The Apprentice’s Claude Littner says the female candidates argue more than the men

“The women seem to carry it on a little bit more,” Lord Sugar’s aide has suggested

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The Apprentice 2017 begins this Wednesday 4th October, with Lord Sugar restarting his quest to whittle down 18 overconfident candidates into one passable business partner.

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While we’re sure there’ll be drama aplenty over the coming weeks as the contestants backstab, undermine and try to get ahead of their fellows, one of the series’ longstanding figures reckons he knows where to expect the biggest rows – the female half of the candidate pool.

“What I find typically is that, and I’m going to get slated for this of course, is that women tend to argue a little bit more than men,” Claude Littner, who functions as one of Lord Sugar’s two helpers (along with Karren Brady) following the teams around every week said on ITV’s Lorraine.

“Whereas blokes tend to have an argument, they get over it and the next week or whatever it is, they’re friends again. Whereas the women seem to carry it on a little bit more, that’s what I’ve found. I never know why they can’t get on, or why they can’t make up, but that seems to be a bit of a feature.”

It remains to be seen whether 68-year-old Littner’s predictions will bear out this year – personally, we can’t help but remember the 2014 grudge match between Daniel and Mark as the most protracted beef of the series – but whatever the truth, he’ll be there watching.

As he went on to explain, he’s watching with a particularly dispassionate eye.

“I’ve got my eye on everybody, and that’s the truth,” Littner said. “I never have any favourites and I don’t really care. I never speak to the candidates at any time during the whole 12 weeks, ever.

“I ignore them completely, they try and compliment me, how good looking I am, how they like my hair and all that kind of thing,” he joked.

“It would unfair if I started to be friendly with one then the other might feel jealousy. So this way I’m rude to all of them.”

So there you have it – in his own special way, Claude is being kind every time he makes a candidate cry. What a gent.

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The Apprentice returns to BBC1 on Wednesday 4th October at 9.00pm