The Apprentice series two
The Apprentice - series two - starts 9.00pm on Wednesday 22 February 2006 on BBC TWO
Meet the boys
Qualifications: Left school at 16 to join Millwall FC
Career: Sales Manager
Home Town: Brighton (born London)
Ansell sees himself as a decision maker, a tough character and a "constant overachiever"
He says that he entered the series "to test myself against the best because I don't have a great educational background."
At 16 he joined Millwall FC where he went from being a schoolboy player to a professional player in four years.
He says his character and experience are more than a match for anyone's academic abilities.
"I look imposing," he explains, "I could be a bouncer as opposed to someone walking into an office.
"People will see that but they'll see that I am a person who can stop things kicking off. I can calm people down."
He says: "One of the things many people fear on The Apprentice is standing up and having to sell to a complete stranger, but I do that for a living."
Qualifications: Master's degree in Law
Career: IT Consultant
Home Town: Richmond, Surrey
Ben describes himself as an optimist, having beaten cancer prior to appearing on the show.
"How tough am I? I'm very tough," he warns.
He is a straightforward character who doesn't suffer fools gladly, explaining: "I'm impatient with people who I think are too egotistical or self pitying."
He is up front about his lack of sales experience but thinks he can overcome this because "I'm really thick-skinned".
He says: "Sir Alan is exactly as I expected. I admire and respect him. That doesn't mean I like him."
Qualifications: BSc in Physics
Career: Management Consultant
Home Town: London (born Leamington Spa)
Confident and temperamental, Mani sees himself as a perfectionist and an "outstanding consultant" and claims the most challenging aspect of The Apprentice is sharing a bedroom with people who snore.
Mani says he was "not at all surprised" to be selected for the show and feels he cannot lose.
He runs his own business facilitating executive team-building and three years ago set up a speed-dating company, SpeedFlirt, that is still running profitably, although he is now a silent partner.
He says: "I think people who know me well and my current clients will be quite surprised at how pushy and aggressive I can get."
Qualifications: Degree in Business and Sport
Career: Head Hunter
Home Town: Leeds
In spite of being one of the youngest apprentices Paul has had a number of jobs and considers himself a versatile character and reckons he is a "natural performer".
He believes he combines this instinctive sense of fun with a serious attitude to business and an aggressive sales technique.
"I always like to put myself up on a stage to see how well I can do," he says. "And I have always been successful."
He says: "People have said I should be on stage as a career. I have always stepped up to the mic, and I think that will come across: Everyone should have a Paul in the house."
Qualifications: Degree in Manufacturing Engineering
Career: Product Developer
Home Town: Buckhurst Hill (born London)
Samuel has worked at Ford for 11 years full-time and four years part-time.
He is "a self-improvement junkie" and an accomplished martial artist with a black belt in Jujitsu and wing chun.
He says he love "testing myself to breaking point and seeing what happens", in any scenario.
He thinks his fighting skills will be an asset on the show because: "You learn about dealing with multiple assailants, you can't panic and lose your head when that starts happening."
He says: "I'm not there to entertain people, I don't give a sh*t about that. For me it's about business."
Qualifications: HND in Business and Finance
Home Town: London (born Bangladesh)
Supremely confident, Syed is especially proud of his own record in business and when not making money he relaxes by flying planes.
He cites an ability to think on his feet and strong powers of persuasion as two of his primary assets.
Syed is an uncompromising character and is convinced he will be one of the highlights of the series.
"Without doubt I think I will be the focal part of the show because I am passionate," he says.
Previously he was a restaurant manager for the White Starline Group owned by Marco Pierre White.
He says: "I've been a sort of hell-raiser over the past ten years and I think all that combined together has made me a business bad boy."
Qualifications: nine GCSEs and two A Levels
Career: Financial Advisor
Home Town: Weston-super-Mare (born Saigon)
Tuan and his family arrived in the UK in 1979 from Vietnam as refugees.
He left education early to earn money to support his parents and has proved very successful in business.
He is a self-confessed "computer nerd" who enjoys cars, bikes and admits to a weakness for expensive watches.
Three years ago Tuan set up Tangent Performance, a car chauffeur service specialising in extreme super-cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
He sees himself as a calming influence amongst his fellow candidiates and says he applied for the show because getting on it would make "a good pub story".
Tuan joined Nationwide Building Society as a Customer Adviser and progressively worked his way up the company.
He says: "I'm a short, bald Vietnamese guy that drives a Ferrari who's lived in a small seaside town all of my life."