A businessman from Chorley has been revealed as a contestant on this year’s series of The Apprentice.

Paul Bowen, director of Chorley-based pie company Bowen Pies, is to go up against 17 other contestants in a bid to win Lord Alan Sugar’s £250,000 investment and mentorship.

One of two pie company experts entering the process, Paul prides his business on big name clients such as Manchester City Football Club, where Bowen Pies has been supplying pies for five years. He’s looking to unite his passion for business with Lord Sugar’s strategic expertise.

He said: “I’m seeking investment of Lord Sugar’s time and knowledge. I have great ideas and great business acumen, along with a work hard attitude.

“My organisation and planning is my weakness. But with Lord Sugar’s strategy and my passion and ideas, I could make him 'lord of the pies'.

“In terms of ‘business fails’, I’ve only failed in small ways, as that’s the only way to see what works.

“My biggest failure personally has been with the stock market. Let’s just say I won’t be swapping pies for shares any time soon!”

Paul, who has raced in British Motocross, has appeared on other television shows in the past.

In 2018, he featured on Channel 4 show First Dates, and made headlines for wearing a wig on the date and opening up about going bald at 20.

Bowen Pies started making traditional and homemade pies in 1994.

The pies are individually made according to secret recipes, some of which are more than 30 years old

Series 18 of The Apprentice kicks off in style as candidates head to the Scottish Highlands, tasked with a corporate hospitality challenge where we’ll see the men’s and women’s teams compete to put on high end away days for corporate clients in the hope of impressing Lord Sugar.

Those who make it through the first boardroom will face a host of equally challenging tasks over the series – from a virtual escape room through to creating children’s cereal.

There will also be a hop over the channel to Jersey for the classic discount buying task, and further afield to Budapest for a tourism challenge. And of course, The Apprentice wouldn’t be The Apprentice without the ever-popular TV shopping channel task.

Watch The Apprentice on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from Thursday, February 1 at 9pm.