Lord Sugar doesn't think The Apprentice will run without him

Lord Alan Sugar has made his thoughts on the future of The Apprentice heard loud and clear, saying he doesn’t think it would go on without him.

The finale of Season 17 airs on Thursday, with Marnie Swindells and Rochelle Raye Anthony going head to head to win Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment, following an all female final five for a second year in a row.

However, Lord Sugar is planning on there being at least another three series’.

He said: ‘I don’t want to sound too big-headed but a lot of people underestimate me. They hear me talking like a cockney, but I know everything, I really do.

‘I’m not degrading people like (Drag­­ons’ Den star) Peter Jones, because they’ve done a lot also. But none of them have done as much as I have.’

The 75-year-old continued: ‘Who would I put in my place? I can’t think of anybody. There’s loads of people that would queue up.

‘There’s no reason why I can’t go on to do 25 years. I’m very fit, so I don’t know whether it stops at 20. But if I ever did stop, I get a feeling the BBC wouldn’t stop it.’

Lord Sugar added to The Sun that if the broadcaster found ‘someone new’ to replace him, ‘that’s where it may kill itself off’.

‘I think it should be, “Thank you very much, it’s been great, but maybe in ten years’ time we’ll bring it back” like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, but with different characters hosting.’

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Meanwhile, addressing Gordon Ramsay’s similar programme Future Food Stars, Lord Sugar blasted that it won’t be spoken about in 17 weeks, let alone 17 years.

Despite going strong after 17 seasons, Lord Sugar admitted he doesn’t think he gets the recognition he deserves saying that awards go out to the likes of Simon Cowell and Ramsay, but not to ‘the great contributor to business’.

‘That gets sod all,’ he said.

His comments come after 2022 contestant Amy Anzel accused Lord sugar of ‘verging on harassment’ by ‘bashing and criticising’ contestants.

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She said to Brett Harris on Gaydio’s drivetime show: ‘I remember when Lord Sugar said, “This is the biggest most important interview of your life,” and you think, “Well if I was spoken to this way and treated this way, I probably would walk out of the interview”.

‘So it’s so not like in real life, and I also think that Lord Sugar, the way he bashes them and criticises them and you know, on the verge of harasses them, I just don’t think that’s of the moment.’

Amy added: ‘I think you need a younger billionaire, like a Steven Bartlett for example, who would probably treat the process differently and have more respect for the candidates, and that would be, I think, embraced by the viewers and obviously the candidates.

‘Would it make for good car crash TV? I don’t know, but I think it needs to change.’

This series has seen Lord Sugar slammed for being ‘patronising’ to fired contestant Victoria Goulbourne, telling her to keep her business plan as a ‘hobby’ however he insisted: ‘If it were just simply a business programme, it could be dead boring.

‘My skill is to mix it up a bit, a bit of lighthearted comedy then come in like a piranha and point out where you’ve made a big error.

‘And of course, it’s the firing where I describe to people why they’re no good.’

The Apprentice continues Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.

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