Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Alan Sugar reveals what The Apprentice viewers don’t see on screen

Businessman sheds light on the reality beind the programme

Annabel Nugent
Friday 13 January 2023 08:22 GMT
The Apprentice 2023 candidates revealed in new video

The Apprentice star Lord Alan Sugar has opened up about what viewers don’t see on screen.

BBC’s business-styled reality competition returned earlier this month on Thursday (5 January), with 18 new contestants competing to win Sugar’s £250,000 investment.

Devised following the success of the American original led by Donald Trump, The Apprentice UK has been running since 2005, fronted by Sugar.

Each episode sees the contestants take on a different task after which they assemble in a boardroom to have their performance critiqued by Sugar, whose manner is often depicted as harsh and abrasive.

Speaking to The Guardian about his time on the show, Sugar, 75, shed some light on the reality behind the episodes.

“One of the things I’ve got used to is needing patience,” he said.

“There’s a lot of hanging around between board meetings. The boardroom sessions go on for three-and-a-half hours but you only see 25 minutes.”

He continued: “The monkeys at the production company pick the moments where I’m banging my hands on the table. In reality I’m polite and sensitive towards the candidates, but that doesn’t make good telly.”


Elsewhere in the interview, the business magnate said that he can name “at least five winners” of The Apprentice who are now “millionaires”.

Prior to becoming the face of The Apprentice in the UK, Sugar was the chairman and part-owner of Tottenham Hotspur from 1991 to 2001.

According to The Sunday Times Rich List of 2022, his net worth was estimated at £1.088bn and his source of wealth is property.

You can find all the candidates of The Apprentice current season here. Last year’s series was won by Harpeet Kaur, an owner of a dessert parlour.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in