Peterborough plumbing boss hopes Apprentice chances won’t go down the drain

Joseph Valente. Picture: Jim Marks/Boundless/BBC/PA Wire
Joseph Valente. Picture: Jim Marks/Boundless/BBC/PA Wire
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A Peterborough plumber is hoping he will be flushed with success in the boardroom as he aims to secure a winning spot on reality TV contest The Apprentice.

Joseph Valente who runs his own plumbing firm in Peterborough, is one of 18 contestants hoping to secure the backing of Lord Alan Sugar in this year’s series, which starts next week.

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

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

This year, a total of 18 contestants will be hoping to impress Lord Sugar and his aides Karren Brady and Claude Littner, who replaces Nick Hewer.

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.

Jospeh, who lists Playboy millionaire Hugh Hefner as one of his role models, will be up against a former Miss Jamaica, a former Royal Navy Marine Engineer and a private tutor in his quest to win the top prize.

The 25-year-old, of Italian heritage, is following in the footsteps of fellow Peterborough entrepreneur Nurun Ahmed, who competed in the show last year.

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

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 customers 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.