Who is taking part in Celebrity Apprentice for Comic Relief?

The toughest business show on TV returns for Comic Relief with Lord Sugar putting ten celebrities through their paces to raise money for Red Nose Day 2019.

Celebrity Apprentice for Comic Relief will air ahead of Red Nose Day as a two-part special on BBC One and live and on-demand on BBC iPlayer.

Ten ambitious celebrity candidates will take on a tough challenge set by The Apprentice supremo as they battle it out in two rival teams to raise as much money as possible for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day.

As always, both teams will be closely observed by Lord Sugar’s advisors Baroness Brady and Claude Littner, who will report back on their final results in the boardroom.

The task: plan an incredible themed event, sell tickets and make sure the guests have a fantastic time on the night - with the team who raises the most money for charity crowned the winner.

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Lord Sugar kicks off the task by summoning the candidates to the boardroom to brief them on the challenge. He tells the candidates: “We are all here for one reason, to raise money for Comic Relief. Entertainment is big business, all you people should know that, so with that in mind your task is going to be to organise and host a cabaret night.”

With Lord Sugar expecting them to pull out all the stops, some of the candidates rope in their famous friends in an effort to get the upper-hand and make their event extra-special.

Comic Relief first did The Apprentice back in 2007, when the girls’ team stormed to victory led by Karren Brady, with a second special raising money in 2009.

The 2007 special also saw Piers Morgan’s dramatic firing before the final results - this year, all candidates will have to work hard to stay on the right side of Lord Sugar and avoid the dreaded words: "You’re fired!"

Celebrity Apprentice for Comic Relief follows the successful last series of The Apprentice, where Lord Sugar crowned Sian Gabbidon his next business partner with her swimwear brand.

Money raised from the Red Nose Day campaign will help Comic Relief to continue funding and investing in amazing organisations across the UK and around the world.

Here’s who is taking part…

Amanda Holden

Occupation: TV presenter and actress

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda will have to get used to being on the other side of the table as she faces-off with Lord Sugar in the boardroom. How will the glamorous actress cope rolling up her sleeves to cater for their guests?

She says: “I’m ready to take a step away from the judging panel to compete, and I’m thrilled to be taking part. I’m sure the girls' team will be victorious!”

Ayda Williams

Occupation: Actress and TV personality

Not only is Ayda Williams a successful actress, television personality and talent judge on the X Factor - she is also married to popstar Robbie Williams and a mother of three. What skills and experience will Ayda bring with her in order to add a star turn to the girls’ event?

She says: “I’m thrilled to be part of this year’s Celebrity Apprentice for Comic Relief. I’ve always been a fan of the show and I can’t wait to take on the boys to raise some money for an incredible cause!”

Kelly Hoppen

Occupation: Interior designer

Kelly was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2009 for Services to Interior Design, so the girls’ team should have an advantage when it comes to dressing their venue. With over 40 years’ experience in business under her belt, the iconic designer and ‘Queen of Taupe' won’t take no for an answer. She proved her entrepreneurial credentials during her stint on Dragon’s Den - but will her business skills ensure the girls come out on top?

She says: “It’s amazing to be on a team with such strong, powerful women, raising money for an incredible cause. All I can say is, watch out Lord Sugar, here come the girls!”

Omid Djalili

Occupation: Comedian and actor

Omid will have to get used to not being centre stage and work as a team player to make sure their event goes smoothly. However, having also appeared in smash-hit films such as Gladiator, will he fight to the death when he faces Lord Sugar in the boardroom and bring an extra sprinkle of stardust for the boys’ team?

He says: "In the movie The Mummy, a strange and angry beetle burrowed under my character's flesh and tried to eat me from the inside... and may I say what a pleasure it will be to work with Lord Sugar again.”

Rachel Johnson

Occupation: Journalist

With her successful reputation as a journalist and broadcaster, Rachel could be the one-to-watch when it comes to impressing Lord Sugar. However, never being one to zip her lip, will she be able to stay on the right side of The Apprentice boss in the boardroom?

She says: “I’m a huge Apprentice fan but have always wondered if Lord Sugar is as mean as he appears on screen… I fear I’m going to find out!”

Richard Arnold

Occupation: Journalist and TV presenter

As a TV presenter, Richard has been at the forefront of breaking news in the entertainment world - but will he be able to stay ahead of the pack in the boardroom? And unlike his colleague Piers Morgan (fired from the process by Lord Sugar in 2007), can he help the Boys team to victory?

He says: "When it comes to big business, I can’t tell a spread sheet from a bed sheet but I am prepared to take on the battle of the boardroom with all the bombast of a seasoned showbiz veteran of 25 years. It’s that, or find myself over Piers Morgan’s knees on Good Morning Britain. He’ll enjoy it too much."

Russell Kane

Occupation: Writer and comedian

The award-winning comedian is no stranger to The Apprentice, having appeared on the panel of BBC Two’s The Apprentice: You’re Fired! to give his opinion about the candidates’ successes and failures. But will Russell be able to put his money where his mouth is in the boardroom?

He says: “Watching us try and work together will probably be pant-wettingly funny and I’m sure I’ll cringe watching it back, but it’s going to be a unique experience and all in the name of an amazing cause.”

Rylan Clark-Neal

Occupation: TV presenter

Rylan has proven he has a head for (show)business, rising through the ranks from reality TV contestant to one of the UK's most loved presenters. Can he do the same with The Apprentice? He certainly has the gift of the gab, but will he entertain his fellow candidates or lead them to distraction?

He says: “As a massive fan of The Apprentice, I can’t wait to experience it from the other side of the screen as a candidate. I probably won’t be saying that for long though!”

Sam Allardyce

Occupation: Ex-football manager

Former England and Everton Manager, Sam is an experienced leader having managed seven Premier League clubs. But will he be able to whip his team into shape and score in the boardroom?

He says: “I’m hoping my managerial experience will help me 'off the field' and I’ll be looking to outwit the girls’ team, but I’m fully prepared for them to be some fierce competition.”

Tameka Empson

Occupation: Actress

Since 2009, actress Tameka has played vicious and bubbly Kim Fox on EastEnders. Swapping Albert Square for the boardroom, will she be able to avoid any drama and make it through to the final credits?

She says: “Like my EastEnders character Kim, I’m putting my best foot forward and preparing to throw myself into the task - and raise money for Comic Relief I am ready to prove to Lord Sugar that I’m someone not to be messed with when it comes to a business challenge!”