James – whose nickname is ‘Del Boy’ – will compete against 19 other candidates in the hope of landing a top job with the multi-million pound tycoon.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch James’s audition tape
The son of Chesterfield businessman Jason Hill, James’s entrepreneurial spark began aged 13 when he sold chocolate bars to his school classmates to make extra dinner money.
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The 26-year-old launched his business career by setting up a hand car wash in the town.
The multiple business owner’s previous ventures include supplying gaming machines to clubs in the UK, which he later expanded to Ireland, and opening a restaurant and bar, including Havana Whites in Chesterfield.
James said: “Having to fend for myself since the age of 16, I believe my strength of character and drive to succeed will put me in good stead. Del Boy’s my nickname – always chancing, I’m a bit of an opportunist.”
He admits he can be “a bit of a know-it-all” and that his tendency to get “over-excited” may get on people’s nerves.
James said he believes his “strength of character” will see him through Lord Sugar’s tough recruitment process.
The Apprentice starts on BBC1 at 9pm. Previous winners have included last year’s victor Leah Totton, who set up a cosmetic clinic with Lord Sugar, as well as Tom Pellereau, who enjoyed success with his curved nail file, and Lee McQueen, who rang in sick on his first day in the new £100,000 job and no longer works for the tycoon.