutsomitis, Ruth Whiteley, (second row left to right) Scott Saunders, Charleine Wain, Jenny Garbis, Brett Butler-Smythe, Elle Stevenson, Sam Curry, (front row left to right) April Jackson, Joseph Valente, Selina Waterman-Smith, Aisha Kasim, Gary Poulton and Dan Callaghan. Picture: Jim Marks/Boundless/BBC/PA Wire SHOWBIZ_Apprentice_090449.JPG

The 25-year-old, who owns his own plumbing company in the city and lists Playboy millionaire Hugh Hefner as one of his role models, will be up against 17 other contestants for the big prize - a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.

Joseph, who comes from an Italian background, said business was like being a parent, needing undivided attention and nurturing.

He added: “I am the definition of success. I’m a godfather of business, and I’m here to make Lord Sugar a lot of money.”

He is the second contestant from Peterborough in the space of a year to appear on the show, after marketing officer and fashion adviser Nurun Ahmed was fired in week three last year.

And Nurun said that Joseph could have the skills and personality to go all the way this year.

She said: “It is really great to see another candidate from Peterborough.

“He approached me for some tips and advice, and after I met him I said to my colleagues and my family that he will go far. He has a spark about him.

“He is very serious, and very driven. That came across as soon as I spoke to him.

“I think he can go far. He is gritty and very charismatic, and that is key in the show.”

While Nurun said she was confident Joseph had the skills to go all the way, she was also able to give hints and tips to him to help him get noticed.

She said: “I was able to help him hone the pitch he took to the auditions.

“With thousands of people applying to take part, you have to have something that stands out - a good one liner.

“With his Italian background, I thought why not go with something like being the godfather of business - and that is what has been used in the profiles. It is all about making a lasting impression

“I have always been an avid fan of the show, and will be rooting for him.”

Since being fired from the show, Nurun said she had plenty of opportunities.

She said: “I have had the chance to be a keynote speaker at a number of events, and am working with a new Muslim airline that is going to be launched next year.

“I am also working as a consultant for a global management company.

“There are plenty of opportunities out there once you have been on the show.”

This year the series starts with something different - with mixed teams, rather than the contestants being split into male and female teams.

The 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 - with one of the losing team leaving the show after hearing ‘You’re fired’ from Lord Sugar.

The Apprentice will start on Wednesday, October 14 at 9pm on BBC 1.