Claude Littner will be absent from the next series of The Apprentice as he recovers from a series of surgeries following an electric bike crash, with the reality show's first ever winner stepping in as temporary cover.


Littner has made a big impression on fans during his time on the show, first appearing as the world's most frightening job interviewer and later taking over Nick Hewer's boardroom position.

Unfortunately, the businessman recently sustained serious injuries after a bike crash near Mill Hill, London, after which he was rushed to emergency surgery as doctors feared his leg would otherwise have to be amputated.

Littner told the Press Association: "I was just pottering along, I must have been doing no more than 10 kilometres an hour on this sort of two-track road. The next thing I knew, I was on the left hand side of the street, my bike was in the middle of the road and I didn’t know what happened.

“I suspect I hit a pothole or something like that, but I must have blanked out at the moment of impact, because the next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground.”

Littner recalls waking up in St Mary's Hospital to see his family having a concerned discussion with surgeons, who were ultimately able to "save" his leg after a "very long" operation.

Several other surgeries have followed since and another is booked in for later this month, with the recovery time involved making it impossible for the former Tottenham Hotspur chairman to return to the BBC One series next year – but he does vow to be back at some point.

"There's no ifs and buts about it," he added.

In the meantime, The Apprentice's first champion Tim Campbell will be stepping into Littner's role on a temporary basis, having sustained a successful career in business following his win back in 2005.

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The Apprentice has been off the air since December 2019 as last year's series was scrapped due to the pandemic, with the BBC showing a highlights programme of previous iterations in its place.


The Apprentice returns to BBC One in 2022. While you're waiting, check out more of our Entertainment coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.