By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has signed on as an advisor on the eighth season of NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice," more than a decade after advising new host Arnold Schwarzenegger during his successful 2003 run to become California's governor.
Buffett will join Jessica Alba, Tyra Banks, Los Angeles Clippers owner and former Microsoft Corp <MSFT.O> chief Steve Ballmer, and Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger, an entertainment lawyer and Arnold Schwarzenegger's nephew, to offer guidance to the 16 contenders in the reality competition.
Among the celebrities competing to become Schwarzenegger's apprentice are Laila Ali, the boxing champion and wellness expert who is a daughter of Muhammad Ali; football stars Eric Dickerson and Ricky Williams; retired basketball star Lisa Leslie; singers Boy George and Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil; actor Jon Lovitz, and reality TV stars Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Kyle Richards.
The winner will receive a $250,000 check to give to charity. Scheduling has not been announced.
Buffett, 85, has run Berkshire Hathaway Inc <BRKa.N> since 1965 and owns nearly one-fifth of the insurance and investment conglomerate.
He is worth about $59 billion, making him the world's third richest person according to Forbes magazine, despite having donated more than $21 billion of Berkshire stock since 2006.
Many investors revere Buffett for his plain talk on investing, the economy and life generally, as well as his investing track record. He has appeared regularly on TV in recent years as his fame and fortune have grown.
Schwarzenegger is taking over "Celebrity Apprentice" from Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate who also hosted the NBC show "The Apprentice." NBC is part of Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O>.
Buffett did not immediately respond to a request for comment through his assistant.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and David Gregorio)