You’re hired! Piers Morgan picked to replace Lord Sugar on The Apprentice

A RadioTimes.com survey of over 8,000 readers saw 49 per cent back the outspoken Good Morning Britain host to take the reins from business mogul Sugar should he quit

Piers Morgan (ITV, EH)

Lord Sugar doesn’t have plans to bow out of the Apprentice boardroom for another five series, but it seems we may have already found his replacement.

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A survey of over 8,000 RadioTimes.com readers found that 49.8 per cent want Sugar’s Twitter rival and controversial broadcaster Piers Morgan, to take his place.

Morgan, 54, said he was “absolutely thrilled” to have received nearly half of all votes cast and promised to ban “half-wits” should he step into Lord Sugar’s shoes.

“The people have spoken, and they have spoken very loudly,” he told RadioTimes.com. “I don’t think the BBC can afford me, but given the scale of this landslide win, they may want to break the bank to try.

“I’d bring a younger, faster, more handsome and dynamic feel to proceedings.”

The competition has been running since 2005, and the inimitable Lord Sugar has helmed all 14 series alongside various personal advisors, including Nick Hewer, Margaret Mountford, and current board members Karren Brady and Claude Littner.

However, in more recent years, the show has faced criticism for not being a serious business show, with fans questioning the quality of the candidates selected.

Morgan, who beat the likes of Peter Jones and Sir Richard Branson to take the top spot, said that should he take over the programme, he would want to make it “tougher” for “snowflakes” to apply.

The Apprentice (2019 series 15) Portraits

“Lord Sugar has encouraged a bunch of halfwits to come on and make fools of themselves,” he said. “I would make a Mensa test compulsory for all candidates on my show. Under 140 and you’re not coming on.”

However, Lord Sugar himself seemed less than impressed with the poll results, tweeting: “The BBC has considered the Radio Times survey of The Apprentice and in recognition of Piers Morgan’s strong views on gender employment fairness they have decided to remove the female boardroom receptionist and offer him the position.”

Dragon’s Den star Jones came second in the poll after receiving over 16 per cent of the vote, while third place went to Virgin mogul Sir Branson, with over 12 per cent of votes cast. Duncan Bannatyne and Deborah Meaden rounded off the top five with 5.9 per cent and 5.8 per cent of the vote, respectively.

Full list of poll results

1. Piers Morgan
2. Peter Jones
3. Richard Branson
4. Duncan Bannatyne
5. Deborah Meaden
6. Other
7. Mary Portas
8. Ricky Martin
9. Michelle Mone
10. Hilary Devey
11. Jacqueline Gold

RadioTimes.com writers drew up a shortlist for the poll

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The Apprentice continues Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One