'The Apprentice' candidate Lottie Lion 'shocked' by death threats and harassment

Lottie Lion made her debut on The Apprentice last night. (BBC)

The Apprentice hopeful Lottie Lion has claimed she has become the victim of harassment and death threats.

The new series of the BBC contest kicked off last night but Lion, 19, has said that prior to the episode's airing, she was targeted by "two young teenagers" in the Taunton area.

Lion, who is from Taunton, said: "Being involved in The Apprentice is a wonderful opportunity.

"At a time like this in my life I should be able to focus entirely on the process and winning an investment from Lord Sugar.

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"However I have recently become a target of harassment from two young teenagers in the Taunton area.

Lottie Lion is a contestant on The Apprentice 2019. (BBC)

"I appreciate that being on such a programme does project me into the limelight - however there is no excuse for such threatening behaviour. You never know if they are empty or not."

Lion also added that she was "shocked" by the threats which left her feeling "very threatened".

The librarian claimed a series of messages were sent last week throughout September 28, which included approximately 40 messages that night.

She said threats had been made against her life and to "cause grievous bodily harm", which she reported to Avon and Somerset Police.

The girls team won the first task on The Apprentice. (BBC)

"I look forward to the process and won't allow such thoughtless people to deter my concentration. I would like to remind everyone to always be kind," she shared.

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police has confirmed harassment claims are currently being investigated.

They said: "We are investigating claims of harassment against a Somerset teenager.

"The 19-year-old has been subject to threats and abuse over social media from two other women. Police enquiries into the matter are continuing."

The Apprentice 2019 candidates. (BBC)

Lion, as part of the girls team, won the first task of the 15th series of The Apprentice leaving the boys in danger, but it was ultimately contestant Shahin Hasan who was sent home.

Candidate Thomas Skinner had also been hauled back into the boardroom by the Project Manager.

Prior to the launch of the show, Skinner divulged he had previously been charged with handling stolen goods.

The Apprentice continues on Wednesday 9 October at 9pm on BBC One.