Lord Alan Sugar has spoken about the BBC’s alleged plans to air two seasons of The Apprentice in 2021.
Filming for the upcoming 16th series was due to begin in early April but was delayed indefinitely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Sugar said of the cancellation and the future of the popular reality: “It’s a shame but it’s understandable, there’s nothing we can do. It’s not the death of the programme. The programme will proceed.”
The boss also discussed the BBC’s plans to potentially release more than one series in 2021, especially if filming can’t resume until later in 2020. One of the options Sugar said the broadcaster was considering was having “two series air in one year”.
“The production company already has a group of candidates that were ready to be in this next series and those candidates have been told to standby and see what happens,” Sugar explained. “It is quite obvious when you think about it, the filming normally starts in the spring, late spring and of course we don’t see that the crisis will be over anywhere near that.”
He added: “We hope that if things calm down by July we might be able to start filming in September, in which case the show will be on early next year. But if that’s not possible then it looks like we’re going to skip a whole year.”
One of the big challenges of filming post-pandemic will be travelling and filming in contained spaces, as Sugar said: “Part of The Apprentice process is travelling abroad, to go into factories and kitchens and make things and get the assistance of third-party companies to allow us in their premises so obviously that’s not possible – and until that is possible, we can’t film the show.”
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