News broke today that The Apprentice will no longer air this year due to concerns over coronavirus.


The BBC announced the change, stating that viewers would instead be treated to a highlight series of the previous years to make up for its absence.

While we never getting tired of hearing “You’re fired!” as Alan Sugar grills the contestants in the famous boardroom, if you ask us, the break couldn't have come at a better time.

One of the longest running reality shows on the BBC, since it kicked off in 2005, The Apprentice has pretty much become a reality staple for us.

However, apart from a small change to the prize in 2010, the show's format - which sees aspiring entrepreneurs battling it out to win investment from Lord Sugar - has broadly remained the same.

Yes, the saying goes, if it's not broken, don't fix it, but might this be the perfect time for The Apprentice to reevaluate the show and come back with a bang when it returns in 2021?

There's no denying the show remains successful. For the 2019 series, an average of eight million viewers tuned in.

However, this hasn't always been the case, with the show receiving its lowest rate of 4.3 million viewers in 2018.

A slight change in the right direction could help put The Apprentice back where it belongs, up there with some of the best reality shows.

Alan Sugar

And we know just the place to start...

Year after year, new business enthusiasts walk through the door of the boardroom ready to present their ideas to Alan, Karen Brady, and Claude Littner.

But what once was merely based on knowledge, skills and aptitude, seems to have shifted slightly with viewers commenting on the massive "ego" of the newer contestants.

It seems the show has become a place for self promotion to an extent - and quite frankly, that's not what we want.

the apprentice
Successful candidate Sarah Lynn (BBC)

We want the old Apprentice, which was simply about hopeful entrepreneurs brimming with really exciting ideas and business plans.

We want to be inspired, like with series five, which saw winner Yasmina Siadatan go on to join Lee at Amscreen Health Care and then get headhunted by Dragons Den’s James Caan and create the Start Up Loans Company.

We want the contestants to be so great, Lord Sugar struggles to choose a winner and ends up picking two, like in series 13 which saw him make a shock double hiring with James White and Sarah Lynn.

Ok, we were kind of hoping for one winner at the time, but that just proves the level of talent that older series have had.

Wouldn't it be great if we could see more contestants like this when the show returns next year?


The Apprentice is set to return in 2021. To find out what else is on, check out our TV Guide.