Lord Alan Sugar could quit The Apprentice, says sidekick Nick Hewer
Countdown host says Sugar's involvement in the show could be 'to the detriment of his other business interests'
Tuesday 09 July 2013
The Apprentice host Lord Sugar could quit the show after appearing in just one more series, his sidekick Nick Hewer has said.
The BBC1 show, in which candidates compete to go into business with the tycoon, is currently enjoying its ninth series.
Hewer, 69, told the Radio Times: "He won't get bored. But he is all over this show for 12 months of the year, every task, every aspect of the scheduling, marketing, and press - everything...He's very devoted: possibly, I think, to the detriment of his other business interests.
"I wouldn't be surprised if at some point after 10 years he said, 'Actually lads, I think I've done my bit."'
The Countdown host added: "Lord Sugar wanted to do this because he had been travelling up and down the country for the then Chancellor Gordon Brown, meeting youngsters at universities and schools, telling them about the importance of business.
"He's delivered that in spades. He's done his duty. I'm only speculating, I've got no idea. He might say he's only going to do 11 or 12 series, but then find it hard to walk away because it's his baby."
Hewer said that the BBC would be foolish to continue the show, which has spawned successful series around the world, without Lord Sugar.
"People would pay to do that job. But as a broadcaster, the BBC would have a really tough decision whether or not to rest this programme," he said.
"If Alan Sugar says, 'Look, I've done my 10 years,' or whatever it is, if he thinks he's done his bit, I think they would be crackers to run it the next year with someone else.
"Because it's his show, and he's made such an impression that you would need to be a suicide merchant to take it on after Sugar in the next year.
"Rest it for three years, let the memories dim, and then bring it back. But, you know, somebody will say, 'Are you mad? We want those eight million viewers,' or whatever it is. It's a huge show. Nobody wants to say 'cheerio' to such a successful format. That will be a hard decision."
Underwear entrepreneur Michelle Mone said that she would be happy to take on the straight-talking multi-millionaire's role if he did decide to leave.
"Would I consider throwing my hat in the ring? It's a show that I've always loved, and I suppose it would be great for a woman to do it!," she said.
"It's been very positive to bring business to the limelight. The Apprentice has made business sexy. When I grew up, nobody knew what an entrepreneur was."
Lord Sugar later denied he was planning to walk away from the show, saying: "As long as the BBC want to screen The Apprentice I will do it for them."
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
Glastonbury 2015: The best bits you missed from Lionel Richie and the Dalai Lama to The Libertines' secret set
Glastonbury 2015: The picture of a man crowd surfing in a wheelchair is brilliant, but it wasn't taken at Glastonbury
Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James' Twitter Q&A didn't exactly go as planned
Guillaume Tell gang-rape scene causes uproar at the Royal Opera House
Glastonbury 2015: Shocking scenes of rubbish left strewn across campsite as clean-up begins
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS