The Apprentice: Lord Sugar’s interviewer Mike Soutar most popular choice to replace Nick Hewer

The votes are in - and RadioTimes.com readers think Lord Sugar should hire the Scottish magazine publisher

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He’s hired! At least as far as RadioTimes.com readers are concerned, that is… Nearly a third of you think Mike Soutar should replace outgoing Apprentice aide Nick Hewer as Lord Sugar’s new right-hand man.

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The news that Hewer was leaving the show sent us all into a state of sadness and nostalgia – but soon we began to look to the future. Who could possibly replace the King of squinting to follow the hapless hopefuls around as they attempted Sugar’s business tasks?

We laid out our proposed candidates then put the question to you, with the result (over 3,000 votes later) that Shortlist media CEO Soutar topped a poll of possible candidates, having picked up almost 30 per cent of the vote.

The methodical Scot is already known to Apprentice viewers, having taken part in the show’s infamous interview round since 2011, and if he were to be appointed it would not be without precedent – Lord Sugar previously recruited a replacement aide from his pool of interviewers when Karren Brady took over from Margaret Mountford in 2010.

The runner-up in our poll, Claude Littner  known for his aggressive interrogation techniques  also came from the group of arch inquisitors, while a new addition to the interviewing panel, former Apprentice winner Ricky Martin, was in third place, well ahead of any other contender.

Meanwhile, some readers who added their own suggestions thought series seven winner Tom Pellereau and this year’s triumphant candidate Mark Wright could serve alongside Lord Sugar, and others seemed most keen to pair him up with his Twitter sparring partner Piers Morgan, who came fourth in the poll. Would Twitter’s loss be TV’s gain?

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You can see the results below – now, Lord Sugar, it’s over to you…