Not everyone will thank him for it but Lord Sugar says he’s the one responsible for kick-starting Piers Morgan’s television career…
Speaking at the launch of the new series of The Apprentice, Lord Sugar said he gave the former Mirror newspaper editor his TV break after he begged for a spot on the Comic Relief celebrity edition of the show – and then went on to coach him in how to win Donald Trump’s American version.
“It was me that launched his television career – seriously, absolutely serious,” said Lord Sugar. “I knew him from the Mirror, he was the editor of the Mirror, and he got fired from there for his famous front page thing and he wanted to do something in TV and he actually phoned me up when he heard Celebrity Apprentice was on, and he said ‘please can I do it?’ and that’s the first time he appeared on television.”
Lord Sugar fired Morgan in the boardroom “for winding people up” but says he later helped him to victory in the US show.
“Afterwards, I coached him how to win the American Apprentice – seriously, you should have been a fly on the wall when I did that. I was in Florida at the time and it was the live final that evening and I said to him ‘is it really live or is it a pre-recording?’ He said ‘it’s live’. I said ‘right, you’ve won. How you gonna win? Simple. You’re gonna put Trump into a corner where he cannot do anything other than choose you’. And that’s how it worked out.”
Whether Morgan will accept Lord Sugar’s take on events remains to be seen (do let us know Piers) but the two long-term sparring partners, whose battles often play out on Twitter, are set to come face to face on the GMB sofa next month.
“I’ll be there on the 11th of October,” said Lord Sugar. “I’ll get my boxing gloves ready.”
The Apprentice returns to BBC1 at 9pm on Wednesday 4th October