A FLIGHT operations instructor from Westhoughton is a contestant on the new series of BBC’s The Apprentice.

The new series started on Thursday from 9pm, with 16 contestants competing to win the life-changing £250,000 investment for their business.

One of the contestants is 38-year-old Aaron Willis who grew up in Westhoughton but now lives in Chorley.

Replying to a question on where he was from in Lancashire on Facebook, Aaron said: “Many comments about where I’m from. I grew up in Westhoughton and Daisy Hill, and now live in Chorley. But Westhoughton is my home town.”

The BBC describe him as having served in the RAF for 12 years as a flight operations instructor, Aaron has set out to start his own security business.

From travelling all around the world and previously working as a milkman, horseman and butcher, this outgoing and full of life salesman is ‘hungry for success’ and at a stage now, where he ‘can’t let anyone stand in his way”.

He told the BBC: “My strongest point is that I can sell to anybody and I think that’s the reason why my business will be a success, because people will buy from me.”

For this year’s series Claude Littner will not be taking part as he recovers from surgery, so joining Lord Sugar and Baroness Karren Brady will be Apprentice champion Tim Campbell, in a first for the show.

This year will be tough for the 16 lucky to be on the show, as they will have to think outside the box in light of the way the pandemic has changed businesses in the UK, often having a negative impact with many closing under the pressure.

The series was cancelled for two years due to the pandemic.

Carina Lepore was the champion in the last series in 2019 and used the investment for her baking business.

Other 2022 candidates include Harry Mahmood, a 35-year-old regional operations manager from the West Midlands, Harpreet Kaur, a 30-year-old owner of a dessert parlour in West Yorkshire, and Navid Sole, a 27-year-old pharmacist from London.

The contestants were all double vaccinated before taking part in the series.

Catch the show on BBC and BBC iPlayer.