Lord Sugar in reflective mood as The Apprentice returns


Lord Sugar and The Apprentice are back, and while there are no Jewish candidates this year, at least the first episode will be broadcast on Thursday next week, conveniently sandwiched between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

Launching the new series - the 12th in the programme's run - in front of assembled journalists, Lord Sugar was asked whether, given the approach of festival period, there were any past mistakes he cared to reflect on.

The Jewish peer replied “How long have you got?”

“When you’re in business you make mistakes, but you get a lot more right than you get wrong, and that’s how you come forward and that’s how you succeed”, he said.

Lord Sugar was flanked on stage by his two advisors who feature on the BBC business-themed reality show, Baroness Karen Brady and Claude Littner.

Picking up on the theme of mistakes, Mr Littner, who is also Jewish, said: “If you’re in business, you try and do the best, you try not to make mistakes, but inevitably if you’re faced with decisions, sometimes you’ll get them wrong.

“And I think that the key is to make sure that if you’re on the wrong track, you recognise it and correct that mistake as quickly as possible, and I think that business is just prone to errors. You try not to make them, but in the end you can’t help that.”

Mr Littner was asked whether at the very least a knighthood had crossed his mind, given that his fellow Apprentice board-members - Lord Sugar and Baroness Brady - have both been ennobled.

“To be honest with you, it crosses my mind all the time”, he said. “But no one’s made me the offer.”

The UK version of the show has been running for over a decade, but Lord Sugar appeared confident that it was still both exciting and relevant.

“One of the things that I love about this process is, as I’m getting older, I’ve got a great production team that keep coming up with things to keep me on my toes as far as technology is concerned”, he said.

“A lot of the tasks that we’re talking about now, 12 years down the line, some of the stuff that we’re going to be doing didn’t even exist 12 years ago”, he continued, giving the example of “a virtual reality episode” coming up."

He said: “One of this year's contestants was 11 years old when The Apprentice first started and has watched The Apprentice for the past 11 years and then here they are; they’ve turned up to be one of the contestants.

“We have a new audience growing every year. And that’s the excitement of the programme.”

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