St Albans cupcake queen makes Apprentice debut tonight

Luisa Zissman (C) Boundless - Photographer: Jim Marks

Luisa Zissman (C) Boundless - Photographer: Jim Marks - Credit: BBC/Boundless

CUPCAKE queen Luisa Zissman is leaving behind the kitchen to sit in Lord Alan Sugar’s boardroom as a contestant on this year’s series of The Apprentice.

Luisa, who owns Dixie's Cupcakery in Market Place, St Albans, has been selected to compete against 15 other hopefuls for a chance to go into partnership with the multi-millionaire tycoon.

The ambitious 25 year old will be put through her paces in a range of challenges for up to 12 weeks to try and land £250,000 to invest in a start-up business.

Luisa, who describes herself as having "the energy of a Duracell bunny, sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit, and a brain like Einstein", opened a luxury cupcake shop named after her daughter 18 months ago.

Her CV also boasts launching an online business selling cake equipment and setting up a cupcake academy in Verulam Road last December.

In her audition tape the mum-of-one said: "I never accept failure it just doesn’t come into my vocabulary.

"I am not one for corporate jargon and all that stuff, I just do what I do. I buy stuff, I sell stuff and I make money."

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This year, in a change to the format, Lord Sugar will ask the applicants to reveal their business idea right at the start of the process.

The new series kicks off tonight when the contestants are faced with the task of selling a shipping container load of goods in one day.

Luisa’s cousin Nicola Kalozois, who is also a successful businesswoman, said she was not surprised Luisa had applied to be in the show as she has always wanted to be famous.

She said: "She will give the other contestants a run for their money; she is not one to take no for an answer or take anything lying down.

"She will not care if people won’t like her, she is there for the business side of it only and that is her focus.

"I think people will see her as a threat because she is stunning and so clever and sharp."

While Nicola has no idea how far Luisa gets in the process, she strongly believes she has the potential to make it to the final.

"As a person she is very bubbly, definitely the life and soul of any party and very kind but if you cross her she is not one to be messed with. I think Lord Sugar will like her but she will drive him nuts," Nicola added.

The Apprentice returns to BBC One tonight at 9pm and is followed by another episode tomorrow.