LORD Alan Sugar has offered some words of advice for a Worcestershire-based contestant on The Apprentice.

Joseph Phillips is among 18 hopefuls looking to win a £250,000 investment in the 17th series of the popular BBC reality show.

Joe, a former Bromsgrove School pupil, has dyslexia but Lord Sugar doesn’t expect this to hold him back.

“My good friend Richard Branson openly admits that he is dyslexic – hasn’t held him back at all, has it?,” Lord Sugar told the PA news agency.

READ MORE: Meet the Worcestershire man competing in The Apprentice

Worcester News: Joseph Phillips from Worcestershire will compete in this year's series of The ApprenticeJoseph Phillips from Worcestershire will compete in this year's series of The Apprentice (Image: PA)

Joe, from Blackwell, studied Zoology at the University of Exeter before becoming a safari guide in South Africa.

He says his dyslexia is the “driving force” for him to succeed and prove his capabilities.

“It’s made me fight harder to keep up with everyone else,” he added.

“Then when I finally caught up, it wasn’t enough, I needed to go past them to prove to people that, yes, you can have dyslexia, but you can still succeed in whatever you want to do.”

Lord Sugar, 75, says The Apprentice will return with a “bang” as the candidates jet off to Antigua for the first episode.

Joe and the other contestants will be tasked with creating and selling excursions for tourists in the Caribbean.

Lord Sugar said: “We’re coming back bigger than ever before mainly because we’ve come out of the Covid period… Look forward to the good old Apprentice type of episodes.

“Last year we were restricted by Covid in what we could do and what we couldn’t do because of the health warnings. So this year, we decided… let’s come back with a big bang.

“So I said: ‘Let’s go somewhere great to really kick off well.’ You should see the candidates’ faces when I said to them: ‘Right your first task you’re going to Antigua’, that’s wonderful.”

On rising energy costs and the UK’s impending plunge into recession, Lord Sugar said: “All I can do is repeat to you that in the 58 years that I’ve been in business, I’ve lived through valleys and mountains of booms and dooms.

“It may be next year, but it may be in two years’ time, we’ll be looking back and saying: ‘Wow, we are enjoying a great booming business at the moment.'”

The Apprentice will air from Thursday, January 5 on BBC One and iPlayer.