A CHORLEY man is set to be one of 16 people battling it out next week to become Lord Alan Sugar’s Apprentice.

Rick Monk, aged 34, is a quality controller and he has vowed on the show’s website that he ‘won’t pussyfoot and waste time, as time is of the essence in everything. People will have to like it or lump it.’

Speaking on his auditions, Rick said: “Lord Sugar would see some of himself in me in that if I spend some of his money. “It will be a wise investment and it is not something I have wasted without no second thought I treat it like my money.

“I am not interested in helping other people and help them better themselves because it is about numero uno for me.”

This year, the award-winning series will be bigger and better than ever, as Lord Sugar ups the ante right from the start and warns the candidates to “expect the unexpected”. For his first challenge, Lord Sugar immediately sends the candidates abroad - with a strong word of warning ringing in their ears; “Remember, this is NOT a holiday”.

The candidates come from a broad range of backgrounds; from Law, Arboriculture (tree surgery) to Fashion Design, Marketing and Sport. However, they all have one thing in common, a passionate desire to secure a £250k investment in their business plan and win a partnership with Lord Sugar. The businessman will be joined once again by aides Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner.

n The Apprentice will air weekly on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One, from Wednesday 3 October, followed by You’re Fired at 10pm on BBC Two. Watch live and on-demand on BBC iPlayer.