The Apprentice: Alan Sugar 'has no plans to quit' as he promises 'fireworks' for series 16

Virgin Radio

4 Jan 2022, 15:15

Credit: BBC

Credit: BBC

If you’ve missed Lord Sugar pointing the furious finger at one lucky business partner, then this week you’ll have lots to look forward to.

The 16th series of The Apprentice returns to BBC One on Thursday 6th January at 9pm, and will see Lord Sugar return to the boardroom with Karren Brady and newcomer Tim Campbell. 

Tim knows a thing or two about the competition. He was crowned the very first winner of the UK franchise, and will replace boardroom regular Claude Littner after he was forced to pull out due to a cycling accident. 

16 new candidates will hope to win a £250,000 investment in their business if they avoid the famous ‘You're Fired’ finger long enough to reach the final. 

Speaking at the series launch, Lord Sugar insisted coronavirus concerns didn’t stop them from giving it their all this year. 

He said: “The challenge of doing this thing through COVID, we took it in our stride and in a funny way, some great things came out of it. 

“We're delighted to be back and when you're away for a couple of years like we were, you get into a swing of things very quickly so you can look forward to a few fireworks from me, and some wonderful contributions from Karren and Tim.”

It’s a scary prospect for the 16 new candidates to face their biggest challenge in trying to impress the iconic tycoon, but it’s not the most inexperienced candidates who rile up Lord Sugar, but those who claim they can do better while sitting watching at home. 

He continued: “I got no problem with people who are naive and inexperienced, no problem with young people like that. What I do have a problem with is people who don't learn, who don't pick up, who don't grasp things. 

Speaking about those watching along on social media, Lord Sugar said: “There's a lot of commentators who watch the show, particular those 35-40 year olds. They're very quick to criticise, ‘oh what a bunch of idiots they are, they've done this wrong, done that wrong.’ 

“I wish one day we could get a group of those people and stick them in the boardroom to see how they would do, these people are under extreme pressure.” 

If you fancy your chances in the boardroom, you still have plenty of time, according to Lord Sugar, who says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ after rumours started swirling that he’ll quit the show in 2023.

Of his potential departure, Alan explained: “I publicly stated I want to make it 20 years so this one is 16 so I've got four more to do to achieve that goal. 

“I've already worked out the final task in one of the series, [which] is to arrange my funeral, to see what coffin they will get for me. I'm not going nowhere, the programme's going nowhere.”

The Apprentice starts this Thursday, 6th January at 9pm on BBC One, followed by You’re Fired on BBC Two. Watch live and on-demand on BBC iPlayer.