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'

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."

PA

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

    Tate Sensorium

    New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
    Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
    Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

    Remember Ashton Agar?

    The No 11 that nearly toppled England
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks