Speaking at the launch of this year’s series of The Apprentice, Lord Sugar had plenty of praise for the team behind the business reality show, which kicks off its 14th run on Wednesday 3rd October.
But he also said he thought the BBC was missing a trick by not making follow-up programmes charting the business journeys of the winning candidates – even going so far as to say that the Corporation did not understand the importance of The Apprentice in terms of its ability to inspire viewers to go into business themselves.
“With the greatest respect to the BBC, they really do not understand how great this programme is as far as creating enthusiasm amongst young people and encouraging people to get into business,” said Lord Sugar.
“I don’t think they get that really. Obviously their remit is to get lots of viewers – which of course the programme does – but I don’t think they get that part of it, actually.”
Meanwhile, Lord Sugar’s right-hand man Claude Littner gave an impassioned defence of the Apprentice candidates following a question from the audience suggesting that many of them are lacking in brains.
“Not one of them is actually stupid,” said Littner. “They’re all working very, very hard and the tasks – you may be watching the TV thinking ‘I can do that’, but I assure you that you can’t because it’s a lot more complex than you think – and it’s very, very difficult when you get a group who don’t know each other, they’re fighting for a position; it’s much much harder than it looks, believe me.”
Viewers can judge for themselves on Wednesday 3rd October at 9pm on BBC1, when the show kicks off with the candidates travelling to Malta to take on the infamous shopping task…